Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fighting Depression

I just can’t seem to get going. My pep is gone and all I want to do is sleep. I’ve struggled with depression for a long time…probably even before I knew what was wrong. Seven years ago, after several panic attacks which sent me to the emergency room with severe hyperventilation (partial loss of function in my hands and feet) a doctor diagnosed me with depression. The depression would cause the panic attacks. Since that time, I have been on several different medications to try and help what some doctors feel is a chemical imbalance where my body does not produce enough serotonin.

The last couple of weeks I have been battling wildly in my mind fighting against negative thoughts about myself. It gets tiring to say the least. I don’t feel like being around people, but I force myself to go out even if it is just for a little while. I know the time of year…January, February, and March…are the three months I struggle the most. The days are shorter, less sunlight, and I’m less likely to get outside. I cry more which annoys me to no end. The worst part is I feel a panic attack lurking around every corner and that it will hit me unexpectedly.

Depression is a very difficult subject to breech to people. I’m a Christian and I do very much love the Lord with all my heart. I ask the Lord, “Why?” all too often not understanding why He can’t just heal me. Oh…I’ve tried to go off the medicine in full belief I was healed…only to crash in a dismal pit of angst and then be out of commission for weeks while my medicine built itself back up in my body. So what am I to do?

First, I’m going to make a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and see if my medication needs switched. I do wonder if my body has become accustomed to the Lexapro and a change might be what my body needs. Second, I’m going to spend some extra time in the Word of God and some quiet time in prayer with the Lord. I already do these things, but a little more doesn’t hurt anyone. Third, I’m asking all of you to pray for me as I struggle with depression…specifically that I with the help of my friend Jesus can turn the negative thoughts around when they rear their ugly head and make me feel unworthy. Also that I would hold fast to II Corinthians 10:5…

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,

and we take captive very thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The "Pop Tart" Resounding Gong

I didn’t want to speak a word when my spirit was troubled by a new individual who attended the Wednesday morning Bible study and for animosity reasons, I will refer to this gentleman as, “Pop Tart”. At one point, I even covered my eyes with my hands as if I was intently reading the Bible, but I wasn’t reading…my eyes were closed and I was praying. The antagonistic spirit from “Pop Tart” was so overwhelming it saddened my heart to see the peaceful dynamics of the group had gone missing.

I’ve done many Bible studies in the thirty-two years I have come into fellowship with my friend Jesus. This Bible study is unlike any I have ever attended. The quiet meditation brings calm to my soul as I seek to find and hear what God wants to reveal to me through His mighty Holy Spirit. I have been encouraged and my depth of knowledge has increased. So you can understand how my heart was disturbed by “Pop Tart” who was like a resounding gong to my ears.

I tried desperately hard to counter negative things “Pop Tart” stated. Why does he have to be so confrontational? I asked in my own mind. But then it just got to be too much and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut another moment. So in honesty and in love, I looked across the table and asked “Pop Tart”,

“Why does everything we say pose and argument to you?”

I’m not sure if those were the exact words I used but they are probably pretty close. I also stated what this Bible study has meant to me and how I felt he was taking that away. I began to cry. I didn’t say much more after the tears began to flow. I actually battled in my mind…Why did you have to speak up? Why couldn’t you have just kept your mouth shut? You’re just a big fat loser!

I then began to just flip through my Bible to try and distract myself in hopes my eyes would dry up and the tears would cease to fall. The pages fell open to Hebrews and a section I highlighted sometime prior in my life jumped out at me…

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

you need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God

you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,

“He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one

will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,

but of those who believe and are saved.”

~Hebrews 10:35-39

You can’t argue with God’s word…just soak it in and let it fill your cup to overflowing so it spills to fill the cups of those around you!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How Great is Our God!

It was an unusually warm day that January morning. I woke early to arrive at the hospital by 6 am to be induced to deliver my first child who was already two weeks late. It was an uneventful labor, but long...a little over 18 hours. The wait was well worth it upon the arrival of our 8 pound 11.5 oz. boy who we named Abraham William.

The first night in the hospital I cradled him lovingly as I held him close to my breasts and swayed him gently back and forth in my arms. I asked the Lord to help me raise my son to know the Lord and thanked Him for such a precious gift. I prayed for my new son, as I held his small hand in mine, to know and love Jesus with all his heart and that God would reveal to us early the gifts and talents He had given Abraham.

Fifteen years later, today, I stood at the alter to sing with the praise choir of our church, "How Great is Our God", and standing to my right taller than me (6' 3") was that 8 pound 11.5 ounce boy I once cradled in my arms. He stood playing his guitar as the accompaniment to the song. I stood with tear filled eyes knowing how great our God truly is and that he heard me that night long ago. He answered my prayers and my son now plays for Him!

Monday, January 18, 2010

He Loves Me!

Sometimes I just adore Him. I should do it every day, every hour, every moment, but honestly...I don't. I get caught up in my agenda. What I need to get done. I forget Him and replace Him with me. A big mistake I make all to often. But then He touches me in some odd way and reminds me from dust I came and to dust I shall return. He whipsers through His sweet Holy Spirit that I am His. My life is not my own, but I was made by God for God. He longs for me. He wants to hear my voice. He wants my love to love Him in a way I only can...after all He made me unique unlike anyone else.

He tugs on my heart strings until I can't fight the pull of His hands which hold me in a way only He can love me...unlike noone else. And then I realize...I'm captured by His unending love that fills me with a warmth from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. But it's more than just a feeling. He makes me free. He loosed the chains that held me captive. He didn't have to sacrafice so much, but He did. All because He loves me! All because He loves you!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gentle Nudges

It would have been easy for me to stay in the choir loft as the other singers stood to go down front and sing an unexpected I had never sung...let alone one I had never before heard. I contemplated sitting and not participating. My son sat beside me and was going to do the same. He didn't know the song either. But when it was time to get up, we both stood with all the others and moved towards the alter to sing.

I began to have these God conversations in my head...has this ever occurred with anyone else? What in the world am I doing Lord? I don't know this song? I don't even know the beat? I looked at Sue who lined up beside me and said quietly,

"I'm just going to lip sync."

We both chuckled as she informed me it had been a long time since any of them sung the song. I don't know what happened, but Alli began on the guitar and my lip syncing quickly turned into me audibly singing. I won't say it was the best song we've ever done in the short time I have been singing in the praise choir, but we got through it.

I realized when we had finished I had put myself out on the edge of nowhere...challenged...not knowing if I could produce. But I chose to try. I chose not to be defeated without even an ounce of effort. I know God helped me and was reminded again there is nothing we can not do or accomplish when the Savior is holding us up. I can't fail when he is on my side. Sure, I will have set backs, but in the end I will always have victory for if He is for me who can be against me?

Dear Heavenly Father...thank you for the victory we have in Christ Jesus. Thank you for your gentle nudges through the power of the Holy Spirit which push us in your direction to come closer to you! Help me always to remember I have the same power that rose my friend Jesus from the grave and because of this nothing is impossible!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gone, Not Forgotten

I miss her with all my heart. She was lovely in every way. The most humble person I have ever known who loved her Lord with all her heart. I'll say it again...I miss her. My grandmother Bowser was indeed a blessing to all who knew her. Her radiant italian olive skin and soft supple hands though laden with arthritis were beautiful. I remember when we danced at my wedding and the time she came to my home to hold my new born son for the first time. When I travel home to western Pennsylvania over the winding country roads I wish she were here for me to hug and whisper "I love you" in her ear. Sometimes someone will just say something and it reminds me of her and her pleasant God fearing ways. Today was one of those church...the pastor talked about those who are intercessors in prayer. He asked if we could name a person we know prays for us. I thought of beloved grandma. I wrote her name beside my notes...I followed by writing...I miss you.
Dear Lord...I don't even know if you can send a message to my grandma tonight. But if you can, please tell her I love her and I'm thinking of her. I miss her with all my heart and I can't say I know of a single person who has ever or will ever pray for me as much as she did. Please bless her richly my Lord and ask her please if she will meet by the tree of life when I arrive to my final home. I want to walk hand and hand with her and talk awhile. I want her to show me heaven. I want her to escort me to my room which you have prepared for me in glory. I know now how much you must of missed your son when you sent him here for a little while to die for me. It probably seemed like forever before you held him in your arms again. I can't wait for you to come again my love and my Lord!