I'm a dreamer at heart and often I like to fly by the seat of my pants.

I suffer from depression and have for most of my life. I am no longer willing to stay silent about it. My hope is to share with others about this disease so they might understand it a bit better.

"I dare to believe!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Depression: Accepting Who I Am

Depression: Accepting Who I Am

Accepting who I am! Wow now those four words seem to shake a mountain of emotions out of the soul when you really start looking inside yourself. Recently I was sitting in a class and the teacher was talking about accepting who we are, he asked the question, “Have you accepted who God made you to be?” When you stop and think about it that can be a very difficult question to answer, and perhaps a confusing question in some ways. Not accepting ourselves in a way that would leave us happy with “status quo”, but looking deep within our heart and soul, looking with all honesty, “have we/I accepted who God made me to be?”

In my case I of course have to examine my struggle with depression. For as long as I can remember I have been depressed, even in my childhood and adolescence.  For me it was “normal”, I never knew anything else.

When I was in my mid- to late-20s, I began to ask myself “why do I feel like this all the time?”  My confidence and self esteem was horrible and I was very co-dependent - trying to live life the best I knew how (however, that is another story).  It wasn’t until I was in my late 30s that I began the process of accepting who I am.  Notice I said “BEGAN” the process…. It was at that point that I was officially diagnosed with depression and was prescribed medication to help with the ongoing disease. Even though the medication does help relieve some of the depression, it does not make it go away - it is not a cure for me. 

For years I have suffered silently with only the closest of friends and family knowing that I suffered from depression.  However in these past few years God has been giving me the courage to speak up about my condition and through doing so I have been learning to ‘accept who I am, the person God has made me to be”.  Is it easy? NO WAY!  It’s very scary at times with fear of judgment, the fear of rejection, and the fear of “pity” from others.  But in this process God has given me strength and is teaching me to accept who I am; in doing so I am now reaching out, speaking out and encouraging others who also suffer from depression and helping those who do not understand this disease to know more about it.

So it’s only by His Grace that each day I accept who God has made me to be. Do I ever fail at this?  Of course I do, but I’m determined to keep on keeping on, one day at a time, or one hour at a time, or one minute at a time….

I leave you with this scripture to ponder:

1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV)
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Depression: Under His Wings

Depression: “Under His Wings”

From the darkness into the light…

Often people who are going through depression describe it as being in the “darkness”, “dark hole”, “dark pit”, “clouds of darkness” etc.  I also have described depression in this way.

During a recent bout of depression, one of the longer bouts that I’ve had in quite some time I might add. I was sitting in church service one evening and it seemed my mind was jumping from one thought to the next, poorly attempting to relate what I was hearing, to my life in general.  "Blips" of my depression would pop up here and there and I found it very difficult to focus, (which is a common thing to happen during depression).

I sat there feeling the “darkness” hovering and trying to relate to something so it wouldn't feel so heavy and hopeless. Then my favorite scriptures came to my mind once again. At that point I had a vision within my mind of me under the protective wings of God, like an Eagle that would protect its young under its wing.

I seen myself under “His Wings” pulled close to His heart. It was dark, but it was comforting and I felt very safe.  I could glimpse out through His feathers at times, seeing the light and I knew within me when the time was right I would step back out into the light when my heart, mind and soul could face the world again.

I want to try and keep that vision and hold it close... and if another time of depression happens, my hope is that I can recall this vision of myself under His wings, close to His heart as He protects and heals me, ready for the next time to take flight.

Please take time to view this video I recently produced, 
I hope you will be Blessed....

Psalm 91 (New Living Translation)

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Depression: "My Faith & Depression"

My Faith & Depression.

What role does my Faith play in my life dealing with depression? Have I ever doubted my faith? I would be amiss to tell you no. The answer is: Yes… yes I have doubted my faith in God a number of times throughout my Christian walk.  For me those times were during extreme lows of depression. There have been times in my life that I’ve cried out to Him and wondered where He was and why I had to go through this once again. Yet, deep inside there was that one teeny tiny seed of faith, so small that it seemed to be invisible to human eye even if one used a high powered microscope. So minute that I believe only God could see it, and I almost certainly could not feel it.

Does that make me a bad person, a bad Christian? No! Not at all! I dare to say that most Christians who have been walking in the Faith for a while and if they would be gut level honest; they would admit that at some point during their walk they too have doubted their Faith. But that is just my own personal opinion and I can only speak for myself.

Let me tell you what I do know about my faith in God. I KNOW that if not for Him I would not be living and breathing today.  In a few of the lowest of lows, when I felt so alone, so desperate and could see no hope, it was only by the Grace of God that I survived through those very difficult times. It was in the depth of those feelings of despair that God seemed to breathe a small breath of hope within me to hold on to as He pulled me closer under His wings. He let me know that in spite of all my doubts He still loved me and He was still in control. He gave me what I needed at the exact moment I needed it.

So, have I ever doubted my faith? Yes!  Have I ever let Him down? Yes!  But this I do know yet I cannot explain He has always been faithful to me, despite all my doubts and I can find refuge within His love for me.

Psalm 91:1-4  (New Living Translation)

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.