I think I was in my early forties when the first wave hit me . . . it was like I was being engulfed in black darkness and drug to a pit of despair . . . and it came on so quickly and unexpectedly that I was sure it was a direct demonic onslaught.
For those who know me well, they will tell you that I am the eternal optimist. I DO believe the glass is half FULL and I DO choose rose-colored glasses rather than jumping to the worst-case scenario. When our children were young, they nick-named me “Tigger” and we all lovingly called my pessimistic-prone husband: Eeyore.
My father was an optimist and that surely had some influence on my disposition, but I always felt my outlook was primarily shaped by my understanding of God’s sovereignty. Which is why the dark pit was so frightening to me.
I easily lose sight of God’s sovereignty when I’m swallowed up by the dark pit.
When I entered that foreign territory, I called a friend for prayer. I told her I didn’t feel like myself and couldn’t really explain why or what was happening, but this dark shroud was stifling me. I don’t remember what she prayed, but as I wept and cried out to God with her, I felt the cloud begin to dissipate some, which led me to assume that the darkness was the result of spiritual oppression.
Before I go any further, I need to clarify a few things:
- Christians can legitimately experience bouts of depression brought on by a number of factors (health issues, sin issues, emotional trauma, and probably others I can’t think of right now).
- A state of spiritual darkness is not necessarily due to spiritual attack or demonic oppression (when in a depleted physical or emotional state, however, I believe we are more vulnerable to those things).
- God provides grace for every season of life—the final season of womanhood may be the most challenging in some ways, but for a believer, this season is reserved for the portion of life when we should be our hardiest as a soldier. This season follows years of opportunity for walking with God and maturing in the faith.
I thought that bout with darkness was settled when I hung up the phone after a powerful prayer time with my friend. Since it was the first time I experienced that feeling, I didn’t recognize it or connect it to the season of womanhood that I was quickly approaching. I didn’t have another episode like that for at least a year . . . little did I know it then, but that would be the first of many forays into the “M” season.
This is the first in a series of posts I’m doing about this (dreaded) season of womanhood. I’ll tell you in my next post why I call it the “M” season (and it’s not “M” as in “Mature”). Through this series, I hope to provide you with some encouragement and serve as an understanding friend.
You’ll definitely find a listening ear from me if you care to leave a comment.
What challenges do you have in your season of life?
Have you struggled with depression? How have you appropriated God’s grace?