The first bending of my soul from depression was over the summer season, a rather unlikely time to be sad, however, depression doesn’t play by the rules.
So now, when this season of early sunrises and waning light arrives, it brings with it a bittersweet reminder of the time I waited in the middle.
The middle of depression…
How to have hope while waiting through a season of depression.
The summer held two more months of stifling heat but in the gentle breeze I hear the soft sigh of trees, “I grow tired of sprouting leaves and long for autumn’s rest.”
I feel a leaning inward when August tumbles precipitously into September. This time period prompted me, like the trees, to await the relief of another season. Nestled within their shadow’s stretch, the whispers of fall beckon as I longed for the weather to match my soul’s condition.
Depression caused a tenderness in my spirit like a broken arm before a splint. It brought with it an uncomfortable waiting…
Hope in the middle
My mind drifts from the trees to my boy with the chestnut hair and dark eyes as he strolls over. He plops down next to me and lays his head on my shoulder, looking up with lashes a mile long.
“I hate being in the middle.” He exhales as his plump lips tighten into a thin line.
“What do you mean?” I ask gently, feeling his tender heart at that moment.
“I’m stuck in the middle of my brothers. They always get their way because one is older and one is the baby, and it’s not fair.” His sad brown eyes shift over to where his brothers play and relay the seriousness of his situation.
Kissing his forehead, I think of the picture he unknowingly painted with his words. My son grieves his place in the middle and I grieve my waiting during the pain; that complicated, unpleasant in-between.
Aren’t we all waiting here in the middle?
To be human is to wait. We can find hope in the waiting—a yearning and a stretching towards something greater—often though, we harden during the wait.
We can miss the very best.
The Israelites waited for the promised Messiah, some, having grown tired of the wait missed Him altogether. Walking beside humanity on those dusty roads so very long ago was the very living, breathing, fulfillment of all our waiting.
He wasn’t only missed, he was completely rejected. He didn’t look how they thought he should so hearts were hardened and He was sentenced to death.
And now we find ourselves awaiting His return again—sure that we won’t miss Him this time around.
Like my boy, we lament the middle and the places where we feel stuck between the old and the new. We feel destined to never get our way.
The middle is where grace is able to meet us best.
It is in the waiting, where He calls us His own. It was in the middle that He came down to us.
Walked beside us.
Wept with us.
Bled for us.
God with us.
The pain finds us here in the middle, somewhere between birth and death.
But so does He.
In the hospital.
At the graveside.
Through the depression.
Before the bad choice.
After the betrayal.
Despite the consequences.
He doesn’t leave us alone in the middle.
Content in the waiting
“We can’t see Him.” My dark-eyed boy answers as I tell Him of the Savior’s presence.
“Can you see the wind?” I question.
“No.” He replies.
Squinting, we gaze heavenward, toward the gentle giants above. “They feel the wind.” I point to the willows that bow low to touch their humble beginnings and sway in the summer’s breeze. “The wind becomes visible because of them.”
“So, you see, there’s no mistake. He placed you perfectly, right there in the middle to help hold up your brothers,” I say with a smile and a kiss on his freckled nose.
The boy with the dark eyes runs off, content for the moment with his place in the middle. And I, once more, find peace in the waiting.
I’m reminded that healing often happens in the waiting.
Because waiting takes faith and faith needs the wait to work properly. I don’t want to make the grave mistake of hardening during the wait and destroying the hope he places right beside me.
So, I wait.
He is here in the wait with me. Just as mighty as those towering willows, which bow low, he bends down to touch the simple. He speaks life through the smallest of places—like a hazel-eyed boy stuck in the middle.
I wait in the summer’s heat, in the middle, bending, but not breaking beneath the gusts of his love. Awaiting, like the trees, for autumns rest.
Here, I find the hope my heart has been longing for.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5 NASB