In the Face of Depression


Writer’s Note: As we approach the first anniversary, I thought it appropriate to post something I wrote a few days after Robin Williams’ death shocked the world. It struck a deeply personal nerve for me, just as I know it did for the many who have lost friends and loved ones to depression and/or battled it alongside them.

Aug. 16. 2014She needed something bigger than both of us

The recent death of Robin Williams has stirred up many feelings and emotions for many people around the globe, myself included. Suicide has taken or threatened to take people in my own world and so I know, firsthand, how very hard it is and how deep the wounds of those left behind. They not only are mourning the loss of their loved one, but they often are left to wonder if they somehow failed. If they knew there was a problem, why couldn’t they help? If they didn’t know, why didn’t they recognize the signs? Surely, there were signs.

The truth is there are some people you simply cannot accept at face value; those people who have become so skilled at hiding their depression and true feelings that others have difficulty seeing the reality of a hurting soul trapped in darkness. At least to those outside their inner circles, this seemed to be just such the case with Robin Williams as well as a young man with whom I worked. To the world, both were extremely outgoing, funny and loved by many. I can’t help but wonder if they hid behind a smiling mask because that is what the world expected from them. Did they feel responsible for being the happy one, even when they were feeling just the opposite inside? Did they help and inspire others, while all the while desperately needing someone to help them? Had the very thing that they had become known for become the burden that finally broke them?

Personally, I could see how that could happen. My friend whom I have come close to losing several times in the past few years became highly skilled at wearing a mask when in public. Thank God, she would occasionally slip it off, where we could try to bring everything she was hiding deep inside out in the open. It was hard. It was ugly. It was heart-wrenching. And it was impossible for her to shoulder alone.  She needed something bigger than both of us combined. She needed God. Of course, God was always there, but sometimes she just needed someone to remind her; to help clear the fog and smoke so that she could see His sweet, sweet face; however many times it took.  That’s where we can help. Is it easy? Absolutely not.

I can’t tell you how many mornings I felt a pit in my stomach wondering if this day would be the day I got “the call.” I felt helpless and imagined that this must certainly be what it feels like to have a loved one in a war zone. I suppose in a sense she was in a war zone. She was fighting for her very life, entrenched in heavy battle with satan and his evil army of demons. They surrounded her and, although they couldn’t physically lay a hand on her, they made so much noise and created so much smoke and fog that, alone, she found it hard to see her Creator. What she really needed was to be reminded that satan only turns up the heat when he sees time running out and her victory imminent. It’s his hail mary pass; his last ditch effort.

The thing is, we all have to remember that amidst all that smoke and noise, God is ALWAYS right there. He never leaves. Not even for a single second. Thank God, my friend found His hand again and made it back from many, many days, weeks and even months of wandering in a desert of hopelessness, darkness and despair. She made it to the other side of a very dark night and is today basking in the sunshine once again.

My prayer tonight is that the noise satan so loves to make will be squelched and the smoke dissipated so that all can see Him, in all His Glory. May God’s love and peace be with us all. Amen and Ehmen.

The Sweet Breath of Heaven


fruit of the spirit artHope. Joy. Peace. Love. These are the words that best describe our Father and are the very things He desires for us. And, the best part is that all four are ours for the taking. The trick is to fully breathe Him in. For when we fully breathe Him in, we can’t help but exhale a sweet breath of Heaven into a world gasping for air. It all starts with us. Or, at least that is my take on it. Happy Sunday, y’all!

And God Says…

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

1 Corinthians 13:13

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Job 32:8

But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.

The Prodigal Daughter


Writer’s Note: Two years ago this month, I went through a very difficult time and, though, due to current circumstances, I still can’t really talk about it in detail, I am happy to report that I came through it and am better for it. God showed Himself in more ways than one and took care of every little detail. What others meant for evil, God used for good. No matter what you are going through, please don’t ever give up on God, because I can promise you that He will never give up on you!

From my God-Journal, May 27, 2013

As the sun started playing peek-a-boo from the other side of my window dear godearly this a.m., I lay in bed praying. Soon, however, I started thinking about everything that is going on in my life and found that my prayers had all of a sudden turned into worry. When I discovered I was worrying, I returned to praying; then worrying; then praying; and so the morning went. During my last prayer stint, I heard a whisper deep in my spirit. Two words began to encircle my churning mind: prodigal son.
Prodigal son? What, Lord? What on earth does the story of the prodigal son have to do with me right now? Why would You compare me, Your child who loves You dearly, to this wayward character in the bible?

Grabbing my bible, I studied inherently the story outlined in Luke, Chapter 15, Verses 11-24, and then began to once again pray. I sat down at my computer as I often do when I feel a teaching coming my way. The words below are what I heard.
“Don’t be so literal, my child. Daughters can be prodigal, too, and the inheritance you squander doesn’t have to be financial. Child, do you forget that the day that you accepted My Son, You accepted Me and that when you accepted Me, you became a co-heir in My Kingdom? Go read Romans 8, Verses 14-17.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. But if we are to share in his glory, we must also share in his suffering.”

“Yes, but,” I found myself contradicting, “what exactly are you condemning me for, dear Lord? I know that I am Your child and I know and look forward to my eternal inheritance in Heaven. I also understand that I have to share in Your suffering in order to share in Your glory. I haven’t turned my back on that and I haven’t squandered it, have I?”

As I closed my bible and opened my eyes once again, it was if the Teacher had gotten up from behind His desk at the front of the class and walked over and stood beside mine. Though I readied myself for stern correction, I felt a gentle rain of love, patience and grace wash over me as He instructed my hands to turn to John 16:33.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The word “Peace” leapt off the page and at THAT moment it all became clear. Oh my, I thought, I am a prodigal daughter who has been squandering the very heart of my inheritance as I have essentially handed over my peace to people, circumstances and situations I was never intended to deal with on my own.

Oh, thank you, Lord, for your patience with me and for standing in the field, arms wide open, just waiting for me to return to your offer of peace in the midst of distress and turmoil and heartache and pressure; for the inheritance of peace that is born of Your guarantee to cause everything to work together for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose…people like me.
Father, you have made me rich with this inheritance of peace, and I thank You today for these most difficult and trying times and, most especially, for this reminder that I can have peace through it all, because You are in me, and I in You. Help me to stand firm as we traverse this valley together. Amen and Ehmen.