What I Learned While Speaking to Students About Depression

Moments prior to my first speaking session on Wed. morning, Jan. 21st, I felt like I was going to be sick. Knowing my son died as a result of depression, the “weight” of the topic was beginning to crush me. I was having trouble breathing. But, as they say, a funny thing happened to me on my way to that first session….

(1) In my mind’s eye – as clear as could be – I could see Jesus Christ lifting the weight off of me and placing it upon Himself. He was looking right at me. It was an image I’ll never forget.

(2) For whatever reason, my son, Jordan, was always freaking out about the time “11:11”. He told us, “Almost every time i happen to look at a clock, it’s “11:11.” This actually happened numerous times when I was with him. It was pretty funny. When we bought him a MacBook Pro for Christmas I looked at the receipt. The price was $1,111.00. I gave him the receipt. :)) Well, since Jordan’s death, this “coincidence” happens a lot to me and Michelle. So, every time I happen to look at a clock and it says “11:11” I whisper, “Hi Jordan.” (I know it sounds nuts, but….it is what it is.) Anyway, during the second speaking session, wanting to make certain I would finish on time, I glanced at my phone. The time? You guessed it – “11:11”. I whispered, “Jordan, I’m here…for Narnia.”

(3) One last thing – as Michelle and i counsel so many hurting people we tell them a particular truth we’ve learned from our own grieving process: there is no way around the grief. You absolutely must go through it. (This is why Psalm 23:4 has become so dear to me: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;…”) Going through the grief (and its related fears) is a necessary part of one’s healing process. So, after finishing the first session I sensed God telling me, “Another step taken, my child.” It caught me off guard. I thought, “God, you allowed this opportunity not only to help others – but to help me, didn’t you!” Remember the image I’d seen of Christ lifting the weight from my shoulders? He was now in the image of my Shepherd, carrying me.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick