“What is wrong with me?” “Why can’t I fix this?” “I shouldn’t be having this problem anymore… I should be above this”. These are statements and questions that I have asked myself and God lately. The last few months I have been in a dark cloud. It came on very slowly. So slowly I didn’t realise it
until one day I struggled to stay out of bed. I started coming home from dropping the kids off at school unable to get out of the car. If I went inside I would walk around the house incapable of doing anything productive. I felt emotionally and mentally in pain. I had vacated my body and shut down. I knew what was wrong, I was back in depression. My past experience had taught me that depression was a symptom, not the problem. That it was my bodies way of saying I had pain that hadn’t been healed. The only problem was I didn’t know what it was nor how to deal with it.
A lot has happened in the past few months. I have moved to a different state; a long way from my family, church, and my security. In the beginning when I started to feel a little flat and tired, I told myself its just stress, tiredness and the grief of moving. I consoled myself that if I got some rest and worked through the grief of moving I would eventually be fine. I just needed to meet new people, get use to the culture and settle in. I started to network, met some amazing people, found a school for my kids, bought and moved into a lovely home and my stress lessened. I would go out and meet with people, I would go on walks, go to church, pray, read my bible, phone and Skype my family and friends back in Adelaide and do all the things that I thought would fix the problem. Logically it should have; but it didn’t. The darkness just grew.
When I sought God all I saw was darkness. Sometimes I would get scriptures, but they wouldn’t lift my despair. I constantly heard over and over again the word hope. However, no matter how I hard I tried I couldn’t seem to find hope. At times I would seek God for an answer and He would give me a vision of something that seem so unrelated to the question I asked. I started to ask trusted friends and family to pray, but none were available. I became afraid and felt very lonely. I stopped handling things emotionally and mentally and resorted back to my old coping methods of addiction. The separation from God I felt was unbearable. I longed to feel God’s company. One night in my despair I desperately sought God. He showed me a picture of me, I was lying down suspended in the air, there was a strong wind swirling around me, I was in darkness. Life was carrying on around me, but my eyes were shut and my mind and heart were elsewhere. I then heard the words, “Even darkness is light to me Cheryl”. I felt His love for me. I knew then that He saw me in my darkness, my loneliness and the shame I was feeling about my addiction. I also had this sense that not only did He see me, but He was also going to provide a way out. That night in my sleep I had another vision. This vision, however, as had many before seemed so unrelated to my current situation.
Some time later I felt prompted to read a book. As I started to read this book it unearthed some pain that I thought I had surrendered to God and dealt with. What I had done seemed the right way of dealing with it at the time. All indications said it was fixed. The pain had eased and things seemed to be going well. The more I read this book the more intense the pain became. It eventually became so intense that after a few days of reading I had to stop. I had an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. I felt like there was no solution and I had no way out of the situation. With it came this realisation that I had lost all control and all of my attempts to fix the problem were just methods of avoidance and deception. The pain was still there. I realised I had a choice to make: I could continue to avoid this pain with addictive behaviour and other futile attempts to control the situation, or I could face the pain and seek God’s solution. To be honest the first option seemed to the best one at the time, well the easiest one. But after a few days, more futile behaviour and increasing darkness, I had to admit it was only making my situation worse. I was avoiding reality with a temporary solution.
In the midst of my pain I sought God. Admitting to Him that none of my solutions were working and I had no way out. That I couldn’t do this without Him; I was powerless. I had come to a place of surrender. It was in this place of weakness that God showed me again those visions that he had been giving me over the last few months. They seemed so out of place at the time, but were now the exact answer I needed. I heard Him say to me, “This is your hope, these visions are My truth for you”. He went on to say, “Don’t just hold them in your heart as something to look forward to, speak them into being; this is my will, I want you to pray it to be so”. As I started to speak out these visions as truth, the despair lifted. A sliver of light entered my darkness and with it came a sense of hope.
The problem hasn’t gone, it may take some time for it to fully resolve. In fact there may be more pain to face and process with God, however, God’s solution is the right one. I believe that it will lead to something that isn’t temporary and weak, but strong and better then I ever imagined possible.
Related Posts of interest: