I hold that small white pill in my hand with such mixed emotions. I don’t want it, yet I understand my body needs it; I know the people I love deserve the better version of me it helps bring about. I deserve the better version of me too. Somehow, in my worker bee mindset, it feels like defeat; a small white flag waving furiously from the top of my life announcing yet again that I’m not capable of enduring the pain this world dishes out. I think of the depressive episodes I have endured in my life. I stop counting when I reach my grandfather’s death. I figure five is a large enough number to just admit I live with depression. Sometimes, I can carefully taper off anti-depressants and last for years without them.
Sometimes I cannot.
This is one of those cannot times. I hate relying on medication. I suppose, if I am to be truthful, I hate relying on anything or anyone other than myself. For a self-professed Jesus follower that’s a problem I cannot work my way around. There’s nothing about Jesus that involves me relying upon myself, but I find after thirty years I’m still trying to do this. I’m still trying to take all the work within my own hands while turning my shoulder to the Father and saying, “I got this.”
I consider these thoughts as I hold that white tablet and wonder if Jesus has as many doubts about me as I have about myself. I breathe in at that moment, searching for a grace I never dispense to myself, and remember Jude saying, “be merciful to those who doubt.”*
I swallow that pill straight down with tap water, tasting the chlorine and metal of the line and pray once again that God will take what is broken and make use of it. I no longer ask for wholeness. Wholeness, I have decided, is a thing that cannot come to me this side of Heaven. Wholeness means completeness, and there will never be anything in this world that fills up that God-sized hole in my heart but him.
I can be mended though. I can be useful. All these broken bits of empathy and sorrow can be stitched together again by the mightiest of hands, back into this soul stretched tight with human skin. This soul of mine with all it’s brokenness can still bear witness to the cross.