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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude and depression’

Gray and forlorn, the skies promised rain and I tucked the first holiday CD into the disc player. The lonely strains of “I’ll be Home for Christmas” reminded me of all that was missing, and I glanced at the sweet boys playing near my feet. Chunky, plastic blocks and knob-wheeled trucks lay strewn about the floor as my preschooler curled his upper lip and uttered an imitation of a jet accelerating off the tarmac. The youngest, a robust infant with dimpled fingers and white-blond hair, gnawed on an icy teething ring.

“How would you like to make some sugar cookies, Benjamin?”

His head bobbing in agreement, the four-year-year old dropped the miniature F-18 replica and danced toward me—his smile my reward. My son perched beside me in his tiny Home Depot apron, we began assembling the ingredients. Baking sugar cookies on Thanksgiving was a tradition I refused to give up despite the unconventional circumstances.

The phone rang and I breathed a prayer, Please, Lord, then choked out a weak ‘Hello’?

The distinct crackling on the other end of the line was interrupted by the unfamiliar cadence of a man’s voice. “Ma’am, Happy Thanksgiving. I’d like to patch in a call from Lt. Kennington. Is that alright with you?”

It’d been weeks since I’d spoken to my husband and suddenly, he, and I—and the ham radio operator—were enjoying conversation. This wasn’t the Thanksgiving celebration I’d imagined. Instead of our family gathering around the table to celebrate together, we were separated by half a world as the man I loved served on the Navy’s version of a floating city while I parented and prayed from the home front.

But today was a day for gratitude.

Despite the loneliness, I wasn't alone. 
Regardless of distance, I was loved. Click To Tweet

Despite the loneliness, I wasn’t alone. Regardless of distance, I was loved. No matter the circumstances, God provided good gifts.
Many of you may be facing a season of uncertainty. A holiday without loved ones. A Thanksgiving bereft of its usual cheer and celebration. I am truly sorry. If I could, I’d invite you over for a mug of something warm and steamy. We’d share happy holiday memories or watch the snow float like miniature white-winged moths from the low-slung November canopy until it covered the tree branches as they reach to the sky in prayer.

His ear is attuned to the cry of those who are burdened. Click To Tweet

But my heart isn’t adequate to lessen your struggle and I can’t know the depth of loneliness, grief, or heartache you own. Someone else does and His ear is attuned to the cry of those who are burdened.

There might not be a shift in circumstances 
but when you lean into God,He remains steadfast. Click To Tweet

There might not be a shift in circumstances, a sudden answer to ongoing problems, or a change in what you’re experiencing, but when you lean into God during the hardest of times, He remains steadfast. Can I encourage you to whisper a prayer—even if it is only, “Please, Lord”?

He’ll hear you. Allow Him to pull you into the circle of holy arms where you’ll discover comfort. Feel the Father’s heartbeat. You’re never alone. You’re always loved. He will provide good gifts.

Even today is a day for gratitude.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Mondays   Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,InstaEncouragementsMandy and Michele

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

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Only God can intervene. He gives me glimpses of hope and occasional moments, hours-sometimes a day or two-of beautiful, bright light shining from the typically shuttered eyes of the young man I love and adore.

Once upon a time, mirth danced in those eyes. But the child disappeared behind the silhouette of depression and now a mother’s heart beats out a prayer every day for the young man.

Please, Lord, have mercy. Give him your peace today.

When you fight depression on behalf of your child, it’s as if “a sword has pierced your own heart” because you can’t bear your child’s cross no matter the desire. I would even take on depression, once my own companion, if it meant my son could live free of it.

But only God is able to remove the heaviness, so I continue in my prayers.

Please, Lord, have mercy. Give him your peace today.

How deceptive is the Shadow's call, luring one deeper until little else can be heard-except for the small, still voice of Truth.#depressionawarenessmonth Click To Tweet

Maybe depression holds you or your loved one captive. How deceptive is the Shadow’s call, luring one deeper until little else can be heard—except for the small, still voice. The voice of Truth reaching out. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Resist. Fight.

But how does one fight when strength is diminished? And how do mothers, wives, and sisters wage war against depression as we support those we hold dear?

How does one fight when strength is diminished?#fightdepression#depressionawarenessmonth Click To Tweet

There are three keys to remember when battling depression whether you’re struggling, or you are storming the gates of heaven for a loved one. They are: Position, Practice, and Power.

Position
Ephesians 2:6 tells us that “He raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly realms with our beloved Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King.” (The Voice) Despite what we know of ourselves, regardless of our sinfulness, God sees us as pure and holy through the sinless nature of Christ-at least once we received Him through faith.

Our position, then, is one of strength. Through our weakness, He is made strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

If He is faithful to me, He will be faithful to my son and He will be faithful to you.#depression#mentalhealth Click To Tweet

While I long to see my son delivered from depression and fail to understand why God hasn’t answered years of prayer, I know He is faithful. If He is faithful to me, He will be faithful to my son and He will be faithful to you.

Whether or not this mother’s prayer is answered this side of heaven, my son is seated with Christ. He is promised:
-life abundant (John 10:10)
-that he will bear much fruit (John 15:5)
-his needs will be met (Philippians 4:19)
-God’s presence (Hebrews 13:5)
-eternal life (John 3:16)

These, too, are the precious promises that belong to you as a Christ-follower. No matter the momentary struggles we face, victory is ours through Jesus. There is more to life than what we experience here and now.

Practice
The practice of praise and prayer are essential to overcoming depression. If you’re suffering from depression, journaling prayers or reading through the Psalms can be a comfort. Many of them were written by David, who understood the darkness of depression.

Psalm 42 is one of my favorites.

Praising God seems like an odd suggestion, but research supports what God knew from before time began. Fostering a heart of thankfulness or gratitude increases happiness. Reciting a few favorite Bible verses, naming people for whom we’re thankful, or listening to a favorite playlist moves our focus heavenward and helps us maintain an eternal perspective.

Feel free to start with my Praise and Worship playlist.

Power
Depression is powerful. It can cloud judgment and steal joy, but I have news that sometimes gets lost amid the struggle.

God is bigger.
God is stronger.
God is more powerful.

I know there will come a day when “He will wipe away every tear…and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

What joy awaits!

That is the last tear you'll ever cry, child.#hope#mentalhealth Click To Tweet

Just as I stooped over my child after he’d skinned a knee years ago, our Father will kneel by you and me, gently gathering the last bit of sadness on the edge of His thumb and whisper, “That is the last tear you’ll ever cry, child.”

Power and might are in His hand.

Depression is painful and I wish my tears could wash it away. For now I’ll press on, recognizing my own position in Christ along with that of my son’s as I daily practice praise and prayer. Above all, I cling to the truth that I serve a God of power who renews, restores, and resurrects.

Peace and grace,
Tammy

This is Depression Awareness Month. If you or a loved one struggles with depression and you haven’t asked for help, reach out to a trained Christian counselor or therapist. Besides your local church, SAMHSA and the DBSA Alliance can provide helpful resources. As always, please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can pray for you.

 

 I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragements Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

Read Full Post »

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