Sunday, April 23, 2017

a living hope

My every need is met, more than adequately.
I am blessed. I know this.

But with risk of sounding like a pharmaceutical ad, depression doesn't discriminate. Depression doesn't care that I have a wonderful marriage, loving parents, amazing friends, and a fulfilling career. Depression certainly doesn't mind how difficult it can make it for me to go out into the world with knots in my stomach, a buzzing of doubts and insecurities cluttering my thoughts, a numbing pain in my heart, and a stiff aching body. Depression couldn't care less about the people depending on me to show up to work each day, or those who've invited me to share life with them.

But thankfully, depression doesn't get to decide my fate. Even when I've lost all sight of light, there is a Living Hope.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do."

This verse has a special place in my heart. Its a reminder that, in those times of feeling worthless, I was created with a purpose to share the love of Jesus.

ποίημα is the word used in the original Greek text of this verse to signify a piece of workmanship, like a sculpture or a ballad. In fact, the pronunciation of this word, poiēma, is the root for the English word "poem."

As someone with a passion for songwriting, this concept really resonates in me. Each song I've ever written feels like a piece of who I am; they come from my heart. To think of myself in these terms, as someone the Creator of the universe so lovingly crafted Himself, is a powerful and moving thought. Thats why I had this Greek word tattooed on my wrist a few years ago. I was in a dark place at the time, and struggling to see any sign of hope. When the day came to get this tattoo, I faltered a bit. But within minutes of questioning if this was a sentiment I wanted branded onto my body forever, I received a text from a dear friend sharing this very same verse with me, "For we are God's handiwork..."

Recently, I've found myself in another valley. Depression has weaseled its way back into my life in a way I can't quite seem to shake this time. Months have passed in shadows, with the last couple weeks seeming to be the darkest I've met yet. Again, I know I'm blessed, but reminding myself of that somehow only leads to more shame and darkness. I worry the storm cloud over my head is beginning to wear upon those around me, and all those symptoms of the aforementioned pharmaceutical ad run rampant.

Fortunately, my focus was returned to this powerful verse, "For we are God's handiwork..." in the Orchard Community Church service this morning. I was reminded that I am made alive in God's mercy and grace, and that I've been given a life of purpose. These aren't things I'd forgotten; but a fire needing rekindled.

And although the waters may still remain rough for some time, I know I have a living hope.