Many Seattl-ites are not fond of the rain, or the coldness... But I am. I love cold rain. I love the feeling of it on your hands, the way it wakes your senses up violently. I love it when it's pouring, when it drenches your hair and soaks through your clothes until you can feel it in your very bones. Awakened is the word- I suppose.
I love it in the dark, in the rain, beneath the moon. I always dance in it, lean my head back, put my arms out- spin. I spin and breathe in the air and for one second- I rise above everything and everyone and I can just think. Just think, freely, clearly.
And then- I can talk to God.
In the rain, he almost always talks back. Usually, the wind blows when I start to hear His voice, the one I recognize. I recognize it because it soothes the senses. Calming, gentle, commanding, truthful, loving, honest- and sometimes it inspires chills. Usually, when I hear Him, his voice is calm. It's like a whisper.
This time I stood there, soaking, and asked him... "Where have you been?"
I knew the answer before I heard his voice, and He knew I knew it. But still, he answered. "I've been here. Right here." I could feel his presence in my heart.
"I am so tired of feeling this way. I am so tired of fighting the same battle." I said. He was silent. "I need joy. What happened to my joy? The one that miraculously kept me going- kept me upbeat through all of this?" He was listening, I think. He's a good listener. "God, I need Your joy. Pour it over me. Give me joy."
Without a word, I felt a warmth cover my whole body. A strength, a newness. I felt a rushing of peace and love and comfort going through my veins.
But His voice spoke softly again. "It's not a fix. You have to lay it down, every day. Ask and you shall receive. I will give you all that you need."
I've always wanted to grow out of this- depression- anxiety. I've had times where it doesn't effect me for months, but it always comes back. Sometimes with a vengence. Usually, it comes back when I have ignored it for so long that I begin to pretend it doesn't exist.
But the fact is, I have to lay it down- constantly.
Nick and I talk about this a lot. About my depression issues, anxiety, and even just past experiences that haunt my mind. But this last bout hit me like a ton of bricks.
Nick and I talked, me crying- and he told me about how people in the Bible struggled too. He talked to me about how Paul had a demon who wouldn't leave him, and how God used it to bring Paul closer to him. Paul had to keep laying it down- every day- and eventually Paul thought it was a blessing... Because in the long run- it drew Paul to where he NEEDED God. Every day.
I wish I didn't have this burden. I wish it would go away. But I know it will be mine to continue to fight, with God. And I know, if I let it, it will bring me closer to Him.
God gives us our struggles so we can learn to draw nearer to him.
What you are going through, it has a purpose. As I've said many times in this blog, when you go through something difficult, you can let it tear you apart and ruin you- or you can let it soften you, grow you, change you- draw you closer to God.
Here's to our struggles, and the deep relationships they give us with God.