It takes only a moment to remember the sadness, overwhelm, and fatigue that encapsulated my life almost two decades ago. I was in a dark place, alone and struggling. I don’t remember why it happened or even how I got to that place, but I found myself sinking into a deep, black hole of depression.
No matter what I did to make things better, despair loomed. My workload was huge [partially my fault] and the drive to be the perfect wife, mother, and colleague prompted me to tend to everyone else’s needs, above my own.
For months I managed to hide my struggles and believed I could work through the turmoil on my own. My family, colleagues, and friends had no idea I was drowning on the inside. And I wanted to keep it that way.
But God knew.
Then it came time to start a new school year and admittedly, things were not getting better. I walked around in a fog and wanted to sleep all the time, I had no energy and I did not want to be responsible–for anything. That’s pretty tough to do when you’re a wife, a mom to a young teenage daughter, working a full-time job, and committed to a number of extra activities.
It was during this season of life that God sent a precious sister to my rescue. She was there, working on His behalf to draw me out of the dry, sun-scorched land and lead me to a place where I could be refreshed, replenished and restored.
For reasons I can only explain as God ordained, I poured out my entire story to her, revealing weaknesses, inadequacies and failures. In the ensuing moments I unloaded on her as I poured out my broken heart; but she had asked and I answered.
Instead of judging me she lovingly came at me with scripture. Verse after verse and example after example of God’s love for me. She shared what happens when we don’t care for and tend to our hearts and minds. Then she prayed for me and over me. But it didn’t end there.
The next morning, she stopped by my classroom and gave me several devotions to read from one of her favorite books, ‘Streams in the Desert,’ by Charles Cowman. They were the responses I needed in the season I was struggling through. In the coming months I read them over and over again, finding a treasure trove of comfort, hope, and promises for the future.
After months of being immersed in a thick and desperate darkness I was free; my Redeemer provided a glorious rescue. He provided the nourishment I needed to start anew. He gave me a multitude of grace so I could rise up with courage and confidence. And most importantly, He reminded me to walk by faith and trust Him completely.
I knew when things looked bleak, God was standing next to me. When I had lost my way and couldn’t see His path, He sent a sister to take my hand and lead me. She never gave up. She loved me, encouraged me, and supported me in my time of need. And to this day, our bond is unbreakable. We are best good friends because of God’s portion and provision.
By His grace I survived that tumultuous season. I walked through the sun-scorched land because of a God who never leaves us nor forsakes us, and a caring, loving sister, who heard my cries and met me face-to-face with His Word and glorious light. I’ll always be grateful to this strong, courageous friend for holding my hand when the chips were down and steering me toward a hope-filled future.