Friday, February 1, 2013

Fighting melancholy

I probably shouldn't have used the word "depression" in my last post. I know that depression is a serious medical issue and I don't think my emotional troubles are as serious as depression. Melancholy would have been a better choice of words. Whatever it is, it stinks and I'm still fighting it.

It probably doesn't help that I've been made aware of and have been in deep thought about some serious issues. Right now I'm reading two heavy books.

Clara's War is based on the diary of a Polish teenager who survived World War II by hiding in a bunker dug beneath a house. She shared that bunker with 17 other people. It's one of the most intense Holocaust books I've read.

Unorthodox is the memoir of a woman who grew up in a Hasidic Jewish family. I've read the first third of the book and my heart breaks for the author. Her mother rejected Judaism and left the family. Her father is mentally challenged and cannot take care of her. She is left to be raised by her grandparents and never fits in. She struggles with her sense of self-worth and questions if God loves her.

Recently, I've been seeing a homeless woman on a corner near my house. She looks to be my age or a little younger. She holds a sign that says she's pregnant. Several weeks ago, we were sitting at a stoplight and I saw her turn our direction. She was bawling. My heart broke for her. The light turned green and we had to keep moving. We circled the block but she was gone before we returned. I didn't see her for two weeks and worried something had happened. The next time we saw her, we stopped and I spent a couple minutes talking to her, finding out her name. I've seen her several times since and I know she lives out of her car.

Today I was reading blog posts about children who are involved in the Compassion International program. One of the bloggers visited Ghana and came face to face with child slavery. In today's world. Now. Children sold into slavery. My heart broke again.

I do not question God's love nor have I ever been persecuted for my faith. I am not hungry or unloved or wanting for anything material. I live in a free country.

However, this world is broken. It sucks. People are still slaves. People are living in their cars when the night temperatures drop below freezing. Wars continue. Suicide bombings. Human trafficking.

My own problems seem so trivial. My husband works an insane number of hours. Compared to children being forced into slavery, so what? I ache to be a mother but don't see that happening in the foreseeable future. Compared to the pregnant homeless woman down the street from me, so what? My heart breaks both for my own struggles and for people globally. I don't know how to take it less personally, how to be less affected by suffering and death. I have not yet learned to face social / political / religious issues without feeling like the world is tumbling down and feeling helpless in the face of all of it.

I know Who holds the only answer - God. Unfortunately, my head and my heart have not yet met. I know that God is in control. I know that He can give peace in the midst of this world. How do I tell my heart?


Anonymous said...

(((HUGS))) I was still composing my comment to your previous post when I read this one. A struggle is a struggle. Depression has many different stages and shades. You are right, those are both very heavy books. I have to limit myself on those kind of things or I find myself going into a slow downward spiral of depression/blues. I'm going to post my suggestions here instead of the other post. Think about joining a quilt guild, or a knitting group to get out of the house more. The Eastside Quilters meet there in Bellevue their website is there is also a modern quilt guild that mets in your area...but I see you more as a traditional style person :) The East Siders are meeting this next wednesday morning. think about checking it out! I can't believe I'm typing this since I'm so horrible at doing it myself, but pick up the phone and call someone and tell them how you are feeling. Blogging is one thing, but sometimes you just have to hear the voice on the other end of the line! (((HUGS)))) Love you!!!

Noah said...

Sorry to hear you're feel'n blue. I get winter blues every year - which means I just game more till it is over. Never mind that...

Our own personal worries/struggles are important even if others have it worse than us. Being aware of the world, and being willing to help it the best you can is one thing - a good thing. But each individual still has there own lot or trouble to carry.

What gives me comfort is the fact that life changes. This hard time or what not seems like it is solid, but it will change.

My bro does need/deserve more free time - that ain't healthy for you or him. Sorry if none of what I just helps - I mean well :)

Carrie said...

I"m catching up around here...working through your posts again. I AM glad to know that you are doing better. And I'm sorry I was so delayed in my reading of the posts to pray in the moment.

This year the weather is REALLY getting to me. REALLY getting to me. I'm so ready for some sunshine!

And on a book-ish note: I really enjoyed Clara's War.