At times, my son would belt out, “You’re not me! You don’t know what I feel. You don’t feel like I feel.” Or something very similar. And rather than feel empathetic to his plight, I always feel angry when he says this. Because I’m the mom. Obviously, I know I am not him. And obviously, I don’t feel exactly as he does. I know this. I guess my ire is induced by the fact that he doesn’t realize that I do in fact know. I know. But as I was reduced to tears this morning while applying my green eye shadow, the same thoughts coursed through my mind. “You don’t know how I feel!” To no one specifically… just a silent, desperate cry to my bathroom walls. “You don’t know!”
I’ll soon descend to the basement for an all day cleaning fest, so the eye shadow is definitely not a necessity. But today, I feel vulnerable. I had my hair cut shorter yesterday, and with my neck exposed, I feel like I need a mask. And not just because of the extra skin that’s visible, but I feel as if my heart is on display, too. I’m wearing it on my sleeve, and so, the mask is to cover not just a new vulnerability… but a dull ache in my heart. Inexplicable, indescribable, heartache. I don’t know why. Just tears and sadness. And loneliness. More so than usual, as I was choked up and tears spewed while I was on the phone with my employer this week. I can assure you, this was a first. All I could do was mutter, “Oh, good grief,” followed by a curt, “Bye.” He must have been dumbfounded. And perhaps, embarrassed by my emotional display. A bit of drama on my part?
I am weary from my groaning; with my tears I dampen my pillow and drench my bed every night. My eyes are swollen from grief; they grow old because of all my enemies.” Psalm 6:6
The truth is, I am depressed. And since this is something I come back to (over and over again), I can actually sense the darkness before it envelops me now. But for the life of me, I can’t seem to escape! I just let it surround me rather than run for my life. And because I get depressed, there is shame. Because I know. I know! I have no earthly right to feel as I do. My two aunts who lost their children would tell me so. My friends who see me with a great husband, an adorable child, a great property and the best job in the world would tell me so. As a matter of fact, it was Thursday evening that my brother said, “You’ve got it made, you just don’t know it.” He was referring to my job. And he’s quite right. But inside, I’m screaming, “You’re not me! You don’t know what I feel. You don’t feel like I feel.” Just like my son exclaims to me. And just as I feel indifferent to his plight, so would my brother be to mine. Because the truth is… I am blessed. So blessed. And yet, I am depressed. I feel lonesome.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Facebook is one of the loneliest places in the world. Because for the one who begins to feel sorry for herself, she can be thrown so deep into a pit, she can barely see out. And with each glance at the images of happy, filled lives, more and more dirt gets heaped on top of her. And with each visit to Facebook, she can begin to feel embittered by what she sees. Can anyone relate to this? Is there anyone out there who feels like I feel? Is there anyone who has every blessing – someone who God has graced with a wonderful life – and yet, bitterness abounds? I feel there is. Because as much as this blog, this journey to the center of my soul, is just that (a journey to my innermost being), I feel there must be others just like me. And that, just as I am discovering the truth about God and me, there are those who are discovering the truth about God and themselves right alongside me. There must be.
The truth about God & me is that I love Him. To the best of my ability. And that despite an ever deepening relationship with my LORD, I am still plagued by a darkness. This is the truth. And so, I have to ask… Are you like me? Do you feel as I do? Because if you do feel the same, I know. I know. And believe it or not, I think there is purpose in it. There must be.
You know, God made a promise to me through His word. And it’s a promise we can all claim. God told me that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. The truth is, I already have seen it. If I could just believe it… if I could just live it… if I could just realize it. He says… Wait on the LORD, and to be of good courage, and that He will strengthen my heart. He tells me… Wait, I say, on the LORD! And so, I shall. Because when I find it… whatever it is that plagues me… I shall be free. And when I am truly free, oh, what a story I’ll have. Yes, darkness may descend today, but I have hope that He will shed His light.
And for now, I’ll let God quiet my cries. Because He knows. He knows. He knows how I feel, for He lives in me. And He knows why I do and say what I do. He assures me. Yes, He is not me, yet… He is part of me. And He knows how I feel. He knows. And in truth, that’s all that matters.
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Mark 14:3-9