Posts Categorized: anxiety

Where Can I Go For Help

“Do you have your exit buddy?”–Crush (Finding Nemo)

When I began my healing process my counselor had me create a crisis sheet. Steps to take, people I could trust, ways to protect myself. One of the most important parts of the plan was having the person I could call at a moments notice and they will be there. Dori was that fish for Marlin in the movie Finding Nemo. She was loyal, insightful, an encourager, good listener (even if she had no short term memory) Who is your fish?

When Jesus sent out the disciples he sent them out in pairs. Why? Because this world is going to have obstacles and they are much easier to climb when we are not alone. My kids went to a warehouse that had a floor to ceiling climbing wall. Neither made it to the top the first time. Even though the spotter told them what to look for their fear made it hard to listen. Defeated they went on to other activities. Natalie was the first to go back to the wall and try again and this time she knew that the harness would hold her, so that fear was gone. She climbed higher, but still got stuck and looked like she was going to give up again.

The spotter (without a harness mind you) climbed up the wall beside her and coached her on how to climb. She quickly made it the rest of the way. At the moment she was ready to quit, the young man was her partner to the top. Who is your partner in those moments of depression? Please hear me the other person doesn’t have to be perfect, but they do have to have certain qualities that you are currently lacking. They need to see the bigger picture of your goals when you get stuck in the middle. Who is your exit buddy! ?

Reaching the TopSuccess

Depression, my Jericho Wall: How do I defeat my enemy?

Joshua 5:13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

The wall! I expect it these days, so I don’t go running into it full force,but sometimes it looms so large I can’t breathe. I don’t know what caused this wall of depression, maybe starting another round of insomnia,my kids grief, or my own. It is so real I can see it and touch it. I can’t go further, and I refuse to go backwards, so what are my options?

My option is to cry out to my heavenly father! I cannot move, climb over, or go around this wall, but he can. In college I was reading about Joshua in my Navigator Bible; the caption spoke about the ruins of Jericho. The way the stones are positioned it is clear that the walls fell outward, not inward. A mighty force pushed from the inside!

I need a mighty force knocking down the wall of depression from the inside. If we are in Christ we have a mighty warrior on the inside–the Holy Spirit!

Acts 2:1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tonguesa as the Spirit enabled them.

Much of what has transpired since the death of my son has been through the Comforter (another name for the Holy Spirit). I thank you father for what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will do. Direct my path so that I may be a living witness to your power and strength over depression. This is my Jericho wall! You are a force to be reckoned with and no wall can stand against you.  Maybe you have allowed this wall in my life to show others that nothing is too big for you! Not our doubts, not our fears, not our enemies, not depression–nothing can separate us from your love! Thank you for giving me your peace, that makes absolutely no sense in these circumstances. Teach me to abide in your will no matter where you lead me. Amen!

The Object of Our Agitation

My son was very agitated today about surface things that I could see had nothing to do with his anguish. Finally, I heard him sobbing in the other room. “Mommy I can’t stop crying.” I wrapped him up in my arm and rocked him as he continued to talk about the object of his concern, but quickly shifted to crying out for Jonathan. “I miss him so much!” he sobbed.

My heart broke for his grief! Oh Lord, equip me to comfort him. How many of us have those moments, we feel anxious about our broken toy, the car that just cut us off, the snow trapping us inside, the phone ringing–all the things that on another day wouldn’t bother us, but today it is just too much. All the time brewing beneath that agitation is real heart ache, longing, brokenness, fear, and sorrow.

Why did God create us with emotions? Emotions tend to squish out in strange ways when we deny them their purpose. I believe that our emotions were created to feel joy, pleasure, interact with each other and our God internally and externally–literally to be stirred by God. When the fall occurred our emotions were suddenly stirred by sin, which will always point to us away from God. But, we can learn to lay out our heartache, our pain before his throne so that he can replace our burden with healing. Our emotions always long to be in right relationship with God! Don’t be afraid to lift the veil to reveal your heartache to him, He longs to hold us, and is moved with compassion for our sufferings. He may prune away what we think is causing us grief to reveal the root.

If someone around you is agitated about things that don’t seem to match in value do a little gardening. Dig past the surface to the root pain; much easier to heal when we correctly identify the source of our anguish. It may just be as simple as being present with your loved one and listening, but it can make all the difference in the world.

I am a Beautiful Disaster: Letting God use all aspects of our lives

Today I locked my self out of the house. Our garage door is broken, so the whole routine is out of whack. My husband had physical therapy today, so I needed to take the kids to school. My cell phone is dead, so I had to run over to my neighbor’s to call Brian . . . straight to voice-mail. So I called the physical therapist office. . . voicemail. Maybe I can catch him before his sessions over. I hopped in the car and drove over to the office. He had gotten the message and left the keys for me. Back home to get a quick change for the gym and back out.

Are you exhausted already by the start of my day? Now I’m laughing, but in the moment I realized my keys were on the inside and I was on the outside, my mind was racing to find a solution. How did your day start?

We can feel this way spiritually. We’re scrambling to figure out this whole God thing. Is he real-is he not? Is he good-is he not. Why does he let bad things happen to us? What is his plan for my life? Who is in charge, him or me? We lock ourselves out of his will and then blame God.

What if each moment, even my getting locked out were for a purpose? I thought about skipping the gym, I was going to be late for class. But my desire for consistency and discipline won out. If God works all things to good (that does mean that all things are good) for those who love him and are called according to his purpose- Romans 8:28, then my day to day experiences are beautiful. I love the song Beautiful Disaster. That is what I am, and I love God for taking my brokenness and making me shine like the stars!

If your day started like mine, take a moment to read Romans 8. You might see that there isn’t a single part of you that is not the hands of our creator! Even if the purpose of my mess is only to encourage others beautiful disasters to let go of having it all together.

What the Woods Teach Me

Turn the Page:
Matthew 6:27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

My writing retreat was yesterday. Problem is, when I attempted to start my computer all I had was a blank screen. Now what? I pulled out my notebook to write and managed a page, but then crickets. Has it seriously been that long since I’ve written on paper that I have forgotten how?

I decided to take a walk in the unusual October warmth and read scripture as I walked. The retreat center has a twelve step prayer walk, so I decided to head into the woods and walk the path.

My brother, sister, and I spent a lot of time in the woods at my grandparents home. The sweet fragrance of Fall as I crunched through the leaves beneath my feet and the breeze through the trees took me back to childhood. The woods were a place of stillness for me. I was aware of the sounds around me, but time, well that was another matter. Time only existed as the sun began to set.

Now as an adult the woods have a calming effect. All of the anxiousness that I was feeling as I began my day, slipped away in the perfect provision of Christ. The deer I heard off to my right is provided for. The soil is replenished with the leaves the tree gives up. Seeds are planted to hide away during winter and wait for their reveal in Spring. The breeze prunes the dead branches and I stood at each prayer station aware of God’s provision for me.

God has a storehouse ready to supply my daily needs. He replenishes my soul, and he prunes the dead parts of my life. He sits with me in the woods and teaches me to just be.

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