To pull yourself out of depression can be daunting. It really feels as if you do need to pull yourself out. Nothing seems to alter depression with the constant strength that it has to drag you further and further in without your permission.
“Hear my cry O Lord, attend unto my prayer
From the depths of the earth, do sing out to thee
And when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock
That is higher than I, that is higher than I.”
from one of the Psalms (sorry I do not remember which one)
You don’t have to fight back, you just have to hand it over God to carry you in His arms to a safe place where you needn’t feel afraid of slipping further and further down.
I am in that place now and God gave me the inspiration to write so that I can remember what I already know… that He is my shepherd and will not let me leave from the place without coming to find me and carry me to safety.
Thank You for being the Father that meets all I need
I never lack for anything, You are the perfect Father indeed
Some of us have been blessed with a well-functioning family; with a father that is a good provider, protector and teacher of their children, but many times, children are separated from their father due to marriage issues, or even worse, they grow up with an abusive or unloving, uninvolved father. These fathers leave us feeling abandoned, alone, unvalidated and even unworthy of love, for some.
God is often referred to as our Heavenly Father. For those of us who have not had a close relationship with our own father, this may not settle well with us at first. We can see Him as Creator, as omnipotent, and all-knowing, but the intimacy of God being our Father is difficult to grasp without having lived with that in our day-to-day lives.
As we learn to trust God in our walk, He tenderly draws our hearts closer and closer to Him. He does not push the intimacy upon us, yet waits for us to figuratively walk into His open arms. So many times, when life has been difficult for me, I have had a real sense of the loving, tender Father that God truly is.
At times, I have felt as if He has pulled me onto His lap to comfort me and love me through my tears when I’ve felt completely alone. His love blankets over me like the warmth of a soft, fleece blanket on a chilly winter’s night.
Take little steps to learn to see God as your Heavenly Father. Allow Him into your heart in this very intimate way and see the benefits and feel His love tangibly run through and over you. He will never let you down.
Matthew 7:11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
I want to share a memory of a time I had with the Lord. It was the day after Valentine’s Day, I believe. Valentine’s Day had been especially hard on me that year. Not because this was my first year without my husband, but because I stood alone with my children on that day while around me, families went to the front of the church up to the altar for a family a blessing.
My kids were everywhere but with me and I honestly just did not want to proceed, but I felt God prompting me to go for the family blessing that all families were receiving with their children, parents and grandparents. I found it so difficult.. I was torn in shame and failure at having finally given up the fight to save my marriage.
As I walked up alone, I was fighting tears and my heart felt defeated and isolated; abandoned. I was given some love, understanding and a blessing from my pastors. But I longed for the day when my family would stand whole with me. Healed. Whole. Loving God by choice. Choosing to be together. To this day, I am choking back tears at the thought of that. It seems so far and so unreachable. Yet I hang on to a well-worn thread of hope. A thread that is frayed and bares too much weight for it’s thin countenance to carry. Yet I cling to it.
The next evening, I visited the church for our ladies’ ministry evening. Always a favourite time of the week for me to attend. The hoopah was still standing in the church (a traditional Hebrew tent that was sometimes used for weddings – otherwise known as the tent of covenants). I felt drawn towards this special place as if God was personally calling me to come and sit with Him underneath this covenant tent. As I stared at it with the bruise of the previous day’s events on my heart. I did not want to go. As much as I did not want to approach it and enter the day before, even more so did I not want to enter that day.
I stared and walked around the sanctuary while praising God, my heart so in love with Him even though I was avoiding the place that I knew He wanted me to be. The sanctuary was filled with sweet praises as we all lost ourselves in the sweetness of loving our dear Father’s presence. I felt Him around me beckoning me and drawing me to the place I had hurt in so much the day before.
Reluctantly and like a petulant child I went to my Father. Even as I approached, the tears were welling. I was full of self pity, full of hurt, full of the feelings that I usually buried but that were way too close to the service for my emotional comfort. I was tired of the isolation. Tired of the loneliness. Tired of the ever-present battles in my life that I fought alone. No support. No friends. No parent to reach out to. No miracle in my life to help me through the little things. No miracles in my life to help me through the big things. And yet I always had a sense of God’s presence and love. I just wanted a break. I just needed some love. Desperate for either, for both, for anything to remind me that I was precious, valued, here for a reason.
The hoopah was against the window wall and I crawled to it and laid down in the corner, just asking God to comfort my soul as I praised Him the best that I could. Still the waves of abandonment and rejection, hopelessness and despair were washing over me. Yet I sat there in obedience.
I started to feel safer there; that I did not have to feel what I felt the day before and it brought me peace. I felt a warmth – His warmth there with me and I relaxed. I started to feel the breeze of His spirit surrounding me and I smiled. Awestruck by His faithfulness; awestruck by His love for me, as insignificant and worthless as I felt, He was making sure that I knew that He loved me. Humbled by my own lack of faith and His grace, I sat in amazement. I praised Him in joy, feeling His arms surround me. I laid there for a while in a sleepy joy and started to drift away, but He had other plans for me.
In my spirit I saw an angel standing right before me. We were in another place. I was lying in the same position that I had been on, yet I was now on a bed in a cluttered room and this exquisite angel was before me with wings and garments of gold. I had never imagined garments of gold on an angel and that, coupled with His excessive size, was a surprise to me. He was friendly enough but silent. He stood before me and there was an overwhelming sense of purpose about him. I looked at him wondering at the whole situation and started to thank God for sending him to bless me with the gift of seeing him. I was caught up in this moment of worshiping God and an overwhelming sense of warmth came over me.. like I was suddenly in a toasty warm place. He was pouring oil out of a small clay vial over me and smiling. I was truly overwhelmed! I was so grateful as this feeling brimmed up within me.. filling me to overflowing. The joy was overwhelming as my heart filled with such peace, joy, thankfulness and sense of incredible love from my Father. I basked in it, letting it fill me. Letting it spill over me. Every inch of my being saturated in this feeling. I thanked God. I thanked the angel for serving God and for serving me from God’s ordinance. I praised. I worshiped. I loved Him.
The angel drew closer to me and put his hands in front of his face as if to drink water from them and he started to blow from his hands to have his breath fall over me. This part is difficult to describe, but all I can say is that there was a sweet, shimmering, brilliant dust that came from his hands and sprinkled over me covering me in my resting place. Truly I was in awe and to this day, I do not know the significance of that beautiful powder landing all over me. It covered me until I was glowing from head to toe. The joy within me was immeasurable. I was beside myself and captivated by my joy and thankfulness. I felt my sense of undeserved grace but knew that I was so in need of this blessing that I just sat and received. One of the most beautiful moments of my life, to say the least.
The angel stood before me but walked a bit away from me through a doorway, inviting me to come with him. I followed him and saw him then preparing a table. He laid out the plates, the forks and the knives. It was a very simple and almost rough-looking wooden table as you would expect to see in a simple cottage in the woods. He set every chair just so. Every plate just so. All in its place to his meticulous satisfaction.
He pulled a chair out in invitation for me to sit at the table. There was no one else there, but some started to appear in garments of the ancient days. I had a feeling that I was sitting with some of the people of the bible that I had come to love so much over the years, yet we did not speak. There was a sense to me that I was waiting for something. And then the words “His banner over me is love”. My anticipation heightened and I heard murmuring. building and building. Now like a rumbling. Like the approaching of many horses, it built and built and then I heard it. A whisper, but clear as day, the anticipation covering me with chill bumps as I heard them say “the bridegroom is coming, the bridegroom is coming… the bridegroom is coming!!!”
And then it was gone. I sat in awe. I am awed to this day when I think of it.
I just wanted to share a memory of a time I had with the Lord. It was the day after Valentine’s Day, I believe. Valentine’s Day had been especially hard on me that year. Not because I was not in love, but because I stood alone with my children on that day while around me, families went to the front of the church under the hoopah for a blessing. My kids were everywhere but with me and I honestly just did not want to proceed, but I felt God prompting me to go for the family blessing that all families were receiving with their families as I walked up alone. Yes, I was fighting tears and yes, my heart felt defeated and isolated; abandoned. I was given some love, understanding and a blessing from my pastors. But I longed for the day when my family would stand whole with me…
Lord, I cannot stand that every time I think I’m getting somewhere, something goes wrong
Today I’m going to:
Look to you, to give my heart some peace
I ask You take over my day, and guide me, as You see
When we are frustrated, it is easy to loose sight of all of the things that God does for us. We get caught up on thinking about what goes wrong and it starts to consume us, taking over our days with frustration.
God has planned your day according to His will, according to His love for you and His unending care as any good father wants to guide His child’s life.
When our day is frustrating, when we feel stumped in our ever move, we must turn to God and remember what He has done for us. Remember the times that He has been there (even when you have not acknowledged it) and helped us through trying situations. His love is boundless, His mercies unending. Thank Him for the times that He is there for you. Thank Him in the moment of frustration, as He will work things out for you. It is His promise to you; that He will be with us in all things and that those things will work for us because we love Him and so that we and others can see His glory.
2 Cor 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Lord.. I feel like I’ve been robbed, cheated and taken advantage of. Why is it, when I try so hard, I end up feeling cheated?
Today I’m going to…
Pray Oh Lord that you show me Your truth
You will open up my eyes to bring love I can only find in You
So many times, life has left me and many of us feeling as if we’ve been cheated of what we deserve. Or worse, gotten all the bad that we didn’t deserve. Our dreams for our lives don’t work out and we question God.
Many times, it comes down to free will. A string of choices of others’ and your own that add up to something that leaves you feeling as if you should have been better off by now. That you should be in a better place in life.
Humanity, sadly, is inherently evil from the time of the first sin. We are however, at the same time, inherently good through the voice of God within us. When we, or others make bad choices, even evil choices, the effects of those choices ring sadly through time. The effect ripples out touching you, then touching everyone you touch and so on. Free will can be used for good or bad, and sometimes someone else’s free will in bad choices can leave us completely defeated.
When we look at feeling cheated, we are measuring what we feel has been taken to us according to what the world sees. We want success in our career, a comfortable life, a happy partnership, love, family, health, etc. When God looks at us, he looks at our hearts; where have we given love, where have we touched a life, where have we made even a small difference in someone else’s life?
These are the things that cannot be taken from us. These are the things that are eternal and ours. We cannot be robbed of our faith, we cannot be robbed of God’s love, we cannot be robbed of God’s tenderness towards us, we cannot be robbed of the power of prayer, we cannot be robbed of giving love where we can.
So I suggest, when you are feeling cheated, that you give. A smile, a donation, a kind word, a thoughtful deed, a prayer lifted for someone. You will start to feel the change in your outlook.
Peace I leave you, peace I give, not as the world knows peace. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be afraid.