As I sit here, surrounded by my family, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. The kids are playing together (that’s enough to sing praises). The dogs are cuddled up around me. My husband is sitting at the other end of the couch, remote in hand, flipping through channels forever chasing a ballgame. And I’m at such peace, these words ring out:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12
Contentment. After weeks of being in a dark, ugly depression and finally stepping out of it I feel more than contentment. Depression isn’t something that is talked about or highlighted; it’s often ridiculed or considered made up. If you are fortunate enough to never experience it, praise God for that gift. For those of us who get caught up in it, discovering contentment and gratitude is a blessing.
I spent several weeks barely functioning. I wasn’t happy with anything in my life. I wasn’t finding joy in things that usually made my heart soar. Every part of my life was suffering but I didn’t have the strength to change directions or dig out of the pit. From my family to coworkers to friends, they all suffered as they had to deal with a less than Shea Shea. The guilt of that added to the burden I was already buried under.
There wasn’t a thing that caused the darkness. There wasn’t a thing that brought the light back…at least nothing I did on my own.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26
The Spirit interceded on my behalf and on the heels of countless prayers spoken for me by my friends. When I stepped out of the darkness one Tuesday morning, I felt God’s spirit within me, cheering me along to smile and laugh and embrace this gift of life. I held that feeling so tightly that it became me. I was no longer in the pit. I was out in the light because of The Light. For this, I am eternally grateful.
For my friends suffering through a dark season, may you feel God and His Holy Spirit cheering you on soon. May you feel the spark of light be kindled to a flame. May you experience the grace, love, and mercy that can only come from Christ and through His people. May you find gratitude in the smallest of things life brings you.
As Thanksgiving approaches, may we all find a reason to shout out our gratitude, even if we are stuck in the dark. Often that shout leads to light.