Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Unexpected Blessing

A few days ago I woke up with the dreaded symptoms of depression. This insideous intruder confronted me at first light with an overwhelming repulsion to face real life, and an equally appealing siren's call to return to the land of dreams. Indulge, said my dimly lit room, so I escaped back to pleasant wanderings.

Inevitably, I awoke again to a brightly lit room, and the same uncomfortable, paralyzing feeling. I did a quick reality check to access what might be wrong. My recent cold had drained my physical strength. I probably forgot to take my calcium supplements, which help ward off depression. I just completed a major project, and the next one loomed ahead. But this particular tormenting feeling, coupled with some "warm flashes," signaled hormones as the main culprit.

With major problems ruled out and my enemies identified, I knew what I had to do. If I didn't fight off this depression quickly, experience said I would be sucked into a miserable existence, and a bigger battle later. So I pulled out my first weapon: giving thanks.

My mind turned to the many loving gifts God has given me. I drank them in by thanking God for the good night's sleep in my comfy bed, for my hundreds of body parts that could ache but felt fine, and for specific family members and friends who love and support me. The list easily continued, because here in America we have so much. At the thought of each blessing my heart warmed with gratefulness. God loves me so much.

Next I thought ahead to my plans for the day, searching for something to look forward to. Did I have a date scheduled with a girlfriend, daugher or my husband? A Bible study or writers group meeting? Yes I did. This was going to be a happy day, I told myself.

Although I now felt a little better, getting out of bed and tackling the day still seemed impossible. I had no ability or desire to cope with making even the smallest decision. But, I reminded myself, I didn't have to. I had Jesus to walk with me through my day. I could turn to Him for guidance at every step. In fact, that is what I should do anyway. As I moved into the realization of God's presence, delighted to submit every detail of my life to Him, feelings of comfort, peace and joy completely filled me. I love dwelling in God's light, but have such a hard time staying there. What a blessing to wake up depressed and be nudged to live my day the best way, with Jesus at my side.

Friday, June 4, 2010

How this Blog Began

Several years ago, the storm of life that did me in also knocked me to my knees. I made it through only because Jesus carried me. Afterward, exhausted and weak, God led me on a journey of emotional healing. When I was on my feet again, God showed me the steps He used to heal me. Now I'm writing a book detailing that process.

Even though my big crisis is long gone, and I feel much better, my emotions still flare at the littlest things. Stress. Worry. Fear. I don't know why I'm so sensitive. Maybe the accumulation of past traumas has me on edge. Perhaps as I grow older my coping devices are wearing out. I realize my hormones, whether PMS or menopause, contribute to the problem. No matter what the cause, I know I want off this ride.

I'm tired of being tossed around by my negative emotions. I can't stop bad things from happening, but I can change my reaction to them. Now that I've experienced God's peace, I will no longer tolerate having a knot in my stomach. Why should I? The same steps Jesus taught me during my crisis work on everyday stress as well.

God isn't finished with me yet. Thankfully, He's still working on me, raising my level of inner peace and joy daily. I invite you to come along as I continue to use the tools God lovingly supplies to gain victory over painful emotions, and to keep my moods in check. See how the same help God provides me can help you, too.