Monday, October 21

Mystery Solved!

I don't think it will be any big surprise to anyone that I've been dealing with a little bit of depression... little bit of darkness... off and on since January. I know that I've shared this with many, and it seems that some of my posts during this year have definitely suggested some heaviness of heart. It's never been constant, BUT when it came, it came with force. And, most of the time, it caused me to feel puzzled.

I understand that I've been through A LOT, and I shouldn't have been too terribly surprised to have some darkness invade. I get that. But, I was still confused. In my mind, if I was going to feel depressed, experience darkness, and have the blues, why didn't it happen 2 years ago. On August 26th, 2011, and for the months that followed, I DID NOT experience this darkness. So, why now?

This has been my off and on turmoil since January. I've talked about it with Scotty. I've talked about it with family. And, we've talked about it with our therapist. There are definitely reasons WHY it has hit late... trauma, a move, the start of a new business, exhaustion. But, in my quiet time last week, I feel like I cracked the mystery.

I'm reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, and it is literally changing my life! I could list a thousand quotes that I need to memorize. I could take a picture of my book and show you the mess of highlighter, pen and pencil that covers it. WOW! How does someone write like that?!?! Better yet... how does one experience life like that?!?!

Well, one morning I was reading. I'd just poured my heart out in my journal (which has just been a whine fest much of this year), and I was desperately searching for answers. The chapter that I was reading followed a chapter where Ann had experienced the beauty of a full moon. In words that I don't even know and would never attempt to use in descriptions, she wrote about her experience under the moon with God. Clearly, it was a "mountain top experience". Only a few pages later, she's describing a typical morning in her house. Breakfast is made, breakfast is served, kids are fighting, and she honestly describes her struggle to remain in the gratitude she felt under the moonlight. She wanted to go back.

Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Luke 9:33

In Luke, Jesus took 3 of the disciples up the mountain, and He was transfigured before them. Can you imagine? It must have been awesome, and Peter wanted to stay! This was Ann's point... Under the moonlight, she was experiencing God. He revealed Himself to her in a special way under that full moon. And, with children all around fighting over toast, she wanted to go back. I totally get it, Ann.

This may sound crazy, but I believe I experienced something similar in the year and a half after Scotty's confession. There was nothing beautiful about my surroundings or my situation. But, God revealed Himself to me in such a clear way. From the moment that my life changed forever, I had the feeling that He literally picked me up and carried me through each and every day. Everything was a transfiguration... and only He can do that! Even though my soul was crushed, and I didn't know at all what my future would be, it was one of the sweetest times of my life, because EVERY day and in EVERY way, God was revealing Himself to me and reassuring me of His presence. It was a "mountain top" experience.

But, as Ann says... "there's always descent from the mount." And, THIS has been my problem! I'm not pretending to know God's big picture plan or understand His movement in my daily life. But, I FEEL like He granted me an extended stay on my very own Mount of Transfiguration! For a full year and a half, nothing felt ordinary. Nothing seemed overwhelmingly hard. Everything about our life seemed wrapped in His care. I wanted to put up a tent! I wanted to stay there a while... well FOREVER!

In January, our circumstances DID begin to change. But, they were changing for the better. Our marriage is stronger than ever. Our children have settled in so well, and we all enjoy each other so much. I'm loving my business, and Scotty has clear career direction. BUT, darkness, gloom and depression began to sneak in. And, why? Because, mountains MUST be descended, and I wasn't ready. At some point, I must enter again into this world where the routine, the mundane, the day to day tasks CAN (if I let them) take over, and I don't SEE His glory as clearly as I did on the mountain.

Ashamedly, that's what I was doing. Is there glory to be seen off of the mountain? ABSOLUTELY! Does it take a little bit more work to see it? FOR SURE! In fact, I've determined it's a fight! Every single morning, I have to realize that I'm in the middle of a war! There's a battle for my focus. And, I award the "W" to the thing that I choose to think on. God is HERE! So, regardless of what is going on in the day to day... dribbling a miniature basketball, cooking meals or washing clothes, and even children fighting over toast, I can choose to allow God to transfigure, and I can see HIM.... even in the smallest and most mundane tasks.

Ann says it better, "I look for the ugly beautiful count it as grace, transfigure the mess into joy with thanks" so that I can SEE what He wants me to see in the way that He wants me to see it.