I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to begin a weekly devotional series based on lines from some of my favorite songs. That line, from Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. – ”When you think you’ve had too much of this life…hold on” has been hanging out in my head for WEEKS. The song was a comfort to me after my dad’s death 15 years ago.
I’ve been there…had too much of this life, and it wasn’t too long ago. I often think I’ve moved past that point, when gush, like a tidal wave, the flood of fears, anxieties, sadness, and the feeling that I’m barely breathing come rushing in (sometimes I have to use my inhaler). They came rushing in this week, the day after I found out about Robin William’s suicide – yes, I typed those words. I heard the news on the radio on the drive home from work. I was initially shocked and saddened, but it didn’t affect me too much that night. I shared the news with my daughter, and she was visibly distraught. I didn’t really understand why she was so sad, and clearly she didn’t want to talk about it (she’s 16). I know she’s grown up with so many of his movies – Aladdin, Happy Feet, Patch Adams, Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire and the list goes on and on. I suspect he was like a virtual father-figure to her.
The next morning on the drive to work the tidal wave came. I was an anxious mess all day long. Not just because of the news but because of some other circumstances that I cannot discuss here and now. I put on my trusty mask, only I think it needs to be repaired because it didn’t quite cover up the chaos hiding underneath. I shared with my daughter that night that the news hit me.
I wrote the following poem with hurting friends in mind, but I could just as easily be writing it to myself, aware that there are times when I think I’ve had too much….so I could read these words to remember that there are better days ahead.
To The Hurting One
I suspect the pain runs deeper than you are willing to admit
I’m sure your stomach is in knots and panic has probably set in
I know you want to hang on, but it seems so very hard
I’m sure sleep eludes you, and when you do sleep the terror sleeps right beside you
So many voices are telling you what to do, but even your next breath seems like a major chore
More than likely you wonder if God is punishing you…and you wonder if He has ever loved you
I fathom anger lurks right at the edge and you are one step away from proclaiming your pain to the world
Hurting one, I’ve been there and won’t say I don’t struggle anymore
Hurting one, I see the child in you begging you to take his hand and lead him back into the light
I know it’s so so so very hard to believe that you are loved (believe me, I know), but I pray you discover its true
Hurting one, I urge you to sit in His lap, share from the depths of your heart, let the tears roll, and let Him hold you, for He cries with you
Hurting one, I know it’s so hard to see, but the Light is there…reach for the Light
©Christina Hernandez, August 2014
For more of my depression story, please read my previous blog posts.