Today I went on a training morning entitled ‘Depression – how can we help’ Nice and light for a Wednesday morning. I figured, being the super vicars wife that I am, and our churches family outreach worker it would give me some super sparkly skills in supporting those both in my church and community walking through depression.
What I did not anticipate was it also touching the apparently still raw nerve of my own experience.
I think we all too quickly believe or hope that when we have come through something, whether that be depression, anxiety whatever it may be, that we magically come out the other side and it no longer impacts us. “I am free from… it doesn’t have power over me any longer”.
And while that may be true for some, for me it would appear that my experience with depression and an eating disorder are things which remain with me. Maybe not on a daily basis but they quietly linger in the background waiting to trip me up if I’ll let them.
For me, today it was the mention of using food as a method of control when it feels like life going on around us is out of control, slam, boy that took me back to those feelings! Those feelings of 6 years ago, those feelings of shame and isolation. Those feelings I thought were long gone.
But…I am not the same person as 7 years ago! That shame and guilt and isolation does not have the power it once did! I am more self aware than I was then, I am better at practising self care and asking for help, support, advice when I need it, I hold onto the truths God has spoken even though I may not always feel like they are true.
There have been times I have prayed for complete freedom but today I realised that I actually value that thorn in my side, it reminds me of who I am and who God is. It reminds me that God knows the plan and he asks me to trust him in it. I do not want that thorn removed because it gives me great empathy and a heart for those walking a similar journey and it gives me hope, a hope for my future and for yours.
I’m reminded of my new tattoo faith, hope and love.
Because of my faith I can have a hope in my future and from that place of faith and hope I can love others as Christ loves me.