When I came out of surgery, I came out fighting. The nurses kept giving me more and more Dilaudid (Oxycodone type drug) until finally, I stopped breathing. Along with my husband and sister, the nurse kept shaking me and repeating, “Breathe Bonnie (Tekoa)! Breathe!” I would jolt and gasp like a person who had been underwater for a long spell. I would awake with ice in my mouth, coughing and spurting to come back from the anesthesia and the drugs to stop the pain. Again, I’d hear, “Wake-up Bonnie (Tekoa)!” Each jolt would remind me that I was still here. I’d grasp my face with my hands in Edvard Munch fashion.
It’s sort of the same when we are depressed and hurting. When a person is depressed, nothing is funny. Nothing has life. No song or laughter can bring you out of it. No funny movie, no beautiful painted sky–no amount of food or sex, or recognition or people showering you with their love can heal it. No money. No lover. No fame. No job promotion. No new shiny material object. Just empty spaces and a vast space that faintly beats underwater.
In the darkest times, we desperately need people to jolt us, shake us, and tell us to breathe! “Wake-up Bonnie!” I can still hear my sister’s voice. My husband said the nurse told him they could wait in the waiting area until they took me to my room, but he said no, I want to see her now. The nurse had threatened to restrain me because apparently, I was thrashing. Crashing. When my husband and sister showed up, they took over caring for me.
Coming out of a coma-type state in the natural and the spiritual requires a team of resuscitators and oxygen. We all need people to fight for us.
Depression equals feeling like a giant blob that’s filled with pain and bleeding. People try and touch us, but it hurts. We look in the mirror and see no worth or reason to try. The voices are loud. They scream failure, loser, nobody, fat, ugly, stupid, and worse. The pain and the sounds make us thirsty for any type of medicine that numbs. We do not want to come up for air or look in the mirror. We do not want to reflect on our wasted existence or the shame we have cloaked ourselves in.
We just want to check-out.
Yeshua said we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We need to dive up for air and pray for His healing touch. Sometimes it’s instant, and the demons flee. Sometimes it takes weeks or years even to begin to wash our stained, dirty skin and pat ourselves dry. We need ointments and His alloys of medicine. It takes time to find the energy to lie on a crisp, clean sheet and hold ourselves because many fingers and mouths have bruised us, set us on fire, or pained us to the point that we have welded gates of iron. We hide behind walls and become skittish around those we don’t trust. Which is everyone?
One morning we wake up and stare into the looking glass, and we realize we do not even know the person staring back at us! We ask ourselves a question.
“Who am I?”
“Why was I created?”
“Who will clean my teeth, my face, my fingernails if not me?
“Who will be there when they shovel dirt on my bones and whose life can my dirty hands hold?”
“Can the one who spoke it all and formed me in the womb speak to me while I am so distraught and blue?”
Breathe! Awake– Detox–Heal! Become who you were created to be. I’m shaking you now, and I am screaming, “Breathe!”
Didn’t all the great ones retort with pitiful pleas? Awe, Ruth, a woman my mother named me after. Listen to her words.
“At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me–a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10). Notice her? The whole town had noticed her, including this wealthy landowner. Let’s look at a few others and listen to their faithless voices.
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” (Judges 6:15).
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11).
But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be the king’s son-in-law?” (1 Samuel 18:18).
Awe, but of course.
Ultimately they rise, and their voices are heard.
On day two of my hospital stay, a nurse came in and yanked my oxygen hose from my nose and said, “You don’t need this!” She was gruff and didn’t smile like the previous gal. She said I’ll be back to remove your catheter. Then afterward, when I felt the urge to go on my own, I rang my call light but was unable to make it several times until they finally brought a bedside commode, and by the next day, I was able to make it to the restroom. Sometimes our cheerleaders are rough and rigid. At times they may even seem cruel, but I assure you they may be just what the doctor ordered to get us alert and awake.
To all my friends out there who have been in a funk, broken, bruised, hurting, unable to breathe on your own, I ask you to stand in front of the mirror and repeat after me.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” ( Psalms 139:14).