Sometimes I feel like I'm walking a tight wire across Niagara Falls.
I was not prepared. I did not know. I am completely and utterly inadequate. Yet, here I am.
We have a child struggling with depression and the aftermath of choices he made in that depression. It's still relatively fresh - the tip of the iceberg is, at least. As the months pass, I'm finding that the part we couldn't see was as big as what sunk the Titanic and has been growing for years.
How did we miss it? How could I have been that blind to his pain? How could a mother not know her baby is dying on the inside? I could live here - I could SO just stop right here and wallow in the guilt - live in the vain imaginations of the details. But I do not have that luxury.
I will get up, wipe my tears, ask forgiveness for my failure, dust off the mourning ashes - and move on. This child needs us.
I cannot express how proud of him I am - for his honesty - for his boldness - even for his fear. That he was willing to strip away every pretense and be honest with us and with the world around him, is something many "mature" adults are still unable to do. He wants to be whole and complete in Christ more than he wants man's approval. I love that.
Depression is not a sin. He did not do something - we did not do something - to cause this. I believed that on some level before now, but I think my answers were trite and simplistic. I B.E.L.I.E.V.E. it now. It's a part of who he is, at least for now. And God is big enough to either heal him completely, or to be his strength when he is weak. God's grace is enough for any struggle we will face - His grace is enough as he faces this. His grace is enough as he learns healthy ways to move forward. God's grace will show him that he is redeemed, loved and accepted. His grace is enough as we learn how to walk alongside him in this.
We have much to learn in the days to come. As we learn, struggle, fail, get back up and learn again - as it becomes real in our family, I hope to be able to share that. I do not believe any of us struggle or find victory for our benefit alone. It is my prayer that others will find hope and help, as we are. But one thing we're learning loud and strong right now is that if you want to get better - you have to drag that sucker, kicking and screaming perhaps, out into the light.
Struggles (even those not of our making), deep wounds, sin, strongholds - these things grow in the dark. They're nurtured in the dark - both physical darkness and spiritual darkness. Our enemy will use the darkness to make them seem overwhelming and shameful. When we are afraid to bring our struggles into the light for the fear of what will happen when others see them, we give them power.
We think we can control it, hide it, master it... we cannot.
If you love someone that is struggling - especially if it is your child - do not give up. Do not cast blame. Do not wallow in self-pity or shame of your own that you didn't see it or haven't been able to help them. Get up. This is not about you. Self-pity is not an option here. There's a God that saves and He is on our side. Pray. Get help from others that are trained and have gone before us. Allow them the freedom, give them the grace, to be honest and to say even what may be painful to hear. It is in that place that healing begins.
If you are struggling, do not let our Enemy convince you that you will be rejected if you bring it out into the light. He knows the battle will be won there. Those that reject you for your honesty are not your friends. My husband said in a sermon last week, "The enemy does not whisper these (lies) in our ears because he believes them; he whispers them because we believe them." Stop believing our Enemy. "Listen to the applause of Heaven" as you choose to stop hiding in fear and shame.
Drag it into the light, expose our Enemy for the destroyer, thief and liar that he is - ask others to help you.
My son is teaching me that bold vulnerability is the place where God lives and works. The kind of honesty that scares most of us does not scare him. Okay - that's not true. It does scare him - terrifies him at times - but he is courageous anyway. He wants God more than he wants to follow his fear.
I want to be like that.
Note: Please know that I never hit "publish" when it involves my children unless they have already chosen to be open regarding the topic and without first talking with them, allowing them to read, edit and approve. I will never be the one to make the decision to share the details of their journeys publicly - those details are theirs to tell as they, and God, see fit.