Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Technically Not Another Depression Post --More of a Hopeful Post, This One...

Last night, I got to accompany some ladies in our ward for Enrichment Meeting. They sang this song. It went really well, but it was inconvenient, because they had planned a combined Young Women/Relief Society Enrichment Meeting on YM/YW night, and Brandon had to be at YM's, and because the YW were joining us, there was no children's class, and so what the heck was I supposed to do with the kiddies?
Well, we worked it out [Brandon came home early (although, technically, he was late, and I left my children alone, supervised by #1 for approximately 3 minutes) so I could rehearse at 6:30, and then he took the kids to Young Men's with him, and I was going to pick them up after the song (which was at the beginning of the meeting)]. As you know, I have been have a lousy life lately, and yesterday was no different. I really didn't want to be at Enrichment, and have women coming up to me, asking me why I looked so sad or tired (thanks a lot, ladies), nor did I want them to ask me what was wrong. How could I answer that? As if they really want me to dive into a conversation about my depression? Nobody really wants that when they ask "How are you?" in a public setting. It's just courtesy. So, I answered, "Oh, you know. Just really tired," and then they would smile that knowing smile and I would think "You have no idea, so please stop pretending you understand me."
Bitter, eh?
Yeah, I was a wreck.
But I had to be there, and I had to be there early. So, after our quick rehearsal, I sat and listened as another sister play some prelude music, avoided all eye contact, and sat close to the piano up front and to the side. I was pondering my self-pity and my frustrating situation (and how tired I am of feeling so pitiful) when suddenly, I heard a melody. It's a common hymn, but the words pricked my heart and tears stung my eyes:
Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day
So, when life gets dark and dreary
Don't forget to pray.

I had forgotten to pray yesterday.

After the opening prayer, it was our turn for the musical number. Except for a few glaring mistakes on my part (nobody noticed but my singers), it went really, really well. Afterwards, I was going to take my leave, but I was at the front of the room, and so instead of walking out in front of everybody, I sat down and listened to the Spiritual Thought. The entire theme that night was on Beauty --modesty, divine worth, fun hairstyles, pedicures, manicures, hair products, a fashion show, etc. --so the speaker's thought focused on Elder Holland's talk, which was entitled To Young Women.

It was your typical spiritual thought on divine worth --nothing I hadn't heard before. But then the sister quoted part of Elder Holland's talk, and again, my heart was pricked, and my soul felt realization and hope:
Be a woman of Christ. Cherish your esteemed place in the sight of God. He needs you. This Church needs you. The world needs you. A woman’s abiding trust in God and unfailing devotion to things of the Spirit have always been an anchor when the wind and the waves of life were fiercest. I say to you what the Prophet Joseph said more than 150 years ago: “If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”

Am I living up to my privileges?

It's always interesting to me how the cycle of depression comes in waves. I wrote about it once, here. I mentioned how I always start with the awful depression, then the pity parties, then the small tender mercies of God, and then guilt and gratitude. (Heck! I even talked about the shards of happiness last week). But I think even more than that, I find myself forgetting to do the small things that help keep the depression at bay. Not completely gone, but at least controllable. When I am doing the things I've been told will help --you know, all the Sunday School answers, such as pray, read scriptures, go to meetings, attend the Temple, fasting, etc. --they actually help. Always.

Fancy that.

So, even though I left Enrichment after the spiritual thought, and even though my bad mood wasn't completely abated by the time I had put the kids in bed, I still felt better. I realized that I was supposed to be there early for prelude, and I was supposed to stay for the Spiritual Thought. I felt hope, I felt loved, and I felt heard.

God is so kind, dear reader. Man, how I love Him.


Rochelleht said...

Ok, first off: Love that you said, "took my leave." So Jane Austen.

But on topic... Isn't it great how the Lord always knows just what we need? If only we allow ourselves to stop and listen and let it in!

Great though!

The Motherboard said...

I love that hymn! It's one of my favorites. For me, its always through the words of the hymns that I get my answers.

"...In the quiet heart is hidden Sorrow that the eye can't see..."

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all share our hidden sorrows without fear of judgment, or criticism and harsh words?

Thank you for the wonderful thought this morning... it has given me something to ponder today!

Grandma Rozla said...

Once again you brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing and for reminding me of the Lord's tender mercies that ALWAYS come!

Do something good for yourself today! I love you!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Cheryl, I'm starting to wonder if you might ever get tired of me complimenting you...because I just HAVE to tell you how inspiring and timely this post is for me. I've been having quite the pity party around here too. You provide me with the reassurance that I'm not alone, and you are so good at reminding me to look for the blessings.

I love how you are able to identify your feelings and share them so eloquently. I love reading about your little victories, and knowingly nodding to myself about your struggles. I am truly blessed to have a friend who understands. Just another way I know Heavenly Father knows and loves me. Hang in there girl, I think I feel an upswing coming on. :)

I am Michele said...

Thanks so much for that quote from Elder Holland. I really needed to read that and I am going to print out the rest of the talk so I can read it while the kids are napping. It means a lot to have a friend who is going through the exact same thing as me cause you always seem to say something that I really needed to hear. I love you and you make my day all the time! XXOO

I am Michele said...

I also printed out the piano music to give it a play. Thanks. :)

Amanda D said...

Tingles going down my spine. Thanks!

flip flop mama said...

I love those experiences. I think they are there to get us to the next day.

Julie P said...

Tender mercies. Love them.

Jill said...

Thanks for sharing all of your wise moments. I appreciate them!

Heather said...

Those moments of clarity and hope help to move our feet forward in the right direction. Sorry to hear that you've had a rough time as of late. I think it's the end of the summer, kids getting restless, way too hot, ready for school to start thing (among others). I wish I could say I understood as the ladies at church profess to with their knowing glances (heck I am probably one of them) but I don't completely because I am not inside your head. I can say that I'll be keeping you in my prayers and hoping for happier days. You're loved by your CVI buddy! :)