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  • Amy Diller

When Hope Is Dormant

I haven’t written anything to share in a very long time. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say; I’ve just allowed fear to keep me quiet. We all know life is messy, much messier than the Instagram photos that display the very best moments of our lives. Putting our mess out there for others to see? That can be a little too “real”. Today, I’m writing in spite of the fear because this post keeps nagging at me. I want to share a truthful piece of myself in the hope that someone else might feel seen and heard.    

The past few months have been hard - the kind of hard that threatens to steal the breath from your lungs. I felt it coming, and I did my best to keep the familiar feelings locked away, but depression and anxiety broke down my door…again. I pulled away from family and friends. I slept a lot. I ate a lot. I had no energy to enjoy life. Showering and brushing my teeth took effort I didn’t have. (Thank goodness for perfume and deodorant.) Aside from my husband and my best friend, I didn’t tell anyone how much I was struggling. I folded in on myself to a very lonely place, and I pushed the Lord out. 

I’ve lived with a mental health diagnosis for my entire adult life. Medication, therapy, and self care have brought a lot of relief, but as those who share similar struggles will understand, you can do all the “right” things and still experience seasons of deep pain. 

At times, when the lows have hit, there’s no one thing to pinpoint as a catalyst. It’s just a general sense of sadness and dread that can’t be easily explained. But more often than not, I feel myself sinking, feel my insides knot up, and I can clearly identify a challenging situation or destructive thought pattern at work. These recent months have a reason.  

We had been praying about a heartbreaking situation with a loved one for a long time. I fully believed God was more than able to intervene in a redemptive way. I talked about it with my inner-circle people. They prayed. I had dreams about an eleventh-hour miracle. I hoped we’d finally have a glorious story of restoration to share. Even when doubts snuck in, I held tightly onto my faith.   

But then a day arrived when I felt like God abandoned us, abandoned me. He was as silent as the tears that wouldn’t stop streaming down my face. The miracle we so desperately prayed for, yearned for, did not come. My heart ached with an indescribable, overwhelming rawness. And I shut down - physically, mentally, and spiritually.  

I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that God never abandons us. Our minds can  understand that His timing is perfect, His promises are true, and He is faithful to work all things for His glory and our good. Our hearts, on the other hand, often tell a different story. 

In all honesty, I’ve been disappointed with God. In the past couple of months, I only picked up my Bible to dust. During the day when I was home alone, I turned the TV on in the background instead of worship music. I didn’t really feel like attending church or watching online. Seeing these words in print is scary because it sounds like I’ve left my faith behind. I haven’t. Doing these things felt painfully hypocritical. Again, I know the truth, but those fickle emotions get stuck in my head sometimes.

I’m okay, and I will be okay. I’m making an effort to take care of myself physically through exercise and healthier eating. With medication adjustments, I’m finding relief. Social situations are still challenging, but I’m trying. I’m taking baby steps spiritually even though my feelings are slow to untangle. Trust in His sovereignty is returning. I haven’t forgotten His faithfulness to our family in the past, and I know He has our future in His hands even if God didn’t show up the way I wanted Him to. It’s strange to hold faith and doubt in God’s goodness in the same hand, yet here I am. 

If you are struggling with depression or anxiety or have felt abandoned by God, know that you are not alone. Your story isn’t over, it won’t always be like this, and God has not abandoned you…even if it feels that way. Please reach out to someone. Be honest about how you’re doing. If you need someone to be that safe place to share, let me know. 

Hope may be dormant at the moment, but it’s not dead. Spring’s new growth always follows winter. 

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