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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Almost Time! {Press On Toward Faithfulness}

Hello my friends!!

Our study is quickly approaching. Press On Toward Faithfulness is our eight week study. I do hope you will join me, as we sit and study the Word of God. Diligently, we will be studying and learning from the books of Titus and 1-2 Timothy.

About the Study –

While it is New Testament books we are reading, they are only a few chapters each. And each day, we will be taking it slow and ingesting the treasures of our great God bite by bite. I promise you, the daily readings won’t be too long to read and meditate upon. We will be taking our time walking through these precious chapters.

Our goal here isn’t to see how much of the Bible we can read in one sitting. Rather, our ultimate goal is to allow Christ and His Word to take root in our hearts and change us from the inside-out!

In these books, we are able to gain wisdom from Paul as he counsels two spiritual brothers actively involved in ministry. Titus and Timothy gleaned much needed encouragement, as God spoke to them through Paul. They were encouraged, which helped them stay faithful to what the Lord was leading them to do. Many of us need this kind of encouragement.

Gathering Your Tools –

Our study begins January 15th, so it is just a few short days away. Be sure to grab your eight week Scripture Writing journal, which can be used for this study (or almost any study). It is only $6.25 on Amazon.

Next week, I will reveal our Press On Toward Faithfulness schedule – which we will be using to guide us through our day to day study. While it is a daily study, it will allow us to take in the Scripture piece by piece to get as much as we can – out of this sacred time. Each day, we will uncover new (and even once forgotten) truths that can radically change our perspective of God, ourselves, and show us the steps we need to take – as we place our trust in our Lord Jesus.

Also for those interested: We have a Facebook women’s small group ready to meet and dive into this study in a more personal setting. Consider joining us! But don’t forget about our multiple blog posts – as we go through this study! We will be spending lots of time diving into the Word together, whether it is through the blog or our women’s small group (sorry guys!).

Let’s Pray, Friends –

Lord Jesus, prepare our hearts for this sacred time. So many of us need this time more than words can say, and I know I am one of them. Prepare us physically, emotionally, and spiritually for this study. Help us to be planted in Your divine word and hear from You. As we hear directly from You, help us willfully obey – surrendering everything – so You can move in our lives, communities, and ministries. Be glorified, Lord. Amen!

Talk with you soon, my friends.

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P.S. Thank you for the support you provide, to keep this ministry going! The website link may be changing, so keep an eye out for that – friends. Even when this happen, fear not! The ministry of this blog will press on. The Lord has been providing mightily for all our necessities. I received word that my laptop was no more, but the Lord provided one for me to use.

The One Goal to Keep {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

I bring before you all a special verse for Christian women. This is the verse. It can spark excitement in our hearts, but it can also scare some of us. This is a place, where we can learn to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and allow our sister-relationships to become a greater priority.

These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them (Titus 2:4-5, TLB).

Community: Friend or Foe?

I love this passage of Scripture, but sometimes I don’t. My heart chases after deep Christian community, and sometimes it can be difficult to find. Being with my brethren is what my heart wants. In Christian community, we grow leaps and bounds and build lasting relationships. This is why we are urged to seek out godly friendships with other women.

Even if this pursuit takes a little time (or a long time) for fruition, it will be well worth the wait.

Worth Fighting For!

However difficult this pursuit for Christ-like relationships with other women, I feel like this is worthy of fighting for!

When we live out this Scripture in our daily lives, we are placing our trust in Jesus Christ and choosing His way of life over our own. These kind of relationships require vulnerability, feeling uncomfortable, and accountability. But, this is the place of being loved beyond measure, and our faith in Jesus Christ is tested/matures too.

Finding Our Willingness

Now “older woman” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be 80 years old, but I wholeheartedly believe they have a wealth of spiritual treasures to pass onto the next generation. Women of all ages would greatly benefit from these distinctive relationships. We just need to be willing to obey God, as we come alongside someone else in the faith.

Far too often, we have stepped aside and ignored this Scripture – to avoid “interfering in another’s life”. Truth be told: We need for another woman, who is following Jesus, to come alongside us and lovingly interfere. We need to grow in our willingness to allow  (even invite) another to step into our lives. 

Speaking as a younger woman, but older than some, I know my need to be –

(1) Taught how to apply my faith in Jesus Christ to specific situations

(2) Reminded of biblical truths

(3) Prayed over

(4) Given Encouragement

 

Let’s cling to the truths of Titus 2. We won’t be able to live it out perfectly, so if you feel like you are failing – take heart, you aren’t alone. But, let’s remember the grace of our great God and focus on obey God in living this thing out – no matter what it looks like.

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.

ANNOUCEMENT::: Summer Schedule Change

 

To my friends near and far –

I wanted to update you all on a decision I have made – regarding our “Inspiring Women” study as well the rest of our Summer series.

The Inspiring Women study has been amazing so far, hasn’t it?! I am absolutely loving it. God gave me exactly what I needed to hear this afternoon through this morning’s devotion on Joshua 1:9.

. . . And honestly, this is what it is about.

The Goal

This blog is about hearing God speak to us, in the midst of our circumstances. Circumstances are messy and difficult, and God wants to provide us with the encouragement and instruction we so desperately need to hear!

While our circumstances are far from pretty, at times, our holy God has saw fit to speak to us and dwell with us! Jesus Christ has come to be our Savior, and we have been given the Holy Spirt to guide us in our lives! We are not alone.

A Change in Posts

While the blog study is absolutely amazing, I am coming to realize that I need to “scale back” on some of the things I have been doing. I am discovering that I am overextending myself quite a bit.

So I propose to you a new change regarding the Summer studies {which will include the Inspiring Women series}.

From this moment on, the blog posts will be posting on a different schedule. So, when can we expect a blog post? Monday | Wednesday | Friday. Those are the days, where you can expect blog posts (with the exception of possibly this Monday). While I may post on different days, I want these to be the days where you know that there are new posts on Gracefully Overcoming.

Other than obviously doing this for physical and reprioritizing reasons, I want each blog post to be deliberate.

. . . I don’t want posts to be “thrown together” at the last minute. Instead, my hope is to keep each blog post as much of a blessing as possible.

. . . I want for us to grow with God and be able to authentically seek His face with each blog post. I don’t want any post to miss the intentionality, because I was in a hurry.

Summer Fun Ahead

I have a few ideas planned for Summer. Hopefully over time, I can share some of these mini-series with you all. Our ultimate goal is to glorify Christ and encourage one another. With each post, this is the goal and I will be as faithful to the MWF posts – as possible.

If you aren’t following this blog’s Facebook page, I invite you to do so. I have been posting regularly, to help us all keep encouraged in our spiritual walk with our Lord Jesus!

Until next time, my friends.

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