Is depression different in the summer for you?
I don’t expect to slip in the summer when the sun radiates fourteen hours a day.
Less pressure without time crunches.
Such the slower pace. No school alarms or lunches to make. Schedule goes by natural hunger instead of forced sports practices and empty stomachs returning from school snacking big until dinner at 6pm.
Morning is cherished time with Jesus. Come mid-summer, the boys are finally sleeping in. Early morning study and prayer to fuel my day is well-protected.
Except … my husband wanted to go back to the beach on an impromptu overnight, the four of us. If he had planned us a date, I might have leapt to pack my suitcase. Not entirely sure, though.
Another road trip with two boys who are very different, one needing space, the other invading it?
It was only 3 or so hours away. Yet my mind filled with all the books I could read and writing I could do.
I daydreamed about being firm and inviting Jason to just take the boys and go.
I prayer-walked, not seeking His help, rather His approval for the opt-out.
God did not want to hear my plea. Shut it down pretty quickly.
One of the warning signs of my depression is a zap in motivation, a hanging in the balance when I am normally confidently decisive.
Like a drenched tent caving around its poles, my spiritual get-up-and-go was saggin.
I sensed strongly God’s unwillingness to support my weekend alone … with good reason.
The enemy wants nothing more to isolate us, convince us being alone is better than being together, especially when depression is creeping around town.
Do I believe this was a character development test?
I most certainly do. Whenever the enemy tugs at me to wallow, to avoid others, to put myself first, I know God allowed this temptation.
Hard truth but very freeing to swallow (I will talk more about this in Part 2).
I did go to the beach with my family after praying all day Thursday for strength.
When we finally arrived Friday afternoon, we hauled the towels, drinks, and began our flip-flopped walk to the beach. As we reached the cabana in front of the boardwalk, lightning and thunder announced their presence.
Several flashes of lightning … up-close and personal … about 20 feet away. (Sorry I tried, no pics).
The roof meant nothing to the sideways rain. We might as well have been standing in a shower.
The crowd multiplied under the 64 square feet of cover.
I began to wonder in silence.
Why did we come? Why did I come?
Nothing like offering Satan a step stool to your heart.
The WHY question lets God know you are not thankful, not leaning on Him, and remaining steadfast in a place more “suited” for you.
All weekend long, I struggled to stay with Him, to draw near. A noxious force gnawed at my bones until I shook my head silly and said the name Jesus.
Sunday morning we spent at home before getting on the road to see a baseball game with the Dibble & Troy gang in Altoona.
Spiritually and physically spent, I made sure I was in my prayer chair early.
I kept hearing, I am here
At the coffee pot, I am here.
In the shower, I am here.
Grace. Undeserved and freely given.
As the battle of good vs. evil continued to rage on inside of me, I remembered He knows my depression.
Oh yes, He knew of the struggle to be weekend-ready, the saggy-baggy dragging of feet.
Jesus knows more than we share in each prayer.
Even though we think we need to tell Him things, He not only received every memo on the face of the earth in all time zones and eras … He created them.
Jesus knows all things, no exceptions.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;
From His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth-
He who forms the hearts of all,
Who considers everything they do (Psalm 33:12-15).
What is it that you need to tell Jesus?
His holy beauty touches our face when we speak because He wants to listen, even though He already knows.
Then you will call on me, and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
He leans in to us when we speak our heart’s truth: reach, cry, scream, shout, praise, fall, plead, lament, question, surrender.
I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity (Jeremiah 29:14).
Wow! That amazing truth. We look, and He is there. We pray, He listens. Holy Spirit lives right in the center of our hearts if we have accepted Jesus as Our Lord and Savior. Feel free to share your thoughts here about your depression or stress this summer in the comments. How has God helped?
All photos in this post are from Pixabay.
If you struggle with depression and need help tonight, please call 1-800-273-8255.
If you have questions about Jesus, feel free to email me at email@example.com
I invite you to follow my poetry blog at https://faithhopeandpoetry.blog
And on social media:
https://Facebook.com/jdibble4Him, Meditation Monday will post at 8pm Eastern time tonight
Have a blessed night.