Helpless on Highway 84

Sunday afternoons are made for relaxing with the family, a pick up basketball game, or even a long nap for the lucky ones. A couple Sundays ago my four door sedan headed east bound with the driver eager to “rest his eyes.” I don’t know if you are familiar with resting your eyes, but my mother used to tell us she was only resting her eyes when we would catch her nodding from time to time.

Needless to say, what I thought would be a rather uneventful ten minute drive home turned into an all afternoon affair. The warning light flashed under the dash, first yellow and then red. The car decreased speeds until eventually coming to a halt on the side of the road.

So, there I am on the side of the road feeling somewhat helpless. Mainly because I am not mechanically inclined whatsoever, but even if I had an idea of what was wrong with the vehicle, I had zero tools or parts to help the process. No one wants to be on the side of road in a car that’s overheating. It’s rather embarrassing to say the least.

Fortunately road side assistance is included with our insurance policy and within an hour or so a tow truck arrived and took the car to a local auto mechanic to be fixed. After arriving at the repair shop, a professional trained technician or a machine will likely diagnose what is wrong and a plan will be implemented to get the car back on the road.

I suppose some of you know the feeling of being “broke down.” Yes in this situation my car was in need of repair, but do you know what it is like to be broke down yourself?  According to statistics over sixteen million adults fight depression each year.

While driving my car, I tried hard to get some sort of acceleration while that light was flashing. It probably wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had, but I had the gas pedal to the floor. No matter how hard I tried, the car would not accelerate and eventually stopped. If you think that someone who is depressed isn’t trying, you are Dead Wrong. They have the gas pedal to the floor with little or no movement at all.

I truly was embarrassed while sitting beside the road. Had anyone stopped to help, I would have told them that I was fine or had help on the way. Often times those fighting with depression feel the same way. They are embarrassed that they are feeling down and out. They don’t want to be a burden when everyone is fighting their own battles.

Auto mechanics work on cars. Cars with blown engines can be fixed. Flat tire, fixed. Overheating, fixed. Doctors work on people, but counseling and drugs don’t always fix depression.

If you are reading this and are fighting depression, I want to be completely transparent with you because the Lord has put this on my heart. I may not know your particular story, but I do know where you are. I know how it feels to be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. I know what it’s like to stay awake for days. I know what its like to feel hopeless. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. I contemplated suicide. I’ve written farewell letters. I’ve tried to use alcohol to forget the pain.

Your story isn’t over yet. Even if there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel, there is Hope. Angels are walking this Earth disguised as ordinary people. They are put in your path because you can’t do it alone. The Good Lord is your Roadside Assistance and Mechanic. If you are at the bottom, you have already conquered the worst of it. You will appreciate the top, because you know where the journey started.

Your story is not over, Don’t give up!

Author: Rainey Days

Teacher, Coach, Parent, Love God and my Life

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