Avonlea Blizzard's Testimony
Before my depression came, I was a Martha. I know that Mary was the example that Jesus commended, but I wasn’t pious enough to do that. I wasn’t a real Mary, so I settled for being a Martha. Because when I was busy serving my family and my church, I felt safer than the Pharisees outside the door, sneering at Jesus. Martha wasn’t the best, but she was better.
Then came the day I realized I had depression. The day I got pushed past the brink of what I could handle, and I had to stop volunteering at church, give up my position on staff that kept me inside the door with Jesus. And my depression worsened rather than improved as I tried meds and therapy and prayer and rest to stop my slide into numbness and ambivalence, extreme rage to extreme weariness. Depression was the crushing weight that God used to say, “You are anxious and troubled about many things.” I never realized how anxious I was; I was too busy. I didn’t feel all the trouble and stress I kept heaping on myself; I was serving, right? God sent depression to stop me in my tracks.
I was humbled under the mighty hand of God. I had to step back from serving at church. I had to lower the expectations I had for myself with my house and family. There were days I struggled to wake up long enough to feed my toddler lunch. My thoughts were heavy and my emotions numb. But God heals what He breaks.
I stopped wanting to do and started learning to be. “Be still and know that I am God.” I had to learn that God does not need my activity for my family or His church to flourish. In order to heal, I had to sit back and let God work out the details, only doing the immediate tasks that God set before me. That task and no other was what I was called to do.
Slowly, bit by bit, I learned to lay aside the temporal to-do lists and demands, instead living in the eternal moment. When my child asked, “Where is God?” I could slow down and think about heaven and the nature of our heavenly Father. When I saw a person in public with a grim look on her face, I could smile and compliment her, showing respect and kindness to a fellow image-bearer. When I lingered in my Father’s presence, I could exchange woes for comfort and anxiety for peace.
And one morning I woke up and I knew I was a Mary. Not because I was pious and good, but because God is faithful and good. He gave me depression but only so that He could give me more of Himself.