Even Amidst a Pandemic: Give Them All

Over the last few days, I’ve felt the progression of a low-grade depression. For me, it looks like growing apathy, diminishing motivation and desire to get out of bed, forgetting to do basic self-care things (like showering, brushing my teeth), and just a persistent…sadness. One that doesn’t go away with a good night’s sleep or an exciting invitation to speak or a day filled with colored-in boxes of productivity. This is what acute depression looks like for me; at least, this is what the beginning looks like. 

But it feels silly, almost disrespectful to be depressed. After all, I’m not experiencing any financial hardship—my husband and I are incredibly fortunate to still have our jobs. I don’t personally know any individual who has the virus or who has passed away during the lockdown that I can’t say goodbye to. I am missing out on seeing my family in May for a month as we had planned, but we can still talk over video chat and share our lives over distance. We have enough food, we have power, hot water, and I still get to see my favorite person every day. 

Thus, as my depression grows, so does my self-censure: how dare I feel sad? What right do I have to mourn or be scared or worried? I have so many people, so many ways to take care of myself!

Reading this article helped to add clarity to the cacophony of emotions: the discomfort I’m feeling is grief. And as I’ve told my friends many times: just because someone has it worse than you doesn’t mean your own hurts are invalid or that you’re suddenly invincible to them. We can be both compassionate and self-aware and still grieve the loss of so much normalcy and the entrance of so much uncertainty. As an HSP, I also find myself grieving the losses of people I have no connection with. There is so much heartache and fear. 

So what do we do with it all? The fear, the uncertainty, the drowning amount of emotions? 

We give it all to Jesus. 

At the beginning of my day, after journalling a bit, I draw a row of triangles. After each triangle is a prayer request. For the last month or so, there’s been a designated triangle called “world”. I don’t know how to make it any more specific. Some days I feel like I know exactly how to pray for this world, but more often I simply and tearfully claim Romans 8:26-27—I don’t even know what to pray for Lord, so please pray the right words for me through Your Spirit. Please help us to trust You and please make this all go away. Then I’ll tell Him about how much I miss my family, and He already knows. Then I’ll tell Him how I’m scared about the effects on the economy, the future, and He already knows. Then I talk to Him about wanting a Biblical balance of not being anxious but to be aware, to be prepared and not paranoid, and He already knows. One by one, I give them all to the One who is not wearied by them. 

Prayer is too often relegated to meal beginnings and live endings — but what if we prayed to God about all the things on our hearts and minds? I’ve found that I need it most when I want it least, so it requires a decision on our part to get the healing and comfort and hope that we so desperately need. 

I have no idea how chaotic or quiet your days are right now. But whatever they are like, I invite you to give them all to our Savior today. Take the 10 minutes. The 2 hours. The whatever amount of time your soul needs to lay them all down at His feet, to leave them there, and to take up His peace that transcends all understanding instead. 

This song, “Give Them All”, has been in my head since early morning. Last Sabbath, my husband and I recorded us singing it to send to my youngest brother (he loves it and is one of my favorite people to sing with—I miss it!). We’re no fantastic singers, but I share it and the lyrics to invite you to pause for a moment and meditate on the words. I’m praying for you, beloved reader. May Jesus be our hope and our peace even now, for He is a trustworthy God. 

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows
Are you tired of spinning round and round
Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life
At the feet of Jesus lay them down

Give them all
Give them all
Give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams
Wounded hearts
Broken toys
Give them all
Give them all
Give them all to Jesus
And he will turn your sorrow into joy

He never said you’d only see sunshine
He never said there’d be no rain
He only promised a heart full of singing
About the very things that once caused pain

*Another version of this song, if you love Gaither music as much as I do, can be found here