Being Saved, Uncategorized

Warring Against Depression

Fine as you wanna be, dressed to the nines, hair and make-up perfect– inside, empty and aching.

Before you read this please understand that I am not writing this post from a medical, psychological or sociological perspective. Those are not my fields of expertise, or even interests. I’m writing purely from a spiritual and experiential position.

Whatever the cause of depression… hormonal imbalance, grief, loneliness, trauma, life stresses, sin… it eats at the soul and takes up residence in our bodies manifesting itself in sickness and disease. Some of us lie in bed all day sobbing and weeping. Others feel so empty within we can’t even force tears. A few will act out and do everything humanly possible to prove to the world that everything is ok. But can I just say that Jesus is a healer?!

Forty-stripes he bore on his back for our sin and physical ailments. The crown of thorns they placed on his head for mental illnesses, one of which being depression. You don’t have to stay in that place.

I don’t mind telling the gory details of my 5-ish bouts of depression since age 13, but I’d rather tell you how I war against it. Yes, continually… I fight this thing like B&B fight Face Raiders on their Nintendo 3DS’s.

Spiritually speaking, depression is a result of hopelessness.

It’s crazy how one can have faith in God today but lack hope for tomorrow. When we lose sight of or begin to doubt God’s promises for us, we sink into ourselves thinking that life has nothing better to offer. But the Father assures us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has good thoughts towards us and has a wonderful end in mind. What’s more is that He doesn’t lie and He doesn’t change His mind (Numbers 23:19). God is able and willing to do everything He promised in your life. Let hope in Christ ANCHOR your soul so the waves of depression don’t cause you to drift away (Hebrews 6:19).

When you reach the end of your world, go up!

In Psalm 61, David calls to the Lord from the end of the earth. We often think our life is over when something traumatic happen, but David realized that when He was at the end of Himself He needed to tap into another source. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I! In other words “Lord, I’m a low place and at the end of myself. My life might even be over. But Lord, You are a Rock. You are solid. You are strong. You are unmovable. You are higher than me! Lead me into Your presence!”

Work hard on resting!

Depression is nothing short of spiritual warfare. Whenever you’re battling, be sure to get plenty of sleep. Medical studies show… well you already know that. Turn on worshipful music and soak in God’s presence. Commune with Him in your spirit. Sleep. Dream. Wake up. Repeat. Work hard to make time to get in God’s presence and rest. You will win more ground reclining with your pillow and Bible than you will trying to fix the problems yourself (Hebrews 11:4). Pay close attention to your dreams during this time. Often the Lord will reveal the cause of depression and show you how to become free.

Pray a simple prayer.

Of course it’s equally important to read the Word, but it’s hard to really receive the Word when one is in such emotional turmoil. Read something simple and easy to contain. When it comes to prayer, it’s best to whisper a simple “Lord, I trust You.” This might have been the only prayer I prayed regarding my divorce for at least a year. I didn’t have enough faith or understanding in the matter to pray God’s will, so I just said those words. If you just don’t know what to do, just tell the Lord you trust Him. Job said “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” You may not understand the “slaying” but it will be for your good.

Make the trade.

God has a special place in His heart for those who experience deep emotion, but depression and sadness aren’t what He has in mind. Isaiah 61:3 offers a promises for those who mourn. He will give beauty in place of ashes (loss, death, grief), oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Even now I can see some of you shouting and dancing! His plan is to establish us as trees of righteousness for HIS Glory. People will stop and notice the difference in you. Beauty, joy, and praise sound pretty good to me right about now. My pastor always says, “If you need joy, leap for it!”

I would be remissed to say these are the ONLY ways to deal with depression. By all means, if you are overwhelmed, cutting, abusing yourself or others, suicidal (been there too), or homicidal, SEEK HELP! Counseling and medication are tools that God gives us to cope, but they will NOT replace the need for Him in our lives. I would also strongly advise seeking a deliverance ministry that can assist in getting you free from any generational curses and demonic strongholds. We try to humanize the issue, but the fact of the matter is that there’s a devil out there who wants you dead, or at the very least, alive and miserable. Let’s put him back in his place!

Finally, I just wanna say… oh wow, how do I say this… that one scripture– He doesn’t give us more than we can bear– that’s not for our trials. That scripture pertains to temptation. Yes, God will allow Satan to kill off your family, destroy your property, give you leprosy, while keeping your big-mouthed spouse in perfect health to nag you. Ask Job. And, yes, God will allow your disobedient behind to be swallowed by a whale and the kelp to wrap around your head while billows wash over you. Ask Jonah. He’ll even allow your sweet, innocent 20-something self to be thrown into a fire for the musings of the wicked. Ask the three Hebrew boys. So there’s that. Trials and tribulations can certainly be too much for us, but His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corithians 2:9).

Then there’s the Scripture about His yoke being easy and His burden being light– I don’t know what to do with that yet. Y’all pray for me.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your FREEDOM!!

 

Alana

Photo credit: Creative Commons License Snake3yes via Compfight

 

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Being Single, Being Smart, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

It seems many of you are reading on the sly, but I’m proud to say I have almost 1000 hits! AND I’ve made it to Pakistan. Hi, Naila! And Australia… What’s up, Sean? And to a few other places in Europe. I don’t know who’s reading there, but I’m hoping you ALL stay with me. And would you be so kind as to pass me on? 🙂
I have one more piece of business before I carry on with today’s controversial title. I just want to make it perfectly clear that I am NOT in any way searching for romantic love. Yes, I want it, but looking for it is not the way to obtain it. Having said that, I know it’s close by… I keep looking at my left ring finger expecting a big, shiny rock to blind me. Soon enough… it will happen.
So why am I writing all this kraziness? Well for one, it’s therapeutic for me. Two, it may be therapeutic for you. At the very least you’ll discover that you’re not the only nutty person on the planet. And three, to help somebody else with my personal experiences… I didn’t go through all this crap for nothing!
But I’ve delayed long enough. On to the topic at hand!
I think it is EXTREMELY important to find the best in people. I try to always let a person know what I think is great about them. If he’s handsome, I’ll tell him. If he’s smart, I’ll let him know. If I’ve got to dig really deep to find something good to say to a person, I give them a compliment on faith. Faith kind of works like credit… you tell them what they could become to move them forward. People need to feel valued, and even though you may not be around long, it’s best that you treat the other person with the utmost dignity and respect.
But!! Oh my goodness… what a big BUT (and I’m not talking about Serena’s) we have to discuss!
Every person, regardless of how much good they have, has some bad. Most of us just let it hang out, while a few who want to do right try to keep it tucked away. So yes, when you spend time with someone you’ll find both good and bad. But where should the line be drawn?
These are the pieces I’ve found in men & women that indicate there WILL be trouble up ahead. And a wise man sees trouble from a long distance and HIDES himself. You got that? Yeah, that’s Bible for ya!
  1. There are TOO many friends of the opposite sex. Now if the person is active in a community like church or work, you may see this trend, but that’s not what I’m discussing. But if you’re seeing crazy FB posts and tweets, don’t ignore them. If that person is sitting beside you and trying to sneak text, don’t ignore that either! (Had to get that out!) You’re just one of the bunch. I guess being one of many is okay if you’re not serious about settling down. But knowing how ladies can be, most of us do want that security. So if he’s a good man with too many female friends (and the converse), and you can’t meet those friends in a reasonable time, said person is not the one for you! In the sweetest kindest manner possible, walk away and don’t look back.
  2. Her or his recent past is jacked up. I know a REALLY sweet guy whose last two years have been laced with one bad decision after another. I’m in NO position to judge, and he gets the utmost respect from me because he keeps his head held high. However, just because I’m intent on remaining nonjudgmental does NOT mean that I should ignore what’s going in his life. The bottom line is this. We all pay for the bad choices we make, and if you know a person consistently makes bad choices, they won’t start making good ones just because you’re in the picture. And unfortunately consequences can last a lifetime. How willing are you to help someone else pay the price for their wrong-doing? That’s a rhetorical question that you really should take the time to answer. (Ow!)
  3. He or she is seething with anger and bitterness. I know men say that women are bitter, but if you’ve ever met a divorced man, you’ll quickly discover that they take bitterness to a whole new level. I mean… they want you to be mad at the ex-wife who cheated on them years ago. I ain’t mad at her! You still love her. Go back and deal with that!
  4. She or he has low self-esteem. It’s easy to tell a woman with low self-esteem in most cases. I think it’s safe to say 90% of us suffer from it at one time or another. But a man with low self-esteem is often very hard to identify. Here’s how to tell for both sexes…. they can’t accept compliments, they don’t give any compliments, they don’t call when they say they will, they bring up sex when it has nothing to do with anything, they claim you’ll become addicted, they fall too fast and too hard, they entertain others with low self-esteem, they are a control freak, they run through several boyfriends or girlfriends in a short period of time, they do a disappearing act. Anything that exerts unnecessary power in the relationship or boosts their ego is a definite sign someone is struggling with his or her self-worth. People with self-esteem issues need to work through those problems ON THEIR OWN. Plus low self-esteem is also the leading cause of infidelity in relationships. Do I have a statistic back that up? No, I have personal experience. Good enough for you?
  5. You’re being blamed for issues that belong to them. This has happened to me twice today, quite possibly because I knew I needed to write about it. People play this game to manipulate. I HATE manipulation. Don’t give in to this foolishness. Like I said in another post… speak the truth and end the conversation. If you can’t do that, just end the conversation and don’t look back. This person’s feelings are not worth sparing.
I’m sure you can come up with many more negative qualities that may outweigh the good ones, but I bet they’ll fall into these categories… with the exception of one. “He’s a good man, but he’s gay.” This is quite possibly THE most disappointing of all the statements but there really isn’t a darn thing you can do about any, now is there? Lol…
My hope is that you found this entry balanced and informative. This is, by no means, male or female-bashing, but is an investigation as to why we ignore the most obvious signs of future demise. Turning a blind eye won’t make the problem go away. Honor what’s good in a person, but don’t get caught up in what could be.
Share your thoughts…
Your cybersister,
Alana