Day 116: Depression and Despair

As I title this post, I realize it should be written as a letter, so here it goes.

 

Dear Depression and Despair,

It’s really quite sad that I am writing to either one of you. How can you even be in my mind? Why are you both here? Is it because of my diet? My thought life? I suspect both of these.

I think the real reason I’m writing to you both is because of fear. Fear that I won’t lose weight. Fear that my brother will never see TRUTH. Fear that I will never overcome the obstacles in front of me. Fear of MYSELF.  Ugh, and then you both come to me and it solidifies the FEAR. I feel HORRIBLE and HOPELESS.

That’s why you are here, isn’t it?  To make me feel this way.

So now I am letting you both know, with the mustard seed of faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST and HIS finished work on the CROSS, that I am not afraid. Well, I am afraid, but God commands me not to be. So in His Word I take my stance.

But WHY? WHY shouldn’t I be afraid. The feelings and circumstances are frightening. And you know that, don’t you. Of course you also probably know that these things that I fear have not happened and may not EVER happen. And yet, you know that I want to hide out under the covers and there you are waiting for me until I am worried and stressed beyond measure.  Am I using you or are you using me???

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

I want you to both know that I am going to walk away, no, run away from you and into the arms of my SAVIOR and cling to HIS Promises.

Jesus is FOR me. Jesus DIED for me. Jesus LIVES in me. Jesus LOVES me despite myself!

He get’s it. He understands.

Why would I spend my time with the two of you when I could be spending my time with JESUS?

Depression and Despair, I am leaving you. You have been with me long enough. It is time for me to let go and trust someone other than myself. It is time to stop believing that you will take care of me. It is time to stop being ruled by fear and instead to be ruled by LOVE.

Good bye.

Sincerely,

The Long Island Yak

 

Day 99: stand

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

Why would anyone prepare for battle and put every piece of armor on to engage in warfare, and then run or faint?

Could it be fear of pain? Fear of death? Perhaps it is just fear of being ill-prepared. This word from Paul to the Ephesians says that you must put on the full armor of God and STAND YOUR GROUND.

May we become experts of suiting up with Your armor Lord. May we train often and prepare that we may stand in the midst of the evil day. Thank you Jesus.

Day 36: Chapter 3/Distress

Flashing back to my first year of college and the opportunity it held. I was blind to this opportunity. I was just going through the motions. I thought this was what you were supposed to do and so I thoughtlessly moved forward.  Hey, you get good grades and you go off to college.  Right? You go off with the hope of landing a career that will make lot’s of money. I thought I would be a pediatric dentist. Surely at this point, my attention span would miraculously be on point and the weaknesses I had always had struggled with in math and science would all just melt away and my “dream” would come true (it really wasn’t my dream at all. it was a made up dream at best it seemed like a good idea). I was not too in touch with reality and my choices were not working out for me. I could care less about chemistry and calculus and I changed my major. I was now en route to the five year undergraduate plan. The outcome: A degree in Liberal Arts with a major in music and absolutely no hope of a job any day soon. But that is a whole other story for another time.

I only applied to two schools. One I really wanted to go to and one as a last resort. I got into both. I could have gone off to a prestigious university and pursued a career in music, but I was afraid. I didn’t want to go away because I was scared and I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend.  I didn’t really plan or have direction, other than the questionnaire I took in high school leading me to a career as a truck driver. That wasn’t very helpful. The truth is, I didn’t care. It didn’t matter. My plans were haphazard. My attitude was one of just doing enough to get by. The bare minimum. Squeaking on by was enough for me. I mean, I seemed to be doing better than anyone else in my family and to me, that was good enough. I thought of myself far more highly than I should have and at the same time, didn’t really think too much of myself at all. Crazy, right?

Dating my boyfriend gave me status. At least, it seemed that way to me. He was handsome and popular. I so enjoyed being with him, when we weren’t fighting. And the fighting was familiar, so it was fine.

All this time, my boyfriend and I were intimate with each other. Dating a few months before entering into a sexual relationship seemed to be the right thing to do. A girl wouldn’t want her guy to think she was easy or something. So, we waited….and then we didn’t. And we dated for three years. And all that time we had sex everywhere, all the time, and we were successful at not getting “caught”.  We knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but we didn’t care. And we mostly didn’t use protection, not that it would have excused our behavior in some way.

So I am in my first year of college and I become pregnant. This was THE WORST, most horrible discovery of my life.  And my first thought, “Everyone is going to know we are having sex and I am going to be in BIG TROUBLE. They will think I am bad. They must never know. What am I going to do? My life will be ruined. I cannot bring a child into this awful world so it can be as miserable as I am and everyone else around me.”

Having this child never even entered my mind as an option. It was a definite time of distress for me. And not only was I scared, I was sick. My body was experiencing morning sickness and I could not function normally. I managed to hide it well and hiding was a must. No one knew except a few close friends and my boyfriend. His reaction was less than supportive at the time. At one point, he even questioned if the child was his, as if I was the one who had been unfaithful in the relationship. With the VICTIM sign dangling heavily around my neck, and my “good girl” image in jeopardy, AND my own disregard for all life except my own, I made my mind up. My very “life” depended on it. I never understood there was One that had already died to save me.

 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 

1 John 4:9-10

Day 25 : antidotes #8 & #9

Clutter. Hopefully we are facing our clutter. Hopefully we are making wise choices on what we allow to come into and stay in our homes. Fear and Being over-whelmed are the last two contributors to Clutter as mentioned in the original post (Day 17), which will be addressed.

FEAR

Have we ever held on to something for FEAR we would one day need it? If so, what is it and do we REALLY think we will need it if we have not used it yet? Is it that hard to find if we do need it again one day? Could someone else use it? Will we be able to LIVE without it?

We can become very dependent on our things. And fear can be a very powerful motivator. If we trust in perfect love, fear is cast out. In the absence of fear, our decisions are motivated properly.  And we can let go of things we don’t truly need.

BECOMING OVER-WHELMED

And here is the last piece to tackle when facing CLUTTER. What do we do when there is WAY TOO MUCH to do? It looks as though we will never make a dent in the stuff that surrounds us. So, we just throw up our hands in the air and give up without even continuing in the effort.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:1

EFFORT. You get an “A” for effort, some will say.  I think in this case, it is definitely true. Make an effort. Do a little at a time. Set goals and don’t exceed them to prevent burn-out. By all means create more challenging goals as the efforts start to pay-off.  Don’t give up.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

May we cast our fears to You Jesus, that Your love  would take us over.   May we be motivated by love and make decisions accordingly. May my heart and yours be strengthened to move ahead and face the battle Clutter presents to us. May we make every effort to move forward to take care of clearing things up.  In the name of JESUS!

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Day 17: Clutter

How does clutter happen and how can it be avoided? Can it be avoided? I have tried, and as I look around, I see that at this moment in time, I have failed. Clutter is present. I see clothes without homes, a table covered (ok, I can’t really see the table for the stuff!),  and miscellaneous items I’m not sure I even need.

CLUTTER! It is sneaky. And it is a symptom. A symptom of: laziness, procrastination, exhaustion, hurry, greed, control, fear, being overwhelmed….let’s break this down.

Laziness: I don’t feel like putting that away.

Procrastination: I’ll put that away….later.

Exhaustion: I am too tired to put that away.

Hurry: I don’t have time to put that away.

Greed: I don’t need this, but it is mine. I want to keep it here with me. I don’t use it, need it, or wear it. But you can’t have what’s mine.

Control: It’s mine, and I will do what I wish with it. Even leave it on the floor.

Devalue: That used to mean a lot to me and I took really good care of it, once. But it is old now and it doesn’t mean as much so therefore I will no longer take good care of it.

Fear: I may need this one day, and then what. What if I don’t have it anymore?!

Being overwhelmed: I can’t keep up with all this stuff! It never ends!!! I give up!!

Clutter. Is it a losing battle? It may seem that way, but I am convinced there is an answer to each symptom. An answer that brings abundant LIFE. After all, clutter is a LIFE-drainer. It is a BIG distraction and waste of time. If we could take the time to do the right thing, clutter would be a thing of the past.

So what are the opposite behaviors for each of the above symptoms as they relate to clutter? Perhaps: Productiveness, Assertiveness, Being energized, Preparedness, Generosity, Freedom, Gratefulness, Love, Trust

Productiveness: I will put that away.

Assertiveness: I will put that away right now.

Being energized: I am filled with energy. I have the strength to do anything I need to.

Preparedness: I have not waited until the last minute. I have written out lists of what I need to do and I have prioritized the list. I will not be taken off-guard. No need to toss everything around in haste.

Generosity: I can freely give what I do not need or use.

Gratefulness: I am thankful for everything I have, regardless of how old it is.

Freedom: I don’t have to find freedom in controlling everything. It leads to a rebellion to do whatever I want. I am free, therefore I can make good choices.

Love: I am loved. I understand that if there is a need, a provision will be made. I don’t have to keep things I think I may need.

Trust: I trust that I will be cared for no matter what.

Not only are these great attributes to overcome clutter, but they are also great ways to live LIFE. They line up with the Word of God.  In the days ahead, we will look at what scripture has to say about each of these attributes.

In the meantime, may we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

May your heart and home, and mine say goodbye to clutter as we seek God’s Word to combat it. May your day and mine be filled with LIFE abundant.