It was a hard time, those gray days, those days that, back then, I didn't tag with the word "depression", but that's what it was. My world had turned gray, no matter if the sun was shining bright in the sky above, I couldn't escape the grayness.
The cause, buried anger, undealt with pain. Years of saying, "that really hurt me" to myself, instead of "I'M ANGRY!" to the ones that probably needed to hear it. You can't go through life without being hurt by people...times that by 100 and that's life in church leadership. There was a lot buried in there...and what's buried alive and undealt with, unfortunately, stays alive.
Physically, I was a bit chubbier back in those days. It was post baby days...ok, so my youngest was 9!...and with the last two I had never taken off the baby weight...50 pounds of it. During that gray time, I began what was the fad back then, a low-fat diet. And I walked, eventually walking 5 or so miles most days, a loop around the small town we pastored in. So that became my routine...
The discipline of reading the Word and journaling was still a part of my life. But it seemed as though the beautiful, life giving words bounced off the gray bubble that enveloped me, instead of getting deep into my heart. And the darkness in me, the bubbling cauldron of what had now morphed into a cancerous bitterness, dare I say hatred, seemed too ugly, too scary to face, much less to write down in black and white.
But the walking turned into more than just exercise. It turned into my time of honest conversation with God, otherwise known as prayer. I began to, as my eldest daughter calls it, "show God my ugly face" exposing the truth in the inward parts of me. The more heated the discussion between Him and I, the faster I walked. Up, up, up, it came....buckets of ugly gunk from the well within, the well that should have been bubbling with living water.
Two years later, hundreds of miles covered, lots of running shoes worn through, 50 pounds lighter...and the lights came back on bursting the gray bubble around me. Since then, circumstances may make me feel like the gray is knocking at my door, but its never lived with me, not like those two years.
God's Word has a verse that says He will give us the hidden treasures of darkness. (Isaiah 45:3)The treasure found in my time of darkness was keep walking...keep walking with Him...keep walking no matter how gray and hopeless life feels. While you're walking, talk, talk with Him, talk with Him honestly. Walk with Him Wednesday, and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday...walk and talk with Him.