Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Interrupt This Programming

Before I go any further in my "Journey to Charis" series, I just wanted to take a moment to talk about depression and anxiety.  Since I have been sharing about my difficulties in recent months, I have had some friends message me privately about their struggles.  I am so glad to pray for them and learn about their journeys.  And even though our journeys may begin and end in different valleys and mountain tops, I don't feel so alone.

I think depression and anxiety have the same faces, 
but can come from a variety of sources. 

Sometimes they are short lived and stem from the emotions of a certain circumstance.
Sometimes they accompany a difficult season of grief.
Sometimes they follow a burden of chronic stress, be it physical or mental.
Sometimes they are linked to a chemical or neurological imbalance.
Sometimes they are the result of a hormonal imbalance... especially for women postpartum or midlife.
Sometimes they accompany a disease elsewhere in the body.
Sometimes they are the result of a surgery or a traumatic event.
Sometimes they come because our thought life has gotten out of control,
and we are dwelling on darkness and fear.
Sometimes they come when we are trying to be a shoulder when God wants us to be the elbow.
Sometimes they are born out of unrealistic expectations.
Sometimes they are a result of a pattern of sin.

I am certainly not a doctor, but I have learned that no matter what the source of depression and/or anxiety the body and mind are asking for help.  They are demanding it.  I think it is the Lord's way of alerting us that we need to address what is going on in our lives, and we need to make some sort of change.

We must change.

Sometimes we need to change our circumstances.
Sometimes we need to kindly say no to people, even it it hurts their feelings or lets them down.
Sometimes we need to learn how to process our stress better.
Sometimes we need others to come alongside us, to truly hear us...  to share our burdens.
Sometimes we need to take something to balance out the chemicals in our brains or address a neurological aspect.
Sometimes we need to do something as simple as rubbing yam cream on our bodies daily.
Sometimes we need to address our diets and exercise routines,  and how they affect systems and glands within our bodies.
Sometimes we need to seek professional counsel to help us cope and train our thoughts.
Sometimes we need to face our fears head on.
Sometimes we need to embrace the person God created us to be, and stop trying to be otherwise.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves time to heal and stop pushing so hard.
Sometimes we need to confess, repent, and choose to live our lives in a different way. 

All the time, we need to take a step back.

No matter what led us to this valley, I believe we always need to seek God's counsel first.  He loves us and wants to give us the discernment to know what changes to make.  He knit our bodies together in our mothers' wombs and knows each and every detail (Psalm 139) .  He wants to give us direction and healing, restoring us to wholeness (John 15).  And yet He has a reason for allowing us to walk in the valley we are in (Ecclesiastes and Job).

He promises to walk beside us and to never forsake us (Psalm 23).
He promises to work out our situations for good, because we love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).
He promises to draw near to use when we draw near to Him (James 4:8).

So if you are on this journey, don't give up.

Keep asking for answers.

Keep trusting in His promises.

Keep finding your rest in Him.

Keep changing what needs to be altered in your life.

Keep allowing Him to rescue you from the heat of the fire and the rising waters (Isaiah 43:1-2).

Keep surrounding yourself with people who have His compassion and want to love you through it.

And now back to regularly scheduled programming...
the "Journey to Charis" story will continue soon...


CoachZ said...

Great words hon!

I'm honored to be your intimate ally and to watch the Lord work through so many of those Sometimes you write about.

Love ya!

mom/popfoote said...

beautifully said and i think you said it all

Denise said...

thank you linda...
where were these words 7.5 years ago?

when i went through my "great depression" i experienced a number of the circumstances you listed...
season of grief.
chemical imbalance.
hormonal imbalance.
thought life.
unrealistic expectations.
sin (pride).

it was so dark...
but i had to go through it. had to go through that valley.
coming face to face with these all at once was SUFFOCATING! but in hindsight i am so glad my children were so young. i see that God was merciful to allow me to walk through it when they would not remember it and it would not affect them.

may god continue to lead you out... and into His glorious TRUTH and Freedom!

Simply Sara said...

your words.

life giving.

i am passing this post along to a few friends who i know are battling this.
thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heart.
you ARE beautiful!

Linda Z said...

Thank you all, again, for the encouragement to tell this story.

Denise... it is so important to me to see how you've come out on the other side. I need to see God's faithfulness in the lives of others, so I can see it in my own as well.

Sara... I would be humbled and honored if any part of my story was used by the Lord in someone else's story. I'm glad you are passing it along.

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