When I Am Not Okay (Part Two)

Hey friends!

I am still here, navigating these interesting waters of depression. I haven’t really been writing much this week (even still). But, I have been trying to read our daily Scriptures. I come to you today – with a different Scripture in mind.

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God?” I remember this as I pour out my heart: how I walked with many, leading the festive procession to the house of God, with joyful and thankful shouts. Why, my soul, are you so dejected?
Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God (Ps. 42:1-5, CSB).

Observation: The psalmist acknowledged he was severely depressed in verse 6, but he remembered how God met him before. Friends, let’s keep trying to seek the Lord God in the midst of our trials. Let’s remember how He has been faithful to us!

Taking Action: Let’s allow our great Lord to meet us where we are, even though it isn’t anywhere fun! It isn’t about how much effort we put in, but it’s about leading our broken souls to Jesus who is our great Restorer! Let’s just continue to try and draw nearer. The Lord will meet us there, even when we aren’t so sure.

I wanted to share some ideas about how I fight through depression.

Here We Go!

Turn on praise music (this is my favorite playlist right now).

Go for a physical walk with our Lord Jesus. Just walk and talk, friend.

Be willing to do better than me, and journal through your thoughts – fearlessly (and if someone finds your notes, so be it).

Sit in the quiet, and look for God’s presence in the storm (and I hope you notice He is in the storm with you). He can give us His peace, even during hard times. Choose to believe Him for this, friend.

Take hold of our great God’s promises (“He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5),” for example).

Allow someone else to read the Bible to you. Maybe, have a friend come over and read to you. Perhaps, just allow the Bible app of your choice to read to you.

This might be more obvious for some, but limit your social media time. If you do use it during times of depression, watch where you scroll. Try scrolling through Desiring God or The Gospel Coalition instead.

This is probably my number one thing I do:

Watch some YouTube videos to draw you nearer to the Lord. Or listen to a Christian podcast (Podbean is my “go to” podcast app).

You are not alone, my friend. Let’s continue to make this journey together, as we draw nearer to the Lord – even when trials come our way. Hang in there, and keep looking to our Lord Jesus!

In Him,

Signature

Advertisements

Shepherding + Obedience

photo-1423766111988-c47a5ff6ed06

Ohh friends,

I want to share with you our “focus verse” for the rest of the week. It is soo late in the week, to call it a “memory verse”. But, I really appreciate the truth found in this verse.

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work). – 1 Tim. 3:1, AMPC

I have much to say on this verse, but I want to keep today’s blog post shorter than normal.


Friends, let us consider how we can draw nearer to our Risen Lord today.

I don’t know what you have going on. You may be crazy busy, or physically weaker than normal. Let us consider how we can seek the Lord.


Finding Wholeness in Him

When I seek Him, He fills me up with His Holy Spirit. I don’t want to miss this experience of being full of Him – and feeling complete.

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life (Col. 2:10, AMPC). .

Normally people give themselves “one word” for 2018, I am finding out what mine is. A bit late? Drawing nearer is my goal for this year. I want to be drawn nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ – despite the circumstances of today.

Plant Based Eating

Today, I am on day 9 of being completely compliant on my new way of eating. I slipped up a bit last night, but overall it is going very well. This is something I am doing out of obedience.

I just want to obey the Lord and follow the direction He is leading me. I am realizing just how much I need to stay on this plant based way of eating.

As of yesterday, I “reappeared” on Instagram. I am hoping to be more vocal about this new way of eating, and maybe share recipes I am coming across and loving. Plenty of things going on, and as the Lord leads – I will share them here.

A Place to Minister

One of the reasons I love our verse is – it reminds me of the gift we have to shepherd others in the faith. As the Lord leads, He allows us to be there to love on and guide others.

This blog is an opportunity for me to live out this passion of mine – to shepherd and lead others closer to our Lord Jesus. Even if my days are filled with sickness or housework busyness, I can meet here and share what the Lord is putting on my heart.

Thank you all for being here, and allowing me to share.

In Him,

Signature

Facing All Conditions {VOTD}

Today’s Scripture is the YouVersion‘s Verse of the Day –

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me (Phil. 4:13, GNT).

This Scripture declares that – my circumstances aren’t too much for God to handle. If we were sitting face-to-face in a “bare your true heart” setting, I would have to ‘fess up that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances.

Weight of Circumstances

. . . And, I am absolutely tired of feeling this way. I am weary in my mountain of circumstances, and ready for “almost any” vacation to spend a few days away. The only problem with the “need-a-vacation” way of thinking is – the eventual return to life as it is now. It doesn’t solve my problems.

As I write and think of my own circumstances weighing me down, I read a message from a former professor regarding a dear friend’s life-giving praise report of being cancer free. Like in hers, God is working mightily in many people’s lives – including mine. 

Focus

Though this life may seem long, I know it isn’t as long as we’d like to believe. Our lives are described as “no longer than the width of my hand. . . just a moment to [God]; at best, each of us is but a breath (Ps. 39:5, NLT).”

My focus needs to be on eternity. If my focus is found glancing around at my temporary life, then, obviously discouragement will surely find me.

As human beings, we need to focus on our Eternal God who is our Creator and the One in whom we find our purpose in life. God is the One who will supply us with life, guidance, and strength.

The “break” we need when life gets difficult isn’t found in a few days “away from it all,” but found in Jesus Christ. Our needed supernatural strength comes only from our Lord God.

Where Do We Turn?

I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the Lord, who created heaven and earth (Ps. 121:1-2, CEV).

We can seek answers in things, other than the Lord. Just because we have that freedom, it doesn’t mean they will meet our desperate needs. The psalmist is in active pursuit of real help. The pursuit is a deliberate one, and so should ours.

“How are we choosing to make Jesus Christ our Helpmate?” He is the One who will give us the answers we need, as we draw near and ask. He will either give us the answers or give us His peace along with contentment in the waiting.

Application

To whomever is reading this: Let’s draw near to the Lord our God and depend upon His strength.

This Scripture (Phil. 3:13) doesn’t guarantee that the conditions will subside. It says, we will have the strength to face all conditions. Choose today to –

  1. Focus on our great God and the power He holds in His hand.
  2. Realize He is the One Thing we need more than anything else. This relationship of trust through Jesus Christ is based on what God has done for us.

Fighting Well When Weary

I have been sick for quite a while. Some days or weeks, are miraculously better than others. Then you have days like these, where there’s just debilitating weakness and nightmares (meaning: lack of sleep). Everything is snowballing. So, the question you habitually begin to ask is. . .

“Would someone else do a better job if they were placed in my shoes?”

You wonder if someone else would have more success, if they were in your exact shoes.  You begin to consider if it’s not your circumstances, as much as it is somehow you.

The Gift of God’s Grace –

Even as I wrestle with this question, there is something I know to be fully true.

I know, it’s by God’s grace that I have accomplished all I have. And I know that this same grace God gives, is why I can remain encouraged and endure through my circumstances. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, I am not alone and He is carrying me and my grief.

I may struggle with how well of a job I am doing, but I am still here. I am still fighting. I am still staying where I am planted, and trying to be on the look out for something good to spring up from the ground of my circumstances – that makes it all worthwhile.

Even so, I still can’t help but wonder about that thing. That question. “Would someone else do a better job?” The question, I guess, we all find ourselves asking at one time or another. Even if it is not in sickness, we each face our own unique battles.

Let’s resolve to give this to God. May I give this to my God, with whom I have a relationship, because His knowledge and strength are far greater than my own!

I am what I am. I give what I give. I just need to keep my sword of intentionality nearby, so I fight this battle well. I need to be able to fight well.

Be Intentional –

I need to remember to be intentional. While I can’t break from my struggles, I can choose how I fight my battles. And some days, I will lose. But, I need to figure out how to win.

Our circumstances are not our choice, but how we fight is.

Many of us face circumstances, where we cannot pause our circumstances to regroup ourselves. There’s comfort in knowing I am not alone. The struggles are, as I said, unique for each of us.

I need to remember I am doing my best. Even when I am too weak to fight. Even when I am tired of fighting. I need to be careful in how I fight and learn to fight well.

The Tools –

And, fighting well means not giving up. Summer will be difficult on my body, but I can’t give up. I have to continue enduring and learning which weapons are best suited to fight my battles, which includes –

  1. Stay deep in the Word. As for this Summer, I am working toward reading through the book of Psalms and blogging as I go.
  2. Keep praying and fellowshipping with my Lord Jesus.
  3. Trusting myself and more importantly Jesus Christ. I need to trust that I am doing my best with what I have been given and that my Savior is well pleased with me – regardless of my sickness.

Following Perfection Versus Jesus

I have been feeling led to study 1 Timothy for quite a while. As I study, I generally blog about whatever it is – that I am studying. The Timothy study is tugging at my soul frequently these days, reminding me of where I need to be.

Why haven’t I committed to this study? I have perfectionist tendencies and set lofty expectations I cannot realistically meet. My heart and physical abilities are in two separate places, and must be able to meet.

Developing Courage

We miss so much when we put everything on hold – in case we can’t follow through as planned. Our expectations cannot be more important than God and relationships.

Here is the thing: Perfectionist level expectations can strain those relationships and hold us back, to the point where we won’t immerse in our friendships or read our Bibles without the promise of expectations being met.

The Real Question

How willing are we – to step out in faith, where we trust Jesus Christ to make us courageous people?

We have been called to be strong and courageous. Every little bit we give to God is a worship offering. Just because we miss our own expectations, does not mean that we somehow miss His or those of loved ones. We have to be willing to lay down our own expectations, and exchange it for time with Jesus and those we care about.

Allowing Ourselves to Worship

It goes back to the truth of being a living sacrifice. When we give ourselves to God, we become an acceptable offering.

Jesus Christ is the key ingredient. We need Jesus to be the One leading us, even in our expectations. He is the One who enables us to set reasonable expectations for ourselves and those around us. So, let’s make our lives about our relationship with Jesus Christ.

While my best efforts aren’t enough, I have a Father whose resources are unlimited. This Father of mine is willing to help out His sons and daughters in any and every way – as we call upon His name. We may not meet our own expectations, but this is the place where we meet the grace and amazing love of our great God.

Choosing Wisely

Standing in this place of  God’s love and grace is where we can allow ourselves to make a trade. We can trade in our high expectations, for the opportunity to stand in awe and worship God – as we trust Him to make a way.

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9, NRSV).

Friends, we must choose whether we want to follow our perfectionist tendencies or Jesus Christ – the Living God. Our lives are messy and out-of-control, which may lead the perfectionist march, but Jesus Christ is more than enough. He doesn’t have to try to be, for He is perfect!

As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure (Ps. 18:30-32, NIV).

Until next time,

signature_v8l23y6i46np7sh2bg