Depression is Not the Hardest Thing

When you tell people about the hardest thing you've ever experienced, and don't leave out the parts that make you vulnerable, it makes people more prone to open up and share things on that level with you too. I've had a few people tell me their stories since I published my blog in September. I feel privileged to have their trust and had my eyes opened wide in awe to what these individuals have endured.

It made me finally want to cry out, on my blog where I write about depression, "Depression is not the only hard thing!"

Depression is hard. And not very well understood... and that is why I write passionately about it. In the hopes that it can be better understood, especially among people of faith. But it's suddenly become important to me to make it clear that there is no contest to decide whose hard thing is the hardest.

The hardest thing is whatever it is that brings you to your knees.

It's whatever introduces you to desperation and causes your soul to cry, "I am certain I can't do this."

Chronic pain is hard. Loneliness is hard. Losing a loved one is hard. Abuse in all its forms is hard. The list of possible hard things is long. Some are meant to be lived through under His care. Some, through His help, we will escape. But all of them have the potential to do two things for us.

They connect us to people in ways that just wouldn't have been as meaningful because of what we have gained from our hardships. We are more compassionate. We realize more and more how much we are all in this together.

And two.

They help us realize just how much we need Him. We join the ranks of those who know that He really does have the power to exchange "beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

And there is no sweeter joy.

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