A few months ago I was physically ill, mentally confused, and spiritually broken. I was in a place so dark, that I could see no light ahead. Yes, I had been sick before. For some reason though, this time, the sickness had entered into my soul. I lived from day to day, at times hour to hour, just trying to make it to the next one. I was unable to see a future for myself and unable to dream of one day living a happy life.
There were times, that I uttered the same words that Christ said on the cross: Eli Eli lama sabachthani?
In English this is translated, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
I truly felt abandoned by God. For the first time in my life, I questioned everything. While I never doubted the existence of God, I did doubt the ability of Him to intercede on my behalf. Was God just an onlooker to my life? Did he not guide our minds, hearts, and actions like I had once believed? I was tortured by these questions.
But since that time of darkness, God has finally led me back into the light. After a stream of unsuccessful and frustrating psychiatrists, I finally found one who listened to me. He had the wisdom to prescribe me the correct medications. From there, I began to see more clearly.
I wont forget the day I first noticed that depression had begun to subside. I was on the phone with my friend, Omar, having a casual conversation. Once I got off the phone, I realized that during the our talk, my tone of voice had changed. It was lighter, more joy filled than it had been in months. I was beginning to heal. And though it was not on my timeline, I knew it was on God's.
Since then, I've found myself slowly falling back in love with the things I enjoyed in my old life, before I became ill. In my times of great sadness, I had stopped cooking, and although I dearly missed it, I had no energy to prepare a meal and no desire to eat it. My weight had bottomed as low as 81 lbs and this only made my depression worse. I hated looking at an emaciated young woman in the mirror. Slowly though, God has brought back my appetite. I've gained almost 10 lbs in the past two months. And I've been cooking again, which has been like rediscovering an old friend. I feel better about my identity, both on the outside and inside.
I cannot compare my suffering to that of Christ on the cross. However, I do feel, like Jesus, that I suffered this for a reason. The only explanation I have for being so public on such private matters is because I pray that if anyone is also suffering mental or physical afflictions, he or she would find this and realize that there are brighter times ahead. It may not be tomorrow, but you will be healed eventually to an extent.
Remembering the days that I felt to hopeless and alone, I realize that I would never want to relive that. I do not consider my struggles as blessing or something that I deserved. But in hindsight, I can look back and say that I have grown from it. I can now feel empathy towards others struggling with depression and my heart has grown to be more compassionate to those around me.
Just like Christ, I felt forsaken by God. But just like God promised his Son, I was delivered from the darkness and back into His marvelous light. In that light I stand, still physically broken, but emotionally resilient. I would take this physical pain over the emotional unrest any day. Even though my body may be limited in it's abilities, my soul is free. Free to love my neighbor, free to laugh until I cry, free to face my future without fear, and most importantly, free to praise my God for all that He has done for me.
So today, as I celebrate the resurrection of my Savior, I will also be praising God for more selfish reasons. Just as He brought Christ back from the dead, He did so for me. My heart and soul are alive once again. I have been restored and I cannot be begin to articulate my gratitude. So, Thank you Father and Happy Easter to all.