Holy Week


I am going to say I had a miracle this weekend. I have had a brutal cold, thanks to my son ( I knew I never should have taught him to share!  haha) So it’s a week and half still coughing to the point when I have a real coughing fit, I have to put my back against a wall because it hurts.  So Friday after a bad coughing  day and went to bed coughing and sputtering, ( I made a model T sound like a purring kitten)  but as I lay there I said “Lord I am so tired I need sleep please let me get some sleep tonight.” I woke up at 8am – I didn’t cough once all night. I felt so good I couldn’t believe it.

Friday my husband had a really bad day at work, with a co-worker, he was very upset. That Saturday morning I was so elated to not cough and felt rested that I lay there Praising God for giving me what I needed most. Then I put my hand on my husband and prayed for him.   My man is very heartfelt, conflict like that bothers him very much and he will play the events over and over in his mind.   I felt God poking me. Poke, poke, poke, the message I was getting “you prayed in silence now pray it aloud”. I did what a normal human does – ignored it.  So after a few more pokes, I started to pray aloud.  We felt uplifted, it was a good day.

It is a lesson on trust.  Trust is one of the hardest things to learn.  Depression takes away that trust.  You know your mind is not processing things right and you distrust everything.  Your emotions carry you away like a tornado from Kansas.  The darkness takes away your ability to see where you are stepping, there is no light upon the path; that you can see, and as a result you curl up in a ball unable to unclench your eyes afraid of the dark afraid to open them because you won’t see the light and you become paralysed.

I was reading about Peter the other day – I love Peter (if you have never read about him look it up in your bible – well worth it).  Peter is the sum of humanity.  He is a man’s man.  He is a fisherman, aware of nature, rugged, hard-working.   He is loyal, not afraid to grab a sword to defend himself  or his friends.  He is real, he knows who Jesus is and is the first to say go away from me I am a sinner.   He also speaks out of turn, lets his enthusiasm get the better of him, so he is heartfelt.  He denys he knows Jesus 3 times – he is like the rest of us. There is a story of the disciples in one of their boats and they are crossing a body of water and a storm blows up.  Its bad and they know they are in trouble – even though most of them were fishermen by trade, they are panicking.  They look up and here comes Jesus walking in the storm on the water.  As what is happening sinks in for these guys, Peter asks Jesus if he could walk to him.  Jesus asks him to come and he does and is doing ok, for a bit, then realizes what his feet are doing and sees the darkness around him and begins to sink, Jesus grabs his hand and helps him.  The meaning of the story is obvious.   But as I rolled this story around my mind I was thinking more of the storm than of Jesus.  The storm is a great example of our trials in life but also of the storm of depression.

The portral of people, who suffer from depression on TV, to sell the latest drug, shows people quietly sulking, at least that is how it looks.  There are times I curl up in a ball and can’t move, but the mind is nothing like what the body is doing.  The mind is swirling like a perfect storm.   Thoughts, voices, misconceptions, twirling around, you feel the coldness of the loneliness, the emptiness and you can’t shake it.  The fear of the wind of lies blowing from all directions as you feel yourself being blown all over the map. You see the darkness below you the abyss that wants to suck you down and never give you up.  This is exactly what Peter experienced, the wind of divisiveness, the dark abyss below, the fear, the coldness of  the emptiness, alone on the water out of the safety of the boat. The doubt of what you see to what you feel.

The next thing that happens in the story, besides Jesus saving Peter,  Jesus calms the storm.  The winds stop, the lake becomes like glass, and they are at their destination.  This is the season of Lent and beside it being a time of repentance, and lets face it, praying and repenting doesn’t last that long.  40 days of ‘forgive me God’ gets old.  Don’t get me wrong,  I need every second of that time, for I am a sinner.  but, Lent is a good time of introspection but it is also a time for expansion.  Expansion of thought, of trust, of faith.  This lent I have had some up moments, but I have been mostly down, but not lost in the dark.   Of all the readings, services and things I have done this Lent one thing sticks in my mind (which is saying something cause my memory doesn’t stick well 🙂 but it is the 5 words:  I don’t know my place.   God is Holy, divine, and I am not.  I don’t think of myself as wonderful and divine, but I do think I am; or am desperate to, be in control.  Don’t we all.  Depression takes away your control because chemically your brain misfires and you can not control it.  When I heard that, it felt like an arrow hit me in the heart!   I have had a couple of things that have bothered me through out this process of depression.  Why will God not take this from me? When will it be over? I miss my old self. I can’t believe I am suffering from this and how frightening it is to be really low.    And then comes the thought.  As a christian one of the major problems we have is not knowing our place.  As it says in Job, God asks ‘who is it that speaks words with out widsom’.  That be me!  I do not know my place and I want God to ‘fix’ me.

The reality of all these thoughts.  I am suffering from depression, it may and could last the rest of my life, I have an amazing Lord, Father, that is divine and powerful, and knowledgable.  I am not.  These thoughts have made humble, they have made me repent, they have brought me closer to God.  It has put me in the right place.  I know God is in control.  I have put myself in the place I should be, it has increased my trust in God and it has increased my faith.

So now what?  I am still a sinner, I am still struggling, I am still suffering from mental illness, I have up days and down, but the days don’t seem so hard, my heart feels more full.  Maybe this is just a moment in time.  Tomorrow could be a dark and evil day for me.  But if it is there are a couple of things I have to  hold on to.  I have the memory of the fullness of my heart and the joy I feel today.  I have a wonderful supportive husband, family and friends, and most of all I have hope…. amen

till next time………………………

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Contemplation


I was sitting at lunch today reading a book on anxiety, and how to deal with it. There are no good books out there that I have found dealing with depression. What I have found; christian or otherwise, are books written by educated people, giving advice on a something they have never experienced.
It has been a difficult month. I have been down most of it, with no rhyme or reason. Today I was shopping at Costco, going along no problems, then as I was contemplating my list of stuff, I could feel my heart start to race and my spirits sinking. It was like stepping out in the rain. One second dry; one step soaked.  It makes no sence.

Philippians 4:6-9 NIV

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Our reaction to problems should be first thankfulness and honour to God. To create right thinking and right praying. Depression takes away right thinking, and creates prayers of desperation. When you are trapped in the dark how do you see the light?

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

The question I can not answer. This depression has led me to depths I could have never fathomed. Where does depression fit in here. Could the chaos of my mind be related to the lack of trust I have in God, I can’t trust myself, I sometimes don’t know what is truth, so what do I trust? Is my lack of trust a sign that I have little faith? This is the great question. How do you reconcile the light and dark of the mind, to the promises of God. Is it wrong for me to assume that with my depression that I can not feel at peace? Or is my peace dependent on God givimg it to me and if I do not feel it – is it because I am doing something wrong.

till next time……

The truth of pain.


Lord do not forsake me, for only by your hand is there clarity. For my mind is a jumble of mixed up thoughts. A pile of mixed up words. Darkness of confusion. As I sit in church and look at your cross I want to see the clarity your word. If God is reaching for man and man is suffering in a pain that the painkillers won’t heal and the doctors do not know how to cure, that the wine does not numb, how do you look at God and see his love. Do I not believe in it? My head says yes I believe in his Love but the pain of suffering can not help but make you think that you are being punished. Forgive my unforgiveness and unbelief, for the pain of the confused mind overshadows truth and love and creates a sink hole of darkness. As I take the body and the blood and kneel at the table of God, my mind is a swirl of light, dark, You want to trust but you feel punished, yet you ask for forgiveness. I do not ask for God to take this pain anymore, I have asked and it is still here. I don’t ask cause I fear disappointment. I know in my head that God’s timing is not mine, but God what ever I am to learn from this, how thick am I that I have not learned it, so this pain can be taken from me. A swirl of thoughts as I kneel at God’s table ….I eat, I drink, I ask for forgiveness, repent, yet when I leave, I do not go in peace. Its no where to be found, and that is the pain. A tight heart of hurt, a grip that never loosens, Drugs that numb you and a mind that thoughts are blank.

till next time……

Things I forget


Back to work after 2 weeks off for Christmas break.  Two weeks of parties, and bad food, lots of drinking, and no working out.  Praise God for stretchy pants, because I am sure I am not going to fit into my dress pants anytime soon.

Today I started back to work and my work out.  I am going to be sore tomorrow and I know it but I have to say that I loved it.  I dreaded going back to work but I got there and realized I love time off but I love my job too, I was glad to be back.

I had a low point yesterday – Sunday.  I don’t like low points but it was a dip, I feel better today.  My first thought this morning was don’t fret, trust God – don’t allow the devil to confuse you, just trust.  I then had the thought how?  I can give my problems to God, but how do you trust everyday.  During my last low point; when I realized that what I was confused about, I had to release and trust God.  I was trying to hard to be in control that I was trusting me, when I should have but my energy into trusting God.  When I realized how tight I was holding things and how crazy it was, when I realized that I needed to give it to God, relief flooded where confusion laid.  Sometimes when your back is against the wall, when you are confused and hurting it is easier; I think, to let go of the control and allow God to take over.  So I contemplate today how when feeling better do you trust.

Today I was reading about Elijah, waiting for the presence of God.  God was not in the power of the wind, the earthquake, the fire, but God made his presence known in a gentle whisper.  It dawned on me that in order to hear the whisper you need two things – quiet and to listen.

In my study of this I am becoming more convinced that the spiritual realm, the kingdom of God is closer than I am willing to admit or realize. The Kingdom of God is not just Jesus coming to earth and saving us from our sins–alone.  In the darkness that invades me, it has snuck up on me, but as it does it creates a fury around me.  It becomes loud in my head and confuses me and invites me into the darkness to hide.  I have hidden in the darkness before, I don’t want to fight, I hurt, I just want to hide, but in the darkness it swallows you and becomes a place of torment and is anything but peace.

The bible says that the Lord is my shepherd I shall not be in want.  He makes me lay down by still waters he restores my soul. God gently whispers, and sometimes we forget to pause seek some quiet time and contemplate who, what, and the relationship we have with God. Society today allows no time for rest, quiet.  When was the last time you sat perfectly quiet, for a length of time. I don’t remember.

My Grandfather was a man of faith.  A man of few words, but besides being a farmer, he was also a writer.  My Grandfather was very outspoken about political issues, and farming restraints that the Government was putting on farmers at the time.  He wrote under a pen name that no one knew it was him, till the day he died.  The newspaper he wrote for, published a full-page article on him and all he spoke about and about his life. One thing about being a farmer – you have time to think.  You have 150 acres to plow, seed, combine, plow again, you sit on tractor for a long period of time and have quiet time with your thoughts. Being a Mom and working full-time I am lucky for time with my thoughts.  We should all strive to have more time like my Grandfather.

In my quiet time, I carved out today, my thoughts were about God and how the bible says don’t be afraid, don’t be anxious, don’t worry, do not fear.  These are the words of God.  He leads us by still waters he whispers, he is gentle and his yoke is easy.  I forget these things.  In the same way when my pastor said “just trust God” I was dumb founded by the simple answer that I forgot.  Is any of this New to me— no.  I know and have relied on all these things in the past.  I forgot. My untrustworthy mind forgot.  So to trust I have to take quiet time to refresh my heart and allow God to gently whisper the things I forget. When I have an anxiety attack or panic attack or become surrounded by the darkness, I can’t hear the gently whisper.  My mind is a rage of noise and its part of the devil trying to steal me away.  I am not saying this will keep me from having an episode, for the chemicals in my brain continue to swirl.  It will help me to cut through the noise, at some point.  I just need to remember.

I guess this is also where my support system comes in.  My husband has always said when I have an episode – “what is truth” for the devil and the conversations I have in my head can lead me away from this truth.  I start to distrust my mind, I begin to distrust my heart, I feel exposed, I hurt, I begin to hate myself.  It is as if I am caught in a torrent of water and rocks and dangers flooding me away to where I do not want to go.  God’s river is quiet, peaceful, deep. These are the things I forget.

till next time …………………

Week before Christmas


A week before Christmas.  I spent an hour or so with my Pastor last night. Today I can say that I am really glad that I went. I’m feeling some peace.  I made some decisions today and I think moving forward in a good way.

Last night however when I got home I was very anxious and upset.  It wasn’t anything he said, he said nothing but straight answers and in kindness and love.  I was anxious, and in a panic because the darkness felt threatened.  I had a huge urge to get rip roaring drunk.  I only had one glass of wine– not a small one but I eventually managed to get myself talked down — at 2 in the morning– but I got there and got some sleep.

Today.  I have some peace.  Every once in a while my heart will race and I feel the grip of anxiety.  I have to say that I admitted some things that have been hidden.  I haven’t been eating and last time I prayed with my husband and my Pastor and confessed it I did better.  I was starting to eat more and then fell off the wagon again.  I am working on getting back to it again.  If I don’t get to it today or tomorrow — Christmas is on its way — I will get back to it then.

I decided to go back to the doctor and I called and made the apt today, I go tomorrow and I will get a referral to where ever my family doctor thinks I should be going.   I told my husband today and he was a little freaked because I was so Not going before.  I discussed this last night and I think I need a second opinion on what I am taking and the right combination and if I have other options.  When my husband heard this he responded I totally agree, finally.  What? What do you mean finally.  He has wanted to suggest this for a while now but was afraid I would get upset.  It surprised me.

Over the past while I have been slowly becoming undone.  The more I became undone the more I tried to control things.  As I spent time in the bible and read the word of God and tried to practically crawl in the book the more I wanted to understand and the more I wanted to control.  The devil is cunning.  He took my scripture and twisted it in my mind to confuse me, he done well, the more I became confused the more I wanted to control things.  I can control the house and what happens here, I can control what I put or not put in my mouth, I dislike myself I can control the things I do, how much I push myself, how much I work out.  Then soon you are at a point that you distrust everything you think, and those around you. I have had some situations dealing with some difficult family members lately that just keep that ball rolling. I was distrusting Christmas, it spirit, its purpose.  I can take you to the point you distrust God.  You distrust your purpose here on earth and why you should even be here.  You try to control your surrounding, your urges, your body.  Your control flows into what you think or what you understand.  That is where I am or working through now.  I wanted to understand passages in the bible but as my Pastor asked me what specifically I want to know, where was I confused.  I have to admit I was stumped.  I could not articulate what it was I needed to know.  And that is the funny thing about it all.  I was so angry for not being in control, I was so desiring to be in control, and my distrust of all things, people, humanity, and yes the bible and even God. was so great.  The devil had done a fine job of confusing me.  I was so turned around I wasn’t even sure as to what I had to understand.

So what now…..its so simple but I– so missed its meaning.  Pastor plainly said instead of distrust just trust God.  God has allowed this illness in my life.  Trust that God knows what he is doing.  Trust that God will lead you to the right doctors to heal or help you. Trust that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is supreme.  Trust that Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for me.  Say this sentence, out loud–” Jesus the Lord of Lords, God’s son, My brother, The word that became flesh, the babe in the manger, died as an adult on the cross, so that I could come closer, He created me and loves me”.  Saying, Jesus sacrificed for us is so general, sometimes we need to make it personal and say it out loud, because when we say these things out loud, we can scare the devil into retreat.

I had said last night that I feel so lost- and I hate to say feel because depression is as much physical and biological as emotional.  Maybe even more so.  I have felt that I was the lost sheep and no one was searching for me.  It was pointed out to me that I was in the pen.  I was part of the flock, I wasn’t lost but found and was anxious cause I was in the pen and could not hear his voice, however I was in a safe place that my anxiety was making me blind to.

So today– this day. I feel some of the weight lifted off me.  I feel like I am in front of the fire place, just inside from a frosty night.  I am covered in layers that I put on me to protect me from the cold and I am starting to shed them one at a time.   Well I get to a point that I will feel like me? Not tonight, maybe not tomorrow. God knows and I need to trust him on that.  That is my project on the next few days, learn to trust God not distrust all that going wrong in my life. I will use God’s words to cloke me in his trust. – As soon as I spend some time in the bible to find the correct words to cloke myself in.

As for this evening. … Iam exhausted – I have had very little sleep over the past few days and not much in food either–I am too tired to eat…. tomorrow is a staff potluck. so I’ll catch up then.

till next time………………..

 

The Blues


I am down this week.  I am fighting it best I can.  I am being very careful. Watching the right shows that don’t bring me down even more. Listening to the right music, cause the blues can really bring you down more, so I am trying to be up beat. I am reading a something about how God worked through Mary with her virgin birth. How God uses the weak to show the strong who God is and how wonderful and mighty he is.  I look at my nativity’s around my house a the baby Jesus and see true humility.  God’s son, just how we are to come to him.  Humble, helpless, needing a father to teach, guid,e and raise us into his grown children.  It is the example of the true approach to God.  And Jesus the word becoming flesh to be with in us, to be our Shepard and again help us to learn to spread the good news and teach others about our Father Lord God and his Son and his Holy Spirit.

All these words are truth.  All these words define God, Christmas, and all he has done for us. I believe all of it.  ………………………………

BUT

You were waiting for that weren’t you……….. but, in the pit of my heart beside the truth is the pain of depression that blackens my heart and soul.  It has made me very angry this week, I can not raise up this pit.  I am sinking more and more as the week passes.  I believe that God does care and works through me to show love to others.  I have a tatoo of a heart with a vine to representing John 15 on my forearm, I put my heart on my sleeve and I have the triune God symbol on my back to remind me that God always has my back.   But my heart hurts, I hide my forearm tatoo, I am tired of having my heart-broken and I am building a wall to keep it safe.

How do I reconcile what I truly believe; with the depression that clouds my heart.  This is the question that digs the deepest.

till next time…………….

Day after


Well it is the day after my prayer meeting with my husband and pastor.  My husband dragged me kicking and screaming.  I got there and couldn’t speak I was so afraid.  We talked for a bit we held hands and we prayed — well they prayed.  As they did God kept telling me to confess the sins of the body.  It is the verse of Jesus saying that the body is a temple for the holy spirit and we should treat it as a temple.  God clinched my heart and was not letting me leave my pastor’s office till I confessed.  I did. It was tough.  When my husband and I left we went to get something to eat– they know I haven’t been eating.  We went home and I did a couple of things and then I laid down on my bed and the tears started.  Actually more discriptive the sobs started I cried and cried what seems like a long time.  My husband held me for a long time and adventually I fell asleep.  Today I feel a little drained – not anxious- and not so down and all around better.  Its is amazing how being covered over with prayer is such a blessing

 

till next time……………….