When I experienced what I call my mini breakdown, my world seemed to collapse. I was determined however to see it through without the aid of drugs, as I wanted to feel the feelings. I wanted a proper job, so it wouldn’t happen again.
It was just a few words from two friends who had ‘been there’ that was most helpful and confirmed for me that Father God would take me through the abyss of desolation to the other side. And this He did over a period of several months, at times in amazing ways. I repeat, He did it!
It was the ‘going through’ that was the difficult part, where I would have liked some support with ‘arms on’ in my emotional wilderness!’ However, apart from having a very understanding wife, such support was thin on the ground. Some kept away and it came back to me via the grapevine, that I was ‘depressed,’ which was certainly not a fair description of my condition. Several Christian friends showed concern and some wanted to ‘fix it’ for me and even perform deep prayer ministry. It’s not that I am against that sort of thing – to the contrary, as I have been involved in prayer ministry myself – but I just knew it was not appropriate for me in that instance and would have been counter productive. I just needed to ‘be’ and so had to live with others’ misunderstanding.
There were one or two exceptions to this. One being an elderly neighbour in his nineties. There were several occasions when I sat with him in his woodshed, as he worked on his carpentry. Little was said, but there was an unspoken understanding and acceptance between us. We were just being together in that healing environment, giving each other space and mutual validation. It just came naturally.
I have said before, that listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give someone, but I realise that starts by having a sense of being with nothing to prove. We are not called human ‘beings’ for no reason. Perhaps some of us have to learn to ‘be’ and then pass on the comfort we have received, no more and no less and leave the rest to God?