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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Training Me for Godliness {POTF}

 

But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Tim. 4:7-8, CSB).

Tonight, I was blessed with the opportunity of attending the women’s Bible study at my home church. It is always a joyous time to be with the girls: to eat dinner, to fellowship, to learn, and to discuss. Only tonight, was a different kind of night for me. While I typically always eat dinner with the girls, tonight I just had to “run away” and eat quietly in one of the classrooms. I just couldn’t see myself eating with the girls in a way that would truly honor the Lord.

How could I say such a thing? I have some profoundly interesting food restrictions, and they were having pizza as one of their meal options. I just didn’t feel strong enough. So, I hid away – where I forced myself to eat my allergen free (and plant based) food.


I want. . . I need to be trained in godliness like Scripture says.

Godliness needs to be a part of every area of my life. Even in eating when it’s hard and I would rather have that slice of pizza – that just might leave me devastatingly weak and in POTS agony for days.

My dear friend, what is the Lord speaking tenderly to your heart about?


While in food isolation, I just soaked up Ecc. 5:1-2. Which was exactly what I needed – and the Holy Spirit knew it was what I needed. The Scripture talks about quietly coming to the Lord’s house, but there’s more to it.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God (vv. 2a, NIV).”

My problem at Bible study wasn’t so much my words, rather the temptation to hastily put dishonoring things into my mouth (because of the Lord’s direction). My heart likes to hastily act upon things, and I need to be careful. I don’t want to hastily make decisions – neglecting my godliness training.

Oh friend, how we need to fight for our relationship with Jesus! I don’t know what you are facing, but if we don’t fight for this relationship – other stuff will easily get in the way. My desire for allergen food can easily overshadow my desire for more of our Lord Jesus.

Friend, we need our Lord Jesus. We need Him to help us. We need to remember our need to train for godliness. One of my favorite Psalms uses this description: “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze (Ps. 18:34, ESV).”

God is faithful and will help us, as we continue to draw nearer to Him through our relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. I invite you to join me and keep drawing near. As you draw near through Bible study and prayer, the Lord will fill you with His Holy Spirit and show you what to do!

In Him,

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Shepherding + Obedience

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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,

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Noticing the Change {{POTF}}

I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 1:12-14, CSB).

I needed this truth: our Lord Jesus is the One strengthening us!

While I am a person who struggles with sin, I am absolutely saved by His grace alone. God has shown me His mercy. He has purposely loved me, despite the person I used to be. When my sin nature is in charge, I have the ability to crave being unkind. Yet, the Lord, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, is showing me how I can live a brand new way of life! He continues to deliver me from my old self on a daily, even hourly, basis.

My sin shows me my desperate need for our Lord Jesus who rose from the grave! In Scripture we are given the opportunity to see the difference between drawing nearer to Christ and living for ourselves. Galatians 5 is the number one Scripture that comes to mind on this subject. It shows us the absolute different in our lives when we focus on this relationship with God through our Savior.

For myself, I know our Lord Jesus is the One making the difference! He is doing the work that only He can. Routines, diets, and other things cannot ever change the “inside me.” This is something only our Lord Jesus can do.

The grace of our Lord has been abundantly poured out on me, along with faith and love found in Jesus Christ. The change I need in my personal life is something only Jesus can do. I need the Lord to take my life fully. I need to keep my words and attitude in check, because honestly it is easy to slip up. When life happens, it is easy to fall into the hard place of old ways. Take a look at this encouragement.

take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth (Eph. 4:22-24).”

Friends, let us keep daily putting on Christ.
Let us choose the things of God over this world.
We are given the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey.

How are you making sure you don’t “sober up” from the Holy Spirit? (Just that statement alone, takes a bit to digest – Reading our Bible’s, prayer, and Christian fellowship are all ways to get “drunk on the Spirit”.) Friend, keep drinking in the Lord through coming nearer. We need our Living Water, and drawing nearer is the best way to govern our lives. The Holy Spirit is our tool for every day living, so let us allow Him to strengthen our lives!

Seeking Him,

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Struggles | Verse | Faith {POTF}

For the past week and a half, I have found myself in quite a struggle. One that’s harder to attempt explaining, especially with messed up health vitals.

Anyway, today’s quiet time got off to a late start. Several hours late. But, I did get to my #OneGoal, which is to just come nearer to the Lord. To have my purposeful quiet time, where I meet with my Beautiful Savior.

Today, I am addressing a problem I have. I don’t do well with “pouring out my heart” before the Lord. I am not sure why. I mean, He is with me 24/7. He knows me. He sees the hurting going on, behind closed doors.

So today was about my struggles. It was a time of giving voice to my inward struggles – the one I want to pretend is invisible and emotionally painless. But it does hurt. It hurts when I arise, and my heart rate shoots up to mid 100’s with a low blood pressure. It hurts when I stand again and become so dizzy, tricky to stand  without falling over, weak, and wondering if I will make it to the bed in time. It hurts. And, it is life affecting. What’s more, it is soul affecting.


Our Memory Verse –

Earlier this week, my heart just wanted to know how to survive this “flare up”. I just wanted to know how to hang onto my faith during this time of struggling on multiple levels. And today, I found my answer to the “hanging on” part of things.

Which leads me to our memory verse – 1 Timothy 1:19

“You will be faithful and have a clear conscience. Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn’t listen to their consciences (CEV).”

Friends, let’s keep digging into our Bible’s and pouring out our hearts to our Risen Lord. He is listening. He is waiting for us to open that door, and allow Him to come in.

Keep drawing near, and allowing your faith in Jesus Christ to progress – even when life gets hard. Keep reaching out for His hand, and allow Him to catch you.


Our Mini – Study

I invite you to join me in 1 Timothy. We will be reading 1:1-7. After my time of “collapsing” at our Savior’s feet, I opted to do a bit of bullet point note taking. As we start 1 Timothy, we are met with key points from Titus. The Lord is boldly speaking to us, friends.

Nuggets of Truth –

(A) Friends, Jesus Christ is our Savior and place of hope. Let’s choose to really know and experience Him for ourselves! Because, Jesus Christ – our Beloved Savior is what makes the difference in our lives. Remember His planted grace, mercy, and peace!

More than better circumstances, we desperately need to draw nearer and enter into this beautiful relationship we can have with our Savior Jesus Christ! He alone is what makes the difference.

(B) Remain obedient to the Lord, wherever He sends you. Trust God, knowing He’s working, and choose to obey Him. Teach His Bible based truth. Spread the Gospel and the love only He can give! Keep on loving others. This is our ultimate goal!

(C) Avoid controversies, and promote the Lord and His Work – not what is “trending” in your environment or social media feeds.

[Don’t] pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith (1 Tim. 1:4, CSB).

Friends, it’s all worship. Even if we can’t open our Bible’s, even if we struggle to move, let’s just keep making movement toward our Risen Lord. Even if it’s imperfect and seems infantile compared to where we were two years ago. Just keep reaching out for Him and spend your heart in worship. It’s all meaningful. Time spent (energy too) with our Lord Jesus is never wasted!

Our eight week journal is still available on Amazon (& other online stores) for $6.25! Along with many other Bible study journals ranging from Ephesians to Matthew 4-7 to the beautiful Psalms of Ascent. Be sure to check ’em out, and help support Gracefully Overcoming.

Learning with you,

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