Friday, November 6, 2009

The Garden in Decline

I will not be doing any gardening this fall, instead I will be selling my home of more than 50 years. It is not my choice, but what must be done. I have been fighting depression for the last year and a half. Most of the time I have been successful and, with the help of a very good therapist and an antidepressant, almost normal. However, my almost 100 year old home is large and an energy hog. Taxes have tripled since my mother died. The reality is I cannot afford to live here without help for the next couple of years. The primary reason I do not have enough money is the cost of health insurance, more than $800/month just for me.

I reached out to members of the church group that I have belonged to for thirty years, not for money, but for emotional support. What happened next still has shaken me. Total rejection. I spoke with one person in the group who had gone through something similar believing that person would understand. I requested that my present issues not be discussed with the group. I now know everything I said was relayed to the group. The group decision reflects the belief that I am not a true Christian, that my faith is weak. If I were a true Christian, I could pray my way out of my depression. Actually, the fact that I am depressed is evidence of the failure of my faith. I received a brutal email detailing my failings, and that I surely will lose my home and everything else, and making clear that I am on my own. The group will provide no help, not even contact. (I have shown the email to others who agree with my evaluation.) To the group, depression is evidence of sin.

My therapist spent the last six months reassuring me that people cared about me and that I was not a burden. The email took me back to the state I was in six months ago. Only the fact that I know that depression has a physiological source and my faith in the love of God saved me from suicide. Now, I have no church home, no base to build on. I want to assume the best: that the group believes that tough love and prayer is the answer. If so, they are sadly mistaken. I need to know that people care, just a card, a phone call would help me.

I think I will make it through this, but it is by no means certain. I take one day at a time. I tend my garden, but plant nothing new. The chill slowly takes its toll on the summer plantings. Next year, will I have a place to garden? I do have friends that care and cousins that are stepping up to help with the sale of my home. Still, when I most need agape, I am rejected.

God, give me peace. Do not leave me alone.

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