Maybe It’s Not A Trial But It’s Sin

I haven’t been blogging for a couple of months because of an intense indifference to life.

Wanting to care I can’t:

Keep busy they say

Pray more

You aren’t trying hard enough

So-and-so’s  life is much worse than yours

Why can’t you be more like other people?

If you loved God you wouldn’t feel this way.

They are so right.  So I keep busy; I hike, I drive a friend to and fro, I take a child to the zoo.

And I pray.  I ask God to take this terrible indifference from me.

Only then do strange tears come.

I cry so hard I can’t see the Bible to read.

I wish I knew why I cried.  If I did then maybe I could do something different.

As evening draws close and I swelter in the 82 degree house I find myself plotting how to kill myself.

No.  I say.  No.  I will not do it.

I wonder now is this a trial?

Somehow I don’t think so.  It must be the consequence of sin.

So I renew my cry to God.  Tell me my sin and I will repent.

I will shout it from the mountaintop so the world will know.

But he doesn’t answer me.

But I feel his presence.  What does he want?

The only thing I want is to give him that.

13 thoughts on “Maybe It’s Not A Trial But It’s Sin

  1. Dear Michelle – It is so good to hear from you again! I too have been an intense sufferer of depression. I can tell you the exercise will help. Keep doing it as often as you can. I know even getting the motivation to exercise is sometimes too much. The people who said those ignorant things to you are ill-informed. Ignore them.
    You cry because you are depressed. You are depressed not because of anything you have done but because you are sick. The chemicals in your brain are not firing correctly. It has nothing to do with you personally. You are a person of great worth to me and to God. He loves you very much. It is unfortunate that you are ill and have not found medical help. It would make so much difference. I would keep trying and trying (my husband calls me a bull-dog 🙂 til I found something to work. I was told by the doctor who first diagnosed me it is like finding a needle in the hay stack.
    You are a person of intrinsic worth and value. Do not take your life. It would be such a terrible waste. Write me anytime. I’m here. Actually, write me and I’ll give you my no. I wish we were close so I could hug you and dry your tears. God puts our tears in a bottle. Psalm 56:7 NASB. Isn’t that beautiful! He probably counts everyone because of His great love for you. He is near even though the depression makes Him seem far. Believe this by faith, naked faith.
    This reply has become very long, so I guess I should sign off for now but you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Dear Ibkennett, Thanks for your concern. You are right I am depressed and unfortunately the anti-depressent drugs I’ve tried aren’t working. I have gone to several phychiatrists but none have the answer as to what drug might work. Exercise is my best option right now. I am committed to not take my life. This week I had an injury and couldn’t hike so that has contributed to the depression. Your caring encourages me.

      • I pray you heal soon and that you find a solution to the Rx problem.
        I am thankful you are committed to not take your life. That is wonderful to hear!

  2. I’ve wondered where you’ve been, too! I’m glad you are still fighting the good fight. One thing I’ve learned….I don’t listen to what “they” say – whether there is any truth in it or not, sometimes the way they say it or when they say it is not helpful at all and can misdirect you. I just listen to what my spiritual father says. But people still like to tell me lots of things….then if I get confused, I just go ask my spiritual father…9 times out of 10, he tells me to stop listening to “them”, and he then gives me the one piece of guidance that can truly help me.

  3. Michelle, you know I echo everything said. Every comment here is of value, and lbkennett esp said things that you and I both know (even when we think we don’t know them) and said them better than I can. Reblesprite is right on the money. And read timkeen40. Then read him again, and again. Tomorrow, read him 20 times. And Monday, another 20. Continue until the crisis has passed. It will.

    Since all the good things have been said, I can do best by pointing you back to them. But since I want you to know that you have my full attention, I have to right at least a few things of lesser value, just to let you know I care.

    I thought of many things reading your post, and driving home to a computer. Now, most of them seem off the mark. But you have structured your post very precisely, and I would hate for you to think I missed it. I know you have thought much about Job in the past, and you have echoed him very well. So be it.

    Even from that, you know that “they” are your own “Job’s comforters.” You would not have styled it the way you did if somewhere inside you did not already know that “they” are wrong. You know that. Even if you don’t know it, God the Holy Spirit is using the time you have spent in that story to bring it up to you; You drew the parallel. Inside, you know they are every bit as wrong as were Job’s “well meaning” friends.

    As to your complaint itself, I wish I could answer it. I can’t, except as lbkennett has. I won’t quote her(?), because I would rather you went back and read her post again. All I can offer new is in staying with Job’s story that you know so well. Remember that, even when God showed up to answer Job, Job’s questions of “WHY!!” never did get answered. Job himself got answered, although his questions did not.

    But the important point, at least in my mind, is that God ABSOLUTELY THOUROUGHLY approved of Job’s ranting and complaining! He said that of all of them, Job and his friends, only Job had spoken right. The others, all of the “they” needed to listen to Job..

    It’s the same here. The “They’s” need to listen to you, not you to them. You have wisdom to teach. They have platitudes to bang over your head. And you are teaching that wisdom in every post, especially in every post that is followed by another. Do NOT let this, or any other post, be a last one!

    You know that I struggle against a less full-grown attack on this same front. I have come to understand that, like Job, I know absolutely nothing about the “why” except that somehow, all –specifically including my present distress, will work into displaying the glory of God.

    That’s all I got – others have said better what needs to be said – You know more about the medical treatment aspect than I do, but that doesn’t force you to listen to what you know. Do.

    But as a post-script, about the sin business – I am not happy with the “they’s” But this one, I can’t help calling out. It does make me angry. That is straight from the accuser. And the liar. Of course you have sin. And of course sin has effects. But the biggest effect of your sin is that our God transformed it – ripped it from the hand of our accuser and instead used it as a proclamation of His love for us, for you. Whatever sin there is (for as your liturgy has it, “no man can live without sin”) it has long ago been dealt with. It has no other function but to remind us of how great the love of our redeemer is. The suggestion that it has any other meaning or poser is from the father of those lies.

    And of course, read one of the wiser things I have read,

    Michelle, Stay with us! You remain very much in my prayers.

    • Dear Eric, As always your replies are so thoughtful and kind. Thank you. I have been unable to hike this last week due to a minor foot injury and I guess I sank deeper than I knew into depression. For some reason it is easier to express myself on the blog than in person. Your observation that I am listening to the wrong person on this issue is right on. I have a friend who is very kind but I don’t believe she understands depression or aging. I will be more careful in listening to her in the future.

      I am still committed to not killing myself. While the depression sometimes saps my ability to take the initiative in things that might help me I do try. I am able to hike again this week and will do so. I know God loves me, I just wonder sometimes if there is some unconfessed sin that might be a barrier to my getting better.

      Thanks for your concern. It means a great deal.

  4. I have no doubt that there is unconfessed sin. Sometimes I think that God hides from my awareness the full extent of my sin, less I be undone by despair. Perhaps the question would better relate to the presence of sin; recognized, but not repented. If there is such, then our path is indeed clear. Fortunately, help is available if we find we are not able to do this thing which must be done.

    But your wondering about sin touched on something I have been thinking about over the years. Concerning sin, repentance and forgiveness, I am not so sure that these are the main point. Yes, they do get in the way of our proclaiming (and enjoying) the glory of God, but they are only a threatened barrier.

    If we think of it in non-religious language, if I have done you wrong, it certainly may put a chill on our relationship until I make it right. It might be awful for me if I think that you are mad at me, but I don’t know what I have done. Even worse, that you are so angry that you are freezing me out, and won’t tell me why you are mad. I can’t fix it, I can only suffer. Michelle, I may be wrong, but I think this sounds like a pretty reasonable restatement of your complaint.

    The difference is that we know that God brings no charge against us – He is the one who has rescued us from all that – he has no grudge that I must figure out and repent of. It has ALL been dealt with.

    And yet, I want to be able to enjoy Him in the way my theology says I do, in the way I think I should. I don’t. And I am both sad and ashamed of that. Sometimes I exult anyway, that His love and glory don’t depend on how I feel, and that He has, and is in the process of restoring me. And that works. But I am not consistent. And I wonder why. My sin as yet unknown can’t be the problem. But I have seen something in it:
    When I am in this deep funk, this deep fog that seems to sometimes surround me, I can sometimes get my head above it far enough to see the sunlight and blue sky. And I remember seeing it in the past. My mind is clear enough (as is yours) that I can tell which vision is the fundamental underlying reality. It isn’t perfect. But it is enough. God is good.

    I don’t know why some of us seem to be more often surrounded by this fog than others: it may well be just such a chemical issue as has been described, although the meds I tried never seemed to do much for me.

    But I do know that when I want to attribute some such condition to sin, I am like the disciples asking Jesus if the man’s blindness was due to the sin of that man, or of his parents? (I think they wanted Jesus to notice how concerned and perceptive they were – the were definitely acting as “THEY”) Jesus was very clear –it was not because of sin. It was so the glory of God could be displayed.

    Somehow, this cloud for you and me is going to be twisted just the same.

    Incidentally, for you, it already has been used for my good in that I at least (and at last) broached the subject of my own first brush with suicidal ideation on my own site. You inspired me to take some courage in the post I called “Bring to the Light…” Not quite up to your own transparency, but you have been a blessing.
    Thank you.


    • There is so much in your comment. I have read it several times and different issues leap out at me. Right now I would like to comment on the fog that some of us live in. It may be that it isn’t unconfessed sin that stands between me and my God. I pray that this is right for I desperately search and don’t seem to find it.

      This state of fugue or grayness or whatever creeps upon me without notice. When I worked I could stay focused and only had to fight it on weekends. Now it is hard to escape. For me the major characteristic is confusion with a difficulty in focus. And like you, the drugs don’t help.

      Some times I think the devil is trying to wear me down with this confusion and doubt. That’s why I hike so much. I clears the mind.

      I don’t know if this makes sense but your comment did clarify some issues for me. God bless you.

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