Life in the Shadows

I purposely didn’t surf the Bible Gateway website for a scripture today because I want to speak from my heart. I don’t want to appear as if I have this all figured out. 

In short, I want to bear my soul as a chronic pain and depression sufferer and not as a Christian writer giving life advice. 

My pain level has greatly improved over the last year, but I still fight the demon of depression. For decades I’ve watched helplessly as the dark clouds of oppression rolled into the landscape of my spirit, helpless to stop them. 

The last few months, though, I’ve not wanted to even leave the house. I want to hide in my little country cottage, away from the spirit-debilitating world. I want to turn the lights out and retreat into the shadows. 

I haven’t even wanted to go to family functions. I don’t know why, but I just want to go hide in a cave until summer. 

I love my family and I don’t mind my job, but my longing to rest in the semi-darkness sometimes outweighs everything. I feel better when I pray, and listen to uplifting music, but the shadows continue to beckon me join their predictable and overbearing solitude. 

If you’re part of my family or (TINY) circle of friends, please let me apologize, and beg you to not take it personal. I really don’t know what’s wrong with me, to be honest. I love and miss you.

I’m writing about this in hopes to find a little clarity, and maybe let others know they’re not alone. We want life to never stray out of our little bubble, where the lights are turned low, and it’s quiet and peaceful. 

My wife and son told me they were worried about me, which surprised me. I guess I didn’t realize how severe the problem had become. I don’t want to go anywhere except to visit my kids and grandkids. I don’t join in parties at work and I don’t seek out friends to go to the movies. 

In a world where I’m more connected than ever to friends and family the world over, I’ve never felt more alone. It’s ironic, isn’t it? Social media seems to have been designed to bring the world together, yet we’ve never been more distant from each other. 

So how do we “fix” ourselves? 

Well, first of all, I’m not a fan of the “F” word. We’re not an appliance, so trying to “fix” our problems is not the right way to look at it. 

Maybe I should ask, how do we cope with the situation? How do we get better? 

Keep fighting the longing to slink back into the shadows. For example, last week I seen a movie with my family. I did the “Secret Santa” gift exchange at work last month, and I even recently went to church on Sunday night for the first time in years. 

Just because something IS doesn’t mean it HAS TO BE. 

Make a list of ways you can crawl out from the darkness.  Only you know the best way to do that, but let me reassure you that you are NOT alone. Let’s fight this demon together. The only way we’re going to beat it is if we stick together. 

As for me, I’ll busy myself trying to crawl OUT of this 30-year shadow, even though the devil will fight me. I’m just praying, “Lord, swallow me in Your light. Drown me in it so it chases away all the darkness in my spirit, to where it explodes from my every pore. Increase my joy to the point that even the demons of Hell will dread my waking up in the morning.” I feel fully confident God will honor this desire.

Ok, enough honesty for one day. Love ya, and prayin’ for ya, as always!

6 thoughts on “Life in the Shadows

  1. No apologies needed! Good article and we relate to you on diff levels… many that will read this (i hope) will agree.. its a daily grace walk

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  2. Thank you for the encouragement, Ron and the reminder to keep fighting this.
    I’ve dealt with depression all my life. I don’t know if it is a scriptural “thorn in the flesh”. But in the darkest of times,I’ve contemplated suicide,”given up”,worn a cloud of darkness for ages at a time,wished so badly to be gone from this earth and a million other things.
    But God! It’s also been in these wretched times of utter despair,helplessness and hopelessness where I’ve found God to be EVERYTHING He say He is!
    As a new Christian in 1989,God clearly directed me to Jeremiah 29:11,a verse I didn’t even know existed. That verse was not just for the moment, but has actually become more relevant in recent months.
    Because of His faithfulness through this depression and and memories of bad life experiences,He has given me some opportunities to share His desire to be involved in the lives of others who have been downtrodden in life. Your sharing has enabled me to share this. Thank you again!

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    • Thank you for your honesty, Robbi! I’m trying to be real about my journey and let people know that Christians are REAL people on a REAL journey with REAL pains and issues. We don’t have perfect lives but serve the Perfect One. We don’t have the answers but serve a God who does. Thank you for the encouragement! Many blessings on you and yours.

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  3. I’m feeling somewhat like that right now. For me, I just want to cry. I can cry very easily. And I want to go to bed. I’m tired. Winter time is always difficult. I don’t like the cold and lack of sunshine. I need Sunshine!! I think about bears hibernating all winter and wish U could do that. I take time during my lunch break to get alone, where it’s quiet, read some scripture and talk to Jesus. I let him know how I feel but then I think HE is probably tired of hearing it, HE already knows, I am just stirring up the darkness rather than light so I get my mind off myself and begin to intercede for others suffering worse than I. Like the persecuted Christians. I prayed Psalm 3 with them in mind and it really humbled me. My back is doing worse now and I know pain gets me down, too. Well that’s my story after reading yours and I feel like praying for you and I will!!!

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    • Thanks so much for your heartfelt comments, Linda! One thing you should know is the devil is condescending (“Do you REALLY think God wants to hear your little problems when there are people SOOO much worse off than you?”) whereas the Lord is consoling (“Come unto Me and I will give you rest”). One thing that helps me, beyond praying for others, is worship. Just you, the Lord and some worship music. Don’t concentrate on your problems, set your mind on His glory. Praise takes my spirit to places I can’t get to on my own. Beyond that, we just have to brave the night, for JOY comes in the morning. We are warriors of Christ and we WILL prevail! Many blessings…

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