It was Thursday... That's about all I remember about the date. I do remember that it was foggy outside and that I was expecting to dread my commitment to teach a high school English class that day.
The fog on the floor of California's Great San Joaquin Valley was damp, cold, and dense. Its the worst kind of weather we get here in the nation's salad bowl. I have vivid childhood memories of fog so thick that my dad would have my older brother put his head out of the passenger side window to look straight down at the white line on the side of the road to protect us from crashing our car in the white blindness. I also remember my own response to southern California meteorologists, who during my first year away at seminary warned, "The fog is dense today. Leave for work early and drive slowly." Then when I got out there to drive there was little more than a vague haze with a generous 75 ft. of visibility. I said out loud in my car (as if to the drivers around me), "Pick up the pace people. As long as you can see your hood ornament you have no reason to slow down." It seems the world outside of my own Mayberry, USA has it's own very frail idea of what dangerous fog is. No, to me fog is not a danger. To me fog is an annoyance that tenaciously keeps a strangle hold on the locals who, with equal tenacity, press toward normal productivity as if sheer will can overcome the very forces of nature.
But fog does kill. When I was a child I remember a friend was in a car wreck caused by fog on the way to school. His mom died in that wreck...
On this Thursday in October I did not hear of anyone dying. But I came back to life.
It was a strange event. It didn't so much happen as much as I realized that it had happened. For months upon months I had prayed that God would life the weight of the dissonance I was feeling. I had sought every corner of my life confessing unknown sin. I had presented by sadness to God and asked for beauty in place of ashes (Isaiah 61:3). I had tried to live in the joy I knew I should have, but instead of a walk in faith it was a charade parade. I had prayed that the darkness would lift and that oppression would be defeated. I had spoken out against evil spirits that I thought may have been around me and prayed that God would cause any of them present to be dispelled. All for nought. The pain of my loss friendships kept me covered in heaviness and grief.
But not this day! Sometime during 2nd period I realized that I felt "normal." I felt laughter at one point and it was such a foreign feeling that I took notice that it had happened without effort. I passed out the exam to the students, gave them their instructions to work in silence and then sat at the teacher's desk to recount my day. I looked back at my morning and realized that I woke up with out any sense of despair. I realized that at no point in the morning thus far, had I felt anything negative or heavy. I was not depressed.
There I sat and I prayed a prayer of gratitude and I asked God, "why today?" I listened for an answer that never came and I recognized deep in my soul that I would not receive any answer. God had healed me. He had done so in His perfect timing and the best thing I could do would be to accept it thankfully. So I did. I accepted it thankfully and trusted that the long darkness was finally over.
"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever." (Psalm 136)And so it was. I have often remembered my sadness and felt pangs of sorrow for the losses, not yet restored. But the sadness no longer has a life of its own and it no longer rules my experiences with its oppressive heaviness. Depression has not returned and I remember that "he whom the Lord sets free is free indeed." (John 8:36)
This is the conclusion of the story of my random dissonance. Random because it was born in in events that were not unfamiliar to me. Dissonant because I had been locked in a living countermelody that was seemingly played in a musical key that was offensive to the song that the rest of the world was singing. This was my story. A story of God's miraculous healing. And I know that others had stories that are similar, yet different. I know that in some people's story, God uses medication to break the clouds and free the captive. This was my story. Don't fear yours. God is in the story and He will redeem you and your storm for good.