I spent time with the Lord this morning and I realized something; there is a momentum rising in my life. I can feel it. This is thrilling to me.
The reason for my excitement? I spent a lot of time throughout my life trapped in the past. I lived each day yes. Did what I had to do, went where I had to go. But behind it all was the dark cloud of my past, always with me, always brooding. It reminds me of the cartoon character Pigpen in the Charlie Brown strips. While Pigpen walks through life with this cloud of dust from his favorite blankie, I walked through life with a dark cloud hanging just above my head, filled with the dramas of my past. That cloud tainted everything.
When I wanted to attempt something new, the cloud grew darker and it would begin to rain on my hopes. “If you try that, it’s only going to end up like…,” it whispered to me. And that would pretty much be it; the attempt at something new faded under the doom and gloom of the past. Every once in awhile I made it past the dreaded censor and actually accomplished something new or creative. Those would be days filled with hope, a hope I couldn’t quite get my fingers wrapped securely around in order to repeat the process. And the next thing I knew, the cloud returned. Living under the dark cloud of depression is debilitating.
About eight years ago, something new happened. I’d gone to my doctor yet again to ask to be put on antidepressants. I knew the signs well and when I felt I could no longer cope on my own, I asked to go back on the pills. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for science. Without the help of science, I’m not sure where I’d be to this day. But this particular day was different.
This was a newer doctor to me. My old physician (in the town I’d recently moved from) and I had come to a great plan of attack in the past; when I felt better on antidepressants, he encouraged me to go off of them. I really don’t know if this fit with medical community prudence, but he knew my attitudes about being on chemicals long term. It was a long discussion, but we came to a decision we both could live with. I so appreciated this man.
So after discussion my new doctor agreed with me that I should go back onto antidepressants. I’d gone to him with expectations. I asked how long he thought I should be on them. “For the rest of your life,” he replied. I wasn’t prepared for that answer. He explained the medical reasoning behind his words. I nodded my head, took the new prescription in hand, and left.
I had, just a few months prior to this, set out on a spiritual path new and foreign to me. As a Christian of almost 30 years, this recent move had plopped us (my husband and I) down into a new church where we were confronted by God. He challenged everything we thought, said, and did. And, as difficult as it was at the time, it was oh so good. God had gone before us in this move and provided the circumstances for us to grow – wildly grow in our faith!
So at this new experience, the Holy Spirit jumped in front of me when my doctor suggested I needed antidepressants for the rest of my life. “No,” He gently suggested, “I will heal you and you’ll never have to depend on antidepressants again!” I didn’t hear those words, I didn’t even realize anything had changed. I just knew at the time that something in me bristled when the doctor spoke. I filled the prescription one last time, took them until I felt restored to a more even way of dealing with life, and then weaned off of them, just as I had a few times in the past.
It wasn’t until months later that I realized something had truly changed. I noticed I wasn’t feeling down anymore and I was handling the difficulties of life. Even more months down the road, I came upon the truth one day — I was healed of depression! I hadn’t asked to be healed, I just knew with that bristling that something in me changed. Finally, while thinking about all this, it dawned on me. I experienced a miracle at God’s hand. I spoke it out one day in the retelling of the story. A miracle!
That was eight years ago. The dark cloud is gone. Do I have down periods? Of course. Life is well, life. It has ups and downs. But I no longer succumb to the enemy’s plan to kill and destroy the hopes God implanted in me. Please understand me in that I am in no way suggesting this is the way for anyone suffering with depression. This was simply my journey.
Today, I’m aware of excitement inside. I have hopes and dreams. I’ve charted a new course for my life. More importantly, I sense momentum building. A boulder is so hard to budge when it just sits there. But take a figurative lever or catalyst to start moving that boulder and the game changes. While difficult to get it moving from its “dug in” spot, it can be moved. And once that process begins, don’t stand in the way for you just might get rolled over.
“Holy Spirit, thank you for standing up to my past and depression. Thank you for caring enough for me that you went before me during a huge transition in my life and helped me get to a ‘petri dish’ setting so I might grow in you. This has been the BEST! Help me now Lord to continue to grow and expand and thrive in your ever-presence. There is no longer a dark cloud, only vast, crystal blue skies on the horizon. Hallelujah! My soul is soaring with you today!”
Note: Depression is a serious condition and should not be ignored. If you suffer from it, please see a doctor where help is available. However, please don’t forget there exists the Great Physician. His supernatural healing is available to all!
“Because He said, ‘…He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses,’ Matthew 8:17 (NKJV), we may boldly say, ‘I am free from weakness and disease because they were all carried by Jesus Christ for me.’
“Because He has said, ‘God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,’ 2 Timothy 1:7, we may boldly say, ‘I am free from all fear, for my God has given me power, love and a sound mind.”
Amen and amen! Excerpts from “The Good Life” by T.L. Osborn.
Your testimony is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it Linda.
I too have been set free from a lifetime of depression (April 1997), however, my testimony includes taking the antidepressant for life. I think about going off of it now and then… but, with what I understand, it’s a serotonin matter that I need to keep balanced.
I’m confident that I live in the habit of being happy, more light hearted, but I believe I still struggle with a melancholy personality and SAD is very real for me (Seasonal Affective Disorder). So, for me, the antidepressant helps me maintain. Only God knows… maybe some day I will not take the med. That would be nice.
Nonetheless… we share much in common… top on the list is how we trust God in new and greater ways!
I celebrate with you that you are feeling the momentum rising… such a better place to be than under a cloud.
I’ve certainly had the ups and downs over the past 17 years… but, nothing like life was before I was healed. Lately it’s been more down than I like— due to overload with responsibilities, lack of intimate fellowship with women and (really not taking time for) exercise, weight gain, etc. Then, just before Christmas— being burglarized…. ugh! That was like a sock in the stomach that I could have really done without.
So, by taking time with the Lord, reconsidering and restructuring my schedule… I think things are looking better with the start of this new year.
I have really enjoyed seeing your frequent posts (as I’ve already told you). But, wonder if you get many comments (don’t see those). I write this for the sake of someone who might read your inspirational messages and wonder about the idea of taking medication for depression. I was glad you ended your piece today with the final note. Depression is a wretched thing, something I wouldn’t wish on my enemy. Sometimes medication is okay, and could be for a season, or a lifetime. God works in so many ways…. and for that… I know we’re both grateful.
Thank you for your transparency. And, here’s to the momentum increasing….for both of us!
I am blessed for your taking the time here Angela. Thank you for your input. Yes, I realize that some must do meds (for many things) and that’s OK. I pray my message doesn’t come off sounding holier than! It is certainly not my intention. It is simply part of my journey and I’m determined to press into Him in regards to experiencing ALL He has for us. I believe in His supernatural ways…He’s healed me in more than one area. But, I also know I have so much yet to learn about God and I’m guilty of having many preconceived notions that are not correct. Sigh! He continues to correct me and thankfully I’m learning. That pretty much sums it up.
Gosh I’m sorry to hear your end-of-the-year issues. We were burglar-ed once too and it is not a fun experience by any stretch of the imagination. I pray that His steady hand will fall upon you and give you the peace and strength for this time in your life. One of the other lessons I’ve been learning just lately has to do with prioritizing in my life too. It’s a hard one. I feel your pain re: exercise, weight gain, etc. So we continue to lean into Him, and each other, as we continue down this path called life. I love your thoughts, your kind words, and you! May all your boulders begin to MOVE! 🙂 Blessings my friend!
Thank you for sharing. Wonderful story. God really knows where we are and when we need help.
I was in a stage I called my ‘Black period’ after coming home from a 44 year life traveling in the Mission realm. First with missionary parents, later married to a missionary. I had RA. The RA was not the worst part, depression set in. Everything I had lived for, everything my parents had lived for was put under a deep black cloud. External and internal questioning about identity, values, choices became chaotic.
A therapist allowed me to talk. She suggested medication, but I refused. We had four teenagers at home. Three of the flew out of the nest at the same time. The last one had difficulty in adjusting to that. Problems piled up. I was exhausted.
God brought me through it all. He sent me out of the deep, dark pit of depression, not empty handed, but with a load of “treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches”, so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” Isaiah 43:3.
RA – Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lisa, it’s amazing how many of us have suffered through depression. I’m so happy that your story has a strong ending too. God is indeed generous and loving when it comes to His children. We CAN learn and grow through the adversities of our lives! Have a wonderful day.
There are certain conditions of in our life that we make agreements with without realizing it. I’m learning I put God in a box when I make agreements that include “for the rest of my life”. I love when you wrote, “the Holy Spirit jumped in front of me”! This post lives up to your blog’s name! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Carrie for taking a bit of time here. We’re all on a journey with Him and I love all the different expressions of Him in our lives.