"...my plans are shattered..."
"My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart." (Job 17:11)
I was profoundly struck by what seemed like the lingering pain and suffering seeping from the walls as I walked the hallways of the abandoned Transallegheny Lunatic Asylum (better known to many in more recent years as the old Weston State Hospital). As I stared out this shattered window it made me particularly mindful of those who stood at the windows of their rooms in the asylum for much of their lives, watching the world pass them by. For many of them it was the feeling that, "My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart," that brought them to the asylum. Their depression and despair became their prison before they ever entered the asylum.
When plans are shattered, even very important plans, most of us experience hurt, frustration, maybe even grief, but eventually find our way through to making new plans. Yet there are those suffering from illnesses like depression who experience shattered plans much more intensely. They're not trying to "be dramatic" or to get us to "feel sorry for them." The illness called, "depression" makes the disappointment feel so intense inside that it can can seem like not only have plans been shattered but also, "the desires of my heart." If there are no "desires of the heart" then maybe there is no future.
If we are to help those who suffer from these dreaded illnesses like depression, we must first understand that their experience on the inside is not the same as our own. Even if we shared the same shattered plans, I might experience hurt while my friend suffering from depression might experience Hurt! Recognizing this difference will help me avoid the pitfalls of judging my friend that tend to close doors leading toward healing. When I hurt I count on the restorative love of God to heal and guide. I want that for all. I pray that God will help me point others in the same direction, not hinder them with judgment. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.
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