On the outside, my life seemed rather typical – church going wife and mom. Most would characterize me as someone who was outgoing and fun with a heart for God. No one, not even me for a while, recognized the quiet storm that drenched my life and sought to drown me.
Like most floods, the filling water of depression and sadness consume slowly and over time. There I was with blessings surrounding me: loving spouse, adorable son, beautiful home, a healthy and caring family – things that should cause anyone to be happy and yet I spent most days in a vicious cycle of crying, over indulging in food and sleeping. I would look and see what I was blessed with and could not understand why I would cry or stay in bed or why I would have no passion for life. I was consumed with guilt when I would hear stories of moms that lost their children, where cancer and death ransacked families and story after story of people who were in so much worse shape than me. Daily, I urged myself to get over it – snap out of it – put on your big girl pants and move it! Eventually, pep talks and reality checks no longer worked and the flood waters of depression threated devour me completely.
I had bought into the belief that as a Christian I wasn’t supposed to be sad, not allowed to be. It wasn’t scriptural or it was a sign of sin or it was a sign of not having an intimate relationship with the Lord. So, I did what any Bible believing woman would do, I lied – lied to the world and to those closest to me until one day I was in such a state that I knew it was time to sink or swim – let myself be consumed by the water or grab the hand of the Master and allow Him to pull me out – I call it, The Peter Principal.
The Peter Principal was born from Peter’s faith walk found in the gospel of Matthew 14. Peter walked to meet Jesus on the water – he went as far as his faith at the time would take him and when that faith failed, he began to sink. Jesus had to rescue him — to save him – again. Peter was already a follower of Christ and yet he had to be saved – again. There is where I sat – a believer in need of being saved. Like Peter, I cried, “Lord, save me!” and that was the beginning of my journey to healing.
It was a long hard journey filled with obstacles and deserts and revelation. I realized my sadness was rooted in my anger at God. I didn’t understand why God would create me and then allow things to happen to me that just didn’t seem fair. It took a long time to work through this with Him, but I did. I did because He is big enough – He is big enough to take all of my sadness – He is big enough to take all of my anger – He is big enough to handle it – anything I could throw at Him, He caught. His desire was to help me, to take the sadness away, but I had to let Him first. That was the hardest part. I had to let the One I was angry at, the One that I didn’t understand, the One that created me to live this life out – I had to let Him heal me.
I was healed. I cried out and He did heal me – He took my anger and pain and showed me that these things did not come from Him, but were the result of an evil and broken world – my healing brought understanding – the understanding that I am not promised a life of ease, but am promised that if I take up my cross and follow Him, I will never face life alone.
As every life is different, as every situation is different, so is every journey – we have to be open to the possibility that our gift of healing may come packaged with medicine and doctors and counselors and mentors and any other number of ways. We cannot buy into the lie that to take advantage of all resources is somehow Un-Christian. My prayer is that if you feel you are drowning in sadness, if the sadness of this life threatens to consume you and pull you under – that you will take the first step and look to the One that desires save you and cry “Lord, save me!”