A couple months ago I posted about how Joy and I have been having an incredibly difficult time while overseas. I shared how we had finally “arrived” at what I believed to be God’s calling on my life. Somehow in the process of arriving there however, we had become so damaged and hurt that we, specifically I, could not actually fulfill our role there in Nabire. During perhaps the most difficult few months of our lives, we came to the realization that I was experiencing a depressive episode and that we needed some serious help.
In a previous post, I shared how we were moving back to the US for a year. The plan was for Joy and I to return to the MAF headquarters where I would continue working, and we would be seeking professional help as we worked through our brokenness.
The best way to describe this summer is to compare it to a roller coaster. If you’ve walked through a depressive episode, diagnosed or not, you understand that even during recovery, you have good days and bad days. There are moments when you feel the darkness creeping back in around the corners of your world. There are moments when you take a deep breath, look around, and realize that you are happy, not because of a drug, or something you ate, or something someone said, but just because you are. And then the day comes when you realize that you haven’t been actively trying to hide for days.
It happened just a couple weeks ago. I was working in the hangar at MAF, up to my elbows in project when I paused and looked around me. A sudden thought had come to me. I was content. It was an unlooked for epiphany. The darkness was gone.
The path to this point has been long, expensive, and uncomfortable. It’s been hard on my family, especially my wife. But we are doing so much better now.
When people ask us if we want to go back to Nabire, our answer has become a “Yes, but not yet.” Part of recovery for us has been learning to recognize our own needs, call them what they are, and choosing to be unashamed of them. Something we have to see that we need is time to be stable. Time to be home. And time to be with our friends and family.
That’s what this year is about. It’s about time to recover. Have you experienced depression and recovery? What helped you?