Wednesday, July 29, 2009

LifeTremors 2

Just when you think one LifeTremor is ending, another one begins. I have a loved one who's been going through a long struggle that sometimes makes my life quake. Recently I discovered another loved one entering into a completely different trial, and my heart hurts.

We don't struggle alone. Our lives are so intertwined that we feel each others pain. And that's the way it should be. We think we don't want others to hurt when our lives become unsettled. But the truth is -- I want to be close enough to others that they feel the shaking of my LifeTremors, and I feel theirs. That means I'm connected and being loved -- just the way God intends.

Oh, and by the way, don't think for a moment that God is unaffected by your LifeTremor. He knows, He cares, He feels the tremors too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Can Christians become depressed?

A young woman recently asked me this question. I can answer that from personal experience -- YES! I've been struggling with depression for the past several months, and I've dealt with some depression in the past. God has allowed me to experience for a short time what some women deal with for years. Recently I am feeling better -- like I'm coming out of a fog.

But, don't take my word for it. Search God's Word. What does He have to say about depression? Look at the Psalms for evidence of depression in King David, the one God called a man after His own heart. David obviously struggled with his feelings AND was honest and transparent enough to write about it. I'm so glad. Reading his Psalms lets me know I'm not alone.

Psalm 13 -- David writes, "How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart?"

Psalm 22 -- David begins with these words, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Psalm 42 -- Another author asks, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?"

The prophet Elijah was depressed after his great victory on Mount Carmel. Read about it in 1 Kings 19.

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. He penned these words in Jer 4:19.
"Oh, my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain.
Oh, the agony of my heart!
My heart pounds within me . . . "

Perhaps you've been told that if your faith was strong enough you wouldn't be depressed. Those words are hard to hear. (And you won't be hearing them from me.) When others question your faith, remember that great men of faith struggled with their emotions too. Sometimes we can work through depression with God's help. At other times we also need help from others. I'm thankful for the counselors, doctors and friends who have come alongside me in the past when I've needed their aid. I believe they've been part of God's provision for me during some of my weakest moments.

Can God bring glory out of the depression of a Christian? Absolutely! Watch for His hand -- even in the midst of your deepest sorrow. He is there.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It Works!

Yesterday I wrote a blog about fear or belief! I chose belief! I'd tried worry for so long, and it sure didn't accomplish anything. So I chose belief regarding my present LifeTremor.

Today I can say that belief is so much healthier, so much better, so freeing. Choosing to believe that God has the situation under control, choosing to remember He is all-powerful, choosing to trust Him -- that's the way to live.

God just brought me a tiny glimmer of hope in the midst of a confusing situation -- a reminder that He is at work. It's like He just said to me -- keep on believing! Do not fear!

Thanks God.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fears

I've been thinking about fear lately. My fear leads me to worry. I heard this quote from Bible teacher Beth Moore:

Fear is an emotional outburst of unbelief.

OUCH! That one hurt. Have my fears and worries really been me not believing God could handle my lifequake? I don't want to think so, but I wonder if that's true.

When I worry, I'm projecting the negative on the future. I question "What if ........" and imagine the worst. When I exercise belief I'm projecting the positive on the future -- believing God will indeed work ALL things together for good. If I truly believe that, is there room for worry?

Seems I have a choice: fear and worry OR belief. I'm tired of being fearful; I'm tired of worry. I'm ready to believe in the One who knows how my lifequake will end.

I'm ready to believe God!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just Me and God

My mom just left to fly back to Texas after visiting for a week. We did some shopping, cooking, talking -- a simple visit. My dad passed away several years ago. My 2 brothers and I live on the east coast, so she gets lonely for family sometimes. We were so happy she came to visit.

However, I was struck by her aloneness. For years she took care of a husband and 3 children. Then gradually her children married and moved away. Her husband, my dad, suffered from Alzheimer's, and she cared for him. But now he is gone, and she is alone. It struck me that it's just her and God.

But, isn't that true for all of us? It's really just you and God. Even though you might be surrounded by a houseful of children, a loving husband and lots of friends, when you get down to the core -- it's just you and God.

That fact saddened me for awhile, until I really thought about it. It's just me and God. When everyone else is gone, it's just me and God. Always has been. Always will be. God will never leave me. He will never forsake me. He will always be there. And what better companion could I ever find? He knows me completely. What stronger defender could I have? He is all-powerful and all-knowing and all-seeing. What greater love? None! He loves me unconditionally.

Just me and God!

I am privileged. I am blessed. I am filled with joy. Thank you God for sticking with me. You are more than enough. You are God.

Just me and God!