On the Side: October 2018
by Shelly Wyrick
Last summer I got together with a friend who really doesn’t know me very well. During our visit, she gave me a shocking compliment. She said I seemed so peaceful and wondered how I managed to not get worked up about anything. Glory to God. This woman really does not know me, or at least she hasn’t known me for long.
When I think of you as medical wives, I of course think of my own journey as a medical wife. We were married a year before we moved from Washington to Wisconsin and my spouse started medical school. I began physical therapy school and worked in a lab to supplement our budget, the DSA budget: Don’t Spend Anything. Depression arrived six months after our move.
It wasn’t the first time I had endured it, but it was the first time we named it, claimed it and fought. Glory to God. The remainder of those four years in medical school were beautiful.
Then there was another move and his residency. Depression tried again to terrorize, but this time we saw it on the horizon. We named it, claimed it and fought before it set foot in our camp. By “we,” I mean my medical man and I.
I hate depression, and I hate admitting it’s part of my story. I’m embarrassed. Honestly, I’m a little annoyed God put it on my heart to share with you. The best part about my depression is that it’s gone. It’s an area of my history Jesus turned inside out and renewed. If you’ve walked with Jesus for longer than 30 seconds, you have change in your life too, you’ve grown. You can’t accept someone (who is nothing like you) as Savior and not change.
When I think about the miracle of healing in that area of my life, I want to bottle it and apply it to other burdens in my life: my negative self-chatter, to my worry, to my pride, to my fear and to my guilt (both the guilt I earn and the guilt I bear that has no bearing).
I want to bottle up the healing and apply it to your lives too. What’s similar about all of these burdens is that they’re on the inside. Like pretty breakfast bowls that didn’t get rinsed and lay caked with dried oatmeal on the inside, we carry these anxieties around in our hearts while our shiny faces look hunky dory.
Do you have some inward burdens? I have good news for you: It’s time to do some dishes. It’s completely feasible that Jesus could clean them for you, if you let Him. In Matthew 23:26 Jesus lays it out there saying, “You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also” (NASB).
Clearly Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, not us. In part, a Pharisee was someone who pretended they had it all together. Hmm. A Pharisee is someone who pretends they have it all together. Oh no. A Pharisee is someone who pretends they have it all together! Uh huh. I know. Me too.
As medical wives, we carry stuff. There are certain things we don’t address that are going on within our hearts because we think we shouldn’t have that problem, or because we don’t want to purge it on anyone, specifically our already overloaded spouses. Purge it to Jesus. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” Next, would you prayerfully consider sharing it with your spouse? If it’s depression, he probably already knows.
Doing dishes means coming before Jesus with the pretty breakfast bowls caked with dried oatmeal. No oatmeal? Try negative self-chatter, worry, pride, fear and guilt, for starters.
Come before Him with that inside stuff because I think that’s what happened to my depression. I worked courageously to fight the thing, and I accepted help from other people to help me fight the thing, and that massive effort was crucial. But I don’t think it would have been enough to heal me. Depression is super complicated and case-dependent. But for me, the significant piece of receiving that miraculous healing was Jesus. I had to humbly admit I needed His help, and still humbly trust Him by faith that I am actually healed.
You know my dried oatmeal before I do. Help me to humbly recognize these inward burdens in my heart so that I can work toward healing and you can work healing. Thank you for my story, Jesus, thank you for my depression if only so that you, Lord, use it to be glorified.
Shelly has been the wife of a medical man for 17 years. She is a physical therapist turned stay-at-home mom of four kids, 11 and under. She lives in Spokane, Washington where she enjoys her family, jogging, camping and fishing.