Posts Tagged: peace

You Drew Me In

Giggles and crayons melted

the distance between our sorrow.

Sketched out souls, framed together

in a mosaic moment of

play.

I miss him echoed

in our quiet parallel

expressions of color.

Each grieving, uniquely

united by the unquiet outline

of our circumstances.

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!

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?

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

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