The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
When I began writing for Chosen Families, I intended to focus on my three bouts of major depression and all I have learned as a result of those dark periods. However, after telling my basic story in the early posts, it has been a challenge to continue discussing depression, not a current struggle, while the obstacles of my daughter’s sensory processing disorder are in the limelight.
Recently, despite our sensory related struggles, I felt the Lord nudging me to revisit the topic of depression, but I was stumped as to how. Then the Lord revealed what He was doing and inviting our participation.
God works in amazing ways, and the longer I live, the more amazed and awed I become as I discover in real and practical ways the deep love He has for people: whether still lost or found and struggling.
This past summer someone new moved into the small cottage next to our home, with which we share a driveway. The landlord introduced us to Dave, who seemed like a nice guy and actually shared that his wife “no longer loved him” and filed for divorce, hence why he was our new neighbor.
We felt sorry for him, because he was obviously heartbroken. In the months since, we always exchange pleasantries in passing and my husband occasionally chats with him while doing yard work.
We recently learned from his caring landlord that he is suffering from depression and is currently on disability from work. We had noticed his car home during the day right before Christmas, but figured he was trying to use up vacation days before the end of the year. The landlord, a Christian, learned that Dave didn’t have any kind of faith or religious background to help him through this difficult time.
God moved my heart a couple of weeks later in a big way. I actually wept as I pulled in our driveway and looked at the little cottage with the grieving man in it. I believe the Lord let me feel some of His heart for Dave and I was motivated to act. Then the idea came to me to send him a small note, from my husband and me, declaring God’s love for him on Valentine’s Day, a day when he might feel extra alone and forgotten.
Despite our apprehension, we wrote the brief note and included a small gift card to a local coffee shop. We prayed that the Lord would soften Dave’s heart to hear and receive His great love. Dave is not forgotten and is dearly loved by His Heavenly Father, whom we pray he will come to know in the days, weeks and months ahead.
We just received a thank you note from Dave for the pleasant surprise of our lovely card and how much he appreciated the message. God is working and my husband plans to look for other ways to reach out to our neighbor.
Friend, you too are not forgotten and dearly loved, no matter what hopeless situation you may find yourself today. The Lord is in your midst, longing to quiet you with His love and not just sing, but sing LOUDLY, of His great love for you, me and everyone.
In His love,