It’s quite fortunate for me that God still loves me when I’m pissed off at His whole beautiful world for no good reason. I woke up angry this morning. I can’t explain it except that maybe it’s because all of last week I had strep throat and wasn’t able to take my anti-depressant vitamins. They were really working there for a whole five weeks, and it was starting to feel like I was learning how to live life without punching innocent stuffed animals in the face when no one’s looking. I wonder if that Care Bear still cares?
But apparently, that week off of the vitamins took it’s toll, and this morning, the best I could do was throw some frozen waffles in the toaster for my girls, and turn on some cartoons so I could retreat to my bedroom in solitude. Most days, I can push through the stress, the depression or the anger, but there are a few days that I just plummet to the bottom of a cave and don’t want to come out. Today has been a cave-day as I wait for my vitamins to start taking effect again. But I’m also waiting for someone to show up.
It was around the same time that I confessed here on my blog that I struggle with depression, that God also began showing me the immensity and constancy of His grace. It used to be that whenever I had a chemical meltdown that sent my emotions running in fourteen different directions that I would feel incredibly guilty and like such a failure. If I REALLY knew God, I could never be depressed. I just knew He was disappointed in me because I hadn’t mastered a joyful spirit. Compounded with that sense of guilt was a great deal of anger with God for his disappointment in me over a problem that I felt like I couldn’t find a solution for. It wasn’t until He revealed to me my own prideful heart in the parking lot of a hot dog restaurant that I literally felt his grace rush into that car with me and wrap me in tight hugs. It was like God, for the first time that I was aware of it, took me by the shoulders, stared me in straight in the eyes, and with ferocious tenderness told me, “I love you – NO MATTER WHAT! Don’t you get it yet? I love you!”
And something in me heard Him for the first time. Grace suddenly became not a word, but almost a person – a person who, when I began to feel alone, she’d whisper, “I’m here, and I think you’re hilarious and wonderful.” Or when I felt like I’d really f***** up (probably for saying the f-word) Grace would take my hand and say, “That’s what I’m here for. No one has ever expected you to be perfect on your own. Here, let me help you wash those dishes,” and strangely, I’d find that I had the strength of ten grandmothers in me. Grace has ridden in the car beside me, giving me the patience to listen to 27 straight minutes of Taytem talking. Grace has reminded me that I don’t have to do it all, I just have to put one foot in front of the other while I hold her hand.
But sometimes it’s hard to find that hand. I don’t know why. I know that David wrote some pretty heartsick and despairing psalms. I know that Jesus wept in the garden and then asked God why He’d forsaken him. I know that I have to take vitamins for depression and that when I’m angry, sometimes the only thing that even begins to help is to turn on some angry music and dance until I’m breathless. Sometimes I have to punch a Care Bear. Is that also Grace? I suppose in some ways it is, though I’m honestly not sure.
What I do know is that whatever state I’m in, no matter how unjustifiably angry I am, I at least don’t have to try to pretend I’m something I’m not. I get depressed, I get angry and stressed out, I let my kids watch too many cartoons sometimes, I’m not always very productive around the house, every now and then I’ve even said the f-word. But Grace reminds me that I’m loved anyway. Grace tells me that tomorrow is a new day and even then, I’m not expected to be perfect. Grace reminds me that, it may not always look like it, but she’s making me perfect and I don’t have to do it on my own. Grace advises me that there are moments that she’ll run and I’ll have to hold on tight to keep up, there will be moments that the going will be slow, but I just have to put one foot in front of the other, and then, there are days like today when it’s okay to just sit very still and wait while I keep my darn mouth shut.
So yeah, considering that the girls soaked my whole bathroom from their bath time, I just discovered red crayon all over my bedspread, and Eisley took off her poopy diaper by herself and walked all over the house with it, and that my fancy vitamins haven’t kicked back in yet, I think it’s fair to say that today, I’m just going to sit and wait for Grace.