For the better part of my life, I’ve identified myself as the girl with depression. Yes, there are many other identities that I have: mom, nurse, student, friend, Christian. But all of those identities were always secondary to depression. Last August at the Celebrate Recovery training summit, I felt like I was supposed to lay that identity down and I did, but like so often happens with things we lay down, I picked it back up again. Sure, there was a period where I was all enthusiastic and “depression isn’t who I am” but then reality hit, the lows hit, the darkness overwhelmed, and I was right back to being the girl with depression again.
It wasn’t so much that I wanted that to be my identity, it was more that it was safe and familiar, like a security blanket. I wrapped that identity so tight around me that I stopped letting in the light. I stopped believing that I was anything more than depression. That I could ever be seen as anyone other than the girl with depression. As many of you know, this low found me admitted to the psych ward for two months. This time spent on the fourth floor was healing, but it also made that depression identity easier to wear.
I continued to wrestle with this… and by wrestle, I mean keep myself busy and binge watch Netflix to avoid thinking about it. I didn’t want to deal with the thought that maybe depression girl was all I would ever be. Yes. I love Jesus. Yes. I am a Christian, but I saw myself first as one who had depression. What was I supposed to do with this? How could I be anything else when depression always seemed to be so present and central? Could I really ever be anything else?
I have this friend. She likes to tell me things that I don’t want to hear. That’s why I value her so much, because she isn’t afraid to say the hard words. She kept telling me that depression was my superpower. I thought that was a funny joke. How could anything so dark and life sucking be a superpower? But she kept saying it. I kept hearing it. The word superpower always kind of hung around in the back of my mind, but I really didn’t have any idea what it could mean. How could my weakness by a strength? Well, didn’t Paul just have an answer for that…
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
His power is made perfect in weakness. My weakness, my depression, causes Jesus’ power to rest on me. In Jesus my weakness is my superpower. Wow. God has transformed me from the girl with depression, to a daughter of the King who’s been given a superpower. Depression is not my identity; it is my superpower.