May I be broken bread, may I be poured out wine. May I incarnate, Your kindness Lord Spend my life Jesus, anyway You please.Whether on great things, or what seems small”

House is clean and bellies are full. Babies are sleeping. It is now 57 minutes until Sunday- a holy day of rest. In these last moments of the night, I am listening to friends practice praise music for tomorrow's church service. Earlier this evening, I attended the marriage of my cousin and witnessed love at it's start. Just looking at today, all is well. But looking back, because we all do, the year has been a downward battle. On April 22, I put pen to paper to tell the world that I had overcome depression. However, Death came knocking at my door. Well, it wasn't exactly Death, and he didn't really knock. More like seeped through the cracks of my home. Cracks that we had forgotten to patch in the remodeling. Soon, the cracks were ignored as more problems came. There was no time to work, the list of time suckers too long: court appearances after being sued, trying to sell a house that was deemed "unsellable" when it was on the front page news as the location of a death (suicide), bills from two years past that went unfiled and 2013 seemed like a good year for them to surface, tuition for Dallas' school basically... disappearing, stress related health problems. Oh, and there are also the tending of two kids while increasingly pregnant and Chris' full time job that pays the bills.

Emotionally, I escaped to numbness. A place of no action besides the necessities. I became lifeless, physically sick, unenjoyable. Death brought his workers. We were on a first name basis, so they just walked in the front door and joined me in my daily work. Sitting beside me when I {attempted to} enjoy playing with my children. Laying in the bed between my husband and me at night. You would think I might abandon my Bible, God, praising Him, and doing His work. Thankfully, I considered these actions necessities. Right on my to do list {coffee and prayer, dress girls, breakfast, clean rooms, daily chores, laundry, lunch, naps, Bible, errands, supper, paperwork} were the things I had to get done. I have thought about revealing how routine and ritualistic my life had become. Would you believe me if I told you that I put over 20 items on a to do list a day? Not counting for the other long term lists I had. I could control my tasks and the daily commitments I said, "yes" to.

As a new baby joined our family, my hormones skyrocketed. The control I thought I had quickly stood within an edge of a suicidal cliff. Remember Death? He loved my actions. I believe it brought him great joy for my anger to be at a point of recklessness. Many times, the husband took me to the floor, protecting me from myself, saying, "Just quit, Danielle. Please, quit." I wanted to. I thought about it... But his version and my version of quitting were different. I did not want to go through the sticky mess that I had made. I wanted a divorce. I did not want to know what God had on the other side of this darkness. I knew that I was completely out of control of my life. I knew who was in control.

One Sunday, after attending a church service that I did not want to be at in the first place, I walked into my home, the babies cried and I left. Driving and thinking. Asking God, "why?!" but not waiting for an answer. Considering my past and the heartaches, in some ways heaven seemed so much sweeter than the home I left. Mindlessly, I made my way back home with no thought to how I arrived. A quiet voice prompted me to call for my husband, "Come get this gun."  He came and shook his head in disbelief. This wasn't the first time he had to rescue me from myself. I left home again. Hours later I came back to my kids. 

That Tuesday, I admitted myself to Parkridge Valley Hospital. I stayed for four days. Few revelations were reached there. Mainly, I had to let go of my pride. I could not do this alone. I had family and friends that loved me and were willing to help {quite a few missed me from my four day vacation and showed up at my house to a teary eyed husband}. There were professionals that understood mental illness {and offered hope}. My children showed me mercy, that being created in God's image allowed them to show me. I realized my husband was loving me day to day- no one was telling him he had to; he wanted to. The love story of Hosea and Gomer came to my mind often. No, I was not promiscuously living my life, but I was running back and forth and deeper and deeper into a place that had no name in my mind but always appeared satisfying. And every time I came back, the husband was there without judgement. Mercy. 

Some say {with strong opinion and lack of education} that you can pray your way out of depression. But doesn't that put God in a box? Yes, he is Healer, Provider,  Holy, and Just. I know God is capable, and He knows I'm willing to have this thorn in my side removed. But God doesn't always heal in the ways we think are best. Before going to Valley, I sought counsel from a friend. At the moment, I was in an oppositional state of mind. I knew that for some reason God would have me go to a place I did not want to. My words to her, "I do not want Valley to be a part of my testimony." You see, in my "Christian" mind frame, God had given me all the tools I needed to move forward. God's Word alone could have been all. This story, this part of my life, does not yet have an end. Changes have been made, and I can say that the present is where I live. The day to day. Learning to move beyond the necessities. Receiving mercy. Accepting mercy. 


{post originally written 2/3/14, two months after I planned to take my life. keep living, friends.}