Tag: FAITH

Psalm 40

Depression isn’t for “sissies

I see I posted twice yesterday.

But the whole “thought my kitten was lost” really had me frazzled. I thought I had everything in order and the post entitled “why overreacting doesn’t help depression” hadn’t even been edited. I’ve since corrected it.  It was a post from a few years ago that I thought bared repeating. I hope you found it helpful.

So because it did publish I felt I should continue the theme. The truth is that depression isn’t for “sissies”. What is interesting about those that suffer from depression is that it’s almost never the “bad”, “mean” or “shallow” person that experiences depression. You have to be kind of a “deep-thinking” person, a sensitive person to suffer this mental illness. And “mental illness” doesn’t always mean what we think it means. Depression is an “illness” that involves the  “mind”, therefore it’s a mental illness.  What is the matter with our society that we still don’t understand this?

My heart aches for anyone who suffers depression and/or anxiety. It’s horrible. And I think more people suffer from the disorder than don’t. But there is still such a stigma that many people never talk about it. Instead, they stand at the edge of a precipice never knowing when they are going to fall in the pit. That feeling of impending doom clouds their very existence and life becomes shrouded with fear and dread.

You would almost prefer to fall in the pit rather than standing at the edge worried that any minute you might drop into the dark hole and disappear.

(I realize this isn’t a photo of a “pit” but they were all too scary-looking so I chose this cliff instead. Same concept though, right?)

edge of a cliff

It’s like feeling dead inside but pretending to be alive. The effort of trying to act like everyone else is almost more than you can bear.

I get it.

If I thought I was heading there again, honestly, I would be terrified.

For a little while.

“Why for only a little while?” you ask.

Because while I have a history of depression, I also have a longer history of recovery. I’ve learned a lot from my battles. Mostly, that God will get me through if I cooperate.

Would he get me to the other side anyway? Probably. But it would take a lot longer and if I were rescued every time, I don’t develop the skill set necessary to keep me from succumbing the next time.

Psalm 40

I’m never one to tell anyone that all one has to do when faced with depression is to trust God and just like a magic Genie, everything will get better. While God can heal instantly and he often does, it’s no guarantee.

Besides, we develop a great deal of resilience when we cooperate with God instead of letting God do all the work.

My understanding of God’s dealings with people throughout Scripture is that cooperating with God is always God’s first choice. It’s kind of like God wants us to have a stake in our own growth. It has been proven time and again that people who have a vested interest in something appreciate it more.  I think God created in us the desire to claim some responsibility for our own lives.

When Moses balked at God’s command to speak to Pharoah because he didn’t think he could (for whatever reason and the jury is out on that reason), God said that Aaron could be his mouthpiece. How much personal growth did Moses give up right then? I would say, a lot.

So if you are on that precipice, you don’t have to fall in. I have no idea the faith walk of any of my “followers” so I can’t really give you steps 1-10 to keep you afloat. I can only tell you what I do.

I will try to share more tomorrow but here’s a preliminary list (in no order) without much detail:

  1. I pray and read Scripture.
  2. I exercise. If I’m struggling with a current depressive episode, I might walk longer and/or more than once a day.
  3. I stay distracted. If you are employed, this is easier. If not, just start moving and doing something, anything, and that will spur you on some more. This is very hard when you’re feeling down. Do it anyway.
  4. I should’ve started with this: Make your bed. I’ve been saying that much longer than the recent hype over the commencement speech of the same title and the subsequent book.
  5. Talk to someone today with your “voice” not your fingers.
  6. Avoid negative people.
  7. Don’t go to bed tonight without having accomplished something. (See # 3)
  8. Keep up with your personal grooming. You should look in the mirror and feel somewhat better by the image you see.)

That was a very cursory list.

Apparently, I’m on a roll, so I’ll try to keep this up for the rest of the week.

It’s hard for me to write about depression when I’m not actively experiencing an episode. But it’s also hard if I am.

Anyway, God bless and have a good day.

(PS. You can always check out my menu under the heading “depression”.  I have lots of material there that you might find helpful.)

 

 

 

Why I like the word “sin”

There must be something wrong with me. I like the word “sin”. I find it so liberating.

“Liberating?” you ask in wonderment.

Yep.

I find when I call my bad habits what they are, sin, I know I have recourse. If I just think of them as bad habits, then I am forced to change them all by myself. I have to read the books, practice the methods, and maybe I can change them.

But if I call them “sin”, I know just what to do.

First, I confess them to God. That means that I am forgiven. When I am forgiven, I have hope.

Immediately.

I don’t have to change anything before I can have that hope.

Next, I can ask God to enable me to change my habits. At this point, I might very well research some methods. I might very well read those books. But now I have a source of empowerment to help me facilitate those changes.

But it all starts with realizing that if I have a  bad habit more than likely it is causing a distance between God and me. More than likely I am “missing the mark” which is the definition of sin anyway.

I am not suggesting that we have to label all our less-than-desirable habits as “bad”. What I am suggesting is that the habits we have that get in the way of our relationship with God are more than bad habits, they are sin.

God has a remedy for sin. It’s called confession.

So the next time you feel overwhelmed with your bad habits, use your words. Call them what they are. To me, the remedy for sin is laid out many places in the Bible. Bad habits, not so much.

Just a quick aside here. King David had a bad habit of looking out his window at Bethsheba undressing. We know how that ended, don’t we?

Don’t be afraid of the word “sin”. It’s a good word.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

word choices

God supplies all the tools we need

Honestly, I think my computer has a mind of its own sometimes.

I very meticulously and carefully scheduled two posts this week, one for Monday and one for Tuesday. So why they both published on Monday, I have no idea.

I’m going to blame it on the kitty we rescued, now named Rambo, for the problem. We didn’t name him Rambo for nothing and now you know why. He loves sitting on our computers. Maybe his little butt hit “publish”. 🙂 (My husband would suggest, it’s because I do most things faster than lightning and probably didn’t give my computer time to do it’s thing before I signed off. I’m still blaming the kitten. He can’t deny it. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) 

I like it when I post about word choices. It keeps me on my toes. Today I found myself saying “thank-you” more than usual. I love the verse:

New International Version
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

It’s interesting to me that the more I meditate on God, the more I reflect scripture back to myself, the more my words are pleasing. And the more my words are pleasing, the more my meditations are as well.

Isn’t it great how God has designed us and gives us tools to carry our his instruction?

God bless and have a good day.

 

survivors guilt

Are you suffering “survivor’s guilt” syndrome?

I don’t know about you but I feel like I am.

Every time I’ve watched the news this past month, I’ve felt a little guilty that so many have suffered and I haven’t.

Then I think of those in Las Vegas who survived and I can only imagine how they feel.

I’m sure they’re asking, “Why me?”, “Why them?”  Survivor’s Syndrome is a very real thing.

You can read about one person’s personal experience here:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/08/health/survivor-guilt-plane-crash-sole-survivor/index.html

And even if you aren’t aware of it, you are probably internalizing a lot of what has happened recently.

It’s hard to accept one’s blessings when we are aware of other people’s suffering. But that’s always been hard for me. I’ve often had a hard time embracing my own happiness. But then I’m reminded that I am supposed to have “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. Besides, I’ve had my share of heartbreak and I will again.  The ebbs and flows of life are just that, ebbs and flows.

We should embrace the good when it’s good and learn to adjust to the bad when we need to.

We needn’t feel guilty we are happy as long as we’re doing our best to share our good fortune with others.

So maybe while we’re praying for the victims, we should remember to pray for those who survived. They are victims, too.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

More about praying specifically

My husband sent this to me recently. It’s from Max Lucado.

Thought I would share with all of you as I’ve been posting about this subject this week.

“A father was teaching his three-year-old daughter the Lord’s Prayer. She would repeat the lines after him. Finally she decided to go solo.

She carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer. “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from e-mail.”

Not a bad prayer!

God calls us to pray about everything! We tell God exactly what we want. We pray the particulars. When the wedding ran low on wine, Mary wasn’t content to say, “Help us, Jesus.” She was specific. She said, “They have no more wine” (John 2:3 NIV).

A specific prayer is a serious prayer.

If I say to you, “Do you mind if I come by your house sometime?” you may not take me seriously. But if I say, “Can I come over this Friday night? I really need your advice.” Then you know my petition is sincere. When we offer specific requests, God knows the same. So, offer yours!“

God bless and have a great day.

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