The prayer I most often pray is on the theme of ‘relief’.  There are a million things I’d like to do, many things I’d like to achieve, even more to experience.  The one thing I’d so dearly love is to do things in life without the weight of depression tied round my feet. I long every moment for relief.  You know that experience of holding something heavy and longing to put it down on the floor?  That’s the longing that I carry daily, moment by moment…even in the sweetest of times.  In recent years I’ve been moving to a place of deeper openness and honest about my inner struggle.  It wasn’t doing me or anyone else to display a public face and hide the human struggle that is mine.

I have a firm, sure and steadfast hope in Christ.  He lifts me up and spurs me on.  Without him I dread to think what my life would be.  And yet, 20 years of crying out ‘Oh Lord, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me’ hasn’t produced a miraculous healing.  You can’t go round it, the only way out is through it…the Cross teaches us that.

What it has produced, however, is a more compassionate, understanding, merciful and gracious me (I think). I’m grateful for the grace applied to my life as I’ve navigated the sources of my dis-ease, processing my turbulent childhood and the desperate fight to make a life against the backdrop of a body and mind tuned to reactions which don’t serve me well.  I’ve also learned to function as well as I can most of the time ‘in spite of…’

So, I’m grateful for the personal growth on the way, but I long to enjoy my family, my work, my day to day living, and my leisure without the baseline of weight, struggle and blackness of depression.  I long for relief.  I’m trusting for the day when God in his mercy might lead me into that experience.  Meanwhile, I can but thank him for the fact that ‘he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion.’

If you pray at all, relief is one you can pray for me.