Category: Depression

My Hope Is God Alone (Even If He Doesn’t Save Through The Fire)

Scripture teaches us that it only takes a little faith to move a mountain. Well, I am grateful that I always have at least a little faith. Looking back over the past seven years of walking fully sober with Jesus, I truly believe that I have developed mountain moving faith. I have prayed and believed that God would move some mountains in my own journey and those mountains did get tossed into the sea – a mountain of alcohol abuse, a mountain of a cancer-causing virus, and a mountain of depression. I have seen God move mountains in other lives as well which is so awesome for a young Christian to see God answer prayers in such powerful ways.

Even so, there have been times where I have felt disappointed and maybe even a little shaken. I am sure we all experience this from time to time. Some of us grow stronger and closer to God, and some of us give up. I never want to give up. I never want to go back to a life of hopelessness ever again, so I keep pressing on even when life hurts. There was a time not very long ago when I prayed so fervently for a woman by the name of Peggy who was suffering from cancer. She had such amazing faith and had touched so many lives as a teacher. She was a Kingdom builder for sure. She was not ready to go. I heard her say so. She tearfully prayed for more time to serve the Lord. She knew my pastor and when she could, she would come a pretty good distance to visit our church a few times for prayer. Shortly after, she became too week to come anymore. I never saw her again. I did not personally know her, but I was honored to be one who got to place hands on her with other powerful prayer warriors taking turns praying. I will never forget that moment. When I touched her and spoke God’s Word of healing over her, I felt such a deep spiritual connection with her. After that morning, God put her on my heart to continue praying and believing, and that is what I did. My personal prayer sessions speaking God’s Word of healing for her were so powerful. Tears would stream down my face every single time and I would be thanking God that He had answered. I believed with all my heart that I would be hearing praises that God had miraculously healed her like we have heard for others. I felt like a little child who had no doubt that her Mighty God would hear and save Peggy from cancer. But God didn’t move the mountain. Not this time. I had received word that Peggy’s mountain of cancer overcame her and she passed away surrounded by family. I celebrate the fact that Peggy is now whole and with Jesus, but I would be lying if I said that it did not sadden me greatly that she was not healed on this side of heaven leaving behind her husband and family. I guess it really hurt because I had been so excited for that miracle that I had no doubt would come. And when it didn’t come, well, I do not think I need to describe any further how my heart felt at the time.

Now I could have let that stop me from pressing on in this journey of faith, but I am thankful for the strength that God gives me to keep pressing on no matter what comes. I think it will help me to remember that I am to be walking in His will, not my own, so there will be mountains that He chooses to leave unmoved. I have learned that nothing can get in God’s way for His purpose to be done, so I think I need to be okay when certain mountains do not move. Just because they seem to be in my way or the way of loved ones, it does not mean that they are in God’s way. At least, that is how it seems to me.

There are a lot of mountains – fiery health trials happening lately with people I love. I keep lifting them all in prayer knowing that God is able. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He can save every one of them through the fire with His mighty hand. But what if He doesn’t? I mean, He didn’t for Peggy, so what if He doesn’t for others that I pray for as well? Well, God is God, and I am not. I cannot know His plan, so, I will continue in faith and pray for healing. I will also pray for the strength for all of us, no matter what, to be able to say, “It is well with my soul.” Our only hope is God alone. Let us not forget what He did for us! (John 3:16) Amen?

While my heart was struggling with unmovable mountains and fiery trials, a Mercy Me song (Even If) was playing and really touched me. If you listen to the song, you’ll see that it inspired this writing from my heart. I hope it will encourage your heart like it did mine. It reminded me of the OT Bible passage in Daniel 3 where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace for not worshiping the king’s golden image. They fully trusted Almighty God to deliver them from the fire, but stood strong in faith stating that even if He does not deliver, that they would not serve or worship the king’s false god. Wow. Super strong faith. They knew they had God on their side no matter what and had nothing to fear but God alone. That is the kind of faith I hope that I continue to develop. When we fear God, we need not fear anything else.

I dug a little deeper into this passage and read a Matthew Henry commentary and I love what he said about Daniel 3:17-18, and I hope that it helps you as it did me. Henry said, “God will deliver us either from death or in death.” Yes! It was no accident that I came to that commentary. I really needed to hear those words. It made me realize that Peggy WAS delivered after all. God delivered her from cancer and took her home to be with Him forever. She would have liked to stay longer, but she was not afraid because she knew where she was going. That is a beautiful truth and God will deliver every single one of His faithful ones so we also need not be afraid. I know we would like deliverance and healing on this side of heaven, but whether it is here or in heaven, it is a win-win for those of us in Christ.

If you are struggling like I was, I hope you will remember that the Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34). It is okay to grieve the loss of our loved ones who leave us behind, but it is not okay to grieve like those who have no hope. We are going home to Paradise, to be with our Lord for eternity. We have the blessed hope of heaven and it is not wishful thinking kind of hope!

Oh, breathe on us breath of God, so that we will never die. Be blessed my friends and may God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus whether your mountains move or not.

Psalms 34

Invisible Bruises: Just because no one can see them, it does not mean they are not there. It is time for you to stop suffering in silence.

It is absolutely amazing to me – how many people are mentally, emotionally, and/or verbally, abused by someone who claims to love them and the person on the receiving end suffers in silence and shame. The bruises on your heart probably feel impossible to ever fully heal. I know this because that used to be me. Well, I have a message for you…WE have nothing to be ashamed of and the bruises in our hearts CAN be fully healed.

Just because you are not getting hit, it does not mean that the abuse does not exist. I know a lot of us keep silent because if we do, it helps us to pretend that it is not happening. Too many of us are embarrassed to talk about it. I know I was, especially because I wasn’t getting hit. I give all the glory to God for helping me to escape before the hitting started.

I think that when we keep silent, it is like ingesting poison (just like harboring unforgiveness does to us). It is a slow process and it really does start to destroy us from the inside out. As I was approaching rock bottom with my depression and alcohol abuse over six years ago, I remember how dead my soul was. My shell still had a heartbeat and I was still breathing, but it was a matter of time before I finally found the right combination of pills and alcohol to finish the job. Thankfully, I was desperate enough to cry out to God and He heard me and rescued me! I believed I was not worth saving, but I cried out anyway and He heard me. I say this because I know without a doubt that there are others who are feeling this way too. You are listening to the enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. The devil is a liar! I pray you will start listening to God’s voice and promises instead.

I have been free from that toxic relationship for quite a while now. The person I finally walked away from will probably never be able to admit or even see that he tormented me almost all the way to suicide. It is not up to me to convince him. I do not feel safe around him and God has helped me to be strong throughout this whole journey. I have learned to forgive him, which is wonderful freedom, and I have prayed for him. But just because I have forgiven him and pray for him, it does not mean I have to let him back into my life. I am grateful to know that.

You do not have to go through this alone. I have learned to surround myself with godly people who help me through the tough days of life. And the more I open up about this part of my life, the more I find that others understand because they have gone through it too! Wow. It is a blessing to have others open up too and it shows me that I am truly not alone and have NOTHING to be ashamed of. I am glad for the courage to write this today. I think someone is suffering greatly in silence at this moment and I pray this post will encourage you and give you courage to reach out to God and others and get started on a road of healing and many great things that you have never dreamed of.

So stop suffering in silence. Stop carrying shame that does not belong to you. Be encouraged. Start living today – God is waiting to help! He loves you more than you know! ♥

Praying for you, may you be blessed and find strength in God to help you break free like me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you!! ~Philippians 4:13

In the lonely midnight hours when the pain of life hurts the most…

A Reason To Live

It is in those hours that I find myself thinking and crying about the lives that gave up hope. I think about how many have taken matters into their own hands and ended their own pain. I cry about my own pain and how to this day, even with all the amazing miracles of God in my life, I have times where I am in a fierce battle with thoughts so dark I want to do something so that I will never have to battle again. My mind tells me the only way out of that is death and I know it has to be Satan trying to convince me of that. I cry out to God as usual, and sometimes it seems like He’s not there. My mind will tell me He’s given up on me (more of Satan’s lies), but my heart knows that is not true. However, knowing that does not take the darkness or pain away – not completely, and not right away.

So how is it that I keep holding on and pressing through the pain while so many others, especially those who have also been saved by Jesus don’t? I will never know the answer to that and that always troubles my soul. But with God’s help, I pull out of the darkness every single time. I’m discovering triggers that cause the battle to start over and it seems that it gets a little darker each time. I am grateful that I have not given in to them, I know that only God can give me the strength for that and He brings me back into the light each time. I am trying to avoid the triggers, but I am a slow learner. I am especially slow when it comes to learning from my own mistakes. I also battle all the time with feeling so out of place in this world and it seems to happen more and more as I move forward on this journey. I find comfort and rest in the Lord, but I seem to do a good job of getting myself into trouble over and over again. I grow tired and just wish I could leave this world. I haven’t shared these thoughts with anyone, so making this public honestly makes me a bit nervous. My pastor has an idea that I am battling, it is not easy to let her know but I am grateful for her. She doesn’t judge me. She always helps me to see things from God’s perspective. She is a blessing. But, the battle keeps coming back. So I keep fighting the good fight praying that someday, while I am still on this earth, I will finally be able to overcome. I believe that I will. After all, I am “more than a conqueror” Amen?

As difficult as it is to share this, I strongly feel led to and it is my hope that someone else who is battling with these types of thoughts (which I know are of the devil trying to kill us off), will see this and be touched by God like they have never been touched by Him before. I’m praying more will join me in holding on with God’s strength!!

In all the wondering of why I am still here that I have done, I recently realized that it is my reverence for the Lord that keeps me holding on and pushing through the pain. Jesus could have saved Himself from dying that horrible death on the cross, but He didn’t. He loved us all too much to let us die in our sin so He suffered beyond anything we can ever imagine. If He didn’t end His own suffering, who am I to end mine? I will keep holding on and will keep pushing through the pain for His sake. He died for me so that I could live. What was I thinking wanting to destroy this wonderful gift of life He paid for with his own blood??!! I am so grateful that He woke me up AGAIN!

Thank You Jesus, for saving me over and over and over again. Lord God, I pray that more will develop this reverential fear for You and choose the gift of eternal life with YOU. Thank You for loving us that much! You are our light and our salvation! You are our strength! I lift my hurting friends up to You Lord, help them to keep holding on. Remind them that there will be a day when You will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that will be gone forever. Lord, remind them that this is NOT our Home.

Dear friends, our suffering in this world is nothing compared to what Jesus went through. May you find the joy and hope that only He can give. May you keep Him deep in your heart, and may He help you in finding A Reason to Live…a reason to keep holding on, just like He has done for me. Know that YOU ARE LOVED!!

These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (TLB)

Baptism day 11.24.13