Highs and Lows

I don’t know about you, when I have a REALLY good day, I forget that all things are temporary. On the same note, when I have a REALLY bad day, I forget the same thing.

This weekend was pretty amazing. Sitting down with someone I didn’t know who was able to take my life and remind me of the truth of how God made me. Coming off the high from the weekend, I forgot that I generally hit a low soon after.

Personally, I believe we can be such a positive force for good that evil has to throw a wrench in wherever he can. If I am loving how God made me, and sharing how knowing what you are built for puts you even closer to doing what God has for you, of COURSE there will be opposition. Today, it felt a bit overwhelming.

Now, I have a choice to crumble under the pressure of 3 things that happened today, that each on their own could be debilitating. I did take moments throughout the day to cry out to God. AND, to be honest, physically cry whether it be in my office, a stairway, or in my car. After each release and pause, I turned my face up, wiped away the tears, and carried on.

Though my day could have crushed me, I choose to be joyful and ask God to show me all the blessings around. He reminded me of what my husband shared in our small group, “If there is breath in our lungs, we have a chance to rejoice. God gave us another day and another breath”.

Today had it’s highs and lows. I am CHOOSING to take a moment and pray about the lows, asking for direction, guidance, support and wisdom. I am choosing to put another step forward and rejoice, thanking God for always being faithful.

Today I learned…I cannot control my families thoughts or actions. I can pray and keep praying. I have to remind myself that God loves my family even more than I do, though I can’t understand that!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”

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When You Are Down

So, we know I battle with feelings of inadequacy and go through waves of depression. One of the things I have found that helps me is to save the positive and affirming things that can lift me up. It could be a verse, a picture, a note, any number of things.

As I found a LOT of people battle with insecurity, our team decided to do something about it. First we became the team that encourages. We found that 8 out of 10 people enjoy being encourage and it’s lightens their day. When we have seen their responses, it then cause us to feel joyful.

Next, we all have “Happy Boxes” that we keep near our desks. Whenever someone leaves a quick note, sends a letter, emails a thank you, we put it in our Happy Box. When we are feeling a bit blue or feel like we aren’t making a difference, or not being used, or not effective…I could go on and on…we open our “Happy Box” and remember that God has us right where we are for a reason. We might not see it at the moment, but we have been loved, effective, used, etc…20160224_101933

If you don’t have one, start today. If you don’t feel like you are encouraged much, look harder. Save birthday and holiday cards. Even if the relationship has gone sour, you can remember better times. Save encouraging posts, verses, pictures. If someone says something positive about you on Social Media, copy and paste then print it and add it to your collection.

Most importantly, remember that you are never alone. That you are loved by the Most High. You are His son/daughter who He cherishes.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.  ~ Augustine

God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.  ~ Rick Warren

God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.  ~ Jerry Bridges

One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them.  ~ John Wesley

 

Ephesians 3:14-21

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What I learned today…We all need a little pick me up every now and then. I am so thankful for all the notes left on my desk and encouraging emails. They bring me more joy than the writers will ever know.

Depressed, Heartbroken and Angry

I am both heartbroken and angry as I write this.

Losing 4 friends, their kids or friends spouses in the last 6 months, due to suicide or overdose is breaking my heart.

Are they doing it because they are trying to “keep up with the Jones’s”?

Because they can’t find happiness?

Because they aren’t connected to authentic friends?

Because they don’t feel like the best man/woman, husband/wife, son/daughter?

Some of the people were connected to small groups and a church! If we are telling people that helps, why didn’t it?

The only thing I can think of, is that it takes AUTHENTIC living with others in community to help. Will that cure all problems, of course not. It is HARD.

Letting people in to see the ugliness, self-doubt, depressed, frustrated, whiney person we can all be is not easy. Some people will let one or two in, but not everyone.

I am part of a group where there are 3 people who battle extreme depression. The one I have seen make HUGE strides, attends small group, completed a step study (a Celebrate Recovery program that goes down to the roots of the “why” we are feeling what we feel) and continues to grow reaching out to take any class he can to try and learn more information to better himself and his situation.

Yet another one has gone the route of getting a psychologist, and is making great strides, if not totally comfortable opening up to the group.

And the third has chosen some friends to confide in but leans mostly on their family. Has not reached out, YET, for help as doctor’s haven’t worked in the past, nor has sharing it with others. And the depression comes back in a crushing way with each difficulty in life. The only thing that seems to help lesson the intensity and/or frequency is by staying busy being needed. It doesn’t take it away, but isolation, though sought after, makes it so much worse.

As I talked with my husband about our friends who have passed recently, we started talking about the men. How I wished they had mentors to talk to, like my husband. He, of course, responded how he is no one special. How could he lead other guys as a mentor, he still doesn’t know what he is doing and is on a day to day struggle with his life.

I replied, “You WENT through what some of these guys are going through. You were at a point you felt so guilty you couldn’t ‘keep up’, and you weren’t enough for your family. You KNOW that desperation and loneliness and you made it through. All you need to do is let them know they CAN get through it. You did. And then listen.”

If you are battling depression, talk to someone who has been there. Talk to a doctor. Talk to a friend. Talk to a pastor. Talk to someone. If that doesn’t help, talk to someone else.

There are people who have been there and made it through. You can too. It is worth it.

And if you feel that your family is better off without you, THAT IS A LIE. It is SO much worse for your family with you gone. If you can’t stay here for yourself, do it for them.

If you have battled depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and have conquered them and/or continue to conquer them…help someone by sharing it! You don’t know who around you needs to hear it. You might save someone’s life by having the guts to share your story.

What I learned today…life can be hard. But others have gone through what we are going through and made it. There is help. We need to find it. Hike up your britches, and ask for help…and then put in to action the direction you get. You are LOVED.

**Please don’t be offended by this post. I have only felt the pull of depression for the first time in the last year, and can’t begin to imagine what it is like on a daily, monthly, yearly basis. Praying for each and every person that reads this post and fights this battle constantly. XOXOXO