“Hopelessness.” She named my emotion. Immediately both shame and relief flooded me. I had always called it depression, but this new name had so much more power- it was real. More than that though, my suffering was being acknowledged and on some deep level, it finally clicked that it wasn’t normal to feel like that. Each of these brought relief, but shame came as well. What Jesus follower is hopeless? That goes against the hope filled gospel I claim to believe- indeed I do believe!
I came across some encouraging verses about hope, though:
“Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things- thinks that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook you work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:9-12
This is simply one way that God is working healing in my life. I am learning to view life in a more positive way, such as, actually enjoying it. As a friend told me the other day, “You’re extremely talented at stressing- and that’s not a good thing!” My normal pattern of thought makes living pretty miserable.
So far, what I’ve experienced of the positive life is different then I expected, though. It’s not so much about never planning for what could go wrong or acknowledging pain. I’ve found it means letting myself feel a full range of emotions but coming home to peace and contentment in Jesus. (Even if I can’t feel those emotions at the time, I can trust that they are what Jesus wants for me.) It means reminding myself every morning that 1, Jesus loves me, and 2, today is worth living- any good, bad, or awkward moment is worth experiencing in its fullness.
Just like when forming any new habit, it’s a battle; I fall back into the old way of thinking at times. Even in the failing, though, I can see Jesus’ love more clearly. Knowing the fullness of life He wants me to experience and the hope He wants me to hold provides fresh motivation to try again!