Waiting for a New Thing…Wrestling with Depression From a Place of Freedom

God is at work.  He is always at work.  Sometimes we get the privilege of seeing and experiencing it in the moment. Other times it’s as if there is a curtain between us and what God’s doing, not because of a lack of work, but because, one–the time for it to be fully revealed hasn’t come yet, or two–we’re not ready for it yet. In the past I’ve envisioned this scene of a curtain as that of being in an auditorium, sitting in the audience, waiting in anticipation for the curtain to be drawn and the opportunity to watch what God has been up to unfold.

This time it’s different. This time, I’m back stage with a part, but still waiting for the curtain to be drawn. While I don’t know every detail of the part, I know some. And yet, understanding of the part’s impact, the role that it plays, how it will move the story along, and how it will make a difference eludes me.

As I sat in church on Sunday, I was drawn to a moment of prayer, kneeling up front alongside many others who came with the desire to experience a touch from Jesus. The past 15 months have been about learning to live within the freedom Christ has given me. When I let go of the chains of slavery to fear and the many lies that accompanied it, my loyalty shifted and I began to see things more clearly through the filter of God’s love for me. With each struggle that I have faced since, it has been a growing experience as I learn how to address that struggle from a place of freedom. The process has been far from perfect, but God is faithful.

Most recently the struggle has been with depression. I’ve spent a lot of time wrestling with and learning how to work through anxiety, but this is the first time I’ve had to wrestle with depression from a place of freedom. It’s been hard and honestly, I’m exhausted. Recently, my prayers have been for God to show me that I have purpose in where He has me right now. This season of waiting has worn on me. I was in need of a touch from Jesus and so as the tears flowed, I welcomed the invitation to kneel and pray.

As I prayed, I briefly noticed an elderly woman come and slowly kneel beside me. In no way was I anticipating what happened next. I felt her hand reach over and touch my arm. This woman whom I had never met began praying for Jesus to touch me, to meet me where I was. She simply kept praying His name over and over. As she said the name of Jesus I felt the presence of His Spirit wash over me.

A friend of mine was speaking that morning. One of the beautiful things about the Holy Spirit is His ability to take the words someone speaks and allow them to be heard in such a way that they meet a person right where she is. God knows our hearts, He knows our needs, and He answers prayer. During the message she shared about how, through Jesus, the resurrection is both completed and ongoing. To resurrect means to revive, restore, re-establish, breathe life into. Through the cross and His resurrection, Jesus restored our relationship with God. He completed it. And yet, it is ongoing. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is the very same power we have access to. Through it He continues to resurrect us–reviving us, restoring us, breathing life into us.

When your struggle is with depression, it can be discouraging–exhausting at best, crippling at worst. But, sweet friend, if this is where you find yourself, be encouraged, cling to the truth that Jesus can and wants to breath life into you. It’s the ongoing resurrection, the restoration. God is at work. He is doing something new.

I loved the truth I discovered as I listened to the message. A passage from Isaiah 43 was shared.

Isaiah 43:19 waiting for a new thing making a way wilderness streams wastelandI’ve read the verse many times before, but now with a new perspective. I am compelled and drawn to new things because I was created by a God who does new things. He put this desire within me and longs to hear me say to Him, “do a new thing in me.”

I had been praying for God to prove to me I have purpose in where I am right now in this season of waiting. While His answer wasn’t circumstantially specific, His presence was so rich. As I walked out at the end of the service, my step was a little lighter. Sunday morning was a beautiful reminder of the power of Jesus’ name. It was a reminder to keep my loyalty in check, to continue to embrace and immerse myself in the truth of freedom while leaning into the discomfort of my struggles, allowing God to use them to grow me.

A reminder that He continues to do a new thing, even in the middle of a season of waiting.

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