It’s been so long since my last writing about my friend. If you need the refresher course, just dive in here A Visit with my Friend
My phone rang today. Not unusual; Himself calls frequently. However, the sound coming from the phone was not the usual melody of Himself, it was unfamiliar.
“Huh-lo?” I answered.
My friend’s voice on the other end replied, “I woke up today. I’m coming over.”
For most, this would be a source of confusion. For her, it meant she was trapped in the space between the surface and her cave, where life is rough. It’s been awhile since she invited herself to my kitchen table.
I think, for a believer in all things Christ, depression is a struggle. I hear so often that if you are truly “in-tune” with Christ, you don’t suffer such atrocities as depression. I don’t believe that. I think people fool themselves extensively. She is definitely one I would consider “in-tune” with Christ. She’s been my spiritual mentor and rock on many occasion, even through the depression.
It didn’t take her long to arrive. This was certainly fine as I am always eager to hear what she has to say. I’ve never known anyone to deliver Christ-filled messages in the midst of a depressive rant. She does, and she did.
“I’m hiding,” she said bursting through my barely opened door. Helping herself to my iced tea and making herself completely at home without me uttering as much as “hello”. She continued, noticing my kindergarten sharpie scribbles on my arm, “it’s not against flesh and blood and dude, I’m in duck and cover mode. This blows. I’ve got my shield over my head and I’m hiding behind Christ my rock. I need a lunch break.” (I try to quote her verbatim because it is odd when she speaks freely.) At this point, I still have not uttered a syllable.
“This attack will not stop and I am sick of this earth. Can I just go now? I mean, come on already, let’s rapture or something. Once again, dude, I woke up on earth. Ugh!”
“Hey, how ya doin? How ya been?” I ask, ignored.
“I need a new plan, I need a new strategy. I’ve set myself up for this by standing up and saying ‘hey God, use me big, I’m willing.’ Why can’t I keep my big mouth shut? I don’t know what God is doing. He doesn’t include me in His plans. I mean, He does because they involve me, but…you know what I mean. This is only the beginning, I can feel it. I’m going to throw-up, not really, but something is up. In the meantime, I’m going bat crazy. I wanna be a back-row Christian, ya know, one that sneaks in and sneaks out under the radar. Not one with a target on her forehead. Ok, not really. But you know what I mean.” She only paused to suck down her tea (my tea) and refill. I’m glad I had some perfectly made sun tea on hand.
“This world”, she continued, “is kicking my tail. It’s got me longing to be done with earth, adios, so long, see ya later third rock peeps.” Deep breath, more tea.
“Member Job?” she asks me. I recall Job well as I actually read the book the other night. Strange she should bring up Job.
“Satan is a jerk, ya know, a stupid jerk. Wandering around back and forth on this earth. He’s done in the end, I just gotta make it that far without losing my ever-loving sanity. S-A-N-I-T-Y! That’s why I’m in duck and cover mode–retreat, regroup and launch a new attack. There’s strength in numbers! Anyways, this Job dude. Do you realize that God was utterly confident in Job? Confident! Secure. Not a shadow of doubt in God’s mind about His servant Job. Confident enough that He sent satan out to attack Job just to watch satan fail. It kept satan occupied for a minute or two, I suppose. While I’m hiding, I want God to be that confident in me. Do you hear me? C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T! Confident that I am the one He can trust that will never, ever, fail Him. You make great tea, by the way!”
“Thanks, I think?” I watched her, tears streaming down her face, at her wit’s end. I am wordless when I need to speak. My mind was blank as I watched her begin to sob. I did get her a towel, lest you think I’m rude.
Her past ate at her. The enemy used it against her on daily basis. He never missed a trick. Mostly, he spoke through the voice of a loved one who reminded her verbally of the hell she had caused and that the suffering was because of her. Evil, pure evil. This loved one kept her twisted and on-edge minute by minute. Sweet relief came at night when she slept. Instead of waking up to new mercies, she woke up to a new hell every day. She was wise enough to realize it wasn’t truly the loved one who caused the hell, it was the author of lies who wanted her voice silenced. She lived God. She breathed God. She dreamed God when she slept. God was her focus minute by minute, seriously. The enemy is ruthless and will stop at nothing. Yet, even at her lowest, she would not quit.
We sat in silence for a while, crying and listening to the words of my music, “Jesus’s name will break every stronghold–I will call upon the rock, for He is strong enough to save”. I pictured my friend sitting cross-legged behind a giant rock outcropping, arrows zinging overhead, bombs exploding nearby, shield in one hand over her head, and eating a sandwich with the other, praying as the Spirit gave her utterance.
There it was; the lesson out of her depression. In the middle of a fiery battle, she had enough peace within her and confidence in her “rock” and “shield of faith” to sit and eat a sandwich. As well, God’s confidence in her was to be noted. She wanted more, after her sandwich was finished, naturally.
“Well,” I said breaking the crying silence, “it’s a forever battle until the day it’s done. Then it will be pretty glorious. Worth it, definitely worth it.”
“Meh, just gotta get there, past here, to there and all is well. This is good, you are always such a big help. I gotta go to Walmart. We’ll talk Sunday.”
Oh that God would have such great confidence in me to say, “Have you considered my servant?”
May I never falter. May my faith grow until the day I meet Jesus face to face. Have confidence in me, Lord.