I attempted to write a few nights ago, knowing that my heart was heavy and God was in the process of teaching me something. I just hadn’t learned it yet. I sat down to write, but no words came.

I’m confused… ‘God, I know you are teaching me something, and I desperately want to share it.  Now where are the words?’

I had written and rewritten a paragraph several times but there was no comprehensive thought or idea I could pinpoint that I wanted to express. Just heavy feelings. *sigh*

Not time yet.

Sometimes, I think God lets us FEEL to a deeper capacity than we ever thought imaginable, and, as we wait on Him and ask Him “What the crap is going on here?!”, He begins to reveal to us the answers we seek. He reveals the answers that we don’t even know how to seek sometimes.

I say all this to admit with raw honesty that I have been struggling with depression for nearly 6 months now.

I find it no coincidence that it was 6 months ago that my passion for orphans, therapy, and missions collided with an opportunity with myLIFEspeaks in Haiti, and I decided to pack up my life and move there to be a therapist to orphans with disabilities.

Certainly Satan has been at work to steal my joy.

He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – John 8:44

But even more certain is my Father, continuing to love me as I allowed myself to believe lies from hell, and using my failure to look to Him as another opportunity to grow my faith. He has been patient with me.

I reached an extremely low point recently.
When several people pointed out to me that I hadn’t been myself and questioned me, I was shaken to the core. My heart sank. I knew my inner turmoil had reached the exterior and people were noticing. You can’t hide sin forever.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
    but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. – Proverbs 28:13

…for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. – Luke 6:45

What is going on?! I don’t like me.

I decided to step away from some of the social media outlets that I was poisoning with my pessimism and lack of hope. Instead of spreading my misery, I focused my mind and my heart on the healing that needed to take place in my heart so that my outward reflection would match someone saved by Jesus and given new life.

My low was so low that I even doubted my salvation.
Surely, someone saved wouldn’t be so depressed. People who love Jesus don’t get depressed. People who love Jesus have hope, and I have none.
While I don’t intend to divulge in breaking down the truth (or lack thereof) in each of those thoughts, I do want to rejoice in sharing that I was wrong!

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Anyone at Hillvue Heights Church on November 15, 2009 heard me confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and many more have heard since. And those who have known me for many years have no doubt seen a transformation in my life. People in college probably wouldn’t recognize me (and not just because of my new short hairdo)! 😉
Christ has undoubtedly changed me since He saved me and to fail to believe that is to succeed in believing lies from Satan and lose sight of Christ, my joy.

That’s just it.
Jesus, my joy.

What does that look like?
I have been asking myself that question for months.

What I have come to realize is that my faith had been shrinking. Instead of trusting God with big hopes and dreams, I stopped trusting Him altogether with my future. Honestly, I grew tired of asking Him for things only to end up disappointed. It would seem as if a person can only withstand so much failure and rejection from the world before giving up on the hope of a future. “Set your standards low, then you won’t be disappointed.” Right?

WRONG.

If I believe that, then what does that say about my God?? It says he is SMALL. It also says that He is a liar.
He promises to give us a hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
He promises His followers who are called according to His purpose that He works all things together for good. NOT harm. (Romans 8:28)

I became depressed because I lost hope.
I lost hope because I took my eyes off Jesus.
I took my eyes off of Jesus because I believed lies and lost faith.
But  Without faith it is impossible to please God. – Hebrews 11:6

Setting my standards and hopes high means I believe in a God who works miracles, gives new life, resurrects the dead! Trusting Him with my future may mean unknowns, and that can be scary (especially to someone who likes to plan out their life… HA! Yeah right.). But if I know the character of God, and I truly trust Him with my future, then I will have so much hope! Why??
Because God is love!
Because life in Christ is awesome!!
Because the ONLY reason I exist anyway is to worship Him and share His love with others!
And most of all… because even if I end up crippled, blind, poor, unmarried, barren, and alone, He has saved me from hell, I have the promise of an eternity with Him, and my hell on earth will be NOTHING compared with belonging to Him for eternity!

What He has in store is even BETTER than anything I can imagine or hope for.
As Pastor Furtick states in his book, Sun Stand Still, “It would be a shame for us to let bad experiences or past disappointments keep us bound, poor, and blind to what God wants to do in our lives.”

Little faith means a little view of God.
But I choose joy. I choose Christ. I choose to trust Him with my life, my future.
He has restored my hope. My joy. And I am SO excited to live out the life He has planned for me!!

I confess that I believed Satan’s lies and I allowed them to weaken my faith and manifest in words and behaviors that wounded others. I know that God has forgiven me and I am so thrilled that He loves me enough to teach me these things.

Never again do I want to doubt His love for me, His plan for my life, the salvation He gave through His son, or the joy that is possible when living life with eyes fixed on JESUS.

P.S. Thank you Jesus for these words. They finally came.
🙂

4 responses »

  1. Jessie says:

    I used to have the “low standards” view on life…I set my standards low and if I exceeded them, GREAT! If I met the low standards….well, I expected it. Having grown deeper in my faith and knowing, believing, and trusting that God is working things for my good and HIS glory, it changed everything….but slowly. Satan is crafty and manipulative and praise be to God that you have been caught and convicted by the Holy Spirit and these words have flowed from that. Sometimes the Holy Spirit “calling you out” is more painful and harder than what anyone else could say while calling you out. I encourage you to choose Christ every day no matter what. Focus on Christ, not on what Satan is trying to do. Choosing Christ when everything in you doesn’t want anything to, Christ is even more glorified. We have a future and hope that is beyond anything we can ever imagine. Ephesians 3:20.

  2. These words—“I grew tired of asking Him for things only to end up disappointed. It would seem as if a person can only withstand so much failure and rejection from the world before giving up on the hope of a future”—I understand completely. I recently sat on my deck praying and journaling and realized how many things I no longer talk to God about because I have quit expecting. I grew tired of disappointment.

    Thank you for writing this!

  3. […] I was wise in assuming challenges would arise during the time leading up to my moving date of September 1st. I was stuck in a job that I hated, and to make matters worse, I kept getting injured on the job, which contributed to my already-awful feelings of being unappreciated and not living out my purpose. I ignorantly dated guys that were wrong for me, and Satan won as I spiraled into depression (which I wrote about HERE). […]

  4. […] I was wise in assuming challenges would arise during the time leading up to my moving date of September 1st. I was stuck in a job that I hated, and to make matters worse, I kept getting injured on the job, which contributed to my already-awful feelings of being unappreciated and not living out my purpose. I ignorantly dated guys that were wrong for me, and Satan won as I spiraled into depression (which I wrote about HERE). […]

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