Healed for now, forever in His Grace

I don’t know where to start.
I have struggled with depression. And probably anxiety.
There, I said it, point blank, on the internet. I have often written about experiences colored by depression, but for some reason, writing a post for the sole purpose of transparency and disclosure is scary.
Because, while i have struggled in the past with ongoing depression, I don’t right now.
I don’t know why. I don’t know why God has allowed His grace in this manner, in this life.
Maybe it’s temporary.
Maybe it’s not.
It is NOT because of some magic formula that I discovered and that I did. It is not because I made drastic changes in my life.
This is, first and foremost, evidence of God WITH me, in my life. Of His Spirit living in me and working His purposes through me.
I think this, mainly because I have asked for Him to do exactly this in me. I don’t want to live a culturally appropriate Christian-ish life. I want to live a Spirit-led, joy-filled, peace-marked, faith-before-feelings life. And my faith says that God is faithful to give
me these things. He says so! “[And may God] equip you in every god thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ…” Hebrews 13:11
He equips me. He has given me grace to recognize my depression. To identify it. How can we fight an enemy we cannot see? I can see my depression now. I don’t always know its triggers, but I know it’s beginning stages. I see its shadows.
Then I can fight it. He gives me grace to fight. He gives me victory. I do not have to accept defeat. “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” Hebrews 13:6
I fight it, first by identifying it as depression and acknowledging it as such. Depression in and of itself is not glorifying to my Creator.
I try to face it head on. Now, any one who has experienced depression will probably tell you that facing anything head on during a low spot is almost painful and very difficult. Depression saps your energy, your motivation, your drive to do anything. So this is absolutely where I have to put my faith before feelings, ignore the feelings and step toward God. I tell Him how I feel.
Then, I talk about it with someone safe and trusted and who will hold me accountable. I say out loud what I’m fearing, what I’m dreading, what I’ve been avoiding. We talk about possible reasons behind it. These people are allowed to ask probing, sometimes uncomfortable questions designed to help me.
And, we always talk about solutions. Because while I’ve had months-long episodes in the past, I do not want to go back there.
I watch my sleep.
I read my Bible.
I listen to faith-boosting podcasts.
I write often.
I do my best to share my heart and feelings and desires with my heavenly Father.
I am now 3 months without medication.
I thought I’d be on medication for the rest of my life. I’d accepted it. I was okay with it.
I have the same crazy life. We still live with ADHD on the daily. We still have to juggle work schedules to coordinate 22q-related specialist appointments. I still clean up poop and pee and legos and crayons and puzzle pieces and Skylanders. I still don’t have the right balance of screen time vs parental sanity worked out. I still can’t keep up with laundry and dishes.20190120_0729147695367617755944251.jpg
20180316_1721082902912.jpg20180303_2149331616016067.jpg20190120_072801151477894633127991.jpgBut I can bring myself to open the stack of mail, knowing that there’s likely a medical bill or two.
I can wake up and get out of bed in the morning without a giant self-pep-talk.
I can allow myself to let the dishes go unwashed.
I can ask for help, and I can tell myself that its okay to need help, to ask for help and its okay to be helped. I can remind myself that needing help does not make me a failure as a wife or a parent.
I can make important phone calls to doctor’s offices, pharmacies and insurance companies.
can remind myself that pursuing perfection hurts me.
I don’t know why God has given this season of healing to me. I don’t know why He has chosen to lift this burden from me. He may choose to allow this struggle back in my life at some point. He may need to teach me something new in the future. And that’s okay. If I need to go back to medication at some point, that’s okay.
beverage black coffee caffeine coffee
I don’t have to understand it all. I don’t have to know all the answers. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
I just have to obey. To step forward in faith, and to hope, trust, KNOW that this journey of mine, through the dim and fog and out the other side, is somehow glorifying to my Creator. That my story can speak faith and hope into the weary soul of another.
I can accept this gift, without feeling guilty.
I can go forward, in faith and gratitude, in obedience.
I can marvel at this peace which surpasses all comprehension.
To God be all the glory!

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