I wanted my first blogpost on this site to be shiny.
I wanted it to be positive. I wanted it to reflect my accomplishments, my joys, the parts of my life that reflect my dreams and aspirations. I didn’t want to taint my first blogpost with the dark parts.
Today is Good Friday. A day of solemn reflection, a day of contemplation. A day where I pray for my loved ones, where I light candles, where I remember the agony my God went through to save me from myself. I wanted to post something that was mindful of that, but ended on a hopeful note.
But depression decided to rear it’s ugly head. And now I can’t escape the voices that tell me I’m a failure. On and on they go, laughing at me, informing me matter-of-factly, that I’m fooling myself.
You’ll never make it.
I will make it.
You’re a joke.
I’m not a joke.
No one even likes you. They just feel sorry for you. They make fun of you behind your back.
I have friends. They love me. They value me.
Your dreams are stupid and impossible. You long for too much. You should just give up now.
I can’t give up.
There’s no point in going on.
Maybe that’s true.
On and on it goes…a vicious argument with the demons of depression. Whether real or metaphysical, they attack me relentlessly, until I lose the will to fight. I start wishing to leave the gray into the black. Or maybe not wishing for it. Just thinking about it.
And as I drive home at night, trying to remind myself of the things that make life good, I quietly whisper a prayer. God, I am so tired of being broken. I am so tired of this weight. I am so tired of thinking that I’ve failed at what you called me to do.
And I receive an answer, quieter than a heartbeat. I was too.
I didn’t understand. And then I think of Christ stumbling toward the cross. The crowds jeering, the Romans bored, the women he loved weeping. And I wonder if there was more going on there. Suppose Christ heard the demons of depression too. Suppose they taunted Him as He dragged His cross along the road.
You’ll never make it.
Simon of Cyrene helps Him carry the weight.
Do you hear them mocking you? Hail King of the Jews!
There is more to this than they understand.
Your friends have abandoned you. You are alone.
Am I alone?
You are a human. You sacrificed your power to save a world that hates you. You will fail. You have failed. You will soon be nothing more than a stinking corpse on a bloodied piece of wood. There is nothing left to be done. You are not strong enough to defeat death.
My strength does not come from me.
Your Father has abandoned you. You are alone.
I can’t know what Jesus thought on Good Friday. I don’t presume to. But there’s something inside me that believes Jesus understands my depression. He knows my demons well. He recognizes my pain because He felt it too. The intense loneliness, the isolation, the fear…I believe Jesus felt these.
It was not for nothing He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This does not take my depression away. This does not cure my broken brain and tired heart. But I find my hope on Good Friday through Jesus, because He felt it too.