To kick off our Rays in the Storm series, I am thrilled to welcome my friend Christine Duncan to the blog. One of the things I love about Christine’s writing is her bravery. She tackles tough topics and gives her readers the only hope that withstands the most turbulent storms of this life: Christ. She has been a source of continual encouragement to me over the past year, and I know her word will encourage you as well.
When Loss Invades
I had been robbed again.
It was the third time that week.
Invaded, and as usual, I never saw it coming.
And quite frankly, I needed it to stop.
The losses were stacking up and I was feeling it acutely.
Because the same thing had happened the week before, and the week before that, and well… I could go on.
When losses pile up around us, we tend to forget what we have gained.
Or maybe that we have gained anything at all.
I was not even up against an ordinary thief. And I know some of you might be wondering what I had done to encourage being robbed over and over.
My own body, my brain, takes it upon itself to rob me. I have lived with Dysthymic Disorder for nearly 30 years, or chronic depression as some would know it. And I can’t begin to list the things I lose to it, week by week.
Sometimes they’re small things. Robbed of the ability to recall a name. Sometimes sentences in front of me don’t make any sense. It’s pizza again for dinner because I’ve been robbed of the notion of how to cook or put separate ingredients together. A simple walk to the mailbox too big to accomplish, my reasoning, and energy, and strength sapped from me while I wasn’t looking.
It all gets stolen from my day in random, unknowing little slips.
But other days.
All too often my Dysthymia steals important things, and I’m down for the count.
A good friend’s wedding day taken from me, because of an unexplainable anxiety attack. A restful getaway much saved for by my sweet hubby, about to be sabotaged by my moods and my brain. Misfiring neurotransmitters taking over and stealing away joy, romance, rest, and even hope.
Often robbed of communication, left with stumbling, angry words for no reason. Big tasks that I can normally pull off no problem, suddenly wrenched from my brain, and the body retracts from itself, and energy is zapped, and despair put in the place where reason used to rule.
On a physical level, constant loss begins to wear you down. Insomnia flares. Phantom pain settles in. Limbs feel like they will always weigh a ton and a half. Common colds can feel life-threatening.
On an emotional level, you see the loss now every day, whether you’re having an episode or not. Emotions either run high, or disappear completely. Enter the zombie. You feel exhausted just trying to look normal to friends and colleagues. You don’t want pity or coddling. You just want to make it through.
But on the spiritual level. I want to give us hope and good news!
Maybe this would be where the loss would invade everything the most severely. But instead, this is where it stops. The loss can end here. Because we live within the One who ended loss on the Cross.
I can say with absolute certainty that we serve a gracious and loving God who cares about our loss.
A good God. I hope I can make this clear.
“You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your loving-kindness and Your truth will continually preserve me!”
We serve a God who understands loss, and knows that when we are filled up with all of His grace, and His mercies, and His goodness, loss cannot lodge itself inside us for good.
“For I am the LORD your God, Who upholds you, who says to you, ‘do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
The King of the eternal life supplies us with life support.
For the weary. For the downtrodden. For the suffering.
And His loving kindness lifts where loss wanted to put us down.
And His goodness and faithfulness restores where the rugs of life were yanked out from under us.
And His never-ending grace is our complete gain.
He becomes my life-force. Depression has to bow to Him. Hardship has to bow to Him. Mental health must bow to Him.
Loss must submit to the Giver.
His grace pulls at our loss and gives space for new health. In Him. His grace at every turn supplies space for holy joy that cannot be quenched. In Him. The Word says that He delights in us, because He rescues us. I say amen and hallelujah.
Be my Gracious Rescuer, Oh Lord.
And restore what was lost.
You don’t have to have what I have to understand these feelings. Your thief might be loss of another kind. A battle of another kind. A circumstance of another kind.
Whatever the loss, we give it to the Gracious Rescuer. The Grace-filled Restorer of our faith.
And when loss appears to invade everything, rest assured that our everything lives fully in Him.
And it’s there that every loss can become our blessed gain.
Christine Duncan is a mom, wife, and Canuck with a passion for blogging.
Precepts & Life Preservers is where she has tried to build a safe place for believers to find solace from their own oceans or battles with depression while celebrating the faithfulness of the one true Life Preserver.
You can also find her hanging with her family, her Nikon, and the ladies at WIMM Canada.