I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.
In recent times I have come across many people that are busy with performance, busy with measuring up to the worlds plumb line of success, busy people pleasing, wearing ‘busy’ like a badge, like it’s a status to be coveted. In prayer and pondering I asked the Lord to speak to me about this busyness… should I be more busy so as to soak in the success pool? Here’s what I believe He whispered; ‘they keep themselves ‘purposely busy’ while I have created you to be ‘busy about your purpose’, your purpose is to love and be loved, Kingdom success is measured by how well you love’. This brought such a peace to my soul, and reminded me of the words penned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13;
The Way of Love
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (MSG Version)
This is by far my favourite song at the moment; “Blessing’s” by Laura Story , I believe the trials of this life are His mercies in disguise, I have doubted His goodness, I have doubted His love and many times after I have shared my journey with others, they are perplexed that I choose to glorify God. They have questioned how can I still believe in God let alone trust in His goodness? They perceive that when I was trusting in Him, He let me down?!
I have grappled in my mind with these arguments for the past 5 years, ‘is God good? Does He love me? Why do bad things happen to good people?, in fact why do bad things happen at all? Finally I grew tired of trying to figure it all out and made the choice to trust in His Word and trust that He is a God of Mercy and deep, deep Love for us. My healing has come through tears and a thousand sleepless nights were what it took to know He is near, my faith has been renewed and I have entered His rest.
I still have painful memories and even present day sorrowful situations, but I am learning to transcend them by pursuing the heart of God in prayer and reading the Word. Proverbs 3:5-6 implores us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”. Day and night I have meditated on this truth. Trusting in the Lord means, rather than blaming Him for what happens, rather than doubting His love for us, we relax and rest assured believe that our Heavenly Father has our life in the palm of His hand and never shall He loosen His grip, no never. x
Jesus says, ‘… In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)
Jesus knew well in advance that this life would be full of trouble, He has not promised when you believe in Him your life will be trouble-free, He has promised though that no matter what you face He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Trust me, when I gave my heart to Jesus there were no bolts of lightning tracking through the sky, the devil didn’t send me a congratulations card and wipe me off his list, what did happen though was a deep peace moved into my spirit.
Peace like no other, to this day has been my anchor in the storms. I am almost certain, had I not been anchored in Him throughout the past few years, I quite possibly would have ended my life. In His Grace, Mercy and immeasurable love I have been made whole, complete in Him.
Whatever storms you may be going through stand fast, let the winds blow and when things settle you will look back and see His Sovereign hand has drawn a line of purpose through that which you thought you would never survive.
Writing for this blog has been elusive for the past few months, life’s like that sometimes… elusive, indefinable and mysterious. As life’s circumstances have flooded in I found myself swept away, adrift in a sea of worry and anxiety dumbfounded with not much to say about anything. There was the issue… I had nothing to say, instead I just let life’s blows back me into a corner feeling beaten and defeated.
I panicked ‘God no I can’t be depressed again’, ‘I have been healed, delivered and set free’, I affirmed myself… then I heard the Lord say ‘speak to your circumstances’! ‘The circumstances are your reality but they are not Truth’!
Oh boy did I open my mouth and speak! Here I was shouting and bouncing around like a shadow boxer, my mind grew fierce with determination as I declared ‘no weapon formed against me shall prosper’ (Isaiah 54:17) , ‘God has a good plan for my life, plans to prosper me and give me a future and a hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11) and ‘Lord you promised that you will keep me in perfect peace as my mind is stayed on you’ (Isaiah 26:3) the more I declared scripture, that which was overwhelming and vying for my attention dimmed to a dull shadow in the Light of Truth.
Our words carry creative power, Romans 4:17 implores us to ‘call those things that are not as though they already were’. However, when we are exhausted, distracted and not made time to ‘come away’ with Him it’s easy to speak negative and talk about all that is wrong in our lives. Lesson learned… keep my eyes on Him, my mind on His promises, and be ready to spring into action speaking the Word at the onset of a downward spiral. Needless to say I am ready to ‘get back in the ring’ and this time I will stand until the final round’. 😉
As I continue to share my testimony of healing from depression, many readers are being inspired, filled with hope and completely healed. I believe God is healing in many ways as we share life’s journey together, in particular when we give testimony of what He has done in our lives.
May I encourage you, as you read these postsbe open to His presence. In His presence you may feel you want to laugh, cry, or get up and dance around. Whatever the case, whatever happens be rest assured the Lord is doing a great and mighty work in you. It’s all about Him, He wants you healed & whole more than you want it… I don’t know what His manifest Presence is going to look like for you, but I know my Jesus so be expectant!
Let me remind you of the power of testimony and how by sharing a testimony (or by you reading or hearing a testimony) we are shifting the atmosphere, literally inviting the Father to ‘do it again’!
In Revelation 19:10 we read ‘the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’.
… the ‘testimony, a spoken or written record of anything God has done, is the spirit of prophecy.
Prophecy either points to the future or it changes an immediate event.
Testimony causes a change in present events! The word ‘testimony’ in Hebrew comes from a root word which means ‘do again’ … so every time a testimony is spoken, it comes with it God’s covenant to repeat the miracle!
The reason we share a testimony is because we want to create the atmosphere for the miracle to be duplicated… as I share my journey on these pages I am not just giving information, I am giving the power for transformation, lives are transformed as faith is elevated through the power of our testimony.
I will testify of His goodness all of my days 🙂 Now you go find some powerful testimonies in areas that you need breakthrough, let faith arise and BE EXPECTANT x
“Emotions are like a spoiled child, indulge them and they’ll control you” – Bob Gass
We all have emotions the key is learning how to manage emotions and not allow them to manage us. Emotions are fickle, my firsthand advice; don’t over indulge your emotions or they will mess up your day!
In particular with depression, as you first begin to ‘opt in’ to doing life again the mood swings can be overwhelming, one moment feeling that depression has lifted and your emotions are high, ie. you catch yourself laughing or simply smiling, the following moment feeling completely defeated and easily snap at the slightest upset. This unstable behaviour would leave me feeling terrible about myself, it was hard on me as well as everyone around me. Often when I would have a good moment or even a good day, my mind would be consumed with the thought ‘this is too good to be true, it probably won’t last’ on the heels of such thinking was an emotion attached… a deep wave of depression would overwhelm me once again.
A very valuable lesson I have learned, having suffered depression, it is easy to mistake a bad day/flat feeling as being a relapse back into a depressed state. Looking back on my rollercoaster of emotions, I see clearly now that every moment of my day was based on how I was feeling as opposed to living by faith… I was being controlled by my emotions.
Considering we are body, soul and spirit, if we are to be ‘led by the spirit’ it is most important to make emotional maturity our goal and walk in the spirit as opposed to being led by emotions. Joyce Meyer explains; “We must learn to trust that God knows what He is doing in us. If we feel something in our emotions, that is fine. If we do not feel anything, that is fine too. We must remember that we are in this for the long haul – not just for those times when we feel good, but also for those times when we feel bad or do not feel anything at all…” Yup in this for the long haul, now hush those emotions and keep on the lookout for pinching Angels 😉 x
In my experience with healing from depression, I met many well-meaning Christians that were intent on spiritualising every aspect of my condition… everything was a stronghold or a soul tie, and yet most days I clearly heard the Lord say ‘rest is the most spiritual thing you can do today’.
It is true our battle is not against flesh and blood, there is a spiritual realm in which we must contend for healing (see Ephesians 6:12).
However if we are to contend for healing, I believe it is not to give the enemy so much ‘air time’ that we become paranoid and look for a demon under every rock. Rather I suggest we must embrace what needs to be addressed for spiritual health (prayer, deliverance, repentance etc.) alongside applying some practical steps towards healing our physical bodies.
Recently I read a daily devotion penned by L.B Cowman Streams In The Desert, she writes on the issue of confounding physical weariness with spiritual weakness:
And what did God do with His tired servant? Gave him something good to eat and put him to sleep. Elijah had done splendid work and had run alongside of the chariot in his excitement, and it had been too much for his physical strength, and the reaction had come on and he was depressed. The physical needed to be cared for. What many people want is sleep and the physical ailment attended to. There are grand men and women who get where Elijah was- under a juniper tree! And it comes very soothingly to such to hear the words of the Master: “The journey is too great for thee, and I am going to refresh you.”
Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is rest, along with spiritual laws we also must address the natural laws of ‘something good to eat and a good sleep’… today, give yourself permission to rest and have something good to eat 😉 X
The most courageous decision I have ever made was the moment when I decided to take off my masks… my social mask, my school-mum mask, my corporate trainer mask, my church mask and every other ‘face’ that was not the real me.
Max Lucado, in his book Six Hours One Friday, describes our desperate desire to disguise our true -self…
“We are masters of the masquerade. Cars are driven to make a statement. Jeans are purchased to portray an image. Accents are acquired to hide a heritage. Names are dropped. Weights are lifted. Yarns are spun. Toys are purchased. Achievements are professed”.
In the depths of despair I had no energy for playing charades, the blessing of this desperate place was that the real me, the amazing strong woman I was created to be, was finally allowed to come out of hiding… it was literally a case of being strong enough to show my weakness. For most of my life the real me was hidden behind a painted smile, I believe we all spend our time wearing costumed faces. The fear of rejection, fear to be ourselves pervades out thoughts until the real self is forgotten. May I encourage you to remove your masks, silence the fear and step into the freedom to be you. You do ‘you’ perfectly!