Tuesday, March 1, 2011


No painting post today in remembrance of the PIT. 

When our family lost my mom to cancer, my sister and I were in our early 20's. Then my Dad met Peggy, a precious, sweet  woman, also widowed. They fell in love and they had a wonderful marriage for 15 more years.  She was like a second mom to me and a grandma to my kids.

When  Peggy passed away, I had just returned from a week of ministering to missionaries Mexico with Duke and it was more than I could handle.  I had now lost two mothers in my lifetime.  My dad had lost two wives.  I went up for the funeral to be a support to my Dad.  

I had to hurry home because all this was happening right between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I had a show to paint sets for the theater.  Our church had a new pastor and I wanted to attend the new art ministry meeting he set up.  There was a recital coming up that Courtney was singing in. . .Gingerbread houses to make . . .  I was going so fast and giving and giving and giving in every direction.  That is when I fell into a pit.

I remember the actual day my life seemed to hit rock bottom.. I was sitting in church and they were singing the song "Mary did you know".  It was so beautiful, but I could not even sing along.  I felt sad and I started to cry. I couldn't stop crying and didn't stop crying for days and days in a row.  I wasn't really even sobbing, it was like my eyes were leaking and the tears would not stop. It was so scary, because I didn't know why I was crying.  I felt sad, but I wasn't sad about a particular one thing... it was a very quiet, ever present deep sadness.

I went up to the theater to paint for the upcoming Christmas production and it was so hard.  It took energy to even lift a brush and I couldn't decide on the colors, which was very unlike me.  I started crying again and had to go home to rest.  Everything felt broken and difficult and totally overwhelming to me.  I didn't feel angry or mad or want to yell or anything.  I just didn't feel anything at all except sad and I couldn't make my tears stop.  I could be folding laundry or putting away dishes and silent tears kept coming.  I would lay down to sleep and wake up with a wet pillow.  I did not understand how I could even be crying while I was sleeping.  After 2 1/2 days of this,  I got in to see my doctor.

I had experienced a sudden onset of depression which I learned later had been gradually building for a long time.  I received some excellent Biblical counseling through this time and my doctor prescribed an anti depressant  which really helped.  God was faithful to me and my family.   It was slow and hard and a lot of work, but I'm so thankful I went through it because of what I learned through that time.   I learned that suffering is part of our journey here on this earth and through it we become stronger.  I learned about giving and receiving and limits and forgiveness.  I learned a lot about depression and how to deal with pain.  I learned who my true friends were and who God created me to be and how to extend acceptance and receive love. 

I  love this quote by Corrie Ten Boom which has always inspired me.  
She once said, " There is no pit, that God is not deeper still."

I also clung to Romans 5:3-5

3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

I've been to the bottom of the pit and now I am out, up on the other side.