Losing the Glimmer of Hope

In my deepest depression, I thought often how much easier it would be if I was dead. The unbearable pain never seemed to let up. But I didn’t consider suicide. Instead I slept. If I didn’t have to be anywhere in the morning, I slept until 11:00, getting twelve or thirteen hours of sleep. I’d nap if I got the chance, even after a long night’s sleep. Sleep was my escape.

Each night before I went to sleep, I held onto a glimmer of hope that when I awoke, everything would be better. It was a tiny glimmer, but a glimmer nonetheless.

As surely as one can move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed, one can stay alive with the tiniest glimmer of hope. Because hope is a powerful commodity. Just as a nanogram of a deadly toxin holds the power to kill, a glimmer of hope has the power to give life.

So I held onto my glimmer of hope with all I had. Until one day when I awoke and the glimmer was gone. Hopelessness threatened to strangle me. That was the day I planned my demise, my exit from this cruel world, in a most calculating way. My plan involved mentally counting all the pills I had in the medicine cabinet.

Truth be told, hope remained in that dark place even though I couldn’t see it and felt certain it no longer existed. Hope didn’t depend on me. It came from a place greater than I and it kept me alive even when I desired more than anything else to leave this life of pain and suffering behind.

Hope found me, held me tight, and kept me alive.

If you are in that dark place of deep despair and depression, feeling all hope has been snuffed out, cling to the truth that hope never dies. Hope never lies and never lets go.

If you have a friend or loved one who is struggling with depression, realize you might be the hope they need. They might need you to find them, hold them tight, and keep them alive, until they can see the glimmer of hope they need to hold onto themselves.

You can read more of my posts at AnotherFearlessYear.net.

Sharing My Heart and My Trauma

Most people who meet me today would never guess the trauma I’ve been through. And when I was drowning the depths of major clinical depression, I couldn’t see it was that trauma that was the catalyst for my misery. I’m not sure I have it all figured out, even now, though it is clearer than it once was.

The thing about my story is that the trauma part is all too common. Rape and abortion are trauma’s that happen to far too many women (and sometimes men) in this broken world we live in. Healing sometimes feels impossible. But I am living proof that it is not.

Although I still struggle with depression at times, it is quite mild in comparison to what I endured for almost a decade in my late twenties and early thirties. I no longer feel like all hope is lost. In spite of my trauma, I am living and thriving in God’s grace.

I’d love to share my story with you in the hopes that it would be for you a light in the darkness you feel stuck in. I was blessed to be asked to tell my story on a podcast and you can listen to that podcast episode here: https://heartofthematterradio.libsyn.com/linda-kruschke-overcome-past-hurts-final. I do hope it blesses you to listen as much as it blessed me to be able to share.

Read more from me at AnotherFearlessYear.net.

Restore the Sparkle: Psalm 13

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
    Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me.

Psalm 13, NLT

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Life can get complicated really fast. David finds that sometimes there are no easy answers. If we look objectively at his life, we see the frayed ends where confusion rules. It was never meant to turn out this way.

Commentary

V. 1-2, David believes that he has been forgotten. A phrase is repeated an astounding four times, “How long?”  It does seem that impatience is a significant issue for him. Often when it gets this bad, we find ourselves turning to surrogates to fill the gap.

V. 2, “Anguish…sorrow, everyday.” Somehow David is alert enough to recognize the evil one. Everyday=no relief– constant, gnawing pain, which can be physical, emotional, or spiritual (or all three).

V. 3,  Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.” (I love this version–“sparkle”). David knew that life was exceptional. And there is much more than breathing to life. He speaks of being restored. He seeks a reason to keep living.

V. 4, Also, he is quite aware that his life is being threatened. The word, “gloat” is interesting translation. It has the idea of boasting, or relishing someone else’s failure. The dark prince savors your defeat. He has been looking forward to this desperate moment.

V. 5,  But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.” The Lord has covered David with His hand. His life has been saved by a love that never falters or weakens. Never, Never!

V. 6,  Tremendous verse; it is really wonderful. When we finally get to this last verse, we see that we have “run-the-gauntlet” with David. Often good jewelers display their diamond necklaces on a black background. The darkness intensifies the brightness of the jewels. They become even more beautiful. David is singing and praising the Lord in His nearness. It really is what we were made to do.

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A Bit More Than We Can Imagine

‘The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated. Then it flowed down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river are trees that grow a different kind of fruit each month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations. God’s curse will no longer be on the people of that city. He and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God.

Rev. 22:1-3, CEV

A  remarkable thing happens to  John; he has a vision that is extensive and yet without any embellishment or elaboration.  He sees, not imagines, the deep things of God. Those things that are happening are astonishing, and yet are spiritually significant and compelling right down to the infinitesimal detail!

The leaves are bringing wholeness to the people of the the earth.  The fruit of each tree brings a comprehensive work of healing deep within.  There is nothing but blessing coming from these trees. I’m looking forward to being healed by them. I hope you are too.

It all seems a fanciful dream, but it is a true and certain reality that John is seeing.

I think that the most amazing thing that happening is the lifting of the wrath of God on the earth. Furthermore the terror of being judged is eradicated. We won’t be afraid anymore. There is no sense of lostness,  damnation or death.  There has been a release from that bitter darkness.  Life now rolls out without the impediments of sadness, sin or doom. I can’t wait.

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’  

Romans 8:1

Some of us have struggled a great deal.  The darkness has definitely tried to destroy us.  We’ve come through however, painfully aware of the bleak despair and despondency.  And yet God comes prepared, bringing His spiritual ‘bulldozer’ to clear the way.  It’s funny, but these things at one time seemed permanent, and forever attached to our spirits.  But He thinks otherwise.  For we now have fully become His own.

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