Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

A Stoplight, Depression and Words that Changed Me


Photo credit: Elly Filho

I sat at a stoplight, trembling with anxiety’s rattle and hum. Charcoal clouds seemed to mirror my soul. The fog of depression had rolled in. The weight was too much. I was weary of the struggle, exhausted from wrestling to be whole.

Empty paper cups rolled on the floorboards, drizzling coffee onto the mats. Clothes were strewn over boxes of books and trinkets. I was always moving in those days, rushing between commitments, moving apartments often. My car was my refuge, a dirty sanctuary in all my here-to-there’s. Here, there was no smiling, no show to put on. Nobody to hear or judge. I could relax and say out loud all of my unkempt prayers.

When I shared glimpses of my darkness, well-meaning Christians said things they didn’t understand. Choose joy turned into snap out of it in my head, and I couldn’t force that. Believe me, I’d tried.

There, at that stoplight, I felt the gray and weight and cloud pressing. I don’t remember my specific pleas, or if I said anything at all. What I do remember are the sweetest words, clearer than anything I’ve heard whispered in my heart.

I’m over at Steve’s blog today with the rest of this story. Read more on


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About Sarah

Hi, I'm Sarah. I love coffee, pancakes and street tacos. I'm a learner, a traveler and a creative mess. I've got a thing for redemption and seeing broken people living beautiful lives. That's the story I've lived, and the one I want for you. Let's be friends!

4 Replies

  1. Street tacos, eh? I don’t think I’ve ever had one. What constitutes a good street taco?

    1. Oh Steve! You haven’t lived if you haven’t had good street tacos! The more authentic the better. My favorites are super authentic Mexican steak tacos or Korean bbq (bulgogi). The best!

  2. One of the most powerful things in life is when someone shares their story and you find yourself saying, “Yeah. Me too.” It gives voice to your experience while confirming that you are not alone.

    That is what this post was for me.

    I am thankfully not in the middle of a depression right now, but it’s a constant struggle. I have my own moments at stoplights that remain vivid in my brain, along with daggers of well-meaning friends not knowing what to say.

    Thank you for sharing.

    2 Corinthians, chapters 4-6 have been an anchor for me!


    1. Jacob, I’m so glad you connected with this. It is SO life-giving to know we aren’t alone. Thanks so much for coming by and sharing!

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