Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hail and High Waters

Hail storm through sunny skies

It was another wonderful spring weekend here in Northeast Arkansas. It was perfect weather for getting motivated to continue spring cleaning, bike riding and such.  Dan refurbished a wood burning stove to donate to a mission who needs it. 

Dan' refurbished wood burning stove

Then Monday morning rolled around and brought severe weather throughout our region. All morning there were warnings and watches for thunder storms, flash floods and tornadoes. The weather seemed to clear in the afternoon. Dark clouds gave way to blue skies and sunshine. Then literally out of the blue, there was another sudden storm with hail that passed as quickly as it appeared.

We spend a lot of time talking about the weather. I suppose it is always a safe conversation to have. Weather is a subject we know we have absolutely no power over. It comes and goes at will often with devastating results.

There are some conversations that are virtually taboo. One is mental illness and/or personality disorders. I find that is especially true when it is close to home. It is just too uncomfortable or painful to cope with.

For as long as I can remember, I have had issues with depression. It has been years since I have had a severe episode. Recent events triggered a post-traumatic episode that lasted for weeks. Most of us relate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with the military. God bless them; I cannot begin to imagine the traumas they and their loved ones have lived through.

Mine is obviously not from what has also been referred to as Soldiers Heat, Combat Fatigue or Shell Shock. Before it was recognized as an emotional illness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, one might be expected to just snap out of it and get on with business. General George Patton whether out of ignorance, his personal mental disease or just plain cruelty, slapped two shell-shocked soldiers.  General Patton's behavior and view of them as cowardly nearly cost him his career- perhaps rightly so. Just like any other illness, you cannot simply will one's self, be forced or shamed into wellness. Whatever the root causes, it is an individual and possibly a life threatening battle.

I found myself weeping uncontrollably in waves of sorrow for days on end. What little energy I could muster took all the will power I could scrap together. There was one night terror my husband woke me from. Even though I could not remember the nightmare, for nights afterwards, I had panic attacks as bedtime approached.

I know some folks still hold to the belief that people of faith should never be depressed. I can only hope and pray they never find themselves in that place. The Bible in Psalms 91 speaks of terrors by night. I read and re-read this chapter claiming His promises. King David also speaks of his anguish of depression, to name a few.

God, I believe, doesn’t speak of things in the Bible without a reason. It is for us to help and be helped by His Words. We go through things in life, but we don’t have to stay there. With God’s help, loved ones and professionals we can freely confide in, medication, hard work and patience get us through the storms of life. My husband and I are grateful this latest storm in our life has passed.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle on you.  Isaiah 43:2



Saleslady371 said...

My heart goes out to people who suffer depression. There is a lot of depression in my husband's family and my girls both have had a taste of it. I know the pain. So happy you are doing well and that the storm has passed.

Happy Easter!

Judy said...

Hi Linda,

What a heartfelt story. People of faith suffer from the same issues and problems as people who don't have faith. The only difference is that we have an all-powerful God to strengthen us, walk with us, and help us through those tough times — and yes, deliver us. Glad to hear he has delivered you from depression. The Lord has delivered me from many things as well. Take care.


Terry said...

dear linda..i love this verse in isaiah....

linda am i being too nosy or can you tell me when your birthday and anniversary is?