My depression is being triggered by some really weird things lately. Take yesterday evening for example: I was in the cinema watching the new Spiderman film with my little brother, (spoilers) and Spiderman suffers a fairly painful loss and gets depressed. All of a sudden I was experiencing just what he was feeling. All the things I’ve lost and the emotions that come with them – filling my head all at once, tightening my chest until it felt it would burst. It’s a pretty intense experience and quite a hard one to describe, but consider being buried alive – the crushing weight of all that soil on top of you. I can imagine it’s a bit like that, just less earthy and with fewer worms…
I’m not claiming to have lost that much over the course of my life. Only a few weeks of memories, the odd family member, friendships, relationships, time, happiness… Normal things that everyone will lose at some point in their life. I’m also certain that some people have lost far more than I have, but even so, loss is something everyone can relate to on one level or another. The joy of depression however, is that every loss, not matter how small or insignificant, becomes mountain sized. Yesterday evening, when I was all but buried alive by my thoughts, it felt like there was a very physical hole where all those things should be. I looked into that hole and was scared of falling in. Because ‘loss’ can very quickly become ‘lost’ if you let it. You can very easily allow your losses to define you. For that hole to spread throughout your being and let those emotions rule your life. That hole can swallow you if you loose sight of the one thing that’s holding you back from the edge.
This isn’t the kind of hope you can find in the day-to-day, not in memories, or the small pleasures, or even friends (although that hope is important, from God, and definitely keeps me going half the time – the hope in the richness of friendships, the love of family, the joy in creation). But sometimes that isn’t enough.
But this is the kind of hope that is like no other and is enough.
The hope by which we are saved – saved now and also in the future.
Put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. (Psalm 130:7)
Which makes us bold.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. (Psalm 31:24)
Which comforts us.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5)
Which gives us the strength to keep going when all else seems lost.
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)
Which has arms that encompass the whole of creation.
You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. (Psalm 65:5)
My hope is in God. A God who can not only fill that hole, but a God, who is so much greater than the hole, that He could fill it more times than we could ever imagine or comprehend. My God, in whose hands nothing, not even me, is lost.