Do You See God?

Last year in one of my spiritual formation classes my prof had us take a small note pad with the goal of writing down “God sightings” during our day. Essentially it was the things that happened during our daily experiences that helped us experience God in that moment. My sightings went from the obvious “sunset” to the surprising “the homeless man begging for money by the MAX station.”

So you get the point. The hardest part of the assignment were the times when I found it more difficult to see God in my day. In the end the assignment became more about the reality of my heart at the time.

Ever since high school Rose has struggled with medical depression (chemical imbalance). She has taken medication for it off and on since then. The past two months have been some of the worst for her, ever. And they have definitely been the worst since we’ve been married. The previous two to three years have actually gone very well for her. But right now, every day is a battle for her. It breaks my heart to be able to do so little to help her while seeing her go through this.

I’ve wrote on here a couple times about how the past few months have been a big struggle for us. Sure we’ve had a few curve balls thrown our way on top of moving and me starting a new job, but the biggest struggle has been navigating Rose’s latest struggle with depression.

If you were around Rose you probably wouldn’t notice much different. She is pretty good at faking it. Most days she is still able to work. Some days are worse than others. I am glad she is able to be herself at home with me but sometimes that is hard to see.

I don’t blog about myself much. And I’ve definitely never blogged about this. Partly to protect Rose, but partly because this is the part of our life that isn’t fun to share. We aren’t perfect…our lives aren’t perfect. We’re praying for God’s grace in our lives as much as possible.

I can always tell how Rose is doing when I ask her to smile. She has the obvious (to me) fake smile, and then her real smile.

Seeing her smile these days is a special thing. A rare thing actually.

Last weekend I had a major God sighting. It was during our time away at the coast.

It was seeing my wife, Rose.

It was seeing her smile. A real, joyful smile.

(Some have asked, yes I did get permission from Rose to post this.)

  • David

    Tyler, your blog’s not meant to make me tear up. But I’m glad it did; this is beautiful.

  • Carrie

    Wow. Thanks for sharing that piece of yours and Rose’s story.

    I “struggled” (hm, not really an adequate word) with postpartum depression after having our sons, now 2 and 4. Partly because I had never experienced depression before, I went for months untreated and unable to figure out what was happening to me. That time was brutally difficult personally and on our marriage…pain, anger, and so much shame.

    My brief experience in that abyss did force me to face the fact that I have limitations and humble me. Also, it helped me understand – really understand – the power of just a “little” chemical or hormonal imbalance, and empathize with those who struggle with this constantly. But wow, I wish there had been another way to learn those things, because that scar is still raw, and maybe it always will be.

    My best to you and Rose.

    • Tyler

      I love it when people tell her that it is a “spiritual thing” as if there is no medical/chemical thing going on. Those people make me really happy…..ugh.

      • Carrie

        Well, obviously they have no idea what they are talking about. This is one reason why I tell as many people as possible about my experience with depression. I feel that too many Christians suffer from depression and think that if they just prayed about it enough, God would take it away. I know how shameful I felt, fighting overwhelming urges to harm my infant son. Thank God for medication, and for someone who was open enough to share her PPD experience with me and urge me to get help.

        • Joyce

          A close family member lost her battle with post partum psychosis years ago. Even the doctors didn’t diagnose it properly way back when but now from people like Brooke Shields have spoken out, we are beginning to understand. When will Christians stop shaming themselves and others? We are all broken. That’s why Jesus came. Healing, when it occurred in scripture was “for the glory of God” – and the lack of healing occurs for the same reason. Wholeness is our desire, but sometimes our infirmity brings Him more glory. May we always pray, Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth. In me. Now. In my flesh, in my weakness and my failing. In my broken marriage. In my chemical imbalance. Your will. Not mine.

        • Carrie

          Joyce – that is beautiful. Totally what I wanted to say, in better words.

          May it all happen for the glory of God.

  • Joshua Skogerboe

    Brother – thank you. The result of your post today for me is that it is a call to prayer. Right now. It’s like I started the day running, and I never really invited God to be with me – to really slow down and look Him in the face and tell Him “It’s good to be with You today. Can we do this day together?” So thanks. And God bless you and Rose – I know chemical depression very well because it runs in our family. I have seen the way it affects people I love so much. I can really empathize with you both. God bless your afamily and your ministry.

  • Rachel H. Evans

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing with such candor and tenderness.

    I think it’s especially hard for guys who like to fix things to handle with grace things that aren’t easily fixed. Your story is an encouragement to all who can relate to you and to Rose.

    Grace and peace!

  • rebeccannb

    Your post definitely hit home for me. I have struggled in the past with depression and I have some family members that will always struggle with it. I was good at faking it as well!
    I will be praying for you and Rose both. I will also start looking for more God sightings daily! Thank you for sharing your heart and what you are going through.

  • secondchair

    It’s cool to see God’s hand in bringing you and Rose together as gifts to each other! What a great gift God has given you in Rose. Thank you for your openness and transparency. Your story grabbed my heart. You might not be living life without struggles, but as God’s children – and because of Jesus – you are perfect in his eyes!

  • Jan Owen

    Tyler, my husband and adult (24 yrs) daughter both have clinical depression. My guess is they will be on medication for the rest of their life. I TRULY UNDERSTAND. It is a very difficult illness to handle for everyone involved. Thank you for sharing what I know is a horrible reality for both of you sometimes. I will be praying for you both. I’m going to email you……

    Blessings to you and to Rose…..

  • Josh

    Great post. Thanks for your openness and honesty, Tyler. Aspiring therapists like myself and seasoned ones as well, will need leaders like you to help “destigmatize’ the medical/chemical/spiritual depression beliefs within the church and beyond. Your guts posting this inspire me. Much love to you and Rose.

  • Greg Atkinson

    Depression is real and many struggle with it. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  • Jenni Clayville

    So real, Ty. Thanks for sharing.

    Love you both… and I’m hoping to hug Rose very soon. I miss her!

  • Don Hofer

    Thanks for sharing this part of your lives with us. You guys are so young and have such amazing potential ahead of you. Take one day at a time and love eachother through. I will pray for you and Rose, that help will be clear and present each step on the path. We love you both!

  • Laura

    Thanks for sharing Tyler – the love and compassion you show for Rose is truly heartwarming to read. Blessings to you both as you navigate this…my prayers are with you & Rose. Marriage is hard, dealing with extra issues along with it makes the journey even harder…but most of the time, makes it sweeter 🙂

  • Scotty

    Your most beautiful post yet (that I’ve read)! A real blessing, plus I can pray for you better now!

  • Julie Reid

    Thanks Tyler and Rose (aka “tyro”) for sharing this. You guys are a really, really special couple and I am so glad I got to meet and know you both early in the story of your life together. Hope you know how much you are loved…

  • Amy

    Thanks for sharing … my brother has struggled through years of depression. Growing up we just thought he was sullen and moody … no one thought of it as an illness … just not too fun to be around him most of the time. After he made his plan for how to end his pain, he was hospitalized. His pastor came to visit him in the hospital to have him pray to accept Christ … because clearly that was the cause. The only thing worse than having depression is having it while you live in a small, ignorant town with no trained people to help you through it. Thankfully, your life is full of people who understand and many resources in the area to help treat her. Will be praying for effectiveness in those treatments soon …

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  • MarcD

    Dear Tyler and Rose,
    I have been married to the same woman since high school, going on 38 years. I went to college, raised 5 children and we had our ups and downs. But through all the years I would not change anything. Our partnership in life and marriage is rooted in Jesus Christ. We chose to be happy no matter what, even when the situation appeared hopeless or unfair. We both made a choice to study the Word of God daily. To pray for each other daily, to share or Worship of God in the way we lived our lives.

    Tyler and Rose, you have the power to create a loving environment that overcomes depression by trusting in God’s promises. By the creative power God gave us, as in Proverbs 18:7 “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” Please camp on those words, God is telling us to watch what we say. Our words of have creative power. We can change our situation, how well feel by what we do confess into the world. Think on Job 22:28, “You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways.” Please be open to the Holy Spirit in this matters. Mark 11:23, 24 is very powerful message.

    In the scripture Mark 11, Jesus responds to His disciples as they wonder about the fig tree that withered (Mark 11:13-14 and 21).
    Mark 11: 22-26 (Jesus Speaking) NKJ
    22. So Jesus answered and said to them. “Have faith in God.
    23. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to the mountain. ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,‘ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
    24. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
    25. “And, whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
    26. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

    Faith in God’s puts His creative power to work in our lives. It takes faith to call things that are not into being. God’s best is available to us today; Jesus already paid the price for our healing when he died and rose again. Jesus conquered all sin, all diseases, including depression. But we do need to do something to receive this healing, forgiveness. It is having faith in Jesus that you are healed, that is receiving the healing, receiving the forgiveness. So, acting on that faith is about the words we confess. Jesus says we can have what we ask for. Sometimes the journey long, but we must stay faithful and expect God’s best. Do not ever give up your blessing could be right around the corner, closer than you think. Our God is Great and WONDERFUL God. HIS desire is for us to be happy and prosper in everything we do.

    I have seen the principle work in my life and for other family members healings. I am led to share this with you two because walking in faith is not always easy. Walk by faith and not by sight. So very good writings on this subject can be obtained from Charles Capps Ministries:

    I linked a web site you both might be interested in contributing too:

    The Holy Spirit is moving in a powerful way today. Your gift of writing could glorify your God.

    I have learned that the trials in Life are often God’s plan to prepare us for our destiny. His best plan for our life.

    Be strong in the Lord.