Recently I shared with you my thoughts on depression (Starless). And even more recently some lessons I have learned from depression (Haunted Part I). This is the rest of my lessons. I hope I can reach at least one person and bless your heart.
I often cannot even pin-point the cause of my depression. There is closure in understanding what is bothering me. I can do this by writing (Express Yourself to Health). It helps me not to give in to bitter thoughts or condemnation. I can share them with Jesus. And through my sharing with Him in the past I've come to realize that I don't have to be stable. He is. It doesn't matter if I don't feel hope – there IS one. (Joel 3:10) Weeping, vulnerably, exposing my heart to Jesus allows him to be a balm to my heart. It allows Him to defend me. And it also brings me to a place where I can choose to be thankful. I've listed my hurts and now can find things to be thankful for.
In His mercy God has given me others that I can relate to and comfort and share with because He has allowed me to travel the dark path of depression. This is a constant comfort of my soul. When I reach out to others and they can confide in me because I too have been where their soul now sinks I realize my pain wasn't in vain. He may be bringing you through this very same place so you can lift someone else up. That others may be healed. Hebrews 12:12-13. Allowing Him to lift me up is a testimony to those who don't believe in Him. (Ps. 4:6-8)
Knowing I have never regretted my nights and tears.
“Sometimes tears are my bread and drink, the dark my table and hopelessness my only company. But how sweet to realize that even in those bitter times He doesn't change and He doesn't forsake. How “normal” it is to cry out “how long Lord?” and “Why Jesus?....Give ear O Shepherd!” How inevitable for Him to come to His child. He knows exactly how long our night will last, even must last. ...My burdens have not been removed but I know that in your mercy you can remove them from my shoulder. I feel like I have been spit out the other side of a grinder. I believe my wounds have definitely left me changed. Scarred yes, but with lessons learned as well. ...Depression doesn't make sense. But I've learned the familiarity of the deep sinking sand of the miry pit and the capability of my Jesus to let me there and rescue me just because He cares.”
– Toni Hutto, March 5th 2015 entry
Not anxiously battling
Facing my giants is quite different than desperately battling for a good result (sleep, happiness, peace). but quietly accepting the negative (insomnia, melancholy, disturbance) and choosing to recognize it and simply move on is facing these giants and brings peace.
“It is difficult for the unrestored soul to lie down in green pastures as to lie down in barren wastes...Prosperity lies not in the greenness of the pastures, adversity lies not in the barrenness of the wastes; they both lie within. The joyous heart will make all things joyful...the restless heart will make all things unrestful...thou canst extract joy out of sorrow.” ~ George Matheson Moments on the Mount p.69
Seeing guilt as sin, and recognizing the difference between guilt and conviction.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you...ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father... If God be for us, who can be against us? ...Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at he right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
Recognizing that my pain over haunting evil thoughts are actually proof of purity.
“There is a pain which is the proof of convalescence, the sign that death is not yet. There is a pain which tells that the wound is not yet mortified, that there is life yet left in the mutilated member. There is a pain which is symptomatic of purity, which grows with the progress of purity, which cannot be felt by the impure. No conscience can feel the wound of sin but the tender conscience, no spirit can perceive it's own unrest but the regenerated spirit. Ought not the sight of such pain be dear to thy Father's heart? ...If He shall see thee unsatisfied with the earth, then indeed it is meet that He should be glad, for by the very want which earth cannot fill, He knows assuredly for by the very want which earth cannot fill, He knows assuredly that thou art made for Himself alone.” – George Matheson, Moments on the Mount p.103
It's always a help to me, to remember that Jesus took on himself the seed of Abraham and suffered temptation so he might be able to succour us that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:16-18). He understands our temptations. He desired to be a merciful and faithful priest of our souls. He desired not only to succour us in salvation, but in our earthly existence as well. He can relate to your temptation. He knows how it feels.
I hope this post was somehow an encouragement to you. We are in a battle with a fierce enemy. Flaming darts will come. Don't feel guilty when they do. You are only targeted because of your obvious stand. The enemy often attacks us in places God has chosen to prove strong in. If your thought life is under attack, and your purity under siege, know that it is because God has a plan for your life. The enemy sees you as a soldier to take out. He plays dirty -- he will use guilt. It's okay to be weak in these areas. It only means we will rely all the more readily on Someone mightier than we are!
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