I just finished reading a post from a fellow blogger who writes about her battle with depression. Through her writings, Jesus took me back to a time when I too was waging internal battles that seemed overwhelming. I’ve never suffered from severe depression like this dear sister, but for many years dealt with panic attacks. They began over 8 years ago, as I watched my husband and protector losing his fight with cancer, and at the same time, as I watched our son with autism, only 14, spinning out of control due to anger and his own sense of helplessness. I had never dealt with such a monster called “panic” before, and the feelings alone frightened me, increasing the debilitation of the overwhelming attacks. They’d wake me up in the middle of the night, and be my first companion as I awoke every morning. As my husband declined, and he spent more time in the hospital, the thought of dealing with what was coming also sent me into “panic”.
One afternoon, as I sat in the Target parking lot, feeling the unexpected wave begin to crash around me one more time, I heard a voice on the radio. Dr. David Jeremiah was on, and was talking about the story in the Bible where the disciples were in a boat on the lake, in the middle of the storm. Jesus was with them but was fast asleep. They were so frightened they were going to capsize, that they awoke Jesus with the words “Master, don’t you care that we are drowning?” Dr. Jeremiah then began to remind the listeners that there was no way that they were going to drown with Jesus in the boat! So true! He then went on to say that when we are in circumstances that seem overwhelming, we too won’t drown, when Jesus is with us – just ride the wave!
The Holy Spirit then spoke to my heart, as my chest pounded, and as my breathing increased; as the sweat began pouring, and as the fear began to take hold – “This won’t last, Robin – you won’t drown because I am with you. Just ride the emotions until they pass.” Within seconds, as I focused on the one who calmed the storm for his disciples 2,000 years ago, my storm suddenly seemed less deadly, and my body began to slowly calm. I did ride that wave of emotion, and many others. The picture of Jesus, the One who can speak and command any storm to calm, being with ME – allowed me to, over time, gain some sense of my emotions, and victory over them.
It has been over 8 years now, since this part of my journey began, and some of the storms have been pretty wild, but because Jesus is truly in the boat with me, my vessel hasn’t once capsized – ever, no matter how close I have come at times. I’m grateful today for the remembrance of all he has done; and I’m grateful for how his Word and promises have kept me. I’m so very grateful!
Peggy Rice writes beautifully about her journey with depression in “Gray Clouds, Clear Skies”. I highly recommend her writings – they will encourage you.