Just over a year ago I was returning from a three-week vacation. It sounds wonderful. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, the catalyst to take three weeks was less than wonderful. I was on empty – once again.
In 2006, I struggled with depression brought on by excessive work, nearly non-existent boundaries, lack of rest, and relationships that depleted my soul.
How crazy to sum up that very difficult, long, and painful journey into a single sentence. Yet, I celebrate the summation because it is a testimony to the deserts that feel like death valley when you’re walking them but on the other side look more like a rocky beach leading to a life-giving ocean we would have missed had we not gone on the walk.
A year ago, 10 years after my first journey, I found myself at the entrance to death valley again, having ignored all the warning signs along the way. But things looked regrettably familiar to me and before I drifted too far into the valley, I reached out for help. Those three weeks granted me the space to find my way back to the ocean again.
I write this almost a year later with utter gratitude for the strength and healing that has taken place. I pen this almost a year later with a deep affection for my voice which I have learned to value. And I share all of this with you for two reasons.
To give witness to God’s faithfulness and goodness to me, God’s beloved. God has been strong. Christ has been merciful. The Spirit has been comforting. Together, we are enjoying the ocean view.
And I share this
To give hope to those of you in what feels like death valley. I remember the suffocating loneliness, the parched spirit, the hopeless landscape as far as the eye could see. Those were the mirages, the illusions, the lies. They look real. They feel real. But they are not. You are never alone and there is always hope. Just keep walking, my friends. Invite others to help. There is an ocean view on the horizon.