The title takes me back about twenty five years ago when I first came across Amy Grant’s song, “All I Ever Have to Be.” My friend Burt and I were doing lots of youth camps and retreats in those days and always looking for songs that would connect with kids. This one did. It knew my name as well.
When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head,
And the thoughtful words of health and hope
Have all been nicely said.
But Im still hurting,
Wondering if Ill ever be
The one I think I am.
I think I am.
Then you gently re-remind me
That youve made me from the first,
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst.
And I realize the good in me,
Is only there because of who you are.
Who you are…
And all I ever have to be
Is what youve made me.
Any more or less would be a step
Out of your plan.
As you daily recreate me,
Help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do
What I can find.
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be
Is what you’ve made me.
Today has been a good day. I cooked for someone else. I walked Ella up to Barnes Supply where she knows they have a cookie waiting for her. While I was there, I bought daylilies to plant tomorrow. I got an email message from a friend with information about a clinic in town that has some ideas about dealing with depression that go beyond medication. Ginger has been great about giving me a series of tasks that have kept me moving and feeling productive. I met my blogging buddy and beekeeper, Jimmy, for a beer and to get some honey samples to take to the restaurant. (His roasted garlic honey is amazing.)
Today was a significant day. This morning, on Bunker Hill Day, we traded our Massachusetts tags for North Carolina license plates. We were delayed in making the change because we packed to car titles in a place we have yet to discover, so we had to order duplicates. They came yesterday. In the same way the one little detail of a car plate helps us continue to make the transition to our new home, so the small details of dinners cooked and pictures hung help me find a way out of the dark.
Depression is the snake eating its tail. I turn in on myself until I can see nothing but me and I’m unrecognizable. The view is desperate, defeating, and delusional. I don’t want to get trapped inside myself, but I do. When the hearts and hands come to pull me out of myself, I find hope in gratitude, as I do tonight.
I am not all I intended to be. I didn’t choose to live with an emotional trap door inside. I didn’t intend to be depressed. What I heard and felt today is I am recognizable to those who know and love me, even when I feel lost to myself. They don’t ask what I intended; they just see me.
And, by the grace of God, that’s all I ever have to be.