Monday, March 12, 2012

Fighting Something Ugly

Depression is an ugly thing to fight. It surrounds you-- and like a dense fog, when you try to bat at it, even with all your strength, your hands just pass straight through. Depression creeps into every crack and gap, nook and cranny of your heart and mind left open to its harsh touch. It sneaks in through the tiniest of holes and fills any empty caverns it can find. It smudges the soul and crowds out the sunshine. Depression is a monster. It gnaws at the mind and sends its venom coursing through the veins.
Depression is my demon. Somehow, he knows me better than I know myself. He gets me where I didn’t even know it would hurt. He tells me I’m not important enough, I’m not perfect enough, I’m not useful enough. He tells me I'm too weak. He tells me if I fail, I won’t be trusted, supported, appreciated or loved anymore. He tells me I’m insignificant, replaceable, unwanted. He pokes and prods until I accept that there’s someone who could do “me” better than me. He reminds me of my past and paints chains on my future. Often I’m able to ward him off through the Truth found in God’s Word, but he always seems to find another way back in. He seeps in silently on the back of insecurity, jealousy, hurt, disappointment, frustration, stress, confusion and pain.
Sometimes, if I run fast enough, do enough, busy myself enough, I can get ahead of him, but inevitably he catches up and invites himself back in.

I’ve been thinking a lot of how to deal with depression. Because it hurts to be depressed and I'm weary from fighting it. I want instead, to have an irrepressible, pure joy for others and for myself.
So many times I’ve heard “you have to stop thinking about yourself and focus on others if you want to be rid of depression”. I believe there’s great truth to this, don’t get me wrong, but I just end up burning myself out trying to serve, and then the moment I stop, depression’s right back upon me. Maybe (for me, anyway) there's more to this. But what? I can seal up all those cracks and holes in my life that depression sneaks in through, but if I cover them up, then the depression that’s within will be permanently trapped inside. 
So what about this: maybe the cleansing of depression has to come from within. A medicine, so to say, from God that begins on the inside and works its way out, banishing depression as it goes and filling up the empty places so that nothing else can fill them again.

maybe that medicine has a name.


just maybe
it’s trust?

Trust that in Him I am enough. In Him I am loved unconditionally. Trust that He has a perfect plan for me. He’s got the right place (or places), the right man, the right job, the right friends, the right ministry, the right encouragement, the right acceptance. Trust that he’s got everything under control. Trust that I don’t need to have everything under control, I only have to give everything over to Him.
15 Bible Verses You Should Read Now

That’s absolute truth that the Bible is full of. But honestly, you and I both know it’s way easier read and said than done. What does it take to really, really hand it all over and mean “Lord, have your way with me!”?
I’m still figuring that out.
On the brink of giving up, which I do all to often, I’m going to rally myself once again and pray, pray, pray, pray. 
Obviously, wanting this isn’t enough, because I’ve wanted relief from depression for a long time. I actually sometimes get depressed over the fact that I'm depressed (confusing, i know.) So wanting's not enough, but quite possibly begging will do it. Not letting God hear the end of it until I am whole.

My heart’s cries in the past weeks have been channeled through two songs: 

From the Inside Out by Hillsong

Remind me Who I Am by Jason Gray

I don’t want my faith to be marred by any of the aforementioned lies from the master of darkness. I want to be free from the measurements and comparisons for self-worth this world is bent on forcing into our minds.
Don’t you?
Let’s ask for it.

Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

*UPDATE, FALL, 2012*
I have seen such a change in my heart attitude and mind set over the past several months as I have bit by bit continued to give every desire, fear, question, joy, whatever, over to God. He has filled me and fulfilled me. I have His peace. I know that He does lead and He will lead, and in those rare moments that depression seeks to rain on His parade, I turn that over to Him as well. I'm learning and He's faithful. Praise the Lord.

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