Hutchmoot 2012 Day 2 — Part 1 Into the Shadows!

Friday at Hutchmoot. First full day.

Sean and I made it for breakfast and sat once again under the tent outside in the cool morning air. We both sipped lattes from the most excellent coffee cart upstairs. What should we do? There were multiple sessions to choose from. Frankly, my first choice seemed untenable to me now. “Recovery Through Song” would feature Eric Peters, Jason Gray, and Andy O’Senga talk about emotional issues like depression and how song helped them cope. I was sliding into depression even as I sipped my coffee. I know it was silly. So I had just lost the remainder of my contracted books with one publisher the afternoon before. So what? My plans over the past 12 years would come to a stop unless I could somehow get my second book onto the New York Times Bestseller list. Unlikely in this age of crazy quilt marketing. How do you market “Christian speculative fiction” to Christian book stores? Horror, science fiction and fantasy get lost amongst the Amish romances and the female lead thrillers — all good books but not likely to attract the demographic that liked speculative fiction.

There was  glimmer of hope for me. Just weeks before I had been led by God to walk into a meeting room at the International Christian Retail Show, the largest Christian artistic trade show of the year. There, in a matter of breath taking moments I had been offered a new book series deal that I cannot talk about in detail. But, guess what the subject of that book deal would be. Depression! Man was I going to nail that book now! I had the biggest opportunity in 12 years to really give into the raging beast that was growing darker by the moment within my crushed heart. Want to know more about depression? Give me a few more hours and you’ll see it raw and bloody before you.That was why I really DIDN’T want to hear a session on recovery. It might give me hope! And hope was my enemy right now. I wanted the deep, dark shadows to swallow me; I wanted to wallow in the pain and loss; I wanted the sweet, sweet oblivion of not caring a whit about the next breath I would take; I wanted the darkness to take me again as it had in 1995.

There is a difference now from then. My son. Sean was there gently encouraging me; never nagging or telling me to “just get over it”. He just loved me. And, my friends, that is what I needed most in that hour. So, I followed him to the session on recovery.

First, let me tell you that I cried through most of the session. When Jason Gray shared the night he couldn’t get that beam in the attic off his mind, I was almost breathless with anxiety. There was that beam up there, he said. And, I kept planning exactly how I would put the extension cord over it and how to tie the knot. For hours he could not get that off his mind. Would anyone miss me when I’m gone? That lie!

That lie! It all came flooding back to me. My first session with my counselor. The day I dreaded asking someone for help after six weeks of helpless struggling with my depression. He very simply said, “Bruce, what is the lie?” Simple. Elegant. Like Jason, I had bought into a lie. My life is worth something. You know why? Because God loved me enough to become flesh and to suffer and die to bring me back into a connection with Him. And, God does not lie. Who is the father of lies? Satan. Lucifer. The Master of this Realm. The Leader of the fallen angels. And, he was alive and well in my personal space, sticking out his forked tongue and laughing at me and goading me and lying to me. It all washed over me like a cold shower. I had never once considered a beam in the attic. I had never gotten so depressed that death seemed the only release. That would be cheating. Rather, I had wallowed in the pain until I realized that this pain came from the lies. I looked up through tears and listened as Jason said, “How did I become my pain?” and later, “Wisdom can come only through pain.”

Okay, God, I get it. I still have Hope. It never left me. I was the one who walked away into the shadows. I’m coming back into Your light. Eric Peters talked then and tore me asunder with his song, “Voices”.

 Voices, when I listen to the voices

Every shroud of anger is sorrow in disguise
The voices, when I believe the voices
That convince me I am worthless, bent on my demise

Hear, oh hear the saints’ and angels’ voices

Everything about my weakness that is strong
Everything about the heart that could go wrong
Every hope that ever lived there but has since flown
I’m finding again, finding again

In the garden, when we lived inside the garden
Creatures bright and shining, we were, dust brought to life
In the silence, when we lean into the silence
We choose the things that hate us most, and rest upon the lies

Everything about my weakness that is strong
Everything about the heart that could go wrong
Every hope that ever lived there but has since flown
I’m finding again, finding again

We choose to love the things that hate us most

Everything about our weakness that is strong
Everything about our heart that has gone wrong
Every light that ever shone in darkened halls
Is shining again, I’m finding again

Oh, the voices
When I listen to the voices
I listen to the voices
Of the saints and angels

We choose to love the things we hate us most and rest upon the lies!

By now, I am reeling, dizzy, sweating, awash in God’s merciful truth. And, this was the first session of the first full day! As I stumbled out of “Recovery Through Song” I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the following.

My dream of becoming a bestselling Christian fiction author was now put on hold. Sure, my second book of “The Jonathan Steel Chronicles” would be coming out within the month and I would do whatever it took to promote it. But, as far as my daily writing, right now and for the short term forseeable future I had to focus unflinchingly, unfailingly, without distraction on the update to my depression book. This is what God was telling me. There is an epidemic in this country of stress, anxiety, and depression. God had laid in my lap the most awesome opportunity to write a new book on depression fueled by my own personal struggles, my own wisdom garnered in the valley of the shadow of death, my own walk with God. I heard the TRUTH and guess what, the TRUTH set me free!

If you want to know more about Eric Peters’ excellent album, “Birds of Relocation” check out this link.

If you want to know more about “Conquering Depression” go to this link.

I still have a limited number of promotional copies of my first book, “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye” and you can get a FREE book for no obligation by filling in the info below. I’ll send it to you FREE!



About Bruce Hennigan

Published novelist, dramatist, apologist, and physician.

Posted on September 28, 2012, in Breaking News, My Writing, Speculative Fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Bruce, thanks for your honesty and willingness to share this. I think it’s true for a lot more of us than we’d like to admit. Praying blessings on you today.


  2. Bruce, thanks for your honesty and willingness to share this. It’s much truer for many Christians than we like to admit. Praying blessings on you today.


  3. Bruce, I was in the Recovery Through Song worship too. It was amazing! I’m so glad to hear that you’ll be writing about depression. I agree with you about it being in epidemic proportion. The need for hope is great. I’ll be praying for you as you write. You’ll need a host of prayer warriors to come alongside you for this.


    • Thank you for your encouragement. I will post my last article on Hutchmoot late on Monday and you should check it out. I’m asking for testimonials regrading depression to include on our website when we launch our updated book, “Conquering Depression” in about a year.


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