I’m grateful to be on vacation in Hilton Head Island with my family right now. This island is our all-time favorite vacation spot, and it’s allowed me valuable time to decompress and rest after some stressful last few months. I was looking for inspirational Bible verses this morning, and Psalm 119:50 sticks out to me as a verse that inspires hope in suffering.
Last August, I remember doing a small Bible study post on Psalm 55:6, a verse that summarizes a key feeling of depression:
‘And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;” (Psalm 55:6)
Much of Psalm 55 speaks to what it’s like to struggle with depression. With depression, we can feel a great deal of seemingly unshakeable anguish while simultaneously feeling closer to God through it all.
I’d venture to say that people of faith who struggle with depression, or any mental illness, can directly feel God lifting us up in our roughest patches.
David might have struggled with depression himself. He captured this emotional duality in Psalm 119:50:
“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalm 119:50)
Onward and Upward
Family is super important to me. I’m thrilled to share that I spent a whopping 6 hours yesterday with a 2nd cousin I haven’t seen in years. She and I happened to be in Hilton Head Island simultaneously, and we were thrilled to get together.
We had lunch overlooking the beach, enjoyed a couple of drinks, and later had ice cream. I had the chance to ask her tons of questions about our family. Through our long talks, I learned that so many of our family had had rough patches, especially those of us who only show optimism.
My 2nd cousin gave me great and much-needed words of inspiration and encouraged me to keep my heart set on the future. It was so good telling her about the icky things I’ve gone through, especially leaving behind my toxic job last December. Even though it continues to haunt my dreams, I ultimately made the best choice for myself by quitting.
She and so many of my other amazing cousins were able to connect on Facebook after our family set up a heritage Facebook group. After being unable to communicate with my extended family for so many years, I’ve been blessed to bond with them online. My cousins were a rock for me throughout 2021 as I came to terms with how bad my depression’s been this whole time.
It was so touching to hear my cousin say “onward and upward” to me yesterday. That’s a key phrase I’ve heard in the other side of my family, and I took it as a sign that things are looking up.
Time to Fly
I love Annie Lennox, and her song “Little Bird” continues to lift my spirits:
It’s been a funky transitional time for me, but like my family’s been reminding me this week, this crossroads in my life contains a lot of promise. Ultimately, I don’t regret what led me to this moment. All of the tumult from the last year or so has helped me appreciate where I’m heading now.
One of my biggest dreams right now is to become a successful photographer. Over the last year, I’ve enjoyed pushing the limits of my phone’s camera to the max. This clunky Android phone continues to surprise me with the shots it takes, such as this post’s featured image:
I took this lucky shot this past Sunday morning, just as this seabird took flight over the sunlit waves. It was magnificent!
My future is hopefully full of even more fantastic, lucky shots to take. Thanks to God and my family’s help, things are looking much better for me.
I’m so thankful to be here at HHI with them and to have this peaceful time to appreciate how far I’ve come and where I’m headed.
Featured Image by Connor Brennan
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