Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mourning into Dancing

When Depression Strikes

Mourning into Dancing

This morning Jett said to me, "I'm not wearing underwear, because I don't have any clean ones."

I looked around, and the truth hit me like a ton of bricks.  I knew I was struggling lately, but I had no idea how badly.  The laundry bins were overflowing.  The kitchen sink was full of dishes.  I'm not even sure where those dishes came from, because I can't remember the last time I cooked.  Even if I wanted to cook, we didn't have any food in the house.  Every morning for the past week I've told myself I was going to grocery shop that day.  Instead, I napped.

An occasional nap is nothing to be concerned about, and in fact, it's probably necessary.  For me frequent napping means one thing:  depression has creeped back into my life and is trying to settle in for the long haul.

If you've ever struggled with depression you know even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable.

When I saw all that needed to be done in my house, all I could think was, "I just can't."

It's not laziness.  It's not lack of caring.  It's a crushing blow.  It's the feeling of weights in your chest and arms and legs that keep you from moving.  

The thing about depression is that it sneaks up on you.  At least, that's how it is for me.  I don't know how these chores piled up and went unnoticed.  I'm typically organized and slightly OCD.  By slightly I mean I can't relax until my house is clean.  So when these moments happen, I have a hard time understanding how I got here without even noticing.

The thing that is so incredibly frustrating about depression is that I don't even know why I'm depressed.  That's the part that makes me want to scream.  

And so I cope.


Wait no, I do better than cope.  I turn to the One who has delivered me from the beast of depression time and time again.  The other day I shared how personal and loving our God is.  This morning my boys slept in, which never happens.  Three of them are early risers.  Very early risers.  Today God gave me extra, uninterrupted time with Him in His Word, and the timing could not have been better.  Today, when I needed it the most, He brought these verses to me during my quiet time:

Verses of Encouragement

Jeremiah 8:18 - You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.

Psalm 140:7 - Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.

Psalm 71:5 - For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.

Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  

2 Corinthians 1:3 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

The final verse is extra special to me.  When I was at my worst, many years ago, God told my mom He would deliver me.  She clung to that promise, and during a particularly hard week He gave her this verse.  She knew then, and I know now that He will continue to deliver me.

2 Corinthians 1:10 - He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

My hope is in Him.  My strength comes from Him.  I can take comfort in Him and in His promises.  He is my refuge.  He will continue to deliver me.

Tonight Jett had soccer practice, so we had to leave the house.  While we were out we stopped at Trader Joe's and stocked up on necessities.  When we came home I turned on my favorite worship music, prayed...and I cleaned.  I stopped counting after the seventh load of laundry.  I had to fill the sink three times to get all the dishes clean, but they are clean.  The whole time I did my chores I worshipped.  I worshipped with everything in me.  When I have nothing in my own strength, all I can do is worship.  When I worship I can no longer think about anything but how great our God is.  Then and only then, I am filled with joy.

Psalm 28:7 - The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Joy of the Lord

As you can see, this is a well loved bottle of oil.  I apply it to my heart and pray that the Lord will fill me with His joy.  I pray everyday that the joy of the Lord will be my strength.  And it is.

Joy of the Lord

Nehemiah 8:10 - Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

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