Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hope in times of trouble

i am always amazed at how David in the psalms cries out to God with deep distress and pain, he doesn't hold back on telling God his thoughts and his pleas. But even more than the stark honesty he has with God, i am always amazed at his thankful heart amidst anguish and struggles. I often relate to David's cries for help, his pleas for God to save him from his misery, and I am stretched and strengthened when I also praise God and speak of His goodness at the end of prayer and petition.

it's been days that have turned to weeks, and weeks that fade to months. I can remember being free from depression, and it really hasn't been long, it just feels like it. Depression comes with long days, mundane days, sometimes dark days. I know being free of depression is attainable because I was at that place for months, really not too long ago. . . and I long to be there again.
i know I've had a lot of times in the last few months were I've felt great, that is so true. I'm thankful for those times and I have hope that those times will stretch longer and go deeper as time goes on.

I have this love hate relationship with medication. It has allowed me to have my life back, to be my old self again (the happy fun joking life enjoying, God seeking, God serving, God loving self). It has allowed me to be healthy again, to function normally. Medication has balanced me and stabilized me in a way that I didn't know was possible anymore. It has given me the ability to see life as it is, to be able to move forward, to work through hard stuff, to realize where God wants to work on me, what He wants to deal with, where He wants me to be.
So that's the love part.

The hate part is that it isn't foul proof, and it doesn't guarantee that I will always feel good or that it will always perform as it's intended.
It also doesn't come without a price aka side effects. Sometimes I do get frustrated and tired of the unpleasant side effects and I have a pity party and then move on.
I know I need them, I know they help me immensely , yet I wish I could do without them, yet I know I can not.

For the last 2 months my Psychiatrist has been changing, tweaking, working to help me get over the hump of this lingering depression. He's taken me off my old anti-depressant, he's put me on a new one, taken me off, switched me to yet another new one, and here I am now: not doing any better.
I am actually slipping out of the zone of ok to not being ok most of the time. Marc and I are certain that the anti-depressant I am on right now is backfiring. It is not helping, it is actually intensifying the thoughts and feelings that go along with the yuck of a bipolar episode. Writing this now, I already feel insecure about people who are close thinking, what the heck is she thinking, she's been doing great...? Well yes I have great moments, great days, and even some great weeks here and there.

I have been facing and walking through some deep hurts of my past and I have not wanted to switch medication when the feelings I have been having could be due to walking through hard stuff that Jesus is taking me through so that I can walk beyond and out of that pain into health and healing. I didn't want to cut that healing off and I didn't want something that would take all my feelings away and make me numb. I've been in that state a lot of my life so actually feeling emotions and allowing them has been deeply healing.

That brings me to now.... I am not doing ok anymore. My mind often isn't logical, it isn't rational, it isn't balanced, and it often isn't stable. I haven't had the thoughts I am having now in a very very long time. I haven't been in this place since before I was diagnosed 1 1/2 years ago. I am afraid of where I'm at and all I can do most nights the past week or more is go to bed and just sob. Marc and God's Word are my reality right now. He's the one that tells me what's true and what's going to be ok. I am at the place to accept that my current anti-depressant is hurting more than helping and that I cannot go on like this.
I take a lot of other medications that when all working together are very effective. Being on an anti-depressant as well as the other meds (mood stabilizers, etc.) is according to my psych Dr. important and necessary. I agree now.

I'm trying to stay present in the now, trying to focus on what God says is true, to read the Word of life and allow it to truly give me life right now. I'm being obedient to read and recite out loud the promises of His unfailing love even things just seem to be one big battle, spiritual and mental. I'm telling myself that Jesus loves me and walks with me even though I can't feel or see Him there. He is my One Constant Steady. He is my Hope, My Faith of what is unseen but what is real, My Light when I see Dark, My Life when I feel death taunting.

Psalms 73:26.
"Though my heart and my flesh may fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Grace, this gift called grace. Oh how I miss out when I push His grace away. I'm told that I need to have grace with myself when I'm not feeling well. I'm told to give myself grace when I can't engage or function to the extent I would like or feel I should at times. I really can't give myself grace per say, His grace, that's all the grace there really is. His grace is what I need. His grace His love, His unfailing promise of love, it never fails to exist . All through the Word it talks about His "unfailing love." It's repeated over and over, it knows no bounds. His grace poured out as love on the cross gives us Life.

Lam. 3:21-23
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassion's never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Often I look at grace and I miss the whole thing. I try to earn my right. I try to convince myself that if I fight hard enough I might be able to deserve it. I don't understand grace a bit when I try to achieve anything spiritual at all.

Grace, the gift that isn't based on anything about me, but based on everything about Him. His grace, His gift, His love, His giving, it all comes from His unfailing Love. It exists because Jesus exists. It existed before me and it will exist after me.
Grace is a love gift from Him, receiving that grace is a love gift to Him.

His love is big enough to cover a multitude of sin, fear, of doubt. His healing blood never runs dry.
In a world full of if only's and what if's He is the one "I AM".

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So can we really fail?
God in me, the Hope of Glory. I have hope that I will again be healthy. I cannot see it ahead but I have faith that it is coming. I don't trust myself but I do trust Him within me. Because of this trust I can thank Him now, and I can thank Him in the future for what is coming and what He will do.

Psalms 71:14
14 As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

1 comment:

  1. Press on, Sister! One tiny step or one giant leap, even falling forward... just keep moving toward Jesus. I love you! You are doing the right things. God is faithful and good. I am praying for you. I came by to see you before you left for vacation. I'll try again soon!