Romans 8:38-39 (NIV): For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height not depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It was painful. It was hard. It was lonely. It was an opportunity to explore within myself. It was a time of searching, for questioning and evaluating the meaning of my life. It was a time of feeling lost and not knowing where God was. My life, my world, my soul was falling apart. This time in my life surprisingly set a direction for my writing!
I was working full time to support my family. I was a co-pastor of a church that held to a firm stand on doctrine and theology. I was also trying to work on a Masters degree by taking a course or two each year at seminary. Life was busy. Life was not too satisfying! There had to be more to life than all this busyness and church performance. God was not very clear in this picture. Life was imbalanced. Something had to give and it was and I was it
I found myself in what I called the Tunnel! Sometimes there were pockets of fog in the tunnel. Those were the really dark times. At the period of time in which the Tunnel was part of my life it was not what many Christians wanted to hear about. In my experience the believers I knew would seemingly do all they could to avoid hearing of Christians being in a Tunnel. Few acknowledged depression! Depression meant you were weak or had wandered from God or were out of His will! You were on your own dear brother!
Writing saved me as it were! Writing was where God spoke to me and I could then speak of God. Sometimes I sensed God was in the shadows of the Tunnel. He was near and had never left me and I learned that He understood depression. God was not afraid to embrace depression and He was not afraid to embrace me in the Tunnel!
In much of my writing God may not be glaringly apparent to many readers and perhaps many Christian writers. God may not be apparent in depression either! Many may not even be interested in the darkness of the Tunnel. I have to say however that after being in this darkness the light shines even brighter!
I am grateful for the Tunnel. I found I could survive evaluating the meaning of my life. I am grateful for my life, as simple as it is! I am grateful for my family for there I know those who truly love me. I am grateful for faith in God in spite of the human imperfections of His church. I am grateful that I can write and not be worried about whether I become a known or famous writer.
For readers who may relate to the Tunnel I trust you can also relate to gratefulness in the fact that the Tunnel need not win. I am certainly not an authority or expert on depression. I am however an expert on my experience with depression, at least I think I am!
Even in the Tunnel and the threat of soul crushing depression that assaulted me I knew God had not left me. This is the reality of my gratefulness!