My Life as a Red Herring (Day 13) “Stuck at Camp”

I LOVE the outdoors, pretty sure I’ve mentioned that once or thrice. I love backpacking. I also love the idea that backpacking is transient. You aren’t ever in the same camp for long. It ceases to be much of an adventure, and can easily get stale if you’ve stayed in one place for too long. However sometimes weather, wildlife or injury can prevent you from leaving so you’ve got to figure out how to make it work.

I think in life we get stuck in ‘camps’. Some are of our own making, because of choices and sin, some are because of someone else’s choices or sin, and some are uncontrollable, a force of nature, or just a part of this broken life. The thing I have to keep reminding myself is that they are still just ‘camps’. I’m not meant to stay there, however long I might be there, I’m made for the adventure, however I really believe I can learn a lot in camp, if only just humility.

So…I’ve alluded to it, but I figure I’m ok writing about it now. This year the camp I’m stuck in is depression. Definitely not my favorite thing to write down on paper and I sure-as-heck don’t WANT to be in this camp.

The depression that I struggle with mostly shows up in not being able to get out of patterns of thought that aren’t helpful. I consistently have a question in my brain and over and over and over and over and over (you get the point) I can’t stop thinking about it. Joy slowly left and emotions felt like they were silenced, kind of like screaming into a pillow. I desperately wanted to get excited, to feel sad, anything! It’s the most out-of-control I’ve ever felt. I think for most of my life I have been addicted to control. Most times I would figure out a way to control my situation, my reactions, even other people’s reactions. I’ve struggled to not control my children and often I struggle to control my own thoughts.

After speaking a couple sessions with my counselor she recommended trying medication. I hate medication, HATE meds. I hate the idea that I have to depend on a pill to make me ok, but as I prayed about it Jesus made it so clear that, if I wanted to humble myself and let Him take control though this pill, He would meet me. I think mostly it came down to picking humility, which is never fun.

He has met me. I don’t remember the last time I felt closer to Him. I am utterly dependent on Him not just for my provision, and heart, but my very thoughts. It makes the truth that I “gave Him my LIFE” so much more apparent. I know when I gave my life to Him at 10 He meant everything, but honestly the thought never occurred to me (Hah, thought!) that I would have to rely on Him for the way I think, and yet I know Romans 12:2 says that He will “renew my mind”. Well that’s what I’ve been experiencing through the highs and lows of this season, He is renewing my mind. Sometimes I wish it could happen another way because the addiction to control is still strong and I hate taking this stupid pill, but I’m finally starting to feel! As dumb as it sounds one of the places that I’ve experienced joy is through getting to drive cars. (hence the blogging about cars) I know He is just starting there and will continue to renew my mind and give me joy in other places, but for now I’ll take what I can get.

Well there you go. Not my highest highlight (I guess it’s technically a lowlight…HAH! Depressing humor).

Through all of this I have spent a lot of time in scripture and what keeps drawing me back over and over is reading from, and about, David, especially in the Psalms. I love that David, who seemed like he got stuck in the depression camp often, was willing to praise his God, like in Psalm 143 and 144.

So in the moments when I my mind is on loop the only refuge I’ve found is worship…giving to God what He deserves whether or not I “feel” it and because my campsite is pretty confused and messy right now, I’m camping in the Psalms, because even though I can’t yet leave, the fire seems a lot warmer, and the best part…I’m not stuck alone.