being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
Don’t be Afraid to Sit in the Mud
I want to tell you about my amazing friend.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a gut-wrenching post describing my depression. While my heart is always in God’s hands, while each tear I shed is counted by him, while I fully trust his refining work and redemptive power in my life (and in this instance, my depression), I also know that a divinely placed friend was a ray of light in such a dark place.
It’s very rare to find someone who loves you unconditionally. However, at just the time I needed a friend like her, God sent her.
You see, we attended the same small church for a couple of years. We sat across from each other in the pews. We shook the other’s hand on Sunday. Said our short hellos. And then respectfully returned to our seats when the hymns started.
It took us three years before we became friends. And then, that only happened because we went to Bible study together.
Then I invited her and her husband over for dinner. And the four of us (hubs and I, her and her hubs) were like, “What took us so long?” Kindred spirits we were. Immediate, intimate friends.
As we quickly grew closer, we shared our struggles and opened our hearts. While our guys played PS3 in the background, we were hashing out the hard stuff in the other room. Her story. My story. Our hearts woven into a beautiful fabric of grace that only believers can share with one another.
She saw our family at its worst. She saw me at my worst. She didn’t run away. She drew closer. She came over and cleaned my kitchen. She stopped by just because. She prayed with me. She gave me hugs. She wasn’t afraid to get down in the mud and just be with me, being covered from head to toe in the nasty, putrid, mud of the world. She NEVER stopped loving me.
I’m not a psychiatrist or an expert. I’m just someone who has lived through it. I know for me, at the time, this friend was a life line. She let me be me at my worst and still loved me.
If you know someone who suffers from depression, I’m asking you to reach out to him or her. That person will not reach for you. In fact, he or she will shrink down into themselves. Depression is an isolator. It hinders its victims from having relationship. Don’t take it personally. If you look closely at your friend or loved one you’ll realize that he or she has been taken hostage by depression.
Maybe this person just needs you to sit in the mud. Maybe they just need you to be there. To pick up the slack where they let go. To say, “I don’t care how ugly this gets, I’m here, with you, because I love you.” Don’t be afraid to get dirty, even if it’s uncomfortable. You may be the only sign of life for that person, the only offering of love.