We all suffer bouts with depression from time to time. Severe depression can be very destructive, not just to you, but to those that love and care about you. Depression takes lives in their prime. Depression hurts, steals and destroys. Being half a century old didn’t come without several ‘potholes’ along my path. It’s easy to reflect back now and see the times where my path became crooked and bumpy. I see times when I lost my faith, lost my focus, lost my “center”. When you spin a coin on a table top fast enough, it spins beautifully, but as it slows or hits something, it begins to wobble off course and “lose its center”. That’s exactly what I felt in those times of confusion and depression.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘mid-life crises? I would say that I had experienced that, but there’s no sports car in my driveway and I never was interested in women half my age, lol. So stating that I “lost my center” would be a better description. How I regained my focus, my “center” was quite by accident (in my eye’s, not Gods) and unexpectedly.
The kindness of a Facebook friend (whom I have never met) altered my course and helped me rediscover my true self. Without either of us knowing, fate stepped in and we became connected. Through instant messaging one day I let something slip that she caught on to and drilled me about. From over a thousand miles away, this friend, busy with a million little things in her world, stopped her life for a moment and reached out to me in a way that may have saved my life!
Months later, we spoke about that day. I was thanking her for taking the time to help me and explained how much that meant to me. She said she was totally unaware (at that time) just how depressed I was and how much she helped me. She was merely responding to a feeling that she needed to keep conversing with me that day, but wasn’t sure why. We can now look back and see that she was a willing servant of God allowing him to work through her to help me without any forethought or real effort on her part.
This event was at a time in my life when nothing seemed to be going right. I was Divorced with 3 grown kids that didn’t seem to have any use for me anymore. Recovering from surgery on my wrist and arm after an incident at work had me sitting around the house in the cold winter months shivering with the thermostat down low (to save on the electric bill). No one came to visit. Not even my daughter who worked a mile from my house!
I spent 3 weeks of this time in Tampa as a caregiver for my brother after his Bone marrow transplant (last effort Leukemia treatment) and we talked a lot about my situation. For a while it was better, but I still had a ways to go. The summer that followed was a bit of roller coaster ride and with fall fast approaching I felt myself in a downward spiral once again. I was very good at hiding it and my closest friends had no clue. I had been off center for so long that I was becoming comfortable with it! Then I slipped up and let someone I really didn’t know inside my head.
She broke me down that day and then helped me back up. I will never forget the three simple little things she told me to do. Three Simple things to make me remember the child within me (that I had locked away). She made me PROMISE to do these three things and to prove to her that I did do them! She held me accountable and wouldn’t give up on me no matter how hard I pushed her away. I know I could’ve just stopped messaging with her and go on about my day, but for some reason I kept responding to her instant messages and agreed to her plan. Today I am SO GLAD I did! How amazingly powerful that simple exchange between cyber friends became in the grand scheme of it all!
Had I been diagnosed with Cancer at that time in my life (I unknowingly had it, but my doctor failed to catch it until several years later) I think that would probably have been my way out. I think, in the state of mind I was in at that time, I would have opted to let it go and not seek treatment. Knowing what I know now, I am glad I wasn’t struggling with that diagnosis back then. It was a blessing and it all went according to God’s perfect timing!
The message here is about the power we all have to effect someone else life! Jessica answered that call to help me, even though she had no idea this was happening! She could have signed off saying she was busy and had to go, but she didn’t. She didn’t know me. We had very little interaction before this, just a mutual love for art. She is a good, loving, caring human being open to what God and the universe had in store for her and on that day, it made a huge difference in this man’s life! We have become good friends since then and I have to believe that God has used (or will use) me to help her as well.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to help someone in need. Listen to your inner voice. Be open to what God and the universe have laid out in front of you. Trust that we all have something to give. By helping someone, you also benefit in ways you may not know at first. Besides the obvious good feeling you get when you help, more benefits can be just under the surface.