This Instagram post was a powerful and life-saving pic to wake up to today. My weekend had not gone well. Then to top off that sundae of misery, a trip with my children that I was very much looking forward to had to be canceled. It was the straw that broke the camels back. Me. I'm the camel. First, I sat in my car and boo-hoo'd for a half hour. Next, I took my broken-back to my room, turned off my phone and boo-hoo'd some more.
It was ridiculous. But it wasn't the first time I've been that far gone. Last night I cried as I thought of the misery of mankind. I watched documentaries about civilizations utterly destroyed, and these justified my tears. I thought of friends who've gone on to Heaven and I vocally envied them, telling God that it was unfair to leave me here so miserable. I wrapped myself in a blanket of sorrow and worry. I woke up this morning still cocooned in the realities of my plight. There is no chance of change. Life really is as daunting as it feels. I'm TIRED of working to believe in the impossible.
Its possible you've been shrouded in these types of realities as well. They're not imagined experiences and difficulties. They're FACT. If you've endured multiple traumas and tragedies then it's likely you've, like me, experienced the straight out COMFORT found in succumbing to the realities of sorrow and worry. It's called "habit." When a person goes through a difficulty they respond with tears, or anger. They experience a "negative" emotion. And it's not inappropriate to do so. In fact, I believe it's healthy to do so. But the danger is in your brain experiencing this reaction enough times that it decides, "This behavior is the new normal." And as shocking as it is to learn, that negative emotion literally begins to feel COMFORTING. There is solice found in those tears, or worry, or sorrow, or anger.
When you realize that you'd rather be alone, crying in a dark room than doing almost ANYTHING ELSE, then please realize you've developed a nasty habit. If it's any help to you to know; THAT WAS ME. And as I've described my behaviors of last night, sometimes it still is me. It's not ok to remain in this state.
It's not ok for your personal health. But as I'm aware depression causes you to have absolutely NO CARE for your personal health, I'll go ahead and point out that it's not good for your family either. From your very offspring, to your nieces and nephews. Unfortunately, when one's lack of family is part of the sorrow-trigger, you must realize that "family" is yet a sufficient reason to rise and shine. I don't care how distant in location or relation the family is from you. The very fact that a relative in the future will find you in the research of your family tree is enough to say, "I need to behave better than this for the sake of my family."
The GREATEST reason it's not ok for you to remain in a depressive state is the fact that God has plans for you. We are so enamored with the idea that if God is using someone for His glory, that person will not experience negative emotions. We imagine that someone being used of God has nothing going wrong in their life. They have God's attention and favor, therefore life is a bowl-of-cherries and a bed-of-roses.
It won't take anything but surface research to discover that EVERY "hero of the faith" in scripture experienced choking on some cherry pits. They felt the prick and sting of the rose-thorns in said proverbial luxuries. Being used of God to be a help and benefit in our community does not make one free of problems. But it does make that person more easily available to some benefits not found at home in a dark room.
Our experiences may have created habits that snowball worry, sadness, anger, and depression. These feelings may teel like a comfort zone. And where this Instagram post shows Charlie Brown under such a comforter, I also have in my head the image of dear Linus going the extra mile in portable comfort and carrying his blankey around with him.
We imagine that "hope" feels fabulous. (We are obsessed with feeling good.) But the scripture lets us know that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Hope can hurt. It can be as uncomfortable as someone ripping the warm, cozy comforter from your sleepy body, exposing you to a crisply-cooled, air conditioned room. Faith can have the same feeling as the light switch being turned on first thing in the morning. We would prefer to stay in the dark, snuggled in our comforter of depression.
NOTHING triggers anger in me quicker than a rude awakening. I need to wake up in the dark, wrap more clothes around me so the temperature change outside the covers isn't too abrasive. And I need SILENCE. I then need to have a cup of coffee in this slowly-but-surely environment, and THEN, after an unspecified period of time, I'll be happy about being awake.
Hope and Faith are a necessity. We must accept the reality that hope and faith are not soft, fluffy Care Bears. They can be downright uncomfortable. But THEY ARE LIFE!
The good news is that faith and hope are also habit-forming. I can pull myself out of a stupor much quicker and easier than I used to be able to. And while I can't deny the realities of facts I really don't want to be a part of my life, I can testify that MUCH good is also a part of my life. I've had some brand new, amazing things come into my life because I kicked off the comfort of worry. I start my physical self with coffee, but I start my inner-self with Jesus.
Nibbling the Bread of Life (Bible) for breakfast, and sipping from the Cup of the Holy Ghost, I am able to think about some pretty awesome things I want to see in my life. And when I think about goodness, I begin to hope. And hope helps me have the faith to believe in the impossible.
And here's the habit I've not mentioned yet; LOVE.
In depressive states I cannot love others, and I cannot believe that anyone could love me. But when I begin to hope, and I begin to exhibit faith, I suddenly feel like singing,
Love lifted me
Love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me
So, good morning! Whether you're reading this at 2pm, or at 11pm...
Rise and shine!
God has great things available to those who'll kick off the comfort of worry, sorrow, and doubt!
And God is such a considerate one... For in the same way that I want to wrap myself in warmth even as I'm forced to leave the cozy of my bedspread, Jesus himself wraps us in the comfort of the Holy Ghost to ease us into waking from the nightmare of fear and doubt. And from the better, healthier comfort of God's love we can rise to walk in newness of life!
Rise and shine!
Proverbs 13:12 (KJV) 12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life.
Acts 2:26 (KJV)
Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
Romans 4:18 (KJV)
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
Romans 15:13 (KJV)
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (KJV)
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1 Peter 1:13 (KJV)
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Corinthians 13:13 (KJV)
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.