Let God lift you out of despair, find hope again

I struggled with bad thoughts for months. A tired body and spirit mixed with an attitude that sizzled with buried anger pointed to trouble. Burnout lingered around my days descending fast. The dreary, bitter winter weather added to my morose mood.

My family slumbered as I traveled the icy roads home after covering a late-running city council meeting. My mind wrestled with thoughts of the task of  writing and submitting this story to my editor before I could sleep and how nobody really cared about me. To say I inhabited a bad place just skimmed the deeper issue.

In interactions with others, I hid the inner turmoil, so no one at the meeting suspected my real emotions. At an earlier doctor appointment when asked if I ever felt a deep sadness or other negative emotions, I lied and said no. As far as I could tell, nobody knew of my struggle.

So as I traveled home from the meeting lost in thought, I left the city lights behind. In the dark my headlights showed the sparkle of the wet roads. When I hit a slick patch and the car swung 180 degrees so I  now faced the way I had come, all the thoughts fled my mind. I sat there alone in the middle of the road marveling how I had stayed out of the ditch. I decided to go home a different route because the route I intended led along a river race. If I lost control there and ended up in the water, nobody would miss me until morning when the editor wondered where my story was and my husband got up to go to work.

God used that 180 degree flip in the road to get my attention and to start me in a different direction mentally as well as physically. Loud and clear, He said, “See you really do want to live.”

Yes, I really did want to live even though I thought no one cared if I lived or died. Life felt mundane, and I felt so alone and unappreciated.

Maybe you have been in that dark spot. Some people suffer depression; others are in despair. Depression is a condition of feeling sad or despondent. It is also a disorder requiring medical or psychological intervention. Despair is to lose all hope or to be overcome with a sense of futility or defeat (Free Dictionary by Farlex). I believe I suffered the latter.

Hope wavered near empty. Joy disappeared. I don’t know how long it took to climb out of that pit; but one day, I tasted freedom. During this season when many mourn losses, or loneliness intensifies in a season which is supposed to be merry but sometimes isn’t, I want to encourage those who are sad. Hang in there. Seek someone to talk with such as a confidante, a pastor, a doctor. (If you are clinically depressed, please, please seek medical counsel.)

Remember life comes in seasons. Persevere. Look ahead. Don’t give up. Sunnier days shine after the rain and gloom. Despite your melancholy feelings, people love you. It may get worse before it gets better, but better times will come. Most of all, the super God of the universe loves you and has great plans for you. When you seek or pursue God, He blesses you even if you stumble now and then.

Hebrews 10:35-36 says, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Focus on the positive. Find something to be thankful for every day. Get your eyes off yourself and serve others.

Isaiah 61:1-3 refers to Jesus and how He came to comfort and to give us oil of gladness instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. This is a great reminder for us all because sometimes we forget.

Remember, my beautiful friend, you are loved and you matter.

 

 

Photo by Ozark Drones on Unsplash.

4 thoughts on “Let God lift you out of despair, find hope again

  1. Wow Michelle. All I can say is that took a LOT OF COURAGE to write, and knowing that your family sees it, etc. I am so proud of you. People who suffer from these issues remain silent as much as they can….well you know my family’s dysfunction. I too have been in the place you describe, several times, over several periods of my life, and most recently when we moved to our new home and everything we prayed for and hoped for seemed to be falling apart. But I always maintained that *stiff upper lip* as much as I could for my family so it would not affect them. I will be forever grateful that God gave you a physical *180* to show you His love and His grace and His mercy. I value your friendship more than you can know, and I am glad that we are able to share the good, the bad, and the ugly…and still come out with FAITH. Blessings my friend.

    1. Thanks, Deb. Your friendship means the world to me, and I am glad we are an encouragement to each other. It is a little scary being honest, but I hoped by sharing that others would know that they aren’t alone in their struggles and that while life has its ups and downs, we can get through them by reaching up to God, reaching out to others, and seeking someone safe to be honest with. God knows how we feel so it is healthier to just get it all off our chest and ask Him for help. Perhaps by being silent and secluded, we prolong the pain. When our plans, hopes, dreams don’t follow the path we counted on or take a crazy detour, it is natural to grieve. God doesn’t want us to walk alone. Blessings to you too, my friend.

  2. Thanks, Michelle. I know you wrote that for me, as well as for others. Your love and advice are so precious to me. With God’s help, and friends like you praying for us, we will all make it through to that glorious day when we will not longer suffer from those “bad” days. Love you!

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