Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Burden of Depression: Judge Not

I once gave a woman a blessing who was suffering from depression and other related issues. I had no idea of this at the time; she simply called and asked for a blessing.

In the blessing, I remember distinctly hearing her be told that the greatest source of her pain in this life would never go away - that she would struggle with it until the day she died. (Again, I had no idea what the source was. I figured it was some physical ailment when I thought about it afterward.) I also remember distinctly hearing her be told that the joy and freedom she would experience in the next life would be even more exquisite than the pain she would feel here. It was a powerful blessing, and I walked out of her house feeling grateful for the blessing of having been the voice.

Years later (after we had moved away), I was back in town visiting, and I mentioned her blessing to her and asked how she was doing. She told me that she had been crushed by it and had decided to not ask me for a blessing ever again. I asked why, since the promised blessings had been so great. She looked at me with a perplexed look and asked what I meant, so I explained my memory of the blessing.

Her face registered shock, and she said to me, “I never heard the statement that I would be blessed. When I heard that the source of my pain would not be healed, I was so crushed that I tuned out the rest of the words.”

That experience taught me more about depression and other related issues than anything I have ever studied. She had carried an additional burden with her for years after receiving that blessing. She had seen that “blessing” as a “cursing” - and that “understanding” wasn’t at all her “fault”. It wasn’t anyone’s “fault”; it simply was what it was - the reaction of a woman caught in the middle of depression.

Oh, and my son’s insulin is no different in my mind than a pill someone takes for depression. They both are wonderful blessings.


Louann and Bari said...

Wonderful post! A great reminder that many of our burdens are teaching aids of a different sort. And that blessings are not an 'automatic cure'. Another reminder of how much Heavenly Father loves us as individuals, helps us individually, and has sent individual missions for each of us who dwell on this Earth.

Patty said...

I wonder how many of us "tune out" the blessing we're being given when we're in the midst of what we think is a cursing?
I'm pretty sure I've done that a time or two!
It's amazing how Heavenly Father works and can turn our greatest struggles into something beautiful.