I sat on the sands in a tidal pool of self-pity.
Somewhere between the altar saying, “I do,” and giving birth to children I’d lost myself in this dream called family. Two beautiful children ran along the beach that day while my big strong soldier husband trained to protect our country.
My cup of blessings overflowed by anyone else’s viewpoint. And though guilt for my sadness weighed me down, and I knew I possessed much, the loneliness and emptiness prevailed.
I’m sure sleep deprivation played a major role in my depression, but on the beach that day I discovered the culprit as I listened to one of my favorite Christian artists. Her words streamed through my earphones straight to the pit of my heart as she sang about the inability to remember any dreams. That was it!
As the tears poured down my face, I knew. This was the answer. I didn’t have one single dream. As a child, I loved to dream, but as an adult I was stuck.
I love how God answers prayers.
I knew my sorrow was a betrayal to my blessings. I didn’t want to hold onto it and nurture it, but I couldn’t escape from the shadows. So, I’d petitioned and wrestled with God asking forgiveness and questioning why this had such a hold on me. Why was I so miserable?
God always answers these kind of petitions–the kind of prayers that beg HIM to bring you closer to HIS will. HIS joy. HIS goodness.[tweetability]Knowing the root of our depression is the first step to freedom.[/tweetability]
My root was the lack of dreams.
Though raising a family and pouring into children and husband are amazing responsibilities, these blessings did not fill me up because there was once a girl who wanted to preach and teach and write. Looking back, I believe God would not let my dreams die in the overflow of other blessings, so HE allowed the empty in my heart for good purposes.
If an emptiness weighs us down, if our blessings don’t bring us joy, God could be trying to get our attention.
First we must be thankful for what we have, but then we need to ask.
“Why am I so unhappy?”
God allows empty places so HE can fill them with HIS goodness. . . .HIS purposes beyond today.
On the beach that life-changing day, a sweet friend sitting next to me grabbed my hand and told me to sing. She reminded me to worship the ONE who made the waves rolling toward our feet and WHO gave those waters their boundaries.
The sorrow didn’t immediately fade nor did the dreams appear at once, but day by day, month by month, year by year, as I worshiped and prayed asking God to bring my dreams back to my memory, I began to remember.
The funny thing was, some of those dreams were tiny–non-earth shattering, non-eternal, non-Kingdom building dreams. Dreams don’t have to be big. Dreams are simply something we desire but feel we could never do.
One summer a need arose for an aerobic instructor for my Bible study group. I memorized only one Kathy Ireland routine; my nine year old daughter made an aerobic tape with the most upbeat Christian music we could find at the time, and I taught that same routine to the same music every week. I had so much fun. About halfway through the summer session, God reminded me that this was once a dream of mine.
And that’s when I knew.
God would be faithful to remind me of my dreams and open the doors in HIS timing and creativity.
My joy began to be restored. I’m living proof of this verse:
Delight yourself in the Lord and HE will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
- Empty can be a good thing. God wants to fill us.
- If shadows of depression threaten, ask God to reveal the root.
- Pray for God to give you a dream or reveal the ones lost in time and blessings.
Has God ever reminded you of a dream you’d forgotten? Did the dream bring joy and chase away depression?