I knew it as soon as my eyes opened. It was going to be one of those days.
The day felt dark and overwhelming. My legs felt sluggish and my mind slow to start.
There wasn’t anything in particular that made me feel this way. Or perhaps it was everything that did. Depression doesn’t always operate by a formula. And despite having the right tools to be pro-active and head it off, sometimes it finds a new way to come in.
I went through the motions of the day. I know the motions by now and can hide the hard parts from the kids while I shuttle them off to school. But then, in the silence, alone, it’s a little harder to fight.
I made it mid-morning, without a whole lot of productive things accomplished, when the phone dinged.
A text. From a friend. Just reaching out to say she was thinking of me and wondering how I was doing.
It didn’t make me do a 180 on my mental state. I continued through my day as I had before, struggling. But the load was just a bit lighter. The cloud wasn’t as dark, the fog in my mind had lifted slightly. That text definitely helped.
In Galatians 6, Paul encourages the believers to “carry each other’s burdens.” The Greek meaning of burden in this verse is “a weight of personal and eternal significance.”
We are called to be good stewards with the gifts and resources God has entrusted to us. We shouldn’t blame others, shift responsibility, or make excuses about why we were unfaithful with the blessings that we’ve been given. In this way we need to carry our own loads. But there are also times when life threatens to overwhelm. A spouse dies. A child is injured. A job folds or a house burns down. As part of the family of God, we are to come to the aid of those in need. When a load suddenly becomes too heavy for one person, we are to carry each other’s burdens. The added strength and encouragement of others is often the difference between pressing on and giving up.
And so, I encourage you. If someone comes to mind – call them, text them, write them a letter. You may be exactly who they need to hear from in that moment. Even as the days are getting longer and the sun is out more, we may find ourselves wrapped up in summer activities… and assume everyone else is with theirs as well. They may be wrapped up in it all, but they may also be struggling while doing so.
Please, reach out. Because I assure you, those who are low and depressed don’t always – actually – rarely, ask for it. They need it desperately but they won’t vocalize it.
So many things are trying to pull our relationships apart. Hate, division, strife, disease. But we don’t have to let it win.