This time last year I was in the throes of a depression. I’d walked away from a horrible job at Expedia. I was on vacation, but I knew long before I walked out that Friday that I would never be going back. I knew my sanity and my spirit were far more valuable than sitting around waiting for the next verbal punch from the mean girls, the next passive lack of reaction from my boss and HR, or the next sympathetic glance from my “friends” who never intended to stand for me or with me. (Marilyn was gone…I was alone.)
I couldn’t look at anything online last Easter that even hinted of the resurrected Christ. My own misery was too intense for me to think on The Passion with anything but a curt nod of silent recognition. “Yes, I see you over there Jesus. I see your pain. But this tomb of mine is empty too but in a totally different way.”
Me? I wondered why the whole of Christendom couldn’t sit still with the death part. Why, when we talk about the suffering and the giving up of the Spirit on the cross, do we so quickly have to say “But Sunday is coming” with the anxiety that it just might turn out to be untrue this year.
Last year I was thinking…”What’s the god damn hurry folks? Can’t you just sit at his feet and feel his pain? Chickenshit much?”
I was feeling that because so many had backed quietly away from my deep well of hurt. Only a few remained to sit with me, stay with me, grieve with me, and expect nothing more of me than my suffering could allow.
Those who said “Give it to God” or “God doesn’t give you more than blah blah fucking blah” or “This too shall pass” couldn’t understand the intensity with which I took each and every breath during those hours, days, weeks, and months. “Do you feel better yet?” rang with the sound of “Why doesn’t he just call down heaven’s angels?”
Don’t get it twisted…I am not comparing my suffering to Christ.
Or am I?
Wouldn’t he allow it? Didn’t he do what he did for just such a comparison? So that we could say “He understands. He’s been to worse places and he knows my heart.”
So what changes in a year?
This year only the edges of my life are still tinged with depression. It sneaks in and causes me to catch my breath with fear that it’ll stay. And yet, most of my days are calm and filled with some laughter. I lead. I show up. I’m a friend and an aunt and a lover and a sister again.
This is the resurrection year.
Jesus did it in a matter of 3 days, overachieving Son of God and all that. But that very same spirit which raised Christ from the dead is in me (Romans 8:11)…and as usual I’ll be taking my own sweet time.
This is the year when I give myself back to me. Possibly for the very first time. When I listen to what I want and say “Okay then. Let’s do that.” When I choose me over all the people who would push in and demand more of me. And what I believe you will find, my darlings, is that when I choose me, somehow I am able to multiply my compassion, my grace, my love, and my presence to also meet you where you are and be with you in real and undivided ways.
He is risen!
Indeed he is.
And he is the rising in me that will one day allow me to say “She is risen also. Hallelujah.”