My depression gave me a hard time this week, fueled by this nasty weather preventing me from sleeping properly. Honestly, I’m surprised I got through work Friday without falling asleep standing up, I was so wiped out. But no matter how wiped out I was, God found small ways to keep my spirits high.

This week, I was lucky to come across several sweet, loving dogs who brightened up my day with their smiles and wagging tails. Not a single one of them barked at me, all of them pausing to look at me with such warmth.

I know that this past Thursday was National Dog Day, and the coincidence isn’t lost on me. I miss my dog Max so much, and I wish that I could’ve celebrated that day with him in person. He left us 7 years ago, and I want so badly to cuddle with him again.

When I left my apartment Friday night to go do laundry, I ran into my upstairs neighbor’s sweet dog Dendrick, who I’ve met before. Dendrick was so giddy to see me again, and his tail would not stop wagging. It warmed my heart so much.

When I got to the laundry room, I had a particularly soothing moment with God. I told Him that I appreciated Him ensuring that I would run into Dendrick after missing Max so badly. In return, I heard Him tell me this:

“I appreciate you, Connor.”

God, in the laundry room

Hearing, or rather feeling, those words made me tear up a little. No matter how bad my depression has been the last couple of weeks, God’s made it clear that He’s been helping me stay afloat no matter what.

I’ve also been looking to this verse from Revelation 21:4, a reminder that it will always get better:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

Heaven

I know that we don’t know too much about Heaven, but I do know that when we get there, it will mean the end of all of our sorrow. And as somebody with depression, that ultimate peace means the world to me.

When I think of Heaven, I think of an ephemeral moment Mom remembers from my childhood: when I shared with her what my great-grandma was apparently seeing herself in Heaven.

My beloved Great-Grandma Josephine passed away when I was very young. Our whole family knew her to be a woman of deep faith, something I’ve seen confirmed in her journals. It’s because of this experience that I believe she may’ve planted the seeds of my own faith journey.

I casually revealed to Mom that great-grandma, 2 years after she’d passed away, had been talking to me about Heaven when I came home from school. Sadly, I have no recollection of the conversations she had with me. I found out about this from reading a childhood event journal Mom kept for me.

I told Mom that great-grandma described Heaven as a place full of clouds, and that she was having fun. What’s odd is, when I meditate on this journaled memory, I can actually see what great-grandma described: a radiant place filled with rolling white clouds, and an azure-blue sky. It brings me peace whenever I think of it.

Oh, and I had a bona fide vision of her during a moment of hopelessness. I saw her as her younger self, taking me by the hand and leading me in a joyful dance. The scene came out of nowhere, and served as an indicator that she’s still looking out for me.

I also think I may’ve walked into Heaven for a brief moment in that dream I had, calling out for my friend Will who’d tragically taken his own life after we’d graduated from high school. As I’ve told God in tears before, I want so badly to go back there and finally see Will again.

Out of nowhere on Friday, I got inspiration to write some sort of poem for these hopes. Behold, my attempt at poetry after not writing this stuff since high school (with some pictures as juxtaposition)!

Rest

My heart aches to go to the place my great-grandma showed me,

that radiant place full of fun and clouds,

the time when I can finally reunite with them all,

when I finally rest in my Father’s house.

In my dreams, I see that joyful reunion,

cuddling with my beloved puppy Max once again,

enjoying the loving sass of Sebastian, Annabelle, and Maggie,

when I finally rest in my Father’s house.

Maggie gazing out the window on a snowy day.

When I leave this world behind, my tears will cease,

and I can finally see Will again,

to hug him and tell him all of the loving things I wish I’d said,

when I finally rest in my Father’s house.

The loneliness and anguish will cease forever,

and no more tears will be left to shed.

No matter how weary I may be, my heart is set on that tranquil moment,

when I finally rest in my Father’s house. 

“Your sun will no longer set, and your moon will not wane; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your sorrow will cease.”

Isaiah 60:20