My journey began with a question ...
My time in the valley was very difficult, but it eventually proved to be a blessing. All of the workload in my life came to a screeching halt. In my weakened state, I no longer had the energy to pop into a phone booth, put on my cape and fly off to rescue someone else. I was keenly aware that I needed to focus on myself and figure out who would rescue me.
This was no easy feat. I can remember the internal darkness and the emptiness that enveloped my soul and spirit. I immediately wanted to go back to what was comfortable for me, which was being a mom. So I quit my full time job and went back home to take care of my family. The thought of sending my three kids off to school with a hot breakfast and a nicely packed lunch every day brought a flicker of light to my soul.
However, that flicker was quickly extinguished the following Monday when my children who were 11, 13, 15 at the time awakened early, made their own breakfast and lunch and headed off to school before I woke up. I was devastated that my children didn't need me as much anymore. I then had a bright idea ... I asked my husband if we could have another baby. He quickly said, "NO!" One of the best decisions he ever made, however I didn't think so at the time. For this decision meant that I couldn't go back to taking care of someone who was completely dependent on me — a new baby.
His decline to my request moved me to think about other relationships in my life. You see, I seem to be quite comfortable with taking care of others. Most of my friendships seem to be one-sided. When I tried to change the dynamics of those relationships and look for support, most of them wouldn't budge. They seem to want things to stay the same, I was frustrated and angry that I couldn't receive what I had given out.
So here I sit face to face with this villain called Depression. What is it? I learned it to be anger turned inward over an extended period of time. So I asked myself, "What are you angry about?" I was angry because I couldn't answer the more important question, "Who am i, other than a mom, a wife and a rescuer?" I knew the answer would not come overnight, nor could I answer it alone.
I was afraid to deal with this anger and emptiness, I would need the help of my Heavenly Father. Finally without looking for distractions or blaming others, I did a lot of soul searching and seeking Godly wisdom as I daily pondered the question, "Who Am I?" I discovered that I am a woman of God who began to do things in His power instead of my own.
My focus shifted from taking care of others, to imitating Christ and bringing glory to God, which includes giving myself permission to take care of me before I go taking care of someone else. I often remind myself, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." I find great joy in helping others to tap into His love, strength and wisdom.
"Yes, Israel made their Exodus out of Egypt with the help of our Heavenly Father. In his infinite love, wisdom and power he parted the Red Sea, dried the sea bed and congealed the waters. But closer to my heart is, he helped me make my Exodus out of the valley of depression. He extended his wings of strength and allowed me to climb onto his pinions as he lifted me up out of this dark place." (Exodus 19:4)
I learned I no longer needed a cape to fly because I'm now soaring at greater heights on wings of His love and because of Him ... I believe I can fly.
This article was originally published at Cathy Mott . Reprinted with permission from the author.