October evening


I can not say tonight I am writing happy thoughts.  I have spent the weekend at a youth retreat, Aquire the Fire.  A great organization and had good music and good talks for the kids and good worship for all.  It was inspiring and wonderful for my teens and my husband.  But— you were waiting for that eh? I am lost tonight.  I am not in a hole or in a dark place, I am behind a wall I can’t get over.  I was fighting demons this weekend.  I sang the songs I prayed the prayers. but right now right in this place I could walk away from my faith and God.  I could give up my positions on committees and the prayer chain forget the bible study group I’m in a mood to throw in the towel and say to hell with it all. I know this isn’t truth.  I do know these are the lies wanting me follow them into the dark. God has been laying on my heart something he wants me to pray with people about and am not prepared to do. I don’t want to do it.  Truly tonight I don’t want to pray or think about it.

So here is what I will do for tonight. I have been fighting for 2 days now.  I am tired and I can’t fight tonight anymore.  I make no decisions tonight, I will not take a side tonight.  But I will Pray for an intervention from God. – I Pray that Lord please send your spirit close to me and lead me for I am done for today I do not know about tomorrow. I throw the fleece on the ground and ask for a sign.

amen

Depression and Death


It’s the first week of October and its been a tough one.  I work  for a High School in the office.  I work the front desk, I am the face of the school the first contact and I have a lot of contact with the students.  I live in a large city and there are several High Schools near by.  At two different High Schools we have had two 17 year olds who committed  suicide.  Depression related. My heart breaks for these students families, because they are planning funerals instead of where these kids are going to school next year.  One did it on Monday the second on Tuesday.  I spent most of the day talking to students who were their friends about what depression is like and how dark it is, and that the voices that they were hearing no one could break through. These students are young and dramatic and I don’t think they understood, but I listened and listened and consoled the best I could.

So what do you say? I can tell you what I didn’t say.  I didn’t admit to anything.  I would never tell people that I understand that darkness, that these students faced.  I didn’t tell them that I have seen the road that they traveled down, heard the voices calling down into the darkness.  I have felt the desperation, the loneliness, the isolation of that kind of darkness. How close it has come to me.  It has sat on my back for a day taunting me keeping me in a state of panic, till I could not resist anymore and it smothered me. How that night my husband came home and saved me.  The darkness and its lies are strong.  When you face them and need to fight them it’s not a “lets brighten up ” moment.  It’s a Godly intervention type of moment.  Where you need the prayers of the saints and someone to take your hand and save you.  There is no strength, there is no will, that type of fight, takes it all out of you to the point where you don’t fight, you die.

But for these two boys, they did not die alone.  They may have planned it that way, they may have thought they were totally alone.  But Jesus was with them.  In John 15 Jesus says” though you did not choose me, I choose you” and “You are no longer servants I call you friends”.  Psalm 23″ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me”.  Jesus went with these boys.  A shadow can only be cast when there is a light.  Death is the shadow, God is the light. Jesus made it possible to pass from the dark to light. Jesus said on the cross “forgive them for they do not know what they do”  He was praying to God to forgive the men who were murdering him.  But I think this prayer to his father is also for these two boys for they were surrounded by the darkness and they did not know what they were doing.

If you suffer from depression you can only resist the darkness with the power of the light.  You can only resist the temptation of depression and the voices and the negativity with help from the God who loves you.  We can not do it with out him. If you know someone with depression, be alert.  Anything sudden, mood change from dark to happy or the other way, any thing that makes you stop for the slightest second and wonder where they are heading.  Stop them, be with them, talk to them or maybe just listen.  It may be the life you save.

First full day of school – sitting in the Vice Principal’s office


I am a secretary in a High School.  It’s a cool job.  You get to deal with all sorts of kids.  Nice ones, shy ones, creative ones, ones you could do with out and broken ones.  I love my job I have done all kinds of work over my working years but, this one I like.  It is the first full day of school.  School start-up is a very stressful time of year, kids are nervous, staff are nervous, Office staff are running around trying to get all the paperwork, teachers and students in line and where they are supposed to be with the correct paperwork in hand. We get the job done.  There are five of us putting it all together.  Today however was the first full day of school and I ended up in the Vice Principal‘s office.  There is something about being in a Principal’s office that can make a grown adult turn into a ten-year old kid.  I lost my temper with a fellow staff member; who I think deserved it, but was raising her voice at me and I told her to stop raising her voice to me – only rather loudly, and demanded she allow me to have the paperwork I needed to do what I had to do.   I hate office politics, I hate gossip, I hate staff that bully, I hate people who are part of a team but are too good to help with the team.  I, much later in the morning, ended up being called into the Vice Principal’s office and told that I was totally out of character for me and it was surprising.  They know the person who I was dealing with is difficult and they need my support in keeping a peaceful office.  They also said that I was known as handling this person wonderfully and am relied on as a rock to keep the peace and flow of the office.  Was I ok, and why was I out of character? What do you say.  Sorry I forgot my anxiety meds at home and I flipped out. Sorry I am on antidepressants and sometimes I feel down and need people to stop stomping on my nerves.  I was shaky when I got up so I should have known that I was a little off.   I apologized for my raising of my voice, but if they wanted a peaceful flow in the office then all parties in the office need to work together instead of around someone.

I went back to my desk shaking.  I was angry, I was scared, the negative voices started up.  I was afraid that maybe I was losing it and that the bosses would figure out what was happening to me.  I can’t tell them at work.  Promotions are coming up and if I want a shot at them I have to be on my game.  The bosses want me to go for these promotions so I have to keep looking good and doing my best.

I don’t feel like me, I don’t feel like I have it together. I don’t know if these meds are working right and I don’t know if I should be going back to the doctor and getting the next step as she says in my progress of dealing with this.  I don’t know if I should be seeking counseling, stopping the drugs, jumping off a cliff!!  Its confusing and frustrating.  I want to be me, I have ministry ideas I want to do at my church, I have plans for programs at my school.  I have action items that I want to proceed on with.  I want to write, publish, I want to speak of God at conferences,  I want to do so many things but I feel like I can’t get started.

Oh God you are the God of good, you are the God of Love, Lead me in this journey I pray.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – a Lutheran Pastor murdered in WWII, said “that he believed what God said through the scriptures He knew that what ever befell him or the faithful brethren would open new opportunities, in which God would operate.”

This time in my life is a moment for God to open new opportunities for God to operate.  Through desperation God creates hope, in crisis God is faithful, in heartbreak God is loving.  The devil is the operator of despair, hate, anguish. I need to keep my eyes up to the Lord from where my help comes from. I need to keep my heart up and open to him to heal this brokeness.  Though I look down at the pieces of my heart scattered upon the floor, God is there picking up the pieces.  The desire of my heart first is to be a woman after Gods heart, and secondly to spread His love to those around me.  Though I may not be whole, God will make me better, and I need to trust that even though I have depression and feel not in my right mind, not feeling myself the desires in my heart can be accomplished through God.  The rub of it all is I have to not listen to the evil voices in my head and keep my eyes and heart on God.

There is the rub.  Depression tries to rob you of all you hold near and dear.   It makes you paranoid, it makes you second guess yourself, it makes you feel alone, it isolates.  I can be sitting in the middle of a crowd and feel like the loneliest person in the world.  And because if the meds I can’t even cry about it.

 

I am going to end this post here.  It is a day in the life of a woman with depression.  I will continue to fight the demons that haunt me. I will continue to try to eat, I will make an apt with my doctor and see what is next. I will continue to pray and look to God, for from him my strength comes, even when I think it isn’t there. God Bless you to next time.

 

 

Poetry from August


Peace comes from Love deep within.

It is hidden by God in a special place.

We try to find this place so dear.

We search outside, we search very near.

But God’s peace does not come from only prayer.

It does not come from only devotion.

It does not come from only the word of God.

It comes when you pass the ugliness of sin, the stains of pride,

the desperation of holding on.

The peace comes when you fall down and sob.

When you give it all.

When you bend your knees,

When you scrape the dirt and grime off of your ways.

When you repent, and give it all  away.

When there is nothing left.

When there is nothing held.

When the tears have stopped.

When the pain is expressed.

The peace comes warmly in, and Gods love begins anew, again.

Last week in July 2011


We are mid week in the last week of July.  I was for my follow up with my doctor this week she wants me to up my dose again.  I have now doubled my doseage.  It makes me sad, to be honest that I need to be taking something.   I am a farm girl, I don’t like chemicals and taking them or exposing them to me, pills goes against the grain- so to speak no pun intended. But I have been feeling better and talked myself out of a panic attack the other week so I guess I am proceeding in a positive trend and this will not be forever, so I will roll with it for now.

I have been having sleeping problems. I am only getting 2 to 4 hours a night, I am tired and hate that.  I have been trying to be active.  I don’t run lately and seem to have lost my drive for that, I have stopped working out, I feel guilty for that but as a Mom and women I always feel guilty for that and so much more.

Today I want to talk about thorns.  I had a tough time reconciling my thorn with the power of God.  My thorn, depression; my delima, I have a belief in a God that created the heavens and the earth and yet I have this thorn.  My thorn has shown me the darkness of evil and how smooth and slick it can be.  The darkness has been relenting till now; for now I seem to be better and not near the darkness, as a matter of fact I seem to be smothered in light.  But along with the light is an acute awareness of the heartbreak of others.   Why the thorn.  The apostle Paul asked God three times to remove his thorn.  I have asked God three thousand times at least to remove my thorn.  God answered Paul this way, ” My Grace is sufficient for you” In other words God’s favour, his blessings, his will is sufficient for him.  God has decided that what ever the thorn is that Paul hates, God is not going to take it away, he is leaving it for him and his Love and Will should be enough for Paul.  Thorns do lots for the thorn bearer.   A person learns to adapt to our thorn.  When we adapt we become stronger, we lean on God more.  In other words the thorn makes us a better person and teaches us to rely on God to help us through the rough parts, keeps us humble.  Like a parent allows a child to fall down once in a while so it can learn to stand on its own two feet God also allow us to fall to make us stronger.  But is it ever easy. No Never, why would you allow a child to fall, it will hurt, we don’t want our children to hurt we want to give them everything to make their life easier cause our life wasn’t easy- why not make it better for them.  You end up with spoiled children that expects to be served.  Paul was a proud man his thorn made him rely on God to the point that he was humble and praised God for his thorn because it increased the depth of the relationship between him and God.  The child that is helped never realizes the love that parent really has for him.  The child who falls realizes that he or she learns something and the parent shows him love in a tough love way.

My thorn.  God has taught me that resisting the devil and all his ways doesn’t mean only being good, don’t gossip, don’t steal, don’t swear, these are indeed things that need to be avoided but that isn’t the devil at his best.  Those are little chips at our soul.  When you are at your most vulnerable, when you are depressed and fall in a hole, then the devil prowls around and confuses you and makes you forget what is really important.  Your family, your faith, what you hold dear, even your life.  But resisting means relying on God and his Grace being sufficient.  It has deepened my relationship with him – because I let him deepen it.  I could have walked away yelling you don’t care for me you are self-seeking.  God is seeking, me, my heart, my soul, my life.  Jesus tells us to ask  and it will be given to you, seek and it will be found, knock and it will be open to you.  I’m no talking give me a million dollars.  But if you are in a bad place ask and God will be there, seek and God will draw close, knock and God will open the door for you.  I you need someone to go through this God will be there, he may not take the thorn away from you, but he will give you a way to learn from it and make you a better person.

This is all for now,  August is another month to work through  God Bless you till I write to again.

back from the bush!


A week a way from the city in the bush lands of Arrowhead Provincial Park. It was nice to spend time away from the house the house work ( it is there; big  time now being back and having camping laundry and cleaning to do).  I was a little jittery and I had a few nights that I didn’t sleep.  Those were the bad things, but I coped.   I spent some time alone.  I spent some time with one of my close friends and told her about my condition. She seem to take it ok.  She doesn’t understand it all but she listened.  I spent some quality time with my former Pastor and made some connections that I couldn`t make in my mind which I’ll talk about later.  I also learned some basic life lessons. 

First the life lessons.  When jogging through the bush, on the hiking and cycling trail, do not look up at the large wood pecker in the tree.  Tree roots on the path will trip you and I did a fantastic fall and roll.  When all stopped I was on my back thinking “what the? how did I get here!”  looking at the bird looking at the silly human on the ground No cuts just dirt.  Second life lesson.  Don`t jog with your mouth open, you will catch flys!  Don`t ask how I know!  And what ever I coughed up had better only have been a deer fly–uck.

The connections.  Have you ever been sick and forgot how to take care of yourself?  You get a sore throat, cough, or flu.  You forget to take vitamin C you forget the Advil, or what ever cold/flu remedy you use.  And someone comes along and says why not take what you usually take when your sick—- and you say oh I forgot.  Then smack yourself in the head like that will make things sink in better. When I am heading in a down period.  The devil ( and I am going to call it what it is) will confuse me.  I feel I have a strong faith. I feel God is close to me. I feel a need to be close to him, and I fully give my heart and soul to the creator of the earth and me. That is my statement of faith.  But when I start to fall, he confuses me, he wants me to doubt what I believe and he wants me to lose faith in all that is precious to me.  The faith I have, my marriage, my abilities to be a mother, a lover, a cook, a functioning working women.   I forget the devil likes to confuse me.  I forget how to fight back. I forget how to see the dark from the view of the light, I forget that I can talk myself out of the panic, and anxiety.  I forget that I have good meds to help, and I forget who I am sometimes.  And sometimes I don’t want to remember any of these things cause at that moment you can say I have a mental flu and can’t function.   It all seems too hard and in the darkness I can hide. But in the darkness is the lies and the pain and there is no peace.  So I get up, I must fight back, I must keep my eyes on the light, I must talk myself out of the panic, and take my meds, call my friends,  and pray, and most of all remember I am a functioning, loving person in a dark place that will not swallow me up, because God loves me and you.  There is a line from scripture that says

John 16:33

New International Version (NIV)  Jesus speaking.

   33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The world is owned in by the prince of darkness, but Jesus overcome him through his suffering and death and resurrection. We can rely on him when we are confused. God has our back.

Does that keep me out of dark holes.  No — God (pardon the country reference) didn’t promise you a rose garden. We struggle cause this world is not perfect. This world is fallen. We will struggle and fall and get up and fall again, and we will get weary but BUT we are loved and we will persevere, and we will fight the good fight. And on the days when we can’t fight pray and God will fight for you.

That sounds like pretty high and mighty words.  But they are God’s words and they are reality.

I will have days I forget with my mental flu; so to speak. I will need my husband to go with me look after me, the darkness will crowd in, but the light will always shine and this is not how God wants me to live my life.  Hiding in the darkness afraid to go forth and conquer.  Maybe not mountains some days, but bit by bit it will happen. Do what you can, all you have to do is your bit.

I am a mixture of positive and negative.  I do believe what I write I also believe that I am far from out of the woods.  I was to the doctors today for my follow up visit.  She feels I am not out of the woods either and has upped my medication for the third time.  She also wants me to be taking my emergency meds more often and not just when I have gone around the bend.  I find this discouraging.  I thought I was doing better but I was slipping today.  I don’t want the meds but I have to.    It is apart of the fighting.  It tires one out. I will take my new dose of meds and see what happens.  I will have a follow up visit with my doctor at the end of September and I will see where I stand then.  If you are in this fight.  Hang on. The fight isn’t easy and it can rip at everything you hold dear.  It has for me but God has put somethings together for me. I hope soon I can have it all together.  I have much more to say about thorns in one’s sides. I hope you’ll come back

And then I was good


March gives way to April, eventually subsided and then I started to feel better.  I stopped shaking a bit (it never really leaves) I was able to go back to my workouts.  I started a new work out program called Insanity— it is insane and got toned up, ran a little more and started to feel better.  Then I started to feel more than just better I started to feel like me.  Me! I remember her, the one who can be funny, the one who makes it a goal to make people laugh. Me, the one who strives to be a woman after God’s own heart. Me, who can look after her kids, husband, cook up a storm and be responsible, hard-working.  I was ME it felt great! I stood up in front on my congregation at church and sang with the worship band with gusto.  And I truly believe the words I was saying.  But I was a little scared. What if this doesn’t stick.   It didn’t. I got a two month reprieve then bang back to trouble.  It comes on slowly to the point that you don’t feel it sneaking up on you.  The shaking started more, the emotions raged. I could feel God pull in close but I could feel evil licking at my feet, pulling at my at the bottom  of my pants. I am in conflict.  My heart is breaking for those around me that are hurting and I feel conflicted with my faith and my emotions.  So I email my pastor- he separates what is lie and truth for me.  He is concerned – I fluff him off say I’m fine just a little down.  My friend talks with me they both know I am hurting They know I have been fighting depression, they pray for me. This is a good thing, I need all the prayers I can get.  But for me my mind  it is like “are you kidding  Ineed a hands on intervention, I am being sucked down the tube of darkness and praying for me isn’t enough.” I’m thinking exorcism, because I feel possessed.  So what do I do I start to isolate myself.  I am embarrassed and thinking I am crazy.  I start to think if others find out they will think I am crazy and won’t like me, take me seriously, won’t think I am worthy.  That is what the lie wants me to think.  So in my state I have an evening at friends, being out and social is good right? I drink too much and make an ass of myself — cause drinking does not go with antidepressants. I shake more and am totally embarrassed. I apologize for my actions they are the only people who know whats what with me so they are gracious and forgive me.  Suddenly I seem to be apologizing more and more to people for various things. I hate that.  I am a women who is in control – normally, and I am losing control and I can’t cope. To give you an example please see some of my poetry from that time period 

In the darkness of my mind I am alone, it is in disarray

There is fear and cold; but I crave to be there

Here I hide my disarray

Here I hide my shame

Here I trick my heart

I look to the light for warmth, I understand its source

It lays bear my heart, makes known my shame, My mind  betrayed me.

My nerves twitch,  strain, I search for peace.

I search for Grace.

I search for Love.

I know its there, but I sin. I crawl to the darkness

 for I do  not know what to do, I do not  know how  to live with this.

I love my God, I pray, but it is hard to fight.

It scares me, I give way to panic, it pulls me in traps me

My heart beats faster, faster, I hold to God with my life

I wish for ease of mind, I wish for green pastures,

I wish for peace

I wish I could cry.

What do you do — you get up, you exercise, you eat right, or at least try to eat, you wash your face, you  go to work, you force a smile. you carry on.

God does love you, God does care, He will sustain you. He will lead you — one more day, one more step, you can carry on.  I don’t know where you are in this but I do know there is a way, a path, a life.  Gather yourself – find some friends,  lean on them,  that is why they are your friends – if they have any salt. Find a church- listen. Don’t isolate yourself- I did its not a place you want to be. You have to keep going, keep fighting. There may be times you close the blinds and hide, I did, but promise me, and yourself that you will open the blinds back up take a breath and move forward.  There is no cure no repreaves  IF you do not move forward.

I will share more next time– till then Gods Blessings

A few things about my friends son


In this edition I want to talk about my friend’s son. This was a guy that I watched grow up.
I never knew that he suffered as deeply as he did from depression.  On his memorial web site there are hundreds of pictures of this smiling guy.  A compassionate fellow, who was kind to my kids.  My kids were younger and he had a way of making them feel like they were special.  How ?? He listened.  He just listened.  I lost touch with him for a few years while he worked.   The yearly camping trips with his family did not always make a 18 -20 year old feel like hanging with abunch of 30 and 40 year olds who want to hike, swim, have campfires and a few glasses of wine.  But last summer he came.  He spent a week with us and we got him to come on the canoe trip with all 16 or so of us.  He had days he was not withdrawn, some he was.  I regret that I did not  spend a moment and ask him what was up.  It would; for the most part, maybe not have made a difference.  I would like to think it would have.  The day after we found out he was gone.  We went to the parents house and the father, a man of great faith put it all in a nut shell.  He asked God what could he have said to make a difference?Why hadn’t he found or God given him the right words.  Gods reply “he didn’t listen to me.” But God was there When he was at the cross roads of life and death Jesus was standing there as his Shepard.   The lie in his head pulling him away from his family, his God, his life, didn’t allow room for God to talk.  The pastor at his funeral makes this point more accurately

But I’d better tackle what we’re feeling head on:

 is it not precisely God grace, His good favor, that seems to have been
swallowed and removed by this suicide? It’s like the lights have gone out and
we can’t get them back on. It’s like there’s been a grace power failure. I’m
saying, this is how it feels.

For, indeed, grace is not the one and only force
at work on planet earth, and actually, the Scriptures are candid about this. In
Ephesians 6, for example, the Apostle speaks about our struggle against the
evil power of this present darkness. I’m not going to take time to explain
that, but is it not exactly what we sense –this present darkness? Yes, and let
me warn you about something: beware that just when this present darkness is
most stiflingly black, beware of a cool, deadly voice whispering a thought to
your mind, saying,  This is reality.

Darkness, finally, is all there is. You were a fool to hope in God and His
grace; it’s an illusion.”

Beware this cool, deadly whisper because, my
friends, it is a lie. It is the lie the present darkness uses to try and pull
us still farther down, so as to increase its influence on us. But it is a lie.
A lie based on a partial truth, yes, because there is such a thing as darkness,
but when it claims that darkness, hopelessness, is the final, great reality, it
lies. Recognize it and reject it.

For the truth is much greater, and it is this: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. Furthermore, all the universe God has made is full of light, and joy, and loveliness, and grace. God’s universe is an excellent, happy place, worlds both seen and unseen, full of goodness and light. In fact, in all the wide universe there is only one, tiny corner of it where darkness has got a foothold, namely, this earth. Nevertheless, the overwhelming great reality in the cosmos is the grace and light of God –it’s everywhere.”

Ever have a feeling in your heart – it is a undeniable feeling that you cannot shake.  People tell you;  you are wrong, you see the situation in a incorrect manner.  But you are right you cause you have the feeling.   It’s your feeling, you can’t be wrong in your heart. Sometimes feelings lie.  Have you ever been proven wrong and the feeling in your heart is exposed as a lie and you can’t fathom it, but it is true.  This is what happen to this young man.  The lie of darkness spoke to his heart and we could not convince him otherwise.  We talked to him, we showed him with our way of life, but he did not realize it till he crossed over that it was a lie.  So then what? Is he sentenced to hell because of a lie?  NO and I say it again No.  Things happened long before God knit this soul together in his mom that saved him ,from a earthly lie . Jesus was born, lived died on the cross and rose again. but See the Poem I wrote.

Light Lost

Where are you my friend? I did not know you left.

We saw you as a light rising, Oh you shone so bright.

You stretched your wings, we saw you take flight.

But we never saw the darkness, lurking in the night.

We looked into your eyes, we saw only your light.

That captivating smile, outreach of compassion.

But behind the light,  the lie began to grow with passion.

We knew the darkness lurked, but we only saw your light.

The lie thought he had you, on your final flight.

But the lie did not know. That long ago

You were very small,  and baptized, witnessed by us all.

Upon the forehead and upon the breast

God’s love it always  rests.

The Son of Man, of love, and grace, ask that we bring the children in haste

So the lie has lost , for on the knee of the Son of Man

Forever and ever the light sits by His hand

Forever in God’s love

Forever in God’s Grasp

Never to hear the lie, that has made all us cry.

by GMW

In a nutshell the boy was baptized into God’s family, and no lie, or anything or one else  —  can take you from that loving grasp.

So In conclusion.  Yes there is depression, and yes there are victims from depression, and not the spacey ones you see on TV advertizing pills where the side-effects list is longer than the benefits.  I’m not saying all pills are wrong- there are some good ones prescribed by good doctors.  You just have to find the right doctor and then the right pill.  Most of the time that is the rub.    In God there is hope, love, grace, and joy.  It may not seem  near, but I ask you for one more day, then one more day, the darkness can lift.  See your family, see your doctor, see your friends, or a pastor. Call a crisis line, the operator- anyone.  You will not feel like it; but give it one more day and talk to at least 3 people— it will make all the difference.

Next time there is more on my journey please come back and read some more- till next time

Peace