I didn’t mean to speak about my depression so openly at the new comers meeting today at the church. I mean, I have better sense than that. But the Holy Spirit has complete dominion over me, and I was possessed by His power once again. Before I knew it, I was talking about my depression and how my receiving Jesus whole-heartedly healed my soul and freed me from this debilitating illness that I have suffered for so long. I think I remember seeing some heads nodding. Maybe because they had a similar experience or know someone in the family who has depression. But after speaking about my depression history so freely, it was hard to wrap up my introduction so I just ended like this.
“I chose to move here because my sister lives here. I chose this town over Hawaii.” When I said that, everyone laughed. “Family comes first.”
I wish I knew that truth before my run-away daughter days. I wish I saw my family as they truly are: The gift God has given me so that I can complete my human journey till the end. Instead, I blamed them. I victimized myself thinking that they were the ones making me pop my anti-depressant pills every morning, and they were the ones drugging me, they were the ones making me reach out for a bottle of beer or wine, making me an alcoholic, and they were the ones that made me go mad. To make me see the truth, God isolated me from everyone. I was relocated to an island far away from home, from everyone I knew, from everyone that loved me. I was left alone. Just like I have wanted.
I remember praying one day in March 2009. I was as lost as I can be. I was crying hysterically. It was early. I had just finished my yoga practice in my small living room which goes on from 5am. In the depth of silence, there was only the sound of my cry. I lived in this victorian style house in a serious need of demolition. If anyone was walking by at that hour and heard my cry, he probably would have thought the house was haunted. In that house, in that darkness, I was praying, and I was crying alone, seeking for an answer. I was at the end of the rope, and I had no where to flee. Then I heard these quiet words.
“Separate yourself from the outer influences.
Do not be shattered–
Do not be shattered–
Separate yourself from the world for a while.”
The voice ordered. Then I heard the word “solitude” ringing three times in my heart. I obeyed. The rest is history. I separated myself as God has ordered, and put myself on a tiny island, called The Big Island.
What the Lord did on that island cannot go unspoken. It has to be revealed. It was a miracle. Another miracle Jesus has performed. So many miracles and so few are recoginized. So few believed. But then, it doesn’t have to be revealed. It was between me and God. No one has to know it. No one has to understand. No one has to believe. But this day, I think the Lord wanted his miracle to be known.
After the new comers gathering was over, I walked out after saying quick goodbyes. I spent over 2 hours at the church by then, and as I often did after being exposed around many groups of people, I felt exhausted, drained. But when I left the building, I realized that I was still holding the registration form in my hand. As soon as I got back in, a woman approached me right away.
“I was going to talk to you about something. You look like such a happy person and I was surprised to hear about your depression. You know, I really appreciate you opening up. Many people don’t do that. It’s something unless you go through, you don’t understand. I have a depression in the family, and it was so nice to hear about your experience. People told me I shouldn’t be talking about depression to others but I never believe that.”
We exchanged warm hugs. I think that was my first hug from someone outside my family since I moved to Maryland. I thank my mental illness because of all that I have received in many aspects. It gave me so much. Most of all, it gave me Jesus. But it didn’t stop there; although Jesus alone would have been enough. It’s an illness that keeps giving. I make such great connections because I have went through depression. It’s like a key to all these opportunities.
I am still a stranger in this town, still a new comer. No one knows my history unless I tell them. I can make a new history. I can pretend like I had an amazing life in Hawaii, that I am a tough girl who moved to a far away land all alone because I do not fear anything. But I don’t. I don’t because I am not ashamed of my past. I am who I am because of my past. So when the Holy Spirit inspires me to share my story, I will share, because it is His story, not mine.
Plus, I think it’s such a romantic plot. Who wouldn’t want God to send her off to Hawaii for years and live by the beautiful Pacific Ocean and manage a picturesque coffee bar? I honestly cannot say that I would relive the whole experience all over again because it was very painful. But I am glad that it was my story. I am glad that I have lived it out. I think He’s such a great storyteller.