Monday, July 21, 2014

Finding Hope

Last year should have been a very happy time for me but mysteriously, I spent several months with my long-time foe, depression.  I had been free of this enemy for some time but during a season of many blessings, it came back to harass me.

We had successfully sold our house in just one day at our asking price and the buyer even allowed us to continue living in that house, rent-free,  until we closed on the new one, which was under construction.  We disposed of a lot of old furniture and had the fun of  buying several pieces of new furniture, ordering new window coverings -- things like that.

But before the boxes were unpacked, I found myself waking up every morning with dark thoughts, and an odd gloominess lasting much of the day that led to anger about -- a lot of things.  

I knew this was irrational but I felt very defeated in trying to overcome this latest bout of depression.  I was ashamed of feeling this way when I knew people close to me would love to be the recipient of the blessings that had come my way. It was inexplicable to me.

As in the past, I sought medical help. This time I refused prescription anti-depressants, a solution that had worked for me in previous years but with side effects I was no longer willing to accept. To make a long story short, lifestyle changes were made that resulted in a significant difference for the better.

I reached the conclusion that just as some people are bothered with nearsightedness and need glasses to see clearly, some of us have a propensity for being melancholy and it's something we need to learn to accept about ourselves while seeking legitimate help for relief.  Reaching that understanding and accepting it was a big help.

Since I am a Christian I am interested in why God allows people to suffer, most especially those who are living for Him as best they know how.  A good friend suggested a book that has been very helpful.  I read it in just a few days and have turned a corner for the better.

God is Just Not Fair, Finding Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense by Jennifer Rothschild is an excellent read for people who not only want but need to have a better understanding of what is going on when something like depression seems to overtake them.

If I were to sum up the message of this book it would be to say that Ms. Rothschild gives us a picture of how God works.  She doesn't (and can't) give an explanation for everything about God, but she goes a long way to enlighten the reader about His ways, based on Bible scripture,  and how that may apply to us. To quote her, "God doesn't always give answers to my questions. God gives me something better... an encounter with Him."

This author is no stranger to adversity. She became legally blind as a teenager but went on to get a college education, marry a successful man, have children, and become an author and conference speaker, among other accomplishments. After many years of successfully dealing with all that goes with blindness she experienced a full year of debilitating depression. She was baffled by that and struggled to cope.

Her story is an interesting narrative of what it's like to be blind and she includes many stories of her experiences, many of them humorous. Although she is specifically addressing the dark topic of depression, I found the book very intriguing and hard to put down. 

As I read the 237 pages, I underlined significant words, phrases, and concepts, often stopping to tearfully thank the LORD for such insightful revelations into His character and love.  The end result is that I don't have to understand everything but I do trust Him so much more. That brings an inexplicable peace I needed so much.

This book has an accompanying Bible study called Missing Pieces. I have not gone through it but I'm sure it would be a great resource for a small group. You can find these books online at as well as at your local Christian bookstores, or go to the author's website.

For more information about Jennifer Rothschild and other books she has written, go to her website at

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an interesting book, Barbara! I am fortunate to not have had to battle depression, but I personally know many who have. Some really, really need the medication, as their depression can be quite debilitating, but others could use other means to lift their spirits and function more happily.