Posts Tagged: depression

Welcome, New Page Turners!

Dear Page Turner,

Today my page has been filled to the brim and running over. I wanted to take a moment to welcome the newcomers, thank you for your comments and support. As this blog grows it is my hope that it becomes a resource, encouragement, and lifeline to those effected by suicide and depression. Which, I am finding, touches just about all of us in some way. You may have a friend, loved one or even a complete stranger that you are concerned for. Don’t hesitate to reach out, be present, or sit with them. Be sure to vote in the poll I have set up. Your answers will help me to form content for new posts, and create resources for you as you engage those around you. Feel free to share it with your readers.

Continue to write your open page turners, I want to read what happens next.

Sincerely,

Karisa

Depression is a Terrible Interior Decorater: Inviting in Hope to change my thinking

Sometimes we wake up already overwhelmed by life. In Daniel’s mind there is still snow on the ground ergo no school. The roads are well cleared. He refused to accept that he had to go to school. Truth didn’t matter, presenting the school closings to his eyes did not dissuade his mind.

We can behave the same with depression. Depression should never be hired as an interior decorator! It will always paint the walls black and put up pictures that reflect itself, not the truth about our identity. For the longest time I let depression have free reign in my spirit. It was no wonder I found myself in a windowless cell where all I could see were the things that reinforced what I already believed about myself. There was no hope.

No matter how many outside forces may be pushing in on us, we always have a choice. It starts with inviting hope in. I am currently decorating with hope! I used to invite depression in like it would comfort me. But since I have experienced the source of all hope, depression can come knocking, as it often does when tragedy strikes, but I am different.

My soul’s walls are painted with:

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Psalm 43 (all)

I now have the strength to take every thought captive and make it obedience to Christ.

It started with inviting hope in. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

This verse was the first light in my darkened cell and it showed me that I don’t want to live like this any more!

Escaping Depression: Finding peace in nature

Matthew 14:13 Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself. . .

I have had two experiences in the woods since my son’s death and they both have lifted my spirits. How many times do I stay cooped up in the midst of depression expecting the walls to suddenly stop closing in on me?

Nature is never walled in. It is wild and open and filled to the brim with stories of our maker. Jesus regularly retreated to refresh and spend time talking to God; he invited his disciples to do the same. The crowds were pressing in. Many times it is in exiting the confines of our daily rush hour and noise that we remember to listen and find contentment in God’s provision. I have lived in city areas most of my life, but the country hillsides of my birth have always drawn me into quietness. I love the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains! They are old and wise. They remind me of the paths I have already traveled, and question where I am going. They celebrate who I am and whose I am. These hills teach me that valleys are where most of my growth occurs. They teach me discipline, to listen better, and to breath deeply.

Do you have a place in nature that you are able to draw away to and find peace in the stillness?

Questions and Doubts

Luke 7:20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’”

Yesterday was a particularly rough day for Daniel at home and at school. As we began trying to dig past the bad behaviors to what was going on in his heart Daniel started blurting out a series of doubts and deep questions. The same questions and doubts I still struggle with. If Jesus took all our sins away why do we still sin? If I love Jesus why can’t I seem to do good? If you and the adults in my life love me, why do you punish me. If Jesus loved Jonathan, why did Jonathan die? He concluded, “It would be easier to obey, if Jesus was here and I could see him.”

John who had been preparing the way for Jesus to come asked “Are you the one, or should we expect someone else?” He’s sitting in prison, awaiting execution because the wife of Herod wants John dead. It would be a natural question for someone who has spent his entire life preparing for Jesus. At its core, if I obey God, why am I facing death?

Many of us have these very same questions. We wonder why do bad things continue to plague us, we wonder if God and those around us really love us. If you struggle with depression, you wonder why living is so hard. I struggle every day with why Jonathan took his own life. I see it as so preventable and sometimes I too am overwhelmed by my questions and doubts. So what hope is there when we have so many doubts and questions?

Luke21-3 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” John the Baptist, took that hope and did not give in to his doubts as he faced death. Even if that path leads through dark places like Jonathan’s death, I still see him laying a foundation for me to offer healing and hope to others who are grieving. Am I going to be offended by who Jesus is? He is patient with my questions and doubts. Do not lose heart Daniel, do not lose heart dear reader!

Lashing out in Anger

Things are a bit raw between my husband and I right now. When struggling with grief it can get easier to slip back into old habits or lash out at those you love. So how in the world do we keep perspective in our hurt and anger, and remember that the other person is in grief and process too? Here are some verses that may help:

Proverbs 16:32
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.

Ephesians 4:25-31 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

If we have unity of the Spirit then when we hurt others in that unit we also are hurting ourselves. In the military a unit fights as one. If there is strife, and anger towards one another then your guard is down to the real enemy.

Brian and I learned early in our marriage that as long as we looked at each other as the enemy that we would get no where. But, as we began allowing Christ to be the center of our lives and marriage we began to become a unit, placing the problems outside of each other and crushing the devil’s schemes together.

Thank you Lord for giving me these verses to calm my wounded soul and give me a renewed focus on who I am fighting. The devil wants to crush both Brian and I. Give me the strength to guard his heart and mind as he heals from the wounds of losing Jonathan. Keep my tongue from coming into agreement with the devil. Amen

Suicide & Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 988 or go to the website at https://988lifeline.org/