>What if I am Never Healed?

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I recently finished this book. There are some profound things in here. I have always admired Lincoln because I believe we are very similar. He also has given me hope. If I, someone with depression, could achieve something an iota of what he achieved while suffering, I would consider my life great. Probably the most profound thing was found on page 156. The author, Joshua Wolf Shenk, states, (bolded, mine):

Many popular philosophies propose that suffering can be beaten simply, quickly, and clearly. Popular biography often expresses the same view. Many writers, faced with unhappiness of a heroic figure, make sure to find some crucible in which that bad feeling melted into something new. Lincoln’s melancholy doesn’t lend itself to such a narrative. No point exists after which the melancholy dissolved…Whatever greatness Lincoln achieved cannot be explained as a triumph over personal suffering. Rather it must be accounted for as an outgrowth of the same system that produced that suffering. This is not a story of transformation but one of integration. Lincoln didn’t do great work because he solved the problem of his melancholy. The problems of his melancholy was all the more fuel for the fire of his great work.

This was not something I heard for the first time, but an idea that has been rolling over into my head these past few months (and maybe even years): Can I live a successful life with depression? Or do I continually feel I need to eradicate depression from my life before I can live?

Well the truth is that I already am. That is, I already am living with depression. I have no choice at this point. This was made even more real to me after listening to Greg Boyd’s sermon (I listened to the pod cast since I missed the service.) It was entitled “Communion in the Wilderness.” Based on Luke 22:7-20, the Communion Supper, Boyd talked about the space in between when we take communion and when we finally arrive in heaven. He called it the Wilderness, like the Israelites experienced before they arrived in the Promised Land. He had a member of the church, Scott, come up and talk about his experience with MD (muscular dystrophy). Scott talked about how his whole life people would “pray over him” for healing, but he was never healed. In fact, his MD just worsened. Now Scott has come to the point where he has accepted his MD and when people ask if they can pray for him, he kindly says, “Thanks, but I don’t believe that is what God has for me at this point.”

Wow! Like Scott, I have been told in so many words that my life would be so much more amazing if I was healed, in my case, from depression. NO kidding??!!!?? I have always struggled thinking I have lack of faith because I continue to suffer. Like Scott, I often felt people were saying it was MY fault that I wasn’t healed.

On the other hand, am I just giving in to this depression because I am too weak to fight it?

Because of what GOd has been saying to me personally and through this book, this sermon and through the words of many people who, like me, haven’t found supernatural healing, I have come to believe this: It is okay that I suffer from depression; and that I may have to take meds my whole life. Each time my depression gets better , I often think, this will be the last time. But now I am starting to think, each time I go through another depression, I will come out a stronger person. And without my depression, I wouldn’t be the sensitive, bright, caring person that I am.

Not saying, I wouldn’t take away my suffering or that of others’ in a heartbeat. But what choice have I right now, except to live in and through what has been given to me? And who knows, maybe like Lincoln, I will accomplish something great, and my depression will be a part of that.

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>Live in this World

>I wrote this on 1-4-10. It refers to many people who are important to me, including a woman I know at one of the group homes where I work.

Dearest LORD and my closest friend
I am so confused as to how
I can just sit here
My knees capture the sunlight
Coming in from the window
Just sit praising you
How is this changing anything?
But yet I do it
Because I just can’t not do it
It is my very being
Who I am
And I don’t feel in control now
Your Spirit is coming in
And the Sunlight is You
I’m captured by a real Being
I don’t really know anything
Except you want me to do this
Why can’t I just do this every day

Spend each day like this
Maybe I’d like life a lot more
I wouldn’t be presented with
Screaming and self-induced bloody scratches
On arms and legs
And a mind that can’t
Tell herself with words or actions
What she truly Wants
Or others, those that care for her
And the worst is that I can’t comfort her
And in that way I am very
Alone and uncomforted
Oh Lord but in this moment I am
Comforted in your Love
And I know she is too
Even in her pain and discomfort

And his heart
Is bleeding out til there’s no more
Emptiness
Closed off to love
And so abandoned
He can’t even figure out
Who or what love is
He loves her but he is still
Bleeding, fighting, misunderstood
She is so busy and fleeting
Not able to think one way or the other
Because she so desperately wants
And needs love from a man
But a mangled and broken
Heart cannot lover her Even
If he says he does
These are two broken shattered people
And their pain is hard to bear

And I see it in her crystal
Shiny beautiful eyes
Tinted blue oceans
She really looks and will
never let me escape a room
Without those arms opening
And I see it her eyes
She is so broken
But the most incredible lover
I have ever seen
The way she loves is amazing
Yet how could she not love herself
She is longing for freedom
But somehow can’t make a leap
She keeps going because Your love flows
out of her and
Her love makes me want to live

Their joy is deep but sometimes
Strained under
The wrinkles of hurt
The things that threaten to tear
Everything
Throw them in a puddle
A useless pool of water
But somehow life keeps going
And now a new year

Will it end the same?
Questions unanswered
A mom who keeps abusing
Awaking to another endles
Day of job searching
Barbing statements about your
Worthlessness
As a single person
As a jobless person
What society and family and even Christianity
can say about you
About your “condition”
Whether it’s because you only
Have one hand
Or maybe because you have an actual illness
located in the DSM that is called
Major Depressive Disorder
OR maybe because you are just a “label-less” person
Who feels
Like a nobody

That’s why I wish I could sit
Here
And just forget the world
Because no matter how much
Pain I bleed out
It doesn’t seem to change anything
I will stay in your presence
As much as possible
Until You teach me how to
Live in this World.

>I am so Sick of Trying so Hard

>More about this later but I will share the lyrics of a song that I like, that kind of talks about this waiting period I am in. I need to let Him be Who He is and realize this trying is just pushing me into a deepr feeling of insanity

The Altar and the Door
-Casting Crowns

Careless, I am reckless
I’m a wrong way traveling, slowly unraveling, shell of a man
Burn out, I’m so numb now
That the fire’s just an ember way down in the corner, of my cold, cold heart

Lord this time, I’ll make it right
Here at the altar I lay my life
You’re kingdom come and my will was done
My heart is broken as I cry….

Like so many times before
I flood my eyes
I try before I leave the floor
Oh Lord I try…(I’ll try)
but this time Jesus how can I be sure
I would not lose my follow through
between the altar and the door

Here at the altar
Oh my world so black and white
How could I ever falter
What you’ve show me to be right

Lord this time (Lord this time)
I’ll make it right (make it right)
Here at the altar I lay my life
You’re kingdom come, but my will was done
my heart is broken as I cry

Like so many times before
but my eyes, are dry before I leave the floor
Oh Lord I try… (I’ll try)

but this time Jesus how can I be sure
I would not lose my follow through
between the altar and the door

I’m trying so hard, to stop trying so hard
just let you be who you are
Lord who You are in me

>Disappearing Objects

>I wanted to post some pictures of what I’ve been up to in the crafty area…but alas let’s add another thing to my list of disappearing objects: my connector cord for my camera (so I have no way of uploading the pics 😦 )

Let’s see, some things on my mind, which may be the reason for my spaciness:

1) to date or not to date. Can’t I enjoy my single life without feeling the pressure of “finding someone?”

2) How do you know if you’ve crossed the line into “New Age” thinking? Just because someone’s thinking is different, are they New Age? What is New Age? Why do Christians have such a hard time with things that are “different?”

3) Why does God grant “miracles” to some and not to others? I’ve been struggling with this Scripture: ” ‘I will have mercy on wehom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:15-16

4) Should I look for a full time job just for the pay and benefits or should I just continue my crazy all-over-the place work life, with not a ton of security, living from paycheck to paycheck. (neither of which make me really happy? What I really want to do? Learn–go back to school! But who’s going to pay for it?

5) Will I ever realize that there’s no real way to “do” life, so why do I keep comparing myself to everyone and everything that ever lived or breathed? Save me from this bondage!

>I Shall Wait in Your Sight

>I read this poem in the book, Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting by Holly Whitcomb, which I finished today.

A good reminder to keep myself in the Word as I go through this painful confusion and muddle through each unknown that seems to get more and more pronounced each day.

“For Reassurance” ~ by Debbie Perlman

I shall wait in Your sight:
Prepare me with Your teachings;
Place knowledge as a screen,
A shelter against winds of adversity.

I shall wait in Your sight:
Animate me with Your teachings;
Invigorate my days with purpose,
Enlarge my actions with meaning.

I shall wait in Your sight:
Empower me with Your teachings;
Let my thirst never be quenched,
Let me drink from Your well.

I shall wait in Your sight:
Secure in who I am,
I will push back the webs of worry
To face my daily challenges.

I shall wait in Your sight:
Secure in Who You are,
I will lean against Your teaching
To guide my daily acts.

>The Practice of the Presence of God

>I have been oozing lately with words. Words to get out, whether people want to hear or not, that’s up to them. But since my gmail and facebook have been frozen (help! anyone have ideas?), I need to let people know what is going on. So I have started a blog. Maybe this is my next step. I don’t know if I will keep it up but I do feel it is what I need for faith, for life.

Most of you reading this probably know at least something about me. I am in–what they say–the post-college, quarter-life crisis state. But no, there’s really no crisis. Rather a waiting period. In which I continue to try and breathe each moment as if it were from the Savior Himself. And it really is.

I recently finished reading a book I had wanted to read for a long long time called The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Just a small book I read in a few days. Even before reading it, but especially after, I realized how God is essentially in EVERYTHING, whether we regard Him or not. He is such a personal God, as I have realized abundantly the last week or so. Since I opened my heart to Him and invited Him in everything, even the simplest things, I experienced a continual transformation. From the depth of my being, I couldn’t stop reaching and longing for Him. The peace I felt was incredible but at the same time a lot of interesting, not-so-peaceful things, happened. It is so hard to put into words but it was basically an intense feeling of oppression, a hollowness and a sudden doubt of all I knew to be true. As one who has always struggled internally, I thought maybe it to be a combination of my caffeine intake and my scattered sporadic neurotransmitters. But more and more I found it was spiritual; the lies in my head could only be combated with the Truth I and those around me possess. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

To encourage both you and me in our continual Christian spiritual struggle, I offer the Spirit-inspired words of Brother Lawrence:

“Take courage; offer Him your pains incessantly; pray to Him for strength to endure them. Above all, get a habit of entertaining yourself often with God, and forget Him the least that you can. Adore Him in your infirmities, offer yourself to Him from time to time, and in the height of your sufferings beseech Him humbly and affectionately (as a child His father) to make you conformable to His holy will…I would willingly ask of God a part of your sufferings, but that I know my weakness, which is so great that if He left me one moment to myself I should be the most wretched man alive. And yet I know not how He can leave me alone, because faith gives me as strong a conviction as sense can do that He never forsakes us until we have first forsaken Him. Let us fear to leave Him. Let us be always with Him. Let us live and die in His presence.”