A few months back there were a series of commercials that ran, seemingly every other 30 seconds, about depression. They started out with soft, meloncholy piano music. The first line of the commercial was…”Depression hurts.” I must say that I agree. For a long time (decades) I think I was in denial that I suffered from this ugly disease. I blamed hormones, post pardom, relationship issues, seasons, and anything and everything else I could think of. I’m not sure that I used to even believe that depression was a “real” disease. I thought that it was just me that felt the way I felt…like it was all in my head…and I just wasn’t “right.” My understanding and acceptance of this dreaded disease have changed and after a lot of reading about conversations with others, I know that I do indeed suffer from depression. But knowing and understanding do not make it much easier. Depression does hurt. It hurts physically…it drags and wears on my body at times. Depression hurts relationships…it is hard for others to understand and to deal with the ways that depression manifests itself. Depression hurts…at times it makes me question who I am and why I’m like this. I get so frustrated with my emotions and feelings at times. When I’m down and in a “funk” – I hate it. I don’t want to feel that way. I don’t enjoy the irrational flood of emotions that sweep over me. Last night I was pretty low. Ugh. New Year’s Day…the promise of 2012 lying ahead…so many exciting plans for the upcoming year…and I’m crying. I don’t really even know why I’m crying. I remember telling myself in the midst of tears…”I just need to try harder.” But no matter how hard I try – I will not make it “go away.” This morning, my mind is more clear, my tears have stopped, and it hits me…me trying isn’t the answer. God is my answer. I’ve learned to rely on God for so much over the last couple of years. I have surrendered my life to him and furthering his kingdom here on earth. But I was still trying to fix me on my own. I can keep trying on my own or I can let God help me with this. I believe in God’s plan for me and my life. I know that he is in control. But I have no idea why I have tried to fight this depression on my own. All the fighting in the world on my part will not do the trick. God knows me. He made me in his image and he loves me. I have to trust that he is going to help me through anything and everything that comes my way in life. God gave me an amazing man in my life. Brian is the most understanding, patient man I have ever met. God knew that I needed someone like this in my life. Brian is my “accountability” partner, my prayer partner, my best friend. He laughs with me and lets me cry when the tears come. I understand now that God knew what I needed in a relationship and he gave me that. God will provide. My word for 2012 is “authentic.” It has been hard for me in the past to admit or talk about my depression. I felt like it was an admission of weakness. My relationship with God and my growing faith in me have helped me to understand that depression does not mean that I am weak. God created me to be me. I am who I am and I am loved. I will continue to learn and grow and own my emotions. I will listen to God as he guides me. I may never understand why…but I will take all the lessons that I learn and become the person who God wants me to be. I need to be authentically me.