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,

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A Light in All Circumstances {POTF}

Welcome, friends! I invite you to join me, as we walk through Titus 2. Today, we will be looking at verses 1-5. I invite you to open your personal Bible and turn with me to this passage. If you don’t have yours nearby, I have included it below –

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:1-5, ESV).

Ohhh friends, the Lord loves us soo much!

The Lord wants certain things from His followers. Like most families have set standards and norms, we are part of God’s family – where He will teach us how to act. What encourages me the most is – how God expects things from us regardless of our ages. Age or circumstances don’t limit God! This section is on older men, older women, and yes the young women too!

We are given the abundant privilege to love God with all ourselves, including our character and actions. As we learn His character, He is giving us the opportunity to become more like Him as Scripture teaches us (Eph. 5:1).

In our lives, we will be given many opportunities to teach and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is not reserved strictly for the wife and mother, ladies. And this is the power of the Gospel, that we can be changed by the Lord despite our circumstances. Our ages, relationship status, finances, among other things – do not determine how much of the Gospel we can hold inside or share! Do you hear me on this? 

The power of our Mighty God declares that we can live unashamed and be His light – because we belong to Him. Having a resting identity in our Lord Jesus Christ is all that matters. Once we are His, we are in the exact place we need to be!

We can live openly, without having to hide in the shadows – because our circumstances are “less than glamorous”. I am not a mom or wife. Instead, I have chronic illness as my “vessel” of influence.

Yet, God allows me to speak His name in this place. My faith and the way I carry it out in my daily life is important. Even in the simplest actions, I am able to reveal Christ through the way I live.

Chronic illness isn’t glamorous in the least bit, yet this is the place where the Lord will use me to shine His very important light and hope for the watching world to see! This doesn’t mean I never get depressed, but it helps to remember why I am in this position. It helps me to remember that it is for the sake of the Gospel – and God can use every single “loss” in my life for a heavenly “gain” to build up His Kingdom.

You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16, CSB, emphasis mine).”

In Him,

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Resting on the Hope {{POTF}}

In the book of Titus, we are reminded that our beliefs are important. Trusting our Lord Jesus is so important. Our relationship with Christ really does affect every area of our lives. One thing to consider today is the level of importance we have given our Lord to spend quality time with Him. This is something I am considering for myself.

My Commitment –

Today, my day started much later than it normally does. I knew I had things I wanted to read and study through the course of today, and yet I spent the time somewhere else. The problem isn’t resting, but in how I chose to rest. Somehow, I have believed the lie that I need to be “entertained” in order to rest.

Friends as I think on my own life, I want us to just consider the level of commitment we are given our Risen Lord. I mean, how much time are we giving to simply spend with the Lord? 30 minutes is my goal in terms of my uninterrupted quiet time, which isn’t much time in the span of things. Yet distractions can even keep me from doing this precious thing in my mornings.

Resting on Jesus –

This is like “the verse” I have been drawing strength from lately. I love this Scripture, where we are reminded that we can rest on the hope of eternal life. Rest on the hope of our Lord Jesus.

That faith and that knowledge come from the hope for life forever, which God promised to us before time began. And God cannot lie (Titus 1:2, NCV).

Faith and understanding rest on the hope of eternal life. Before time began, God promised to give that life. And he does not lie (NIRV).

I needed the word “rest” to meet me where I am. We are given the abundant privilege to trust and walk with our Creator through His Son Jesus Christ. We can fully trust and rest in our Lord Jesus and not have to worry about a thing!

This is a kind of hope that will never fade away.
We are given the opportunity to soak up quality time with our great God.

How are we taking advantage of this precious gift? Don’t let it slip by. Being with Jesus is such a precious gift!

We can sit in His presence and soak up His joy and peace. Our Lord Jesus is waiting for us. I know how easy to get caught up in the things of this world, even when we know the Lord Jesus wants to hold us and have quality time with Him.

It isn’t a legalistic thing, but a genuine relationship thing!

Let’s rest in our Lord Jesus. For me, “quality time” is something that fills my soul. And to know the Lord wants to meet me in that way, is mind-blowing. He wants to fill our souls. He wants to meet us where we are, and fuel us with excitement for Him and absolute joy – despite circumstances.

We can actually rest and just trust the Lord to take care of things fully. We can draw nearer and take delight in the Lord who has chosen to rescue us.

Resting in Him,

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COME As You Are, Friend!

Friends,

Welcome to Gracefully Overcoming! This blog started out, mainly just as an outlet to the things I was going through in my life. However, it has turned into much more. This has become a beautiful place to seek the Lord with friends – near and far. While this blog begun out of chronic illness, it is wholly about seeking the Lord Jesus with whatever we have to offer.

. . . Even our messes is absolutely acceptable offering to our great God!

Just Come, Friend!

“Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:19-20, NCV).”

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18, NASB).”

“The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit–O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject (Psalm 51:17, NET).”

In the Scriptures, we are reminded that we can just come. We don’t have to wait until our lives are picture perfect and oh-so-neat to meet (or even better experience) our gracious God. He is yearning to be with us, and allow us to see this new and abundant life He has created for us. While sin has messed up things, they are not beyond repair – because we have our amazing Savior Jesus Christ who has come to repair everything. All we have to do is come.

Maybe, you aren’t uber excited about doing a Bible study right now. I wasn’t either, but the Lord awoke that spiritual desire today when I began my time reading through Titus. So just know, the Lord will meet you. Wherever you are, the Lord will meet you.

Let’s just come and realize our deep need for our Savior Jesus Christ!
Let’s invite Him into our broken (and often messy) lives, and wait to see how the Lord will transform us, our circumstances, and entire lives.

 

The biggest thing we need, as believers, is to get closer to the Lord Jesus. Whether it is through this study or another one, the ultimate goal has to be just that – to get as close as you can to the Lord.

This weekend, I want for us to begin praying about possible goals. Rather, goal.

What is one goal you can set, to help you get closer to Jesus these next eight weeks?

Because God has wired us differently (personality, interests, etc), that goal is going to look differently for each of us. Now I am setting aside a separate post specifically to talk about goals, but I am not talking about a year long goal. You may have one. You may have five. If you do, I think that is fantastic! My goals never seem to stick, so my one goal I am fixed on – is to sit quietly before the Lord.

Just think about these next eight weeks. What is ONE goal you can set that will draw you nearer to the Lord?

There are a variety of ways to get involved in our Bible study. You can find an eight week journal on Amazon to use for this (or another) study. Also: You can follow my Facebook page. Or even join the women’s small group to dig deeper into this Bible study!

In Him,

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Living As God Intended {Trial Truths}

Late last year, I set up some boundaries. Social media boundaries. These boundaries were put in place to protect me. To protect my heart. The hard thing about social media is – the reminder of how different our lives can look like from everyone else’s.

My life looks vastly different from everyone else’s. I could sit here and literally count the ways. But, it doesn’t really benefit my soul to do that. Instead of doing this profitless thing, I need to keep my focus on the Lord and His Word.

Looking to the Word –

But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into. This is my rule for all the churches (1 Cor. 7:17, TLB).

In Scripture, we are reminded that – we can be placed in very different circumstances from others. There is a bigger picture than our circumstances (even the devastating ones), and that is the quality of relationship we have with God through His Son Jesus Christ! Will we allow the Lord to be of greater importance than our painful circumstances?

Some things in my life can make me feel so ashamed, and yet I have to remember it is a “drawing near” tool. While my identity isn’t in my circumstances, these things can help me connect with Christ – who is the Source of my identity.

Whatever your circumstance, I welcome you to my blog. You are welcome here. None of us fit into this perfect box of unbrokenness, for we all face hard things. Let’s just keep coming to our Lord Jesus honestly, and learning how to live for Him.

The circumstances we face can be very tough at times. I love this verse found in 1 Cor. 7, because it honestly shares the truth we need to recite in our daily lives. We need to consider how to live a life for our Lord Jesus, even now. We need to live out the call God has placed on our lives today, rather than waiting for better circumstances.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling inadequate and broken right now. Friend, this is where the Lord will meet you and share with you His presence as you draw nearer to Him.

While I cannot fix your circumstances or even my own, I am here to offer you comfort. The truth is – you are not alone, neither am I. We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ meets us here. In this place. And out of all other places, this is the one where He chooses to reveal Himself the most. . . as we come broken before Him and desperately seeking Him.

Well, that is all I have to share today. But, I will be back soon. Don’t forget to order your journal and prepare your heart – because Monday we begin our newest online Bible study (Press On Toward Faithfulness)!

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