Fri., July 27, 2018
Job 30:16 – My heart is broken. Depression haunts my days.
Today, I am including a video link to this blog. Please take the time and watch the video.
Why is this video important? I grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm. In the mid-1980’s, American agriculture when through a significant shift. Many farmers had expanded in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s interest rates soared. My parents were like so many other producers at the time. They had expanded and taken on additional debt. When interest rates increased, it became difficult to cover just the interest rate costs of this debt, let alone the principle. My parents struggled for years. Throw in some additional health issues that my Dad had, and the stress was overwhelming.
When I was in college, my parents made the difficult decision to liquidate their assets. I went home to the farm the weekend this decision was made. In the back-entry way of the house, my parents and I made the final decision about what they should do. A sale date was selected, only about a month out. While these were the best decisions my parents could make at the time, it was very difficult, upsetting and stressful.
I returned to college on Sunday night. As I shared with some of my roommates the hard decisions made over the weekend, one of my roommates turned to me. Her farming parents were also experiencing some of the same stress. She said, “While your parents are selling the cows and machinery, my parents are getting a divorce. Be thankful for what you have.”
She was so right. We never have to look very far to witness someone else or another family dealing with a more stressful situation.
Fast forward to today. American agriculture is in a very difficult situation. Some would say a crisis. The price farmers are receiving for their products are record lows when adjusted for inflation and cost of living. Through a part-time marketing job, I have remained involved in the dairy industry. Hubby Rick and I own a small farm which his son runs. Times are tough for farmers right now. Very tough. When I talk with people actively involved in producing food for America, they question the soundness of keeping their children and grandchildren involved in production agriculture.
The video gets to a very personal level of how stress can have a life-changing effect on families. It speaks of how suicide and stress are overwhelming. Yes, these stories relate to people involved in agriculture. However, in our little area, we have seen an increase of suicide recently. As I listen to people try and process why someone go the route of suicide, I believe their words are not just for people who have been involved in farming. Their words are for anyone who has stress in their lives.
Please share this video with anyone who you feel is struggling with depression, stress, loneliness, feeling isolated, or other challenging feelings. Maybe just knowing someone else has struggled with these same feelings will be helpful.
For people willing to share their stories of stress, suicide and depression, I am grateful.
Lord God – when the stress is overwhelming and someone feels so alone, I pray that you will bring a person into their lives. Someone to just listen and hold their hand. Someone to convey your message of love and grace. Help us see those around us who might be struggling right now. Amen.
If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.