“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 NRSV
I have long suffered with depression and anxiety. My particular affliction is manic in nature. Over the years I’ve learned more and more about this disease and its affect on my life. Of course it wasn’t always this way, but I am now thankful for this thorn. It has a lot to do with who I am today, and I’m (mostly ;)) happy with that.
My family has endured some real struggle in the recent past, and 2020 was supposed to our year to rebuild. Then 2020 came. I understand my privilege allows me to perceive 2020 as a horrible year, but for those with mental illness like myself this environment has pushed us to our limit. If you’re out there, you know what I mean. Isolation and social upheaval ring all sides of the depression and anxiety bell. The swings are much more frequent, the lows are lower, and the highs, what highs?
All that being said, I am so thankful that God has placed such simple ways to love our neighbor right in front of us. First and foremost, with our families. I will always cherish this time we’ve had together and we’ll all be better for it. My boys put a smile on my face nearly every hour of every day, and a few other faces too but mostly smiles.
And beyond our bubble its get even easier. Staying home, wearing a mask, blogging, financial donations to any charity in the world, and voting. Suffering from depression is really challenging right now, but I’m also comforted by the fact that there is now at least a reason for it. Doing these simple things to serve my God and help him build his kingdom can lift us out of our fog.
The Christian walk is one of suffering and self-sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean it has to be joyless. I’m of course no saint, and do most of these things wrong and/or not enough, but God is clearly making his path known to us in this moment. Suffering sucks, but it often gives us clarity and new opportunities to experience Love.