A Song in the Night - Finding hope on a journey through anxiety and depression

This morning I listened to Focus on the Family during my morning workout; the featured guest was Pastor Louie Giglio, who shared his story of dealing with crippling anxiety and depression in 2008. As I heard his story I found myself thinking, “Wow, this was basically my story!” The fear, confusion, doubts, question, and maybe the hardest of all to deal with, the deep shame that as I Christian I was dealing with these issues at all! I not only wondered where God was in all of this, but sometimes questioned if I was really even a true follower of Christ!

My journey also involved chronic pain (and still does to this day), and it took me far longer to find a way out of the darkness. You - and I - can thank God and his providential “nudge” to have one of my friends tell Bev, the manager of KCWN, I might be a good pick to be on the air in the afternoon. Working here at the radio station was really the instrument God used to pull me out of the pit of despair and help me to believe once again that yes, I was capable of doing meaningful things, and yes, my life did have meaning and purpose!

I know it’s easy to say that now, looking back in hindsight at those dark years from 2011 to 2016. Five years I spent wandering aimlessly through the desert of fear, anxiety, depression, and doubt. Many times I felt the only logical thing to do was end my life (praise God that didn’t happen!). In today’s devotional from Our Daily Bread the author shares the story of her father’s journey through chronic illness, pain, and depression. She writes, “My father’s life was one of longing. He longed for wholeness, even as Parkinson’s disease gradually crippled more and more of his mind and body. He longed for peace, but was tormented by the deep pain of depression. He longed to feel loved and cherished, but often felt utterly alone.” There’s a time not so long ago when those could have been my own words.

Thankfully the story doesn’t end there; in his last days the author’s father found comfort in the words of the Psalm 42:1-11. His pains were the Psalmist’s pains; his desires for healing the same, his feelings of chaos and abandonment the same. It was through that identification her father found comfort and hope - And as the words of the psalm washed over him, assuring him he was not alone, my father felt the beginnings of a quiet peace enter in alongside his pain. He heard a tender voice surrounding him, a voice assuring him that even though he had no answers, even though the waves still crashed over him, still he was dearly loved.

A man in darkness found the light of hope through the message of God’s Word; that same hope is available for us today. If you find yourself in the dark tunnel of pain, anxiety, sickness, or depression, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too; many others have as well. There is hope! His name is Jesus, and he loves you. I heard this recently and it has stuck with me ever since - Jesus isn’t just the light at the end of the tunnel, he is the light in the tunnel.

If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:25