Tag Archives: depression

Empathy

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)


Friendship is born

There is nothing quite like a friend who really understands. When life is tough, words are difficult to get out and emotions even harder. I’d much rather be the strong one than the one who falls apart in a puddle of tears. But life can be hard — very hard.

There have been times in my life when I wondered why God thought it was necessary for me to know intimately about a particular subject—divorce, depression, vision issues, sleep issues. But when confronted with someone in a puddle of tears over the very same thing, I can reach out with a hug of understanding and a few words of empathy that lets them know that I really do get it.

This week has been one of those weeks as I listened to the fears of a friend headed into a difficult cataract surgery and another is in a very rough patch in her marriage. I offered encouragement and insight from my own journey that, if nothing else, let them know I made it through. Often, that is our biggest fear.

There are days when I ask God to heal my eyes — much like the Apostle Paul and his thorn in the flesh— but I know that the perfect vision I once enjoyed is gone. Yet, that dependance on the One who sheds light on my path and warms my heart enables me to “see” others in a new way and come alongside and offer help.

But we have a question to answer. Do we choose to be better or bitter when we face the difficulties in our lives? Our Father offers some friendly advice, “Find a friend because with help, you will succeed.”

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Darkness Into Light

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)

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 I love springtime. I had no idea when we moved to the desert that this brown landscape would fill with color, each cactus with its own particular flower. One of my favorite tasks after the cold, dreary, dark winter months is to replenish my pots with brilliant blooms. This year they glow red, yellow, and white. It warms my heart to look out on the courtyard and see them waving in the breeze.

This has been an especially dark year with only glimpses of light: not only in my house but those of my family and friends, and even our nation. Once again, bombs in Boston rock our security and bring destruction to families. The consequences of those acts of violence will last forever.

A friend struggles with the darkness of separation and divorce. Children are confused and angry, grandparents shuffle children between meeting spots wondering how did it get to this, friends are caught in the middle.

Depression has sucked Mark back into the pit over and over this year. There’s lots of talk about mental illness these days but for those who suffer from it, talk is cheap. New laws will not help and those who love them, watch and wait, hoping for a new treatment or medication to help them out of the darkness.

Hope is my word for 2013. Without hope, there is no reason to go on. However, God is faithful to His promise to “turn the darkness into light and make the rough places smooth.” I know that He does this for me, usually in ways that I might not choose, but the outcome is for my hope and future. Because my hope is in Him, I will be thankful for today, waiting with anticipation for what is just around the corner.

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