Posts Tagged ‘depression’

A letter to myself

Lose sight of perfection, and get lost in the journey. Be okay with falling, failing. Be okay with scars. Be okay with never being quite good enough. Be okay if the finish line moves with every step you take. As you improve so do the expectations placed on you. As you go high, anticipate harder falls. But when you fall, don’t stay down. Don’t stay defeated.

 

Don’t let sadness engulf you or misery define you. When people criticize you take whatever you can from it, but do not internalize it. Hear it, listen to it, learn from it, and let it go.

 

Don’t let the sadness of a previous day follow you for the rest of the week. Don’t hide yourself from hurt. Allow it to hit you like a wave, then wash it away. Wake up every day and try your best. Brush your teeth, take a shower, and be grateful for another day.

 

Let perspective find you, let joy lift you up. Find a shoulder to cry on, and if none appear, tell your troubles to Jesus. He has the kindest ear, the softest heart, the biggest smile, and a light that brings cheer.

 

You are okay, if not, you will be. The weight you carry will grow lighter as you become stronger. Believe in yourself the way you believe in others. Have faith, love, and hope. Be kind, and don’t forget to smile.

 

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Sleep

I am encased by this deep fear.
Night after night sleep evades me.
I seek peace but I cannot reach it.
An enemy chases me that I cannot see.

I call out to my Father, but I don’t know if He hears me.
I am wandering this dark forest alone with no one to guide me.
I ask for direction and all I hear is silence.
I seek love and help from those who dwell on this earth with me,
but their aid is lost just as quickly as it was found.

The journey overwhelms me. I fall, and there is no one to catch me.

I call to my Father in hope that He help me.
That He heed my plight.

I want to give up on hearing His voice.
To claim that He isn’t there,
that He doesn’t care.

But I know He is there.
Standing quietly,
looking on lovingly.
Telling me that the night doesn’t last forever.
That light and relief come with the morning.

So I bide my time and wait.
When I can no longer form words,
and a cry is on my lips,
I just call His name,
Jesus, Jesus,
and I find the peace I need to sleep.

Overcoming obstacles

Sometimes it is easy to wallow in self pity. When I get in that frame of mind I tend to dwell in it for quite a bit. I wake up not so ready to face the day and with a feeling of two large hands pressing down on my chest. Then there is also the feeling of walking under a perpetual cloud. Today was one of those days, where I kinda just planned on barely making it through the day. I got to work and after some semi-challenging news I started feeling like the cloud above me was going to burst. I picked up my phone hoping to distract myself, but as usual there is never really anyone to talk to when you really need them, so I ended up going online and reading an article about a woman who has every reason to wallow in self pity but doesn’t.

She literally goes around giving TEDx talks exuding positivity and strength; when she can’t sit down and has a to use an external bag as a stomach. She’s extremely skinny because though she eats 8,000 calories a day she only retains 20% of it. Which most of us would think great right? But not when the rest drips out of what should be her stomach. I thought wow. If I was going through that I would be such a mess. I mean imagine relationships, the limits in getting closer to people, the constant rejection and explanations she has to give. Never really being able to be ‘normal.’  And the bitterness that doctors actually made everything worse. But she literally just pushes past all that and lives a meaningful life. Traveling, meeting people, sharing her story- her insecurities, and exuding strength and courage.

I know sometimes looking at how worse off others are can be a means of disregarding our very real problems and suggesting that what we are going through isn’t valid. But that’s not what I am suggesting you, or I for that matter do. I feel like stories like this should give us strength to tackle whatever obstacle we are facing, and encouragement that we are not alone in our struggles. There is no one out there living a ‘normal’ life. We all have our own versions of normal. But we don’t have to be overwhelmed by it, or just accept it, we can thrive through it.

Well I am off to finish facing my own obstacles. I wish you the best in tackling yours!

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Chasing after the wind

Recently I have been struggling with feelings of low self worth. I don’t understand why God made me, why I am necessary in this world, or what I can really offer.

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I wonder if other people can see me the way I see my self. Sinful, empty, and broken.

I go through each day exhausted no matter how much I sleep. I’m not only tired in body, but in soul, and in mind.

I try to turn to God, but the world seems grab more of my attention. I remember that God is love, but I am confronted with the fact that though God is love, there is so much real suffering in the world. I don’t blame God for this. But I just wonder when enough will be enough. When will there be enough rape, murder, hate, gossip, and unfairness. Why do children have to experience a hunger that eats away at their insides? Why do women have to walk around in fear of their sexual freedom? Why does the dark skinned 4 year old girl at my church look longingly at the light skinned girl who comes to visit and say she wishes she had her skin?

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Why are families broken, why does love hurt, why does friendship fade, why is loneliness and hopelessness a disease that takes away so many lives.

Our world is so messed up. Yes, there is so much beauty, and there are so many people with amazing souls that bring light to those around them. But never have I been so aware that this world is not my home. Never have I so longed for a place in heaven. Not that I could fathom that I’d ever deserve to be there. But simply because I’m tired of being here.

I long for the place where peace, hope, and love is not just a mental construct that you use as a bridge to find your happy place, but it rather an actually reality.

I would try to end this post with something positive, but I rather be honest. God gave us the book of Psalms, but He also gave of the book of Ecclesiastes and Job. As Christians I think we have convinced ourselves that if we follow God, we should constantly be happy, joyful, at peace, and one with God. But the simple truth is God did not promise we wouldn’t face this hardship, and this emptiness.

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”- Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

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Blame game

People often gather to celebrate the victories, but their presence would have been more greatly felt in the defeats.

 

anger

I woke up one day and realized that I was angry. That life, had made me angry. There was so much rage, bitterness, and anger. And it surprised me.

 

I don’t know when it happened. But it did.

 

 

Sadness, self-pity, disappointment, and depression often turns outward when the burden of self-blame becomes too much. We search for an object, a person, or an institution to blame. Anyone but ourselves. Perhaps if we pass the blame onto someone else, we no longer need to face our own demons. Instead we can turn sadness into anger. We can hold our parents, our teachers, our preacher accountable. We can say that our family rejected us. That the government neglected us. Or that God has left us.

 

The American Psychological Association defines anger as an “emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.”

 

In life we often times feel that we have been wronged by certain people or society as a whole. And for those taught to believe in a higher being, they begin to hold Him accountable for every bad thing that has happened in their life.

 

A brother was brutally murdered.
A wife, raped and killed.
A child, left to die after multiple gunshots to the chest.

 

After overwhelming grief, sorrow often turns to anger.

Retribution is called for. Someone should pay! The guilty party should suffer to the extent of the law. But when that doesn’t bring peace or equanimity. We need a scapegoat—who better than God?

 

“Why did God allow…?”

“If God is good, then why…?”

“Where was God when…?”

“How could a good God let…?”

 

It’s amazing how many of us today believe in good without believing in evil. We can by a stretch of the imagination believe in God. But by that same stretch we don’t consider that there is a source of evil.

 

Did God promise us roses, sunsets, no hardships, or suffering? Yes, He did. And then he also gave us freedom. Freedom that enabled the ability for pure, unforced love. And freedom that also allowed for disobedience. The fruit was eaten. Mama Eve, and Papa Adam left the garden. And we came to the knowledge that though “all good things come from God,” saying yes to the fruit allowed Satan to also take hold of our lives. There entered destruction, war, famine, hardship, death, and suffering.

 

God is surely stronger and wiser than Satan, thus Satan will not roam free forever. But since God will never force us to love him, or command us to follow him, we now have this freedom: to choose who will be our God, and find which side we will serve.

A lesson in Hebrew

It’s hard to preach the truth, because people will start to hold you accountable to it. 

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“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.”

God is good. But when he saves us, he doesn’t tell us to stay as we are. He tells us like the woman caught in adultery, to “go and sin no more.” Her sin did not become less real because He forgave her. And his forgiveness did not take away her need to change. Salvation does not remove from us the responsibility of the law; it simply removes from us the fear of it. Salvation allows us to look in the mirror and face our fears, our sins, our inadequacies, and our worries, and enables us to say that God is greater than the things we let control our lives.

The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:18) The word for near in Hebrew is karov, and it means close enough to touch. We don’t need to shout for God to hear us, or kneel for him to listen, or close our eyes for him to act. God is close to us. Close enough to touch.

The truth is, much of the suffering we go through as Christians is inward. We are attacked with depression, self-hate, sin, temptation, lack of self-confidence, failure, and lust. Often times there is sorrow in our heart that no one else can share. But our brokenness is what draws us to Christ for healing.

God is near to those with a broken heart, or nishbar lev. The Hebrew word lev refers to our inner life: our affectations, our mind, and our will. Those who have a broken heart realize that they have no control over their own lives. They are inwardly broken, and are in need of God’s salvation.

Salvation, in Latin is salvare, to save, which in Hebrew is yoshia. In the Hebrew language yoshia signifies ‘making room from what restricts or distresses us.’ Thus Salvation frees us from what oppresses and constricts our inward life. It is God saving us from ourselves.

“A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer, and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.”

“A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer, and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.”

For God to work in you, he will often times remove the things you trust and cherish, so that instead of life’s priorities and passions you will focus on Him.

‘The flaming desire to be rid of every unholy thing and to put on the likeness of Christ at any cost is not often found among us. We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs. But for most of us it would be an embarrassing experience. Ours would be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes, who have fought the fight and won the victory, and who have scars to prove that they were present when the battle was joined.’

Oftentimes we want to be used by God, but determine by ourselves the time, intensity, and method of the trials and suffering we meet on the way. We want our strengths and abilities to shine forth, not our broken hearts, or our weaknesses.

We don’t have to look for suffering in order to be used by God—trials will always find us. But when they do, will we see them as God being indifferent to us, or will we see it as His hand molding and growing us so that we might enjoy being with him for an eternity.

Examine it further:
A.W. Tozer. Eric Jonas Swensson. Crossway. Hebrew4Christians.

Pity me – Convicted

“When we pity ourselves, all we focus on is ourselves. We only see our problems. We don’t see any of the good things in our lives.”

Smile-Frown Neduzi

Seven Reasons Why Self-Pity Is a Sin (C.Fitzwater)

  • Self-pity is a refusal to accept trials as a test of faith, thus inhibiting our own growth toward maturity and completion in Christ.  (“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…”  James 1:2-4  NIV)
  • Self-pity demands that  you are entitled to a certain quality of life that has not been promised to you in Scripture.  (Jesus says, “…In this world you will have trouble.”  John 16:33  NIV)
  • Self-pity dilutes your compassion for others, as you elevate your own suffering to a place of prominence.  (“…be compassionate…”  1 Peter 3:8  NIV)
  • Self-pity is married to grumbling and complaining.  (“Do everything without complaining…”  Philippians 2:14  NIV)
  • Self-pity ousts gratitude.  (“Be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15  NIV)
  • Self-pity fills your time with useless whining and moaning instead of prayers for help and rescue from the Almighty God.  (“Call upon me in the day of trouble…”  Psalm 50:15  NIV)
  • Self-pity will only accept joy that comes from reversal of circumstances instead of joy that comes from the Lord.  (“Rejoice in the Lord always…”  Philippians 4:4  NIV

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“Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future.”