The early morning sky is marked by a contrail of a jet airliner passing overhead. The roar of its engines follows. I lay back on the concrete patio---stationary, while the earth spins in the middle of vast universe. The sliver of silver moves quickly across the sky with its white cloudy tail trailing behind. Soon the plane will be out of site. I wonder where it will land.
Eleven years have passed so very quickly. The years race by like the plane in the sky.
Memories surface to the time when I had it all. My husband was a successful pediatrician in a small town, well loved and respected. I had three beautiful healthy children, the older two homeschooled while the little one made messes all over our big house on the cul-de-sac.
My life was full. I had taken incredible opportunities to serve God on mission trips to Cuba, served on the board of a crisis pregnancy center, and had a group of really close friends with whom I shared a church and social life, friendships that were deep and real.
But then there was the past. As much as the present was good and beautiful, the past kept creeping in on me.
One morning, I was studying God’s Word when the Spirit urged me, “Let’s take care of the past. It is time to bring to the Light the things you have shoved to the darkness.”
My reply, “No, thank you.”
I was serious. And I did pray, “Lord, You are Sovereign. It isn’t necessary to deal with the past. You know it so you deal with it. I will let you have it. I am moving on.”
I didn’t get far. God’s ways are not our ways. His plan was to redeem the brokenness, the pain, the fear, the need to control. I would not let Him have those things. I would not give up who I really was----the me that no one else knew, the me that I lived with everyday.
For months I struggled to keep the dark things in the dark, but they began to roll over and over in mind. Eventually, they took over and I found myself unable to mother, to sleep or to eat. Having it all would not hold me together. I fell apart.
I turned back to God at His prompting on a beautiful September day just over eleven years ago. I was in a lock-down unit of a mental health facility. My diagnosis: severe clinical depression. God met me in the darkness and brought all to the Light.
Even with an assurance of healing, I had to pick up the pieces to see if I could put my life back together. Where would I start?
When I got up eleven years ago and walked back into my house, time was slow. I couldn’t drive for a while because of medications. Someone had to take me an hour to my counseling sessions. My preschooler went to the babysitter even though his Momma was at home. My kids were in school.
I was healed and being healed. Moment by moment.
I focused on four things:
Everyday I would eat. For me, the menu was coconut yogurt, a banana, and a turkey sandwich until my appetite was restored.
Everyday I would spend time with God in his Word. I wrote in a journal about what God was teaching me. I started with the book of Job.
Everyday I would exercise. I began first with a stroll and then more of a power walk. Eventually I would run.
Everyday I would intentionally talk to someone. I initiated the encounter. This was usually over the phone, but sometimes included a visit with a friend.
I was going to the doctor and seeing a godly counselor, but these four things were the baby steps that got my life moving again.
I made my bed instead of getting in it. I dressed for the day no matter if I was going out. I went through the motions and my heart joined me in the desire to do those things. My open heart believed that God loved me and wanted good things for me---simple things like food, sleep, fresh air and people to share my life.
As quickly as I lose sight of the silver glint of the airplane, eleven years have passed and disappeared into the history of my life.
I have landed in this time and place to live on the other side of healing. It is a gift of grace that has let me LIVE. My story is a life redeemed by the God of Love who has blessed me more than I could ever dreamed or imagined.
Time still races like that plane. I no longer have to rely on the short list of four things to get me moving. I move because He allows me to awaken to live another day.
God trusted me with four things, so that he could give me many things. That was His plan all along.
My journey through depression humbled me but did not humiliate me. Still, it is not always easy to live life on the flyway. I gave God my past and I give Him my future.
The contrail marks the sky. And I rise to live in the now.