A Room without a House

Yesterday was a day spent with a strong, persistent flashback, accompanied by ‘smells’. It made me feel sick. Worst of all was that I kept associating this memory with my dear husband, though he had nothing to do with it! That is painful. I wonder if Abba Anthony experienced similar things in his twenty years in the desert? When I finally slept there came a night of vivid dreams. I woke up so discouraged and disheartened that it has taken three hours to get going. Three hours is better than it used to be, though and for that I am grateful.

These dark thoughts, the looming, lingering, negative thinking – it’s like being confined to a dark, cold room, naked, shivering, chained and bound. You somehow forget that you can unlock the chains. You forget that you can turn on the light. You forget that you can open the wardrobe and pull on your clothes. You forget that you can draw back the curtains.  You forget that you can light the fire. You forget that beyond the door lies a whole house. This is depression.

Then [Jesus] came to Nazareth where he had been brought up and, according to his custom, went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He stood up to read the scriptures and the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book and found the place where these words are written—‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord’.

Then he shut the book, handed it back to the attendant and resumed his seat. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed upon him and he began to tell them, “This very day this scripture has been fulfilled, while you were listening to it!”

Luke 4:16-21 (Phillips)

Thank you, Jesus. May it all be for your glory.

4 thoughts on “A Room without a House

  1. I’m sorry you’re having such difficulties. I know I can’t really understand, because I haven’t been there, but I’m praying and if there’s anything I can do, email me! I hope you’re doing a bit better now.

    BTW, I really love the chapter in Isaiah that Jesus is reading. Isaiah goes on to write,
    ” . . . to comfort all who mourn,
    3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
    to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
    the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
    They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
    4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
    they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
    5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
    6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
    You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.
    7 Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
    and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
    And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

    I LOVE THIS! For months, I prayed this passage for a young woman I didn’t know but who I heard about on the news. She’d been through a horrific experience, and I felt burdened to pray for her. I didn’t know her name, so I called her “Sarah”; God took away the Biblical Sarah’s shame and disgrace of infertility, and I wanted God to take away this young lady’s shame as well. And this passage really seemed to fit.

    • Thank you, Laura. Strangely it is the perspective of getting better that has enabled me to imagine depression as a metaphorical ‘room without a house’. I may have flashbacks, but they rarely tear me apart like they used to. They are disruptive, but not crippling. I was in denial about even the existence of the depression for so many years. For me it was normal; I’d never known anything else. It took several years of healing to even realise that what I experienced wasn’t normal and that it had a name and could be treated.

      I love that passage, too. Isn’t it a blessing to be able to pray for people, even those you’ve never met? 🙂

  2. Depression is very lonely and you describe it so well, Sandy. I am blessed to read in your comment above that it is much better than before.

    I praise you, Father, that Sandy is experiencing some healing. I pray for your hand in all aspects of her healing–spiritually, emotionally, and even neurologically if needed. Provide support for her, Father, with the house, children, and school duties. May she feel your presence and grace and love deep within her soul. Thank you for the sensitivity and love she expresses toward others. In Your Name, Amen.

    Love to you, my friend!

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