FEAR NOT

  
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ (Isaiah 41:13 NKJV)

One verse, that’s all it takes when Holy Spirit wants to get your attention. Read these words today…slowly…”For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” What are you facing today? Raise your right hand to The Lord your God! Let’s read that again because you don’t get it yet…”For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’”

Now close your eyes and picture it. You are a little child and you are afraid. Your Father is saying to you give me your right hand and He holds it tightly and He looks you right in the eye and says Fear not, I will help you! This is not the father who may have let you down or hurt you in the past. No this is your Heavenly Father who loves you with such love that you cannot even comprehend with your natural mind. This is the Father that is Greater than all earthly fathers whose mercy is new every day. He loves you with an everlasting love and He is jealous over you and wants you to know Him more and spend time with Him more each day.

Hear His words “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” He will help you through that job loss, the loss of your loved one, the loss of your home, your car, even your health. He will hold your right hand through it all and He says to you today “fear not”.

Do you see it? Do you feel it? Do you know it? It is TRUTH! Don’t let the things of this world sway you away from this truth today. Look up with your child eyes and see your Abba Father as He takes hold of your right hand and walks you through every storm of life and reassures you “Fear Not”. He will help you. He has already been helping you and he will not let go of your hand.

Praise be to The Lord God Almighty for He is our help. He is our strength, He is our provider. He is our Abba Father. If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior then you can be assured of this fact today.

God bless you all!

Lessons From The Road

   
Last week as I was driving home from Kentucky I found myself in situations where God began to teach me some lessons. I share with you today in hopes that they will encourage and bless you as they did for me.As a truck was passing by on the left, I glanced over and saw the big tires rolling past and I became afraid. I quickly looked forward at the road in front of me while gripping the steering wheel. I felt like the Lord was teaching me in that moment that the key to overcoming fear is keeping my focus on Jesus. The scripture that came to mind was:

“A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” (Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭7‬ NIV)

As I continued down the road, my GPS said to stay on the left however, I saw a sign which told me that I actually needed to be on the right. Had I stayed left I would have been going the wrong way. Oh thank You Lord for another lesson. We must pay attention to the signs the Lord gives us on our journey and be sure that we are not distracted by the enemy’s voice to try to steer us in the wrong direction.

Shortly after this, a car merged onto the highway from the left and almost hit me. I thought this was representative of how the enemy tries to distract and cause us to lose focus on Jesus. 

I continued driving through some construction areas that were kind of scary to navigate so I kept my focus on the car in front of me. He turned off to the right and I followed when suddenly I thought “uh oh!” I am going the wrong way now. How important is it that we are following the One that truly knows the way we are to go? That is Jesus. Fortunately the turn did not take me off course it merely took me off the express route. See we can follow other people, ideas or paths that take us off course from the clear path but that just results in it taking longer to reach our destination.

As I passed the windmills I was struck by their uniformity in how the lights seemed to create a symphony of red across miles of land. It was beautiful and reminded me of the importance of unity in the Body of Christ.

I was praying and suddenly found myself saying how darkness cannot live in the light but there can be shadows. That was a revelation that I cannot say I ever thought of but represents the condition of the church as we have people who think they are saved because they said a prayer but there was no real repentance or transformation so those people are actually living in darkness. The other side of that is true born again believers who have been transformed by the power of Jesus but may slip into sin and that is like a shadow but with true repentance they continue to live in the light.

I absolutely love how God speaks to us through everday events when we pay attention. For me, that trip home was a wonderful journey of unfolding lessons. May we all keep our eyes and ears attentive to the lessons the Spirit of God would teach us in the midst of walking through this life.

Let’s Talk About Love

When was the last time you were jealous of yourself?

When was the last time you compared yourself to yourself?

When was the last time you coveted something you had?

Sounds silly right?

So why do we do it to others when Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself? Hmm never thought about that did you?

In the book of Matthew chapter 22 a lawyer tried to test Jesus and asked him what was the greatest commandment. Let’s read Jesus response:

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭37-40‬ ESV)

The second great commandment is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

What is love? Well we know that God is love but what does that mean for us who are human. The Apostle Paul describes love for us:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭4-7‬ ESV)

Whoa! Those 3 little verses are convicting aren’t they?

Let’s break them down, shall we.


Love is patient and kind.

So I am thinking that makes me unloving and unkind when I’m behind the woman at the grocery store with 8000 coupons and asking for a price check on 3 items and I only want to buy 1 thing so I’m grumbling and getting angry.


Love does not envy or boast.

So that covers both ends of the same issue really. Don’t get upset because you can’t have what someone else has and don’t be flaunting what you have.


It is not arrogant or rude.

So I’m thinking road rage is not a good thing to have.


It does not insist on its own way.

What? But I’m an American! You know the saying “Have it your way”. Yeah, I’m thinking that only works at Burger King.


It is not irritable or resentful.

But that person just talked down to me and made me upset! Umm, no! Somehow the sermon on the mount comes to mind. That’s Matthew chapter 5, you should read that today.


It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭10‬:‭23‬ ESV) let’s not be fools, amen?
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (‭Psalm‬ ‭51‬:‭6‬ ESV)
God delights in truth so we should too. Also did you know that Jesus said that He is truth? He did! Let’s read: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬ ESV)


Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Yes that is a tall order! But it is possible when we have God in our life and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ ESV) If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭7‬ ESV)

That’s a lot to chew on today isn’t it. But it’s something I believe we need to get into our spirits. If we are to be the light of the world we will only reveal that light through love. I’m not there yet? Are you?

To be continued.

  

June Memories Part 2

June 9th and 10th…oh the memories these two days hold. First terror, second new life and third new career. It’s amazing how God can turn things around in our lives when we surrender to His plans and purposes.

First there was one of the worst days in my life. Twenty one years ago, a night like no other. Nine hours of violence, torture, fear and pain. God prepared me for that night but I just didn’t know what it would look like. I learned that night that you could cry with no tears. Throughout the situation I prayed in my head and trusted that God would hear my prayers. I will spare the details of what happened but suffice it to say that I should have been hurt much worse but because of my size and weight I was spared any broken bones. I survived.

Was it God’s plan for me to go through such a horrendous circumstance twenty one years ago? No, but He saved my life. He made a way out for me and even though it was one of the hardest seasons in my life, His grace was sufficient, His banner over me was Love and His peace is what sustained me.

Three years later, after trying to fix my life my own way God stepped in and moved me to a new location. A place where I never thought I would fit in. A place that would turn out to be the best thing in my life.

Four years later, I stepped into a new career. A job where I would learn and grow. A place where I would eventually cultivate close relationships.

Here I am today, twenty one years later looking back over the years. There have been many hard times and yet I’m still moving forward. Each year I have found myself becoming depressed in the month of June. Each year I have re-lived that one night from twenty one years ago. While so many people would be celebrating graduations and birthdays and weddings in the month of June when summer finally brought forth sunshine and beautiful skies, I would just sink back into the miry pit that God had rescued me from so many years ago. It has been a cycle of depression and despair for so long.

But today I truly feel that it’s over, it’s done and my healing is complete. I don’t feel the pain anymore. It’s just a memory, a time in my past that I can call a victory because I survived. I don’t feel the depression anymore and I can truly say I’m ready to give back now. I’m ready to help someone else who might be in the thick of the miry clay. I spent ten years trying to figure it all out on my own and then the next ten years letting God lead me and I have to say that it’s much better when we surrender and let God guide us.

Written June 10, 2015

  

June Memories Part 1

The month of June holds much significance in my life. It’s a month of remembering great loss and new beginnings. I truly believe the Lord strips away another layer of sorrow and loss from my life every year. Twenty five years ago my brother and I lost our mother. I was twenty two and my brother was four and a half. I know with all my heart that God prepared me ahead of time for her death. I really didn’t understand it and found myself taking blame where I truly had no control. 

I recall the morning quite vividly as I was braiding my daughters hair getting her ready to see her great grandmother on her father’s side. One of my uncles came to my house to tell me that my mother had died and my first response was “Don’t play with me like that!” but his response stopped me cold. There I was holding my daughters hair in a half braid and his words pierced through me like a long dull spear. “Do you think I came over here to tell you a f’n joke?” Then he broke down crying. All I could do was sit there. 

I don’t really remember feeling any emotion, I became instantly numb. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. Surely there was a hidden camera somewhere and this was a sick joke. 

My uncle drove me to my grandmothers house and when I got out of the car my little brother came running toward me. He put his little arms around my legs and looked up at me with big serious eyes and declared “the fan killed our mommy”. He associated her cold body with the fan that was blowing on her through the night. His words shattered my unbelief and I knew it was true. Our mom was gone. 

The last time I saw my mother alive was right after Mother’s Day when I brought my daughters to see her and my grandmother. We had some serious conversations that day about my life. My life was a mess during that time. I lied to her about something that day and she knew I lied but never let on that she knew. The day she died that lie haunted me. It kept ringing in my head. I felt like such a terrible person. 

So much happened that weekend and throughout the next week in preparation for the funeral. I had several conversations with family members who shed light on many things that I might not had known about my mom. I’m grateful to those family members. 

My mother and I had a huge fall out about nine months prior to her death. I didn’t speak to her for three months. Then one day I just knew I had to make amends with her. It was right before Christmas that I stopped by to see her and as I look back today I am so thankful. I’ve never been one to hold grudges long and three months was a long time to be mad at my mother. 

I was pregnant with my son when mom passed and I knew I had to keep my emotions in check. My great aunt died when I was pregnant with my second daughter and  I became so depressed through that pregnancy that it affected my daughter. She was one crying child and didn’t like anyone! I couldn’t let that happen again. So I grieved for my mom for one day and let it go. Truly I don’t know how that happened but it did. I read the entire New Testament of the Bible over the next months and I’m sure that helped. 

Over the next seven years I allowed myself to grieve twice a year, on her birthdate and her death date. It was a long process. I cannot say I will ever truly be over the loss of my mother at a time when I really needed her. My brother needed her more. He was so young and would not have the memories that I had. She loved my brother so much. I thought he would be able to have the childhood I didn’t have with her. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Today I think of my mom and wish I had one last phone call, one last hug, one last kiss, one last bag of popcorn and sweet tea, one last Chinese dinner, one last laugh, one last cry, one last chance to hear her yell at my dad to buy us dinner, one last chance to see her smile.

I love you mom.
  

Jesus said, “Follow Me”

This past Sunday after church, I drove down a road that I don’t like very much. The road is narrow and winding. It causes me to become nervous and afraid. I find it interesting that the Lord has been speaking to me through times where I find myself afraid.

I share this message with you today that the Lord spoke to me about following Him, about keeping my focus on Him while I was driving on that road.

God bless you all!

Mayday, Mayday  God help me!

It has been 121 days since I have written anything here. 121 days that I’ve allowed lies to stop me from doing what I know in my heart is what the Lord would have me do.


When we believe lies it can distort our reality. I was believing the lies that say “I don’t write anything worth reading.”, “Who do I think I am to tell my story? No one cares, no one wants to hear it.” I knew these were lies but somehow I believed them. The other day I heard a friend speak out a lie similar to these and at that moment I knew it was these lies holding me back and also trying to stop my friend from sharing as well. No more!


I’m crying out MAYDAY, MAYDAY! Almighty God I need Your help today! It is God who calls us to share our testimonies of the things He has done in our lives.


Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! (‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭16‬:‭8-9‬ ESV)

How many times have I felt the desire to share a story here and yet I allowed lies to stop me in my tracks. Well no more! This ends today! I will say as Peter and John said to the men at the Sanhedrin when they commanded them not to teach or speak in the name of Jesus…


For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (‭Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭20‬ NKJV)


I will speak and write the things which I have seen and heard. I will tell of the greatness of Jesus who saves, delivers and sets free. I will tell my story and I pray the Holy Spirit will bring the right people to read my words and that it would help maybe just one person who is stuck in the miry clay.


I hope those of you who read this blog will forgive my absence and pray for me that I will allow the Lord to use me in writing the great things He has done in my life.


Please comment and let me know if there’s a specific topic you would like me to address here.


God bless you all!!


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My One Word for 2015

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I haven’t made New Year’s Resolutions for a while now but each year I usually feel impressed by the Holy Spirit to focus on one area where He is dealing with me and it usually boils down to one word. That one word typically becomes the theme for my year. Well on Christmas Eve I happened to choose a Reading Plan on my Bible.com app called “One Word That Will Change Your Life”. It was a 4 day devotional plan that helps you simplify your life by choosing one word to focus on for the year. Interestingly I had not been trying to figure out my 2015 word yet so I thought this devotional was timely. I finished the plan and chose a word but I wasn’t sure about my choice so I just tucked it in my heart. This morning I was challenged to re-think my choice. I’m pretty sure that my new word choice is Holy Spirit ordained and makes much more sense to me than my first choice.

Let me step back for a moment and share what has led me to my one word choice. When I wrote about not wanting to be depressed for the holidays I was truly in a good place in my life and had absolutely no reason to think that I would succumb to depression in just a short period of time. Just a short time after posting that blog I got one bad report, then another and then another and suddenly the familiar stench of the miry pit had encapsulated me once again. It was not just one set of circumstances, it was a myriad of problems that all popped up within a very short time span. Isn’t that the way it always happens? Most of us can handle a problem without losing it or falling into a depression but when we are caught in a seeming ambush of problems from all directions it further complicates matters. In just a moment of weakness and vulnerability I found myself in the miry pit just a few days before Christmas.

All of my good sense obviously went out the window because instead of reaching out to my prayer partners to ask for prayer I turned away from everyone and shut myself off from the world like I used to do. My reasoning was that I needed to shut myself away so I could be alone with God as I knew He was putting His finger on something in my life. That something was fear. Fear was all up in my face and I didn’t want to trouble any of my sisters in Christ because it was Christmas you know. How could I intrude on anyone’s joy with my issues? Oh that’s the lie of the enemy right there because it only takes 10 seconds to reach out to someone for prayer. I know I would never have a problem with someone coming to me for prayer so why do I think my friends would not do the same? But you see when the miry pit overtakes you it’s hard to see past the darkness.

Thankfully the Light of Jesus dispels the darkness and just when I thought I was stuck in that pit again the Lord sent a praying friend my way. That was just to let me know that He was still there. Over the next couple days the Lord picked me up once again, brought me out of the miry clay and set my feet back on solid ground. My problems are still surrounding me but I am no longer looking at them. My gaze and my focus is on Christ alone. This leads me to today and my one word for 2015. My word is COURAGE. You see the Lord has been speaking the verse from Joshua 1:9 to me for a few years now…

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (‭Joshua‬ ‭1‬:‭9‬ NKJV)

It’s time I change my perspective of this verse from just knowing that God is with me and that He tells me not to be afraid. He says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage”. This is not a suggestion, it’s a command. As I look over 2014, I’ve counted 5 times that fear has overtaken me and caused me to go back into the miry clay. Each time it has been a shorter time span and I see the gap has been closing. I’m declaring right now that it is time to put this fear problem behind me. I’m asking God to give me revelation to show me what courage looks like and how to walk in it. There is too much going on in this world for me to be held back by fear and it is time to get this settled.

Lord Jesus, I am surrendering to You once again. I’m asking that You reveal to me what courage looks like and how to walk in it. I know that You are my source and I trust that as I keep my focus on You that I will continue to move beyond the miry clay.

Lord Jesus, I ask that You speak to each reader of this blog and bless them to be able to surrender whatever issue or area of their life that You want to heal in 2015.

What will your one word be for 2015? Please check out the GetOneWord.com for resources to help you discover your one word. Most importantly ask Jesus for the word He wants you to focus on. Feel free to share with me in the comments when you get your word. Thank you for following my journey. Happy New Year!! God bless you all!!

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Christmas Anticipation and Expectation

The following is a testimony from my friend Sara Weber who has graciously agreed to allow me to share her beautiful words. Her testimony moved me greatly and I hope it will move you too.

Enjoy!


For many years now, and I do mean many, I’ve struggled with Christmas.  I’ve longed for the anticipation, excitement and wonder that filled me as a child at this wonderful time of year. Growing up in the late sixties and early seventies Christmas was a big deal…It started the day after Thanksgiving and lasted till after New Year’s.  That’s how my mom did it.  She made Christmas special!  There were Christmas cookies, dozens of them, lights, decorations, music, presents, and of course Santa, everything a child dreams of all year long, but during and in the midst of all this was the underlying knowledge and hope that this wasn’t it.  There was much more to Christmas.  Something that would or should last the whole year long.

As I grew up, I did my best to carry that “tradition” to my own family of children, and I hope I did.  But as the year flew by and my children grew up and were married with families of their own, Christmas was lost to me.  Anticipation and expectation were gone.  Sure Thanksgiving came and decorations went up, cookies were baked, but by mid December I was DONE!!!  Let’s just get this over with!  I was sick to death of hearing Christmas caroles on the radio, well maybe there were a few that still could muster a fond memory or two, but Elvis’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” made me want to  vomit up those Christmas cookies.

After my Mom died 6 years ago it got worse.  I didn’t even want to put up the decorations,  if it weren’t for my Emma, I probably wouldn’t have.  The Christmas Eve my Mom went home to be with Jesus, was the year Bob, Emma and I were in an accident on Interstate 39, going home to be with my sister and brothers for our first Christmas without Mom.  Here is where my journey begins.

As I lay in the hospital that night, with Nancy my daughter, sleeping in the chair next to my bed, I pleaded with God for the wonder and anticipation I felt when I was a child.  That night I had what I think was my very first prophetic dream.  I was seeing the accident, as if I were a spectator.  I saw that very large, very red Mac semi coming right at us and hitting the side of the SUV, the side I happened to be on.  As I watched, 3 angels appeared,  not the glowing  pretty white ones we see on top of our Christmas trees, but three huge strong warrior angels, they were holding back that Mac truck.  The truck did hit the car with a great force, enough to pin my legs to the point of needing to be cut out of the vehicle, but I know that if it were not for those angels I and probably Bob and Emma as well would have surely been celebrating Christmas in heaven with my Mom that year. I always wondered, why three angels?  Later I came to understand that those were our guardian angels. They weren’t just there for me, but for all of us.

Through the course of the next several months, God revealed to me that we, Bob, Emma and myself still had things God needed us to do.  I thought to myself, but You can use anyone, why me?  Jesus lovingly told me that yes indeed He could use anyone, and that He didn’t need me, but He WANTED me.  Even after all this, I still struggled with Christmas!  I must be one of those remedial learners, God has to say, OK, let’s try this again.

So fast forward to this year.  Several months ago I started asking God to circumcise my heart.  To cut out the iniquity in me, the sin nature, to make me Holy even as He is Holy.  He revealed to me that my heart was hard, with many layers, much like a quarry, and He was going to have to dig through them one by one to reveal to me the hurts, forgiveness, and bitterness I had pushed down and paved over time after time for countless years.  I needed to look at them and release them to Him the one who could release me from the bondages they held me in. He told me, “This will be uncomfortable and painful at times, but if you REALLY want what you are asking for it must be done”.  So I pressed forward and gave up the ground I had been holding on to and protecting all of these years.  Heavy equipment was involved and the excavation process had begun.

As He dug down deeper and deeper this Christmas issue came to the surface AGAIN!  He asked me gently, “What is it that you want to do with this?”  My reply was the same.  I want the wonder of Expectation and Anticipation I had when I was a child. He again gently said “And what does that look like to you?”  I said it looked like downtown La Salle, all decorated with red and green lighted  lamp posts,  the lighted garlands that were strung across the streets,  the shops decorated with  tinsel Christmas trees, and snow! Yes, there had to be snow!  He smiled at me and began to dig again.  He quietly asked me, “Is that REALLY what you want? or do you want MY wonder, expectation and anticipation?”  I reluctantly said “I want what You have for me.”  As I laid down MY desires for His, He showed me as He spoke to me.  ” What you desire does not come from these memories, they are wonderful memories and I don’t want you to forget them, they are part of you. What you really want is the Wonder the shepherds had on the night I gave Myself to be born a human.  Those shepherds, had lost hope too.  The Father had been silent for four hundred years!  Anticipation and expectation was reserved for the most devotedly faithful. They still had a glimmer of hope in the prophetic words of long ago.  But then angels of light broke through the darkest of night and sang a song of HOPE!  Fear not, the Messiah has been born!  GO, see for yourselves.  Worship the new born King!  The king they believed would rescue them from their immediate bondage.

Yes Lord, I know that, but…………Not saying a word, He smiled at me and went back to digging.  As I stood there puzzled I saw it, there in the distance, beyond the manger.  Ultimate love, hope, anticipation!   Stretched out on a cross!  MY Jesus, beaten, bleeding and dying, FOR ME!

As I fell to my knees, He left his digging and came to me.  “You see Sara,  I wanted you to have My very best,  but I couldn’t as long as  you were holding on to your own ideas.  We needed to dig through these layers so you could “see” with your heart what your Mom taught you in your mind.  Before tinsel Christmas trees, before snow,  before the manger, before the first star twinkled in the night sky, before there was light at all, the decision had been made. The Father and I planned it all!  I was to be the HOPE, the ANTICIPATION and the EXPECTATION for you and all mankind.  It is My gift to you, you can’t buy it or deserve it in anyway, You just have to accept it!”

So here I am this Christmas, knowing Jesus has many more layers to dig through to make me Holy as He is holy, but with a new Hope, a new Expectation, and a new  Anticipation.  Now that I’ve seen it I can’t stop seeing it!

As I look back over the last year and remember the messages that have been delivered from this pulpit,  God has prepared my heart to for this moment.  This Christmas holds new meaning for me and I pray that all of us can see beyond the manger to the cross and the hopeful, anticipation of celebrating Christmas with Jesus for all eternity.

Merry Christmas!

LET’S TALK ABOUT DEPRESSION

Depression is not a one size fits all topic. It looks different for everyone but people who have struggled with depression can find common ground in many of their experiences. Today I invite you to take a peek at a time when I was very depressed and what I did to begin to turn my situation around. The following is from my own personal journal:

“I am so discouraged today. I feel like my life is going down the toilet. God seems very distant and I feel like I have been dropped into a ditch somewhere and left to rot. Who am I to think that I should get special treatment from anyone or think that anyone should care or want to sympathize with the fact that I am struggling today? I am at the end of my proverbial rope and I cannot see any hands this time reaching to pull me out. I don’t know what to do, what to think, what to feel, how to respond. I just know that I am a walking zombie right now. I am going through the motions of life only because I am familiar with the day-to-day schedule. Everything I do is only achieved because I have been doing it for so long that it is a habit. I get up, I go to work, I go home, I make sure all my family is home at the appointed times, I cry, I sleep and I wake up to do it all over again.

I don’t know. I just feel like my guts have been ripped out of my body and strewn all over the place and I can’t put it all back together. I feel hopeless and miserable. The only place I feel like I have any control is at work. Why is that? How can I possibly keep my head on at work and then lose it on the way home. Hello! Can someone hear me? Can anyone hear my pain? Can anyone help me? I doubt it sincerely. The only hope I have is God. And He is even distant right now. Or at least that’s how I feel. But it could be my fault too because maybe I’m not listening for Him as closely as I should and maybe I can’t be still long enough to know that He is still in control even though I can’t feel His presence.

My mind just races with all these thoughts and I can’t make them stop. Maybe that is why I can’t hear the voice of God when He speaks. But how do I stop the voice in my head. I mean it’s me, it’s my thoughts, it’s my concerns, it’s my pain, my memories, my logic trying to make sense of it all. It’s me and how do I stop me? How can I flip the switch on my thought processes to make them work differently? I can be talking about one thing and thinking about a totally different thing. It’s ridiculous. Then of course when I talk about anything in my life, here comes the flood of tears. Who wants to hear me talk? Who cares that I cry all the time? No one cares. I used to have friends, not many but a few that I could actually call friends but they have all disappeared. Why is everyone so afraid to ask me what is wrong? Why is it that I can ask someone about their problems but no one can ask me? Why is it that when someone tells you they want to be there for you, they disappear when you really need them? Why say that at all? Why can’t I be like some other people and just not care? Why do I have to care about every single thing and person in my life? Cause of course no one cares about me or thinks about me. No one wants to really ask me, How are you? And actually expects a truthful answer.

I know I am rambling today and I don’t know why. I guess I just feel that maybe if I put this out there in print that I will be able to overcome the pain I feel every day. I am so out of sorts. I am so disorganized and there are so many things I have to take care of so that I can actually maintain.”

During this time of my life I was very much isolated and when I say isolated I mean I lived in what I call “a turtle shell” I poked my head out just long enough to take care of my responsibilities but I refused to allow anyone inside my little shell world because it was not pretty at all.  I didn’t allow anyone to get close enough to me to know that I was struggling. I knew how to go through the motions of daily life but inside I was dying. Since I have always kept a journal and I really truly loved to help other people, there came a day that I decided that I needed to be by own advocate and so I began a series of letters to myself as though I were a friend. I had read in 1 Samuel 30:6 how David encouraged himself in the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:6 King James Version (KJV)
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (emphasis mine)

David was a man who knew about depression. Have you read any of his Psalms lately? Have you read about all the things that he went through before and after becoming king? When you are done reading my blog today I suggest that you go read about David, you can start in 1 Samuel.

Now, after I read that verse and heard some teaching on the verse as well I decided that I needed to try something new to encourage myself in the Lord. I began to write letters to myself instead of just writing in my journal. You might think that is weird but hey we all do weird things sometimes. I will share just a little bit of the first letter I wrote to myself.

“Girlfriend you have been carrying around way too much baggage and garbage and it is time to get rid of it all. I know that you have been through so much that has bruised, scarred and maimed you but how long are you going to let those things define who you are? When are you going to bust through that shell once and for all time and start letting people see you for who God made you to be and allow them to love you and be there for you and be your friend. Look around you dear one, what do you see? Do you see emptiness and sand like you once did? Do you see someone trying to destroy your self-worth and your very character and personality just for their own gain? Do you see egg shells? Do you see darkness? What do you see? You might not be able to answer that question right now but here is what you should see…A single road, a step, a path and it is leading to one place…it’s leading to Jesus Christ and the Light that you should see is your Heavenly Father showing you the way….”

I will end there as the last sentence was the key for me, this paragraph was the beginning of me learning how to encourage myself in the Lord. It was the beginning of me learning how to firmly fix my gaze on Jesus Christ and truly allow Him to begin healing me from the inside out.

 

Psalm 143:7-8

Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

To be continued…

Psalm 40:2a – He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,