What do we have to be thankful for in the mundane of every day life? Well let’s face it, though we go through everyday life, doing the same old thing, day after day — we do have an opportunity to make the most of every second of our time. And it is in those very seconds that we are able to grow, learn, and strengthen our relationship with God so that when the highs and lows of life come along, which they always do, you are prepared. You are equipped to handle them with His strength, His power. You are able to see the highs and lows through a different lens. You aren’t completely drained, empty, or void of all He is.We must choose each day, regardless of how busy we are going here and there, to be still and know that He is Lord. Psalm 46:10 We must choose each day to get alone with God and position ourselves in a manner where He can speak truth to us, where we can hear His voice! Let’s face it, we all live with way too many hurts, lies that have held us in bondage for far too long! I don’t know about you, but I’m for one tired of living to please everyone, knowing that I will never be able to please anyone! But I do know The Creator of the world, and He knew me before I was ever formed in the womb, Jeremiah 1:5. He created me for a specific purpose…and guess what — He created you for a specific purpose too!So in order to understand more fully what that purpose is, why we are even here in this world, we must choose to be still and allow God our full attention. It’s in the mundane of life that we must choose to be proactive so that we won’t be reactive. When everything in life is out of the ordinary it can be too much. Because mundane isn’t of the ordinary, we can and should take advantage of every second to be still, draw near to God. That’s when He speaks to us, preparing us for the road ahead, the highs and the lows.I’d love the opportunity to talk with you about how God continues to use the mundane in life for me…and prayerfully come alongside you as you too make the most of the mundane!
The TRUTH will set you free! I’m sure you’ve heard this all throughout your life…or at least I have. Yet there is soooo much more to this than you could ever begin to imagine!
You see when I was in the beginning stages of trying to get well after my last hospitalization in 2002 for all the suicide attempts and ending the ECTs that weren’t working anyway, God took me in a direction, a direction I never knew would actually circle back around at this time in life. A time when my everyday life has proved doctors wrong time and time again, in spite of the chronic pain and health problems I endure. A time when I’ve been obedient to His calling to share my horrific experience, embarrassing story among not just anyone, but among other Christians, here God brings me back to where He took me well over 15 years ago! Ok…enough thinking back, are you ready for me to get on with the story? Okay, okay…but I am just beyond words! I’m just so completely overwhelmed at His amazing goodness, His amazing grace, His love and joy unspeakable…and all in spite of me and my efforts to end it all, to refuse to trust Him, to choose, even today, everything except Him!
Hold on friend – here we go!
God blessed me with a pastor, mentor and friend that I never fully appreciated as much as I have these past few years, Rev. Don Winn. He never failed to come and visit me in the hospital during that long, drawn out year…though I turned him a way time and time again, though I repeatedly tried to take my own life. Bro. Don was always there, always pointing me back to God and His love and forgiveness. I am beyond grateful for people just like him that God has brought into my life, and at the most critical times in my life!
You see Bro. Don introduced me to Bill and Anabelle Gillham through Lifetime Guarantee which opened me up to the life changing truths that I had never fully grasped all my life, truths that I never grasped even though I was raised in the church — everyday those doors were open! Now, whether that is because of me, my stubbornness, God’s timing, I don’t know and at this point I’m just beyond thankful for God’s grace to finally get it to stick – in my heart… not just my head! I highly urge you to check out their ministry…and especially the book – it was the beginning of the transforming of amanda, and the journey is continuing on even now! Lifetime Guarantee
Bro. Don took us through The Life study Bill and Anabelle Gillham have, The Life DVD Series FREE on YouTube. I highly recommend this series, though it was just the beginning for this journey in my life, I pray you aren’t as stubborn as I. At HOPE I like to take on a more positive view of myself, determined, rather than stubborn!
Once finished with that study, I had many a talk with Bro. Don and all the therapy sessions with professionals in Nashville, both Christian and non-Christian, medications, etc. — yet that hopelessness still loomed over me. But my hunger for God was more alive every day, so I asked Bro. Don if there was a better Christian counseling I could go to, and he pointed me in the direction of Grace Life in Brentwood. I remember it was a most unusual and surreal environment…yet similar to every counseling office I had ever been in before. This is where I was introduced to something so amazing, life-changing…Transformation Prayer Ministry. This method of counseling took me to a place I never knew existed, a place where things I held deep within my heart, and in the recesses of my mind would come to the forefront, a place where God would reveal His truth about the things I had come to believe that were not true at all. I had no idea the potential this type of prayer could do in my life until God has brought this back around, now 15 years later!
When we listen to God, that still, small voice, we never know what we are in for until we obey! And last week was one of those occasions as I was cleaning up the countless emails, delete, delete, spam, trash, etc. But there was one, one God clearly, but ever so quietly said, ‘Open’. I hesitated for a few seconds then went back to it and opened it. A free seminar by the author and his son on the revisions they had made to the original counseling model, Transformation Prayer Ministry. I hit the link, sought out the nearest location to me, and wouldn’t ya know they had recently added a Bowling Green, Kentucky, seminar! So in obedience, I signed up!
I was nervous, jittery, and restless the closer it came time for me to go to this seminar. I even found every excuse in the book, in my mind, ultimately in my heart to not go. But in all of that, I continued to pray for God to help me do exactly what He had called me to do at this time in life…regardless of the doors it opened up from the unknown lies within my mind and the fear plaguing my entire being.
You see last year I went through Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. If you’ve never read this book, as every counselor, therapist I have ever had had instructed me to do since I was 13, I highly recommend you pick it up and read it, study it with a group and put the practices of this book into your every day life…but that’s a story for another day. I told my friend that I didn’t need to go through this as my boundaries were all good, but there again God spoke up and said “take it” so I did…thinking now with a new season in life with adult children and them beginning to get married, I’m sure I could learn some new boundaries! And toward the end of that study, that’s when it all opened up…worse than the mystery container in the refrigerator that has been pushed to the back far too many times– stinking, rotting, and oh so painful…but more than any of that – fear – yeah fear rose up in me at the very thought of there being something hidden deep within the recesses of my mind, my heart that needed yet to still be worked on, that needed still yet God’s truth applied – more than any band-aid has ever been needed…this was an outright cancerous growth that had to be dealt with once and for all!
Gosh! I got mad, irritated, and the suicidal thoughts returned out of nowhere! I hadn’t had any of those in soooooo long! But now, here, at this specific time, here they came…even more clearly and plaguing moment by moment than the past 15 years! I prayed asking God where in the world these were coming from, recognizing they were not of me, my sound mind I had come to learn and live by and now teach to others week after week, for over 3 years now! “Untruths that needed His truth applied,” God said. And then I remembered back to my time in counseling, the transforming prayers that had replaced the lies within my mind, with truths from God Himself! I was so afraid! I was afraid of whatever was in my past that still remained, that even after it all was said and done and I had come so far, yet still lingered within the recesses of my mind and held my heart hostage like no other! I prayed God would help me come to grips with it…that He would give me the courage to allow Him to do what only God can do! Weeks later, I finally gave up, I surrendered to God Almighty and said, “Ok – I’m ready Lord…let’s do this.”
A year later…yeah remember our time is never God’s time! And He is such a Gentleman! He never forces us into anything we aren’t truly ready for! So He gave me a full year my friend before the journey back to it all!
He is still revealing piece by piece, day by day, lie with truth…and I’m sure He’ll continue to do so til the day I meet Him face to face…but I trust Him and with His help I will remain in His will as He continues to transform me ever so gently! Though I’m sure, like you, I wish He’d hurry up and get it over with…but then I have no idea what lies are to be dealt with — He knows…and guess what? HE knows exactly how much I can handle through His Helper and in just the perfect timing!
Friend, I pray you will Join Me on this journey! You see God doesn’t want this kept a secret! He wants this healing, this truth revealed, shared with every person that is held in bondage to their past, bondage to their pain, bondage to the lies they have come to believe and live by…as this is the only way they will ever begin to live in the hope of healing only He can bring!
Piece by piece, lie by lie, He will heal every one with His healing truth!
More information will be coming soon as we begin to setup times for teaching and training Transformation Prayer!
When every part of me wants to run, to hide, to not exist anymore…I have a choice to make. It may be a split second choice, or it may be a recurring choice, but regardless – I have a choice…and so do you!
We probably have never met, but I assure you, we are facing the same need, the same desire for escape – that desperate need to get away, to retreat, to find a way to breathe again, to keep life, circumstances from crashing in on us, to stop the agonizing pain that leaves us paralyzed in fear and lost in a world that cares not for what we suffer.
Just when I think I will never have to face this feeling, this need, this overwhelming desire to escape…here it comes again!
I don’t know what you are going through, or what has brought you to this place. But I know the One that does know and He understands far more than you could ever imagine! He is the One and Only reason why I continue to press on, to persevere, to choose to wait it out, knowing He has a better plan ahead, knowing He will use it for good!
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
Romans 8:28-29 NLT
I have learned in my walk with God, in my growing relationship with Him, that I can trust Him. I can trust His Word as His Promise, His Truth, and He keeps it all! He always has and He always will! And He has never failed me yet…and even when my “old self” is crying out with all I have, and Satan is tempting me to doubt yet again, I still know that I know and I trust Him! He has a much better plan ahead for me, even if I can’t see it yet, and even if I never do in this lifetime!
So…what do I do with that overwhelming,
all consuming, desperate need to escape?
I RUN TO HIM AS HARD AND FAST AS I CAN!
He has wide open arms waiting for me, cause He already knows what I’m feeling before I begin feeling it, before it wells up within me, consuming my entire being! And He’s prepared, He’s ready to comfort, to reassure, and give me His peace that is beyond anything this world could ever offer!
Oh I’m begging you – get to know HIM! Give Him a chance to reveal more of Himself to you day by day! He has so much love, comfort, joy, hope and peace for you…far greater than anything or anyone you will ever hope to find in this world!
If you have questions, want to talk, or are struggling with depression…I’m here for you. I do understand. Feel free to contact me. I promise to respond to every email, phone call I get. And if you live in Clarksville, Tennessee, I would love to meet you at our group that meets each Thursday night!
Only God can truly know when we are beat down, depressed, and tired of aimlessly going on. And only God can truly fix that for and within us!
Why He chooses to heal some people completely and others get temporary assistance til the next time it happens…I have no idea. But — I do trust The One that IS IN CONTROL and that truly KNOWS BEST!
Does that mean I still face doubts, uncertainties, and yes – even depression – well yeah! I’m one of the ones that gets the temporary assistance til next time.
Hi – glad to meet ya!
So here’s the next time…God hasn’t chosen to heal me of clinical depression, nor chronic pain that radiates throughout my body (fibromyalgia), nor rhumatoid arthritis, nor degenerative disc disease that has compromised not only my lumbar but also my cervial and now thoracic spine. But He has chosen to give me exactly what I need and when I need it most — His grace! And believe me it is beyond more than enough to get me through til the next time!
You might be asking, “How is she so sure?” or “Why does she bother with ‘God’ when He obviously isn’t going to ‘fix’ her?” BECAUSE….oh the many ways because!
The latest because is when the spine implant that was just replaced in December 2018 has failed in less than 6 months…never charged properly from the day it was replaced and went completely out with no explanation from doctors and engineers. I’m just told I have to have it done all over again at the expense of an $11,000 deductible.
Nope – God has not told me I have to do that. In fact God has completely told me to rely on His grace which is sufficient for me each day to not only get me through the day but to thrive each day. Is that without difficulty? No. Is that without pain? No. Is that without God? No! He’s right there with me every step of the way and He is giving me more than enough to do what needs to be done each day that I trust Him, rely on Him, and look to Him for my everything! Because HE is my everything!!! And just to remind me of His all in all, He has given me two amazing friends that are in constant prayer for me and always available to listen, to help, and to pray some more!
I pray for you! I pray that you will give Him a few minutes of your time each day. He has so much in store for you. He’s not finished with you yet my friend! He loves you beyond all you could ever understand this side of heaven! He’s already done so much for you, more than you could ever understand this side of heaven! So what are you waiting for?
If you have questions, want to talk, or are struggling with depression…I’m here for you. I do understand. Feel free to contact me. I promise to respond to every email, phone call I get. And if you live in Clarksville, Tennessee, I would love to meet you at our group that meets each Thursday night!
And so it goes…
Insomnia, physical pain, mind foggy with cobwebs that seem to go nowhere yet leading everywhere…
Get up anyway!
Writing along and
the pen running out of ink…
yet when I open it up
I can clearly see it is almost full of ink!
God gave me this as an example of my current state of mind…I feel so frustrated at the constant pain I am in, the chaos and clutter that has taken over my life, the clothes mounting up everywhere I look, the dust and pet hair, the dishes that seem to multiply though I’ve only eaten granola bars, crackers and ice cream from the box, so many things to do – yet a desire to do none…
Get up anyway!
Try to do something and only feel as though it fails as pain ramps up even more…back to bed and heating pad I go.
If this was a screenplay it would be take 342!
My mind, body and faith feel so weak, so empty…just like my hope and joy. I’m so tired of living day in and day out like this.
And though, when I refocus on Him, when I take a moment to breathe and ask Him for clarity, He reveals I’m not as empty as I feel…much like this ink pen!
Satan would love to have us believe our feelings, be distracted, and even give up completely!
This is why we must constantly be in the Word, be in prayer, surround ourselves with praying people. Whether we feel like it or not! We cannot go through life based on our feelings! We must recalibrate. We need a fresh point of reference. We need to reboot. We need a filling of the Holy Spirit every day and all throughout the day.
God never intended us to go through every day life on our own steam, our own effort. He created us with a dependence on Him, a desperate need for Him! And nothing in this world, nor anyone, can ever fill or satisfy this need within each of us – only God!
So here’s to praying we each get up, look up and fill up! He’s waiting for each of us to do just that! He’s patient! Oh He never wants to rush us or push us… He’s a perfect Gentleman!
So what are you waiting for?
What is holding you back?
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13 NLT
I am always so beyond belief when God reveals something to me….shows me something….reminds me of something! But this…this is beyond amazing and I’ve got to tell you about it! We serve the Powerful Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and nothing is ever too difficult for HIM!
Grab a seat and cup of coffee as you sit back and see His mighty hand at work…spanning across the years, yet again!
I hope you have read how God brought me through the worst years of my life back in 2001-2002…if not, please do so now. Nothing could have prepared me, like that time period of depression, for answering His call to lead this group…now going on 4 years!
Hopefully you have also read the miraculous “post-it note” God gave me during that horrific time period. If not, please take a moment now and read it as it will explain so much for what God has just revealed…as He has now revealed the circle around us!
You see, Kelley and I have been reading the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, which has opened our eyes to so much more of all God has for us with regard to Anchored HOPE. God has used this book to draw us into an even deeper walk with Him and oh the trust! Faith is blind trust ya know! So as we continue leading HOPE and prayerfully seeking His will regarding the group and the future of the group, we picked up the Draw the Circle devotional by Mark Batterson. The introduction identifies the logistics of a prayer challenge by saying “…But whatever you do, don’t do this alone.” So Kelley and I are reading it and prayerfully going through on our own, but together too.
Our time at First Baptist Church for meeting Thursdays for HOPE group was to last 6 months. We have continued praying God would open up the next door for us so we did not have a time period where we had no meeting place, ideally it would sync up to our time period at First Baptist and no complications…well He has done that…sort of!
You see God can do whatever He desires, however He desires, whenever He desires! The fact that He chooses to let us get a glimpse of what He is doing is just beyond amazing! He doesn’t have to…He could keep us in limbo until that door opens, but He’s sooooooooo good all the time, and all the time God is good! Here it is the middle of May and we still aren’t sure where our next meeting place will be, yet First Baptist has not ended our 6 month time period, we are still able to meet there week after week (we’ll see if that’s still the case after this post LOL – but hey I trust God has got this as well!)
The longer this time period drags on, the more uneasy I have become, along with other of life’s difficulties, I find myself second-quessing, even questioning what God has revealed to us for Anchored HOPE. God has brought us a third person (Stacie) that we had been praying for with regard to Anchored HOPE, but still so many unanswered questions with regard to how, when and where….you know the key details for any organization in order to press onward! So we’ve all been praying and grasping for answers, signs …and finally we have received the answer from God in the form of the very thing we have been doing for months…drawing the circle…only this time it’s God revealing the circle He’s been working on for YEARS!!!
Okay so you’re caught up on where things stand, how they began and what all God has done…well as an answer to our prayers regarding what next, where, and how…God has revealed this circle He’s been working on since 2001…or perhaps even before time began based on His Word and how He knows everything about us since before we were ever formed in our mother’s womb – Psalm 139! Ah…His Word is so good…I could get side-tracked on that alone! But back to His revealing the circle! Remember that “post-it note” and how it was an answer to my prayers, but I was too wounded, too stuck in the midst of the mire and pit of depression to ever begin to see it, instead I was angry, angry at Him, at God Almighty. Fast forward 14 years and how He is using that very depression I nearly died from, nearly lost my family to, and bringing HIS ultimate hope to so many, not just here in Clarksville, but all around the world! And yet the details of a ministry can be so consuming, frustrating, and exciting all at the same time! But have I told you lately what a Mighty God we serve! Oh He is oh so good…as we all have been searching for answers, prayerfully seeking what, how, when He would have us do next, especially in light of the fact our time was up at First Baptist as of last December…wouldn’t you know God uses that very same message on the “post-it note” to give us HIS answer! Through a sermon Stacie shared with us from Jentesen Franklin, special emphasis on section 12-35 minutes of the sermon, God gives us an example of none other than His children, the Israelites, the most discussed lesson in our HOPE group meetings. After all the Israelites have witnessed, after all they have experienced first hand of God’s love, God’s power, and God’s faithfulness, they still go by their own thoughts, their own ways rather than consulting the Lord as we are shown in Joshua 9. They end up being tricked by the people of Gibeon…which leads them into a lifetime of more hardships because of their limited knowledge and forsaking the counsel of God! “God is our Shepherd and He loves when we ask Him for advice, wisdom….it is prideful to not seek Him in all we do,” says Franklin.
21 Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.
New Living Version (NLT)
Then check out this out….
16 I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.
New Living Version (NLT)
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
New Living Version (NLT)
“In other words, there will be a voice behind you, if you will seek His counsel. There will be a voice in front of you, and there will be a voice inside of you and there’s no way you are going to be deceived if you are asking the counsel of the Lord with a voice in front of you, behind you and inside of you. If you will seek His counsel, God already has a solution! If you will seek His counsel, God already has a procedure! There’s an unseen Hand that wants to guide our lives.” says Jentesen Franklin
When is the last time you sought the counsel of the Lord? I am always seeking His counsel… but here’s what I learned through this entire circle God has allowed me to see: sometimes the answer is so clear we can’t even see it…because we don’t like the answer He’s given us — especially when God answers “wait”.
The New Living Translation explains this even better…
“So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.”
New Living Version (NLT)
He is waiting for us to come to Him so He can show us His love and compassion. He is faithful! And He blesses those who wait for His help! I don’t think it can be any plainer or simplified than this — do you?
Here we are doing as God has called us to do, leading the HOPE group both at the Ajax Senior Center in Clarksville on Tuesday mornings, Thursday nights at First Baptist Church, and online as well as social media…yet there is an urgency we have put on ourselves for some reason. No one has told us to get out or move on or that we are no longer welcome here. So just because a few “Gibeonites” have entered into our lives, we feel we are at a place to move on…yet that’s not what God has said to us.
The urgency we feel has been placed on us by our fears, doubts, and maybe even our enemy…but I never want to give the enemy that much credit.
We have allowed our minds and life struggles to sidetrack us the past few months from seeking the Lord to seeking what’s next! We are following the footsteps of none other than the wayward Israelites! Weary and worn from 400 years of slavery in Egypt…no problem for God — 10 plaques later. No food or water…no problem for God — manna from the sky and water from a rock later. Enemy charging behind them and Red Sea ahead of them…still no problem for God — He parts the sea and drowns the enemy! Yet they still allowed their minds to be overcome by fear!
We are no different! We see things happening all around us, and within our lives and it causes us to fear, doubt and seek solutions apart from God. We revert back to old behavior patterns because we understand those, we are comfortable in those and we feel in control…completely forgetting how they always leave us wounded even worse, and completely separate from God!
What if we just follow Him at His Word…
“Be still, and know that I am God!”
Psalm 46:10a (NLT)
But that’s too easy…and too hard at the same time! We have been raised in this life to work for what we have, want or desire. We have been trained as well as taught that nothing comes from nothing…so we think we have to do more. “Be still” is so completely opposite of what we know, trust or desire. And yet God simply desires us to trust Him, wait on Him, rest in Him!
Even as I have been writing this post the past week…God continues to allow us to see glimpses of what He has already done! How could we NOT trust His Divine plan in His Divine time!
My friend, if you are struggling with depression and anxiety or just the fears every day life brings our way…my heartfelt prayer for you is to seek Him, trust Him…He loves you! I have been where you are. I do understand. And trust me when I say with all my heart…please truly trust Him!
Decide to turn my will and my life over to the care of God Almighty. This is the 3rd step on the Road to Recovery. By now you have already admitted you are powerless to depression and that your life has become unmanageable. And you have chosen to believe God can restore you to sanity. Deciding to turn our will and our life over to His care is a second by second, minute by minute and day by day decision. It isn’t something we do once and we are done and magically all cured from depression. Don’t misunderstand here…God still performs miracles all the time! I’ve witnessed and received several myself, but God did not choose to heal me from depression.
Do you go through day after day, week after week and feel as though you literally blinked and another month has just flown by? You aren’t alone! Time is passing us by so quickly…and instead of technology making things more efficient and increasing our time, it actually sucks more of our time without us even realizing it! Binge watching Netflix, or Hulu consumes not just hours, but days of our time. Computers, internet, phones, games, it all sucks hours away from our lives all throughout the day and night, daily!
That’s why the time is now for us to seek The Lord, now to press in and get to know The Creator of the world, The Author and The Finisher! We cannot afford to waste anymore time!
So that brings us to why you haven’t decided to turn your life over to God already…what have you got to lose, what is holding you back? Is it something from your childhood that prevents you from giving God a chance? Have you ever truly given Him a chance to show you Who He truly is and wants to be in your life? All the things this world has to offer us are never going to fully satisfy us like only God can!
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2
Why not get to know The One that created you, knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb, The One that was here before time began and will exist for all eternity?! If God loved you so much, that He gave His one and only Son to suffer and die to pay the penalty for your sins…all the while knowing you have a choice whether to choose to love Him or choose to walk away from Him…why not give Him a chance? I know there will never be another to do for you what God has already done for you!
God knows the desires of our hearts even better than we know ourselves! He is waiting for you to come to Him, just as you are. If you are ready to take this step, please contact me so we can talk! Your life is just waiting to be changed forever! Are you ready to decide? My prayer for you is that you will decide today to stop letting depression rule and ruin each day of your life and choose today to let God rule and fulfill each day like never before! It is only through Jesus Christ that we can live now with all joy and fullness God has for us!
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”John 10:10
In a world where we have technology and the ability to stay in closer communication than ever before, it seems we actually are more alone than ever before. Social media gives us a false sense of connection. It gives us the perception that people all around us are living wild and free or the “good life” with little to no effort at all. All the while you are drowning in darkness, despair, a pain you can’t even begin to explain. And if you even tried to explain it to your spouse, or loved ones, they think you are crazy or weak. You feel numb. You feel that you are all alone struggling to breathe, much less function in every day life. You have been silently suffering in a pit of despair and agony. No one seems to notice you, your pain, much less truly care. You feel as though there is no purpose for you in this life. You feel as though this world would be better off without you.
Please do not believe those lies any more!
If you are considering ending your life, please don’t!
God loves you! There are others that love you!
And I love you and I am praying for you…and we haven’t even met yet!
Please call 911 if you are considering suicide. Please call your doctor. Or please try Lifeline – it is free, it is anonymous. You can either call them at 1-800-273-8255 or go to their website and chat with a skilled, trained crisis worker.
For a lot of us dealing with depression, social media can all too easily become our “way of living”…and with that can actually come a greater feeling of loneliness, misperceptions and false sense of living, that leads to an emptiness for that deep longing in our soul!
“In the beginning,” God created us in His image – Genesis 1:26-31. We were told to “be fruitful and multiply“. In Genesis 2 we see more details surrounding when God created man from the dust of the ground. Yet still, with all God had created, “there was no helper comparable for man.” So God created another human being, “It is not good for man to be alone,” Genesis 2:18. God never meant for man to be alone on earth so He gave us companionship in family and friends. But there’s still something He gave us that is far superior to even those…He gave us HIMSELF!
We live in a time where technology has increased our ability to develop new friends! Yet so many of us have lost the skillset of genuine relationships along the way. It is all too easy to hide behind our screen, create an image we want to be seen as and live vicariously through everyday life… until the emptiness is too overwhelming to go on any more, until reality shakes us to our core, until the emptiness is all we feel.
What is even worse, is that we live in a time where we expect a “pill” or quick fix for everything…even depression. Let me tell you a little secret…after personally dealing with depression for over 30 years, there is only one way to live above and beyond the depression that seeks to “steal, kill and destroy” your life and that is by Jesus Christ alone!
God created us to have a relationship with HIM! How does one go about having a relationship with the Creator of the world? We are told in the Bible,
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.”
How different would our lives look if we truly did this…if we truly came to God in this manner…if we truly realized how the Creator of the world longs to be in relationship with us! So much so that He, knowing all things, still sent His one and only Son to pay the penalty for our sins, past, present and future, so we could have the opportunity to be in a relationship with HIM! He loves us THAT MUCH! I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone else that’s ever proved they loved me that much! ONLY GOD!
So you might be asking yourself, that’s all well and good, but how is that supposed to fix my depression? The answer my friend is so simple, that it’s hard to believe…and even harder to just do!
SURRENDER….yes, surrender! Stop trying to do life on your own! Stop living your way, cause obviously it hasn’t gotten you where you want to go or you would not be here in the midst of depression. Or perhaps you feel as though you have lived a good, honest life and you do not deserve what life has thrown at you. Regardless of how you have found yourself in the midst, the mire of depression…I promise you this, there is nothing so sweet as when you decide to surrender to God your all and choose to live life His way. Even with chronic health problems, chronic pain and clinical depression, I can honestly say life is still better after having surrendered to God and choosing to live His way each day.
The happiest time of the year — right?
Yes, it should be, but sadly it’s not for so very many! From you, your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, to strangers…we are all in the same boat called life. We all have ups and downs we go through, just like the seasons that change. Yet some of us become stuck in the pit of depression, stuck amidst the mire of things that come at us in life. And some of us are the “lucky ones” that just wake up with this black cloud, cover draped heavily upon us that no matter what we do or others try to do, we can’t get out from under its weight, its gloom, it’s pure misery!
Regardless — this does not have to be you…not anymore!
We have been given the sweetest gift, a free gift with no strings attached! This gift is available to each and everyone of us who will choose to believe, choose to trust in the One, the Creator of all, Lord God Almighty and accept this amazing gift He has for each of us in His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior!
You might be telling yourself, “I did that! I was baptized as a child”, or “I am a good person”, or “I go to church!” Those are all great things!
But as we give a gift to those we love this Christmas, this holiday season, or even if you don’t celebrate Christmas then say a birthday present…you don’t expect anything in return for the gift you have given! You give because you care, because you love…and that my friend is what God Almighty has done just for YOU!
So what will you do with the most amazing gift of all time? He’s waiting to have a real relationship with YOU! Don’t wait another second…choose today to accept this gift and see all He has in store for you!
I promise you will never regret this decision…His love, His grace, His mercy, His hope is more than we could ever imagine! And it’s right there waiting for you to accept it! If you would like more information regarding this free gift He has for you, please feel free to contact me using the form below
You may have read My Story on here before…but if not, I pray you will take a moment to go back and read. God has truly brought me out of some catastrophic things throughout my life. And I’ll never stop giving Him all the glory, honor, and praise only HE deserves!
One ongoing thing He has been doing since 2015 is with this group, HOPE Depression Support Group. Never in my wildest dreams did I think, much less want, to ever lead a group, much less talk about depression! Depression is just not something you talk about, especially in the Christian community…it looks like you don’t have enough faith, you aren’t trusting God with your life, or you are a fraud! I argued with God that there had to be such group already in existence in our big town. I searched 40 different avenues to prove my point to Him, as if He didn’t already know right?!
Finally, after 4 months of arguing, complaining, and prayerfully submitting, HOPE Depression Support Group was birthed! It wasn’t easy at all, in fact it was quite near the most difficult thing I had done as I couldn’t even say the word “depression”, so I called it the “d” word!
At first, we had a good group attendance and regular participation. Then after about 6 months it began to dwindle in size, yet we continued to meet, faithfully every Thursday. Then it went to seldom anyone attending and to finally months of no one attending. What was I to do?
Should I quit just because no one was attending and participating?
No! I clearly knew that God had called me to something bigger than I was, and I certainly knew that there were so many that needed this group, even if they didn’t realize it themselves. So, I committed to continue to go each Thursday night as always, only I didn’t sit there waiting for someone to show. Rather I prayed for those that I knew needed this help. I prayed for those that had been in the group but no longer needed it. I prayed for those that were too scared to come to such a group. I prayed for those that didn’t even know this group existed, that they would find out about it, so they could learn these valuable tools God had given me over all these years. For months I continued alone in prayer with a heavy burden in my heart and soul for those that struggle with depression, discouragement, and anxiety.
God showed me how to begin using social media and online apps to spread the word about this group. More and more people began to feel comfortable reaching out online regarding help, hope and the group. And one by one God started bringing people into the group.
Then God began opening my eyes to something still bigger than this little small group, faithfully meeting every Thursday evening at 6:30pm. We needed childcare provisions so moms and dads in desperate need of this life-saving hope could take advantage of such a free group here in their city. So, God brought Kelley into the picture with a like-minded heart as heavy and burdened for these in search of hope as my heart was!!! And He also opened a door for a second weekly group meeting at the Ajax Senior Center which Kelley and I continue to do each Tuesday morning at 10:30am.
It only took about 4 months for God to begin to unfold what the future of this group would soon become. Kelley and I began praying diligently as we sought God’s purpose and plan, rather than our own in the comfortable once a week small group meetings we had grown accustomed. And what He was showing us was nothing like we would ever have imagined, much less dared to undertake.
What God did next was give us a “quick glimpse” at just how mighty and powerful and awesome He is…and how serious He is about the future for this group! He opened a door within one week’s time for us to begin meeting that had a playground for the kids and the most amazing meeting space always prepared prior to our gathering for group each week…and are you ready for this…the name of the building was the Hope Building at First Baptist Church downtown Clarksville! Yeah…we couldn’t believe it either! In fact, we were in awe so much of His generosity, amazing answer to our prayers for a meeting place that we took this picture!
Now we are in search of the next phase God has in store for HOPE…and He has revealed the new name to be Anchored HOPE, because of all He has made available to us through a saving faith in Him, we can truly be anchored in and through any storm this life may bring upon us!
We ask that you join us in praying for this next phase of HOPE for Clarksville, Tennessee…Anchored HOPE, that it may be used for all His glory, honor, and praise as He uses it to bring many that have no hope to His life-saving, transforming hope only He can provide! Be sure to stay tuned to how He unfolds His mighty plan!