Thursday, December 8, 2016

Resting In The Victory - My Journey Through Depression

It has been over a month since I have posted to the blog, but not for a lack of trying. I have written a few pieces, but once I read over them, they just didn’t click for me. Perfectionist issues!  Even as I sit and peck the keys to express this post, I am struggling. I don’t have anything to say, yet I have so much to say. Confusing right? I absolutely don’t understand it, but I am not going to force it.
7 months ago, I felt the earth under my feet disappear. I couldn’t catch my breath and the tears wouldn’t stop flowing. The vice grip on my stomach was unbearable. My heartbeat was doing a triple beat tango, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t crawl out of the dark pit of dread, despair, rage, and heartache. Chronic depression and anxiety, that was the diagnosis. I am following both of my doctors’ orders, taking the medication and attending counseling. I devour books that give me insight, knowledge, direction, and comfort during this walk in the valley. I have removed myself from situations and people. I take personal inventory of who I am and who I authentically desire to be.
I have accepted that I have tried too hard to keep it all together. I try too hard to show love and genuine concern for others. I reach out, but I don’t get the reach back. This is one of my readjustments. I am no longer going to put myself out there like that. I don’t want part time or sometime relationships. I understand that we all have lives to live, but we must put serious effort in building relationships and it absolutely will not be one sided.  Not that I don’t care, but because I care more about me. Love you and Lord bless you. I have never tried to fit in because I know through God’s grace and mercy that I am set apart for His purpose and plan. God is showing me His pruning techniques. He is showing me what and who to eliminate from my life. As He prunes my spiritual branches, I am cutting down toxic trees. LOL. I already see who the roots are.
I am a codependent. I am a people pleaser. I have serious abandonment issues. I love people, sometimes to a fault. I want to see others happy. I think I am a perfectionist. I have experienced death and broken relationships just like anyone else, and I internalize almost everything. I don’t easily trust anyone and that is because I sense the fake, the lies, and some other choice words that I am also working on. LOL.  I process the process. I overthink everything. I am very impatient and my tolerance for stupidity is minus zero and I don’t care for small talk. People who have never experienced anything or have lived sheltered lives can’t relate to none of what I said above. There are some who try to understand, I give it to them. Some would say, stop living in the past or stop holding on to this or that. Well if they really understood, they would know that the above issues and more really have nothing to do with living in the past. I have not mastered my victory over depression and anxiety, but I have claimed the victory and I am running to the finish line. I make the decision to keep my head raised when my spirit is low. I will not ignore the enemy when he tries to slide through the cracked windows and doors of my emotions.
To those of you who struggle with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, please take it seriously. Make the ultimate decision to do the work for your healing. I get it. I too wake up in the pit.  I sometimes wake up sad and in tears for no reason. I too feel overwhelmed with an unknown rage. Until you acknowledge the issues in your life that no longer serve you, that have broken you down, or keeping you in physical and spiritual bondage, there will be no true growth or healing, only an illusion. You cannot continue your life on a collision course and expect to reach the winners circle. Let me be very clear, if we are not doing it God’s way, everything we attempt will fail disastrously. Yes, it is all fun and games, everyone is all happy and sparky like pop tarts and skittles, then the bottom drops out from under our feet. I know it well, been there and done it. Stop trying to get God to bless your mess, he won’t and His word is clear, He cannot lie. What God hates, God hates. Read and study God’s word so that you will know how to live your life on purpose. There is healing there, there is peace there, there is victory in those pages.  No, everything will not be perfect, and every day will not be sunshine and rainbows, but you will have a clearer picture of how to walk your life out in the light of Christ and not in the dark of the enemy
With all that has taken place over the past year, as I continue to gain a mental balance after being diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, and my son having a horrific motorcycle accident, I am still emotionally spent. On top of that, a good friend of mine’s son passed away at a young age, that hit me harder than I thought.  My thoughts, ideas, and even my actions have taken on a whole new meaning. As I dig deeper into God and His word, every step and every action must be SPECIFIC. There is a song that says, “if it don’t fit don’t force it” well I have been forcing my life to evolve, and I get the message loud and clear, and the exhaustion that rode in with it. 
God has been pressing me for some time to use my faith and to trust Him with even more of my life, I am listening.  With the recent move from an apartment of 7 years, I am in a good space, but nothing compares to having your own. I have left a job of 6 years. God is truly pealing back the layers of my life and getting rid of the residue. God is doing a powerful work in me so that He can use me for a greater purpose other than my own purpose.

My brothers and sisters, as 2016 comes to a close, please examine your life and take full inventory of who you are and where you desire to go. Take your health seriously and do the work required to be healthy. Be mindful of the actions you take and the words you speak. Determine the work that you do and for whom you are working. Are you working and doing for selfish gain and ambition? Are you working at building up for a lasting legacy? Connect with those who desire a true and authentic connection with you and don’t waste your valuable time on those who don’t. Prayer for your loved ones, friends and enemies. Surrender to God and watch Him do amazing things in your life.

We all stumble and struggle, that is life. We will face hardships and heart breaks, that is life. We will fall face down many times, but what matters most is how we get up. Dust ourselves off and walk with our head held high.  God is no respecter of person’s. He will use ANYONE at any given time to accomplish His great purpose. BE READY! And yes, He will use a drunk, an addict, an adulterer, or a prostitute. You see, humans like you and I only see a person from the outside and many of us base our judgement on outward appearances, actions, and words not understanding that they are struggling with something that we can’t see. We will never know the whole story of a person’s life. Remember this, God sees the heart and that is where He does His work, inside out.

If you know that God is shifting the atmosphere, why is it that you do not shift with God? Haven’t you heard it said, that in order to see change, you have to be the change? We cannot control everything in and around our lives. We must step back from all that does not serve a greater purpose for us. We must readjust our focus and be specific about each step, each word, each action, and each thought we take. We must increase the value on our time and efforts. Specific! We must gain knowledge on the issues of our lives and seek God for wisdom and direction as we move towards solutions and stop making and holding onto excuses. We must stop going around in negative circles expecting our lives to change for the good. Stop blaming yourself or others because we all make mistakes, but we must be aware that there are no do-overs. Stop making the same mistakes. We must be cautious of who we allow to speak a word or pray over us, because there are many who prey on us, that is spiritual warfare.  In my last post I mentioned that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. This is real talk and as God’s chosen we must always be on alert and armed for battle.

Today will be my last post to The Unique View until February 2017. I will be reorganizing, refocusing, eliminating, and restructuring. I am currently on a spiritual sabbatical. Thank you for following, reading, and commenting on the posts. Thank you to all of you who have checked on me and kept me focused, I appreciate the encouragement and knowledge you have shared with me. As the holidays approach, I pray that each and every one of you are loved, blessed and filled with the joys of the Lord. Thank you. Remember, nothing changes unless we do. Do the work. Take action and never quit. See you next year. Goooooooooooooooo Hawks!

Below is a daily devotion by, Dr. Charles Stanley that inspired this post. I pray that it blesses you as it has blessed me.
Dressed For Battle by Charles Stanley -
When you wake up in the morning and get ready for the day, you’re probably not thinking about stepping onto a battlefield. But the enemy is all around us, constantly assaulting our heart and mind with temptations, adversities, emotional attacks, and more. And some days, it feels as though we are standing on the front lines of combat with no protection whatsoever. Therein lies our misunderstanding. You see, we do have protection. The Lord made provision for our nakedness in battle. He hasn’t sent us to war unprotected. Instead, He’s given us a suit of armor that the enemy can’t penetrate—the armor of God.
In today’s passage, the apostle Paul tells us step by step how to prepare for our daily warfare, and yet most Christians don’t pay much attention to the instruction. We may say, “Well, that’s a nice metaphor, but we shouldn’t take it literally. After all, the armor isn’t real.” Yes, it is. It is as real as the clothes on your back. Do you want to see a dramatic change in your life? Do you want to stand strong in the face of adversity? Do you want to overcome temptation? Then you need to dress for battle. I challenge you to intentionally put on your spiritual armor every day for the next seven days. Put on one piece at a time—the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the sandals of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit. Just try it as you meditate daily on Ephesians 6:10-18, and watch what God will do.
Ephesians 6:6-18 NLT - A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.
Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!