Sunday, November 08, 2009

When Satan Tempts Me to Despair

I didn't know what else to do with myself this morning, so I attended the church I grew up in. It was both the last place on earth that I wanted to be, and the only place I wanted to be. There were lots of people I didn't want to see, who I knew I would need to put on a happy face for (a challenge given that I was in full blown tears 7 times before noon today!). But I also knew my mom would be there, and my dad, and my brother T., and his girlfriend L. That if I went there, there would be a few people with whom I wouldn't need to wear a mask, and few who would offer hugs.

I couldn't really put on a happy face. I told a few people I was FINE (a very useful acronym my mom gave me, that I'm not going to write out just at the moment.) I was way more honest than I intended with another person. Thankfully a person to whom it turned out to be safe to be that honest. And I was grateful when she thanked me for my honesty, because now she knew how she could be praying. I was grateful that L simply asked how I was doing, and knew by looking at my face. That she wrapped an arm around me as the tears came yet again, and rubbed my back. That she listened quietly and understood a little.

T was leading worship this morning, and L was a member of his worship team. And in those moments, as they sang, and I surreptitiously wiped away the tears that were spilling over constantly, Jesus met me.

These lyrics struck deeply this morning:

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

You can find the whole song here, but it was this verse that caught at my heart this morning.

It was definitely a morning, maybe even a day of feeling that despair.

A week ago today I celebrated four years depression free. Today I can tell you that I am in the midst of an incredible battle for my health and sanity, and quite a lot of the time recently I've felt that it was a losing battle.

And I stood there this morning, listening to the promises of those lyrics, and wondering how on earth I would manage to look up. Because it isn't that I haven't known that I needed to look up, to somehow find Jesus' eyes with mine, it's been the battle to be able to look up. I have at times quite literally felt as if my forehead was pinned to the floor. That the fear and the anger and the hatred and the despair that I have so wrestled with were forcibly covering my eyes, turning my head away from Jesus' eyes that I've so desperately needed to meet.

This may be the fight of my life right now. But it is one that I am somehow determined to win. Because existing in this space is just not an option anymore. It's not working. It hasn't worked for quite some time now. And I come back over and over to the question Jesus asked the lame man at the pool, "Do you want to be well?"

I really, really, want to be well.