I was feeling quite depressed the other day, which is not the norm for me. I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of girl, always trying to see the silver-lining even through a covering of clouds. Gloomy days are few and far between for me, but they do creep into my cheerful persona occasionally. When they do, I get knocked off my feet.
The entire day I felt on the brink of tears. I fought the ache in my throat and the temptation to give way to my irritation. I wrapped an invisible rope around my mouth to keep from uttering words that I could never erase. The root of my dismal day? Loneliness and discouragement. When every fiber of my spirit wants to be working towards my dream of writing, I can’t. Instead, I haul myself out of bed, rush my kids to school (with whom I would much rather spend my time) and get myself into my classroom. I spend my hours working for others, all my hours. I plan, copy, execute. I make notes, take notes, and teach notes. I follow a strict bell schedule, with only one potty break a day. And I feel as though my creativity is being quickly siphoned away.
After an exhausting day jumping from task to task, I come home to my sweet little boys and watch them invent booby-traps with Legos and design a new racetrack the length of the stairway. They cut, color, and glue their way through life, seeing each moment as a new chance to imagine something, anything. I follow the recipe to make dinner and then I load the dishwasher, squeezing in as many dirty cups and forks as I can so I won’t have to run two loads. Their make-believe chatter is a discordant accompaniment to my hum-drum daily rituals.
And I sink further into my poor-me attitude.
As I head off to bed, ready to bury my weepy eyes into my pillow, I still cannot shake the gloomy feeling. I want to complain to someone, pour my heart full of frustrations out on someone else who will give me the words I long to hear: “Don’t give up. Be patient. You are loved. What God has said He will do, He will do.” But no one is there. Loved ones rest contentedly in slumber while I wrestle with my demon. The long day became an even longer night.
Now, as I sit at my desk a few days later, I stretch back against my chair and gaze at the walls. I don’t make it down here very often, perhaps only once a week, but I am thinking I need to start making more of an effort. In the pictures surrounding my workspace, I see the words I needed – not the printed text, but the spirit of them. In one photo, my brother smiles with me, both of us posing at the Jamestown Movie Set. In another photo, I see my ear-to-ear grin as my dad and Amy Grant pose with me. Then I glance up to the autographs on a When Calls the Heart poster and the When Calls the Heart: Christmas script. I see my writing beautifully illustrated with a friend’s photography, “have faith…hope in the future.” I see the artwork of a kindred spirit and a precious birthday note she wrote for me. My eyes hover over the most encouraging of all: a family portrait. Yes, I hear Him say. I keep my promises. I gave you your husband. I gave you your beautiful boys. Trust Me. What I have said I will do, I will do. Keep working and be patient. All in My time.
So I ignore the clock, open a new document, and let His words come. My feelings are no match for His promises. The loneliness and discouragement won’t win; His will will be done.