How I'm Continuing to Trust God's Plan as a Man With Depression
Life with depression is filled with more rollercoasters than an amusement park. There are the days when life is great. You’re full of optimism. Hope runs supreme. You feel like you can take on the world.
For me, that was a couple weeks ago. Life was awesome. I’d finally got a job in a city I adore like no other — Lincoln, Nebraska. As a born and raised Nebraskan, and as a diehard Cornhuskers sports fan, I was finally “coming home” after 17 years of living in Iowa.
My hopes were sky high. A new job, a new career, a new life. It was an opportunity to be back close to my roots, close to family and dear friends, to have my support system closer to me than I’ve had in ages.
My first night back in Lincoln, I snapped a picture — one I had missed taking roughly three months earlier. Memorial Stadium (home of the Nebraska football team) was on the left, followed by the Nebraska state capital building, Pinnacle Bank Arena, then capped by the stately lit Haymarket Park baseball park, was the home of Nebraska’s baseball team and Lincoln’s independent league professional baseball team. The four most important buildings in the city were all framed together in the picture, capped by the lights from the ballpark. To me, it was picturesque, serene.
As I stood there, like I had three months earlier, the words and music from the classic film “Field of Dreams” filled my mind. One scene I recalled especially.
In the film, Terrance Mann and Ray Consella are driving back to Iowa from their cross country adventures. Near the end of the scene, the field comes into view. Deep in the heart of an Iowa summer’s night, the lights of the field shine as a beacon to all who can see it. It calls them to this humble ballpark carved from the corn.
In that scene, Terrance Mann, played by James Earl Jones, says words that have stuck with me all these years.
And through my battles with mental health the last few years, through all the trials and tribulations, those words and the wonderful soundtrack put together by the late James Horner have rang even more true.
“Now I know what everybody’s purpose here is… except mine.”
Standing there, seeing the views of three of my favorite sporting venues, looking into the heart and soul of a city I love like no other, the tears were flowing.
I kept wondering why it feels like everyone else in life knows their purpose. I wondered what mine is, especially as I embark on this new journey. But also, I finally felt at last that I was “home,” a move that’s been years in the making.
The next couple of days were full of rest and encouragement. I spent time in the greater Kansas City area with my brother, his wife and their nine and a half month-old boy, all of whom I’d last seen Christmas night. I saw my grandma, who I hadn’t seen in more than a year, relaxing at Kauffman Stadium watching my favorite sport. It was the home of Royals, the MLB team. I stood at an overlook near Kauffman Stadium the next day as the lights glistened on a perfect summer’s night. They were soothing and encouraging for my soul as this new journey began.
Then then lows started settling in. Frustrations built as things didn’t fall into place as quickly as I’d hoped. A part of life passed me by. I wondered why and how things did not work out for me, and why the things for others did.
The disappointment from the combination of things not falling into place for my life, work and the relationship my heart wanted was building. Even in the midst of it all, I’ve tried to be intentional and deliberate about uplifting people who were part of my past. I tried to be deliberate and purposeful to pray for them in their current and new and exciting adventures. I’ve tried to pray God’s richest blessings over them and for them — that God will watch out for them, take care of them, lead them in the right steps and paths. If Christ can love us when it was the toughest for Him hanging on the cross, then I can do that when I’m just going through a minor rough patch in my life.
The depression has tested my will to keep fighting.
As much as I’m settling into city life, loving every second of being back in the city I love more than any other on the planet, the hurts of past things not falling into place have built up/
These days recently have tested my resolve in ways things from my past have not. It’s taking much to keep going, to keep pushing forward. It can be difficult to tell the lies flowing in my mind that they’re just that — pure, evil, awful lies. I have to keep reminding myself this move is one God put on my heart some time ago, and this move is for the best for my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. I remind myself the anxiousness, heartache and heartbreak of the moment will not last forever.
Some day, I believe all the things I’ve been through will have a point. One day, I will understand why I struggle with mental illness. I believe this faith-testing adventure is just part of God’s plan for my life — even if I cannot understand a lick of it right now.
One day, someday, my piece of this story of humanity will fully reveal itself. It will have a purpose to it, a point to it all.
And like the 1994 National Championship Huskers, who rebounded from a gut wrenching loss in the national title game the year before to win it all that next season, these trials I’ve been through will have a glorious, wonderful end to them.
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Thinkstock photo via stevanovicigor.