Black Thursday

Annette Bisbee

OK, I’m going to broach a subject a lot of Christians shy away from…depression. I’m no expert when it comes to depression, but I CAN tell you I have experienced it. So, does this make me a ‘weak’ Christian? Perhaps I just need to pray more, read my Bible more, and have more faith. I need to push myself. Be strong, not be lazy. I need to get going. Ignore it; pretend it’s not there. These are all the negative voices of the past when the subject of someone being depressed would arise.

I experienced the worse day of depression I have ever had on a Thursday. It was at the end of a weeklong rain. Every day…RAIN. My husband was out of town, and I had a sinus issue that was also draining my energy. I had spent a day in bed with soup, hot teas and toast, along with an essential oil capsule which always helped with sinus issues. The sinus began to clear, but I felt very weak. My legs felt heavy, and I could barely move them. My feet shuffled slowly across the floor, as my body longed for rest. I really needed rest!

We had finally sold the condo, after three months of being there every weekend, and sometimes during the week. There was always something to do, making minor repairs, painting, cleaning, etc. It was exhausting. The negotiations, and the concern it would not sell had also been draining.

Then there was the upcoming event of my husband’s retirement. He seemed overly concerned that we weren’t going to survive without his paycheck, even though on paper our financial advisor assured us we would be fine.

My oldest sister had moved into a Senior Care Center, and was only 60 miles away now instead of 160. I made it my goal to be there every other week, and already it had been three weeks. The news said maybe a slight chance of rain on Thursday, but most likely none, so I picked Thursday to go.

Here’s where I tell you about my accident a year and a half ago, when an 18 wheeler pulled over into my lane…WITH ME IN IT…careening his way from the rear quarter panel on the drivers side, all the way up, past the side mirror…THAT’S WHERE I WAS…before he was able to pull away from me. I was getting ready to exit, and thank God, I had the exit lane to aim for. As I held the wheel with all my might, I hit the brakes and aimed for the lane, I feared this huge hunk of metal would consume me.

I imagined myself totally loosing control, and if I missed the exit, there was a steel fence. I remember thinking, “So, this is how I’m going to die! What will my husband say when they go tell him? How will my children handle it? I leave on a simple errand, and die on the way home?”

It was misting rain.

Obviously, I ‘m here, so I made it! But the trauma had taken its toll. I avoided the highway when possible, and when I DID get on one, I prayed a lot. If I saw an 18-wheeler, I switched lanes if I could; quite honestly, I switched lanes a couple of
times without even looking. When I was pressed to ride alongside one during a pass, I prayed a lot. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” was my most often used prayer. I now hated driving, when I used to love it… delivering cars to Kansas, Illinois, Oregon, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and New Jersey. Some of these I delivered by myself!

Okay, back to Black Thursday. I awoke, still tired, still dragging, but convinced I needed to “get up and get going!” I dragged myself to the store to buy my sister’s favorite chips to take to her. While inside the store, one of the employees with whom I had shared many conversations about life, Christianity and the pursuit of happiness, stopped me and said to wait…she had something for me. She brought back a necklace with a beautiful green stone. “I picked this up for you while on vacation, and I’ve been waiting to see you.” Tears filled my eyes as I received the
gift. I began to cry. It wasn’t the necklace; it was the GIFT that God was giving me through this precious lady, to say, “I AM with you!”

I thanked her and left the store. She had no idea of my lack of strength, or the oppressing struggle going on inside me.

When I stepped outside, it was misting rain. . .the rain that most likely wouldn’t come. It was raining in my heart, too…pouring down. Still wrestling with whether I should push through all this heaviness and get on the road, I decided I couldn’t. I couldn’t go on. I went back home, crying all the way.

I arrived back home where I started from, got undressed and back into my pajamas. I had failed. I put everything I had into going to visit my sister, but I just couldn’t do it. I tried to eat a little something, but wasn’t hungry. I sat down in my recliner, the blinds closed, no lights on, and in the dark, I listened to the rain. I wept with it.

I don’t know where all the blackness came from, but it was there, hovering over me like a heavy dark blanket. I had no good thoughts. It was all sadness. I didn’t feel I had anything to look forward to anymore. I missed my mom. That scared me because not long before my sister died, she cried and cried to see Mom. Was I going to die? Nothing made me feel joy; even thoughts of my grandchildren whom I love with all my heart didn’t seem to offer a reason to live. They didn’t really need me. They had good parents. I had done a lot of traveling and there was no place in particular I wanted to go or anything I really wanted to do. Life was hard. Life was unsatisfying. Life was a struggle. Life was full of heartaches. I was tired of the fight. Empty! Totally empty. I felt like someone had picked me up by the heels, and given me a good shaking, completely draining me of every ounce of me I had inside. I had nothing more to give…absolutely nothing!

This is where I tell you that 2 years earlier, I had been diagnosed with a Meningioma Brain tumor, which was benign. The last visit showed the tumor had shrunk 24%, but was it growing again? During every checkup, the location of the tumor prompted the question, “Have you been having any depression?” I would answer, “No, not really.” (I usually got up early every morning, had my coffee, devotion, and got busy. Cooking, cleaning, shopping…I always had plenty of energy). Well, this must be the YES, REALLY! I AM DEPRESSED! I promised myself I’d drive to the doctor and ask for the surgery immediately if this feeling continued. Should I go now? If I did, would it be the end of me? Blackness. Total blackness. So, I just sat there.

You might ask, “Why didn’t you call someone to pray?” Or, “Just tell someone to come sit with you?” I couldn’t! I absolutely was emotionally paralyzed, (if there IS such a thing), from the darkness I was experiencing.

And so I sat there. Every once in awhile I breathed a prayer, “Jesus, help me.” I thought of the necklace, He was close by, I knew. I remembered the words my mom used to say, “Just hang on. Things will look brighter in the morning.” I hung on, hoping she was right.

When my husband called that night, I asked him to pray for me. He said he would, and I urged him, “You don’t understand I am in a really bad place, I really need you to pray for me.” I explained it, but I knew he didn’t understand.

The next day, I received flowers. I was a little stronger, the weather was clear, so I went to see my sister. I struggled through the entire visit; I didn’t want her to feel my depression. Although Friday was better, it was not good.

Saturday morning was a different day. While pouring my coffee, I saw a Robin fly to the corner of my deck. I had seen a nest in that direction and had checked several times, but it was always empty. I opened the back door to see 4 little baby Robins in that nest, and the sound of the door opening scared away the mom. I decided to take my coffee outside and observe.

The mother bird came back and sat on the deck rail, a worm hanging from her mouth. She looked at me a few seconds, then flew over and fed her babies. When she flew away, I thought she finally trusted me, but no, I spotted her in a nearby tree, her eyes upon me. I got up to get a closer look at the babies, and she immediately appeared on the deck again, ready to intervene. I moved a few steps closer, after all, Robins aren’t mean, I assured myself. Immediately, she flew toward me, swooping only a few inches from my head. I returned to my lounger and sat back down.

Wow, that mama bird really loves her little ones. I thought to myself.

Now, I don’t claim to hear the voice of God often, but I heard Him loud and clear. It wasn’t an audible voice, but from within, “Yes, and not one of them falls to the ground without My knowing it, and how much more do I care for you?”

It all broke loose inside me. Tears began to flow and I began to thank Him. “Thank You, Jesus! I know You really care for me. Thank you for the birds, and the lesson You’re teaching me today. Thank You for Your Presence, Your Love.”

Some of the anguish and darkness began to lift. I sat quietly, watching the birds, and meditating on God’s Word. He loved me and cared for me. He wasn’t as far away as I had thought. Even when I couldn’t see Him, He was watching, making sure the enemy didn’t get close enough to harm me. And as His Word assured me, “He never would forsake me, or leave me alone.”

After awhile, I went back inside. I decided to find some worship music on YouTube, (I LOVE YouTube. You can find anything you need there). For the first time, I found DappyTKeys Worship Music, and chose the video, “Worthy Is The Lamb.”

I wish I had the words to convey the experience I had on that Saturday. It was like Jesus Himself, swooped in on me like that mother bird. He didn’t leave my side the entire day. The worship music was so anointed, and I sang along with it, weeping most of the time, my hands lifted to Heaven. But THIS weeping was from gratitude mixed with cleansing. I felt every emotional impurity lifting from my mind and my body. All the emptiness I had felt the last few days was filled up with His Presence. My spirit was renewed, my mind was renewed, and my body felt free.

By Sunday, I was able to worship with my whole heart. Jim didn’t come home till the following Wednesday, and when I shared what I had gone through, he apologized he didn’t know it was that bad, but assured me he had prayed for me.

I don’t know where all the darkness came from. Was it the constant stress of the auto accident that had reached its peak? Was it burn out from all the stress I had been under? Was it just a trial, an attack from Satan? Did I let myself get run down, by not eating right? Was it from the sinus infection that had drained me? All the rain? I don’t know! But I DO know WHO took it away from me!

All I can say is, “THANK YOU, JESUS!” The last song on my worship video was, “Hallelujah, You have won the victory. Hallelujah, You have won it all for me.”

That’s been almost 3 months. I’ve been up and at it again since then, feeling positive and good.

If you’re suffering from depression, I pray God gives you comfort and hope. Don’t be ashamed to reach out. Take care of yourself. Get the proper rest, eat right, start your day with worship and reading God’s Word. If you can’t reach out, pray for God to lay you on someone’s heart to pray for you. Call me. I will always pray with you.

After you’ve done all you know to do, stand, and wait, “Till Morning Comes.”

There are a lot of natural causes for depression: Weather, Smoking, Thyroid Disease, Lack of sleep, too much TV, Noise Pollution, too many decisions, Insufficient Omega3, and Family Relationships. To read about these, go to the following site.


True Story of Tragedy and Triumph

Little Johnny was only 5 and as far as he knew his life was ok. Then that tragic day came. A loud “BOOM” and daddy was on the floor. Dead. The gun still in his hand.

Life went on, Johnny was all grown up – he thought. He was on his now. Mom was remarried and all was okay. He had learned to be funny to cover the pain, the memory and the responsibility he felt that daddy was so miserable he wanted to die. Was it his fault?

Soon he found a new friend…the bottle. It brought him the comfort he couldn’t get anywhere else – at least for a little while. One gulp and it started to quiet the torment; and it stuffed the feelings that he couldn’t express.

The problem, it was never enough. What drowned his sorrows once was now taking the whole bottle. It was interfering with his work and his relationships. He was very good at his profession but after a few weeks he again turned to the bottle, missing work, showing up late, and having trouble relating to others. He lost another job.

Then he met a wonderful young lady who loved him very much.  Then one week little (big?) Johnny could no longer control his life. He drank till he passed out, woke up drank again, passed out, woke up and he drank again. His young lady got him to the hospital where the doctor said he was dying.

She called her mother to come and pray for him. He was glad someone cared enough to reach out to him. Seeing he was at the end of his rope he agreed he needed to accept Christ. As Sis Anderson visited she also asked about his father and what their relationship had been.

Johnny explained he never really knew him, and he shared the incident that he still remembered though it had somewhat faded. It was a horrible thing that made Johnny very sad. If he had been bigger, maybe he could have saved his life. Somehow he felt responsible.

As Sis Anderson listened to Johnny’s story, she began to realize this horrible memory was ruling Johnny’s life. So, she asked him, “So since you feel responsible, do you think you deserve to die?”

“What do you mean?” he asked with a furrowed brow.

“Obviously you’re trying to kill yourself, Johnny. You’re throwing your life away just like your dad and now you have a choice…totally give your life to Jesus and don’t drink anymore or die just like your daddy.” She paused for a moment. “I doubt your dad would want you to die, do you?”

“No,” he admitted.

“Then let’s pray.” Sis Anderson bowed her head and Johnny joined in. He asked Jesus to take control of his life and he repented for trying to destroy himself. Afterward he said he felt like a new man.

note from author: Johnny doesn’t drink anymore. He’s still funny and often entertains at a comedy club. He’s the proud daddy of a 1-year old ‘junior’ who favors him a lot. He is living a successful life, holding down a job and starting a new business of his own.