I know what it’s like when the bravest moment of the day is when you crawl out of bed.
I know what it is to stand in the shower longer than you should—willing yourself to face the day.
And when your children look at you with their soul-filled eyes, begging you to engage, but you just can’t. Your stomach wrenching because you really aren’t the mother they need today.
How many moments do I miss because the talons of darkness have clutched and ripped out the light? Maybe you ask this question too.
I understand what it is to sink into yourself, watching your spouse bear the burden of the house because you’re chained by the hopelessness in your head. Your husband doing his back-breaking-all-day-work and his fragile-soul-carrying at home.
You’re overwhelmed and overcome by the guilt, locking you up in more chains. Because the cycle is vicious, and this guilt etches itself so deep in your soul.
You want to be strong.
But you think brave is every other woman. Not you. Because you can’t even play Candy Land with your kid.
Sometimes you plaster the immovable smile on your face because great is your answer to the how-are-yous. Making sure the world never knows the days you struggle. The days every ounce of your being keeps you standing with your pasted grin. The days you make it through the motions at work because you have to, leaving you ready to crawl into a hole when you get home.
But those kids, your spouse. And their eyes. And your responsibilities.
There’s the anger that comes too. The fist clenched and shaking toward heaven. Why me?
Oh Momma, I know.
I almost didn’t write this. It’s too depressing. And then I realized, well, yeah. That’s what depression is.
It’s a prison.
You need to understand, Momma. You’re not the only one craving the Light. And you’re not alone in your fight. There are so many of us. So many who ran through their list of coping skills today and not a single one worked.
You exercise. Pray. Read your Bible. Toss back your tiny pill. Surround yourself with positive people—the ones willing to hold you up by your heart-strings. You do everything you should. And still. The darkness creeps and lurks, ready to pounce.
You have nothing to complain about in your first world life. Happy children. Doting spouse. Fulfilling job. Everything in its right place. And still. The chains overwhelm and cripple. Then the guilt–because life is good–only tightens the shackles.
The world doesn’t always understand just how brave you are for getting out of bed.
I know how brave you are. How courage is one foot in front of the other in spite of the fear. How Hope can be fragile and wrapped up in your ability to breathe deep in the pitch-black. How strength builds muscles in your soul every day you face the darkness.
I wish I had answers, Momma.
Because you can love Jesus with your entire being and still fight depression. Because sometimes you run so hard to the pin-prick light in the distance only to watch it drift further away. Because some days you stay in bed.
I don’t have answers.
But I have one promise. A promise wrapped in Hope.
Echoed twice in Scripture are these words, these beautiful, Light-giving words: I will never leave you or forsake you.
We are never alone, my sisters.
Never. Ever. alone.
In our weakest moments. On our darkest days. After our courage disappears.
He is there.
I’m here too, holding tight to the hands of countless sisters.
Because we know.
Understand this—We never fight alone.
Let the words of Christ echo. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will never leave you or forsake you. I will never leave you or forsake you.
Let this be enough to gingerly lift the covers and climb out of bed, into some small, soft rays of light.
My brave, beautiful sisters. I know.
And I love you.