One quiet Saturday morning from our front porch I sat and watched a sparrow flying low and carrying a small stick in his bill.
Gracefully without flapping his wings, he entered a narrow hole in the right corner of the building next door.
A new soul food restaurant.
A few minutes later, he peeked his pointy head out the hole before taking flight again. I though to myself how his wife must had sent him back for more material because it wasn’t the kind of stick she preferred.
After amusing myself I sat on the porch trying to relax with a cup of coffee.
Folgers Black Silk with a small dab of French Vanilla cream. It difficult to relax as I continued to worrying about my wife isolating in our bedroom.
I thought how can I get Nicole to come out of the bedroom? She has been in there over a week now with the shades drawn. My mind convinced me to take matters into my our hand and try to help my wife.
I was unaware of what I was getting myself into when I put the burden on helping Nicole on me than on God.
I knew its my job as her husband to give protection and help. I had fixed broken bikes, ceiling fans and garbage disposal. I surely can fix my wife. But people aren’t meant for fixing regardless of how much you love them.
Walking upstairs to our apartment I heard cartoons on the TV as I got closer to our door. I entered and our son MJ was sitting on the living room floor watching cartoons with a bowl of Captain Crunch in front of him.
He said good morning to me without looking up. I returned the kind gesture and continued toward the Isolation Chamber.
Our bedroom was in the back of our apartment right pass MJ’s room but before the bathroom. I felt a shift in my spirit as I got closer to our room.
An unsettling feeling.
I opened the door.
“Look Nicole you had been back here laying in our bed long enough.” I screamed as I felt my way through the dark toward the window to let some light into the room.
I stumbled on something on the floor. A half cup of water. I reached the window after some clever maneuvering then let the shades up.
Now with sunlight in the room, I could see my wife tucked neatly under the covers while dirty dished laid around and on the bed.
She never said a word or moved.
“Boo how can I help you if you’re not telling my what’s bothering you?” I asked while grabbing plates off the bed.
“One minute we’re talking and laughing together the next you’re not saying a word to me.” I could hear her sigh from under the covers then she rolled over and adjusted the pillow on her head more to keep from hearing me than comfort.
Feeling my tough-love wasn’t working, I tried another approach; comparing. After removing a pile of dirty clothes off the chair that sat in our bedroom. I sat down.
“See Co you take stuff to personal. You worry about things you are powerless over. I think it’s your caring spirit that gets you in trouble sometimes. That gets you so down. Now me, I help people and if they’re not open to it I pray for them and let God handle it.”
I watched to see would she move. She didn’t. I let the shades back down and stumbled my way out the Isolation Chamber feeling clueless.
As I walked down the hall obsessing on what my next plan would be, I heard my spirit saying, “You pray?…yeah right.”
That was it! I haven’t prayed for help. I needed to surrender to God. I just took matter into my own hands.
So after praying, God directed me to call my friend Dennis who is a behavior counselor. I explain everything to him and he said it sounds like Nicole is suffering from depression.
My friend said the best thing I could do for her now is be there for her but don’t try to fix her. (Really? Tell me more…)
He said when she comes out of it seek help. He went on to say it’s nothing she can control so its important I practice love, compassion and patience.
Finally Dennis told me how proud he is of me for wanting to learn about depression because that’s more than half of the battle.
Two days later before enter our bedroom I asked God what he want me to do. He said be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
This time I enter our dark bedroom, sat down in the chair, and said and did nothing.
After twenty-five minutes Nicole asked from under the covers, “Honey, why are you over there sitting in the dark? You’re not going to open the shades and threaten me for laying in bed all week?”
“Not this time wife.” I said proudly.
“I don’t have the power to bring you out this room Nicole, but I have godly patience’s to sit here with you and wait for God to do it.” I could hear her beginning to cry as I waited for God to bring my wife out of the Isolation Chamber.
If you have a loved one who suffer from depression understand that their antidepressant will only do so much and that they are not lazy and that they would get up if they could.
This is a powerful spiritual disease that positive attitude preaching can’t cure, only God can.
Don’t be like me but seek help to understand first.
God said there are times to wait and we are to wait until He says go. If we go before He says so we can make the situation worse. With depression this can be deadly so get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)