What is internal pain and what drives it? Electrical impulses in the brain? Wounds of the soul? The wilderness of the spirit?
Maybe it’s all of it. No one really knows for sure.
As you can probably guess, I have been in the pit for these past few weeks, dear friend. 25 days and 8 hours. That is the amount of time that has passed since my last post. I’ve responded to a few comments, liked a few posts, but the words have dried up at the tips of my fingers like the petals of a flower in the desert.
And what can I do? Nothing. Simply hold onto Christ as He holds onto me and expect not the end of the pain, but the presence of His grace, never ceasing. The Word says hope deferred makes the heart sick. Therefore, I will hope in nothing save Jesus. He will never fail me nor leave me. He is with me to the end of the Age. I hope not for healing in this moment or for future healing, but in His grace, which is sufficient, for His power is made perfect in my weakness.
How do I know this with such assurance, that it is sufficient? Since that first day at the age of three when I first felt despair, I’ve had 11,927 days and 11 hours to test that assurance. You may doubt the power of Christ, dear friend, and know I have had many, many days in which I have doubted to the point where I despaired of life itself, to quote Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:8, but my testimony is mine alone. No one can take it from me.
And here I wait, adding chapters of darkness to that story which will make the dawn of eternity all the brighter.
Sometimes, like a virus, depression must simply run its course. And like antiviral medication, the man-made pills I take at morning and night can help, but there are just some things medication can’t cure.
I’ve been crushed, ground down to dust; particles that no longer look human, carried along by a wind that bites and gnaws. What caused it? No, what causes it (present tense, dear friend) when the darkness beats down my door and steals and devours? What shutters the windows, pulls the curtains, darkens the eyes with filters and lies?
That is the question for which no psychiatrists nor psychologist nor therapist nor counselor nor self-help book nor health and wealth preacher can answer. At least not in a satisfactory manner. All are guesses, whether educated or not.
Depression is the afterlife before the afterlife. A Hell on earth.
Why? Because all else besides those who have been there struggle to believe its existence. (And can I blame them? Would I believe were I in their shoes?) But even I, though I have been there, cannot tell another sufferer with absolute assurance the reason or root behind their own pain. Even I can’t fully help them. The blind leading the blind.
All of us are clutching for answers in the dark only Jesus and the Word can reveal. Only One who is the Light, who can see the human heart can guide us. He does this through the lens of His power, yes, but also because of His own anguishes, which have piled up to immeasurable heights, for He watches His children suffer day in and day out.
He. Knows. My. Pain.
Experiential, dear friend, not guesswork, for Jesus is tormented by severe depression, burdens the human mind cannot define nor fathom.
Why does that last sentence abhor some of us?
Because depression is often seen as a sin. It not always is, dear friend. It not always is, but can simply be, suffering of the heart. Grief.
It is experiential because He loves us, yet as it says in Isaiah, we esteemed Him not.
The story of God and humankind is the most tragic story of unrequited love in history.
Those of the internal pain know we are suffering, but secretly. Like those who know the Emperor is naked, but none of us can bear to voice it. Not anymore. Those of the Whole, the Mind Over Matters, the Work Horses of the world, cannot understand, and in fact, the consideration of its very existence terrifies them to the point of denial and doubt of their own solidity. Like a living person gazing upon a corpse. Their own mortality is what is such a horror.
Not all of the Whole are like this! I do not wish to cast together in a jumbled, judgmental heap all of the escapees of the invisible terrors of our existence. That is not the heart of Christ. And besides, you, dear friend, if you are of the Whole, are reading this! May the Lord bless you for your compassion and seeking for understanding…
How my heart is moved by your love.
But what could convince the others of this afterlife on earth? That is my question. Honestly, I don’t know. Who can tell me what would give words to the wordless, what could speak the unspeakable, what would loose the tongues that could proclaim in assurance that indeed, the Emperor has no regal robe to shield us from the truth, to provide that comfort and warmth we all desire?
In light of this, I must be honest and say I was tempted to “tone down” this post. To not allow such visceral glimpses. But I cannot. It’s like a fire in my bones. How can others understand if I don’t voice it?
Know I love you enough to share the truth! And I pray the Lord blesses you, dear friend, as He has and does and will bless me. Even now, He is with me, blessing me by His promises, which will never fail, and how I love Him for it! The invisible is what is eternal, as 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, so I will grasp all the more tightly to it. I can’t see Him, but I know He is here, holding me!