Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

 

IMG_9003

Camel Pose!

This morning I sat in church tearing up out of awed gratitude.

Matt Chandler interviewed Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs about the testament of God’s faithfulness in their marriage and their story reminded me about how faithful God has been in my life over this past year.

Those of you who have experienced or have had a loved one experience the cloud of clinical depression, you know how dark and grueling the cloud is. The cloud enslaves your inner world and you are trapped inside a shadow of indescribable sadness, where hope seems unreachable. The person you once knew disappears and you wonder if you will ever be yourself again. Days and nights I cried wondering where “Naomi” went? Where did the joy go? Where is God in the darkness? I need saving, because I am confused, scared, angry, and sad.

I can now honestly say that for the past few weeks I have been feeling normal and the cloud of depression is not hovering anymore. My life has been on pause for about 11 months and I am thoroughly excited to have the stamina to begin committing to various activities again. Yes, I am still in counseling, taking two different anti-depressants, eating nutritiously, staying active, attempting to sleep at least 8 hours each night, and trying to keep in mind my social energy so I don’t spread myself too thin. I also do not know what the future holds, and I may have another breakdown in the years to come. However, for now, I feel fantastically Naomi. I feel like myself again. And I feel free. No, that does not mean I am chipper every single second or that all fears have passed away. But, the dark cloud which hovered for a number of months is no longer shading me from the sunny days and new blossoms.

This past Spring I participated in a Bible Study with the women in my home group and we studied the book of 1 Peter. The verses which stood out to me then also continues to stand out to me now as a reminder of God’s faithfulness over the past year.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10

As children of God, Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for our sins and brought us into the Light of His Life. Similarly, God has used depression in my life as an illustration of the Gospel, bringing me out of the darkness and into His marvelous light.

IMG_8996

Working on my Mermaid pose!

Even though I am currently feeling fantastically Naomi, depression is tricky and every individual battles with this mental illness a little bit differently. Plus being a human being with lots of emotions can be confusing. Who knows, tomorrow something may occur and my depression is triggered. Yet, Matthew 6:34 reminds me not to let tomorrow be a worry. So, I will end it here sharing with you how free I am now feeling after being under the bondage of depression, something which I never expected to experience.

 God is faithful in the midst of the cloudy and the sunny.

How is God working in your life?

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’m beginning to learn that life is full of the unexpected. I heard that it was, and even tried to teach myself that. But now experience has begun teaching me what I only had stored in my memory as knowledgeable information.

Clinical depression took me back home to my parents. I had to quit the life I had built in that hipster Texas college town. I quit my flexible facilities job. I quit serving in the youth ministry. I quit going to church. I quit going to my friend’s social gatherings. I almost quit my twelve hours at community college, but my parents dragged me out of bed and drove me to school as I sulked in the passenger seat.

My anti-depressants began balancing out my hormones and the good days came more often. I  passed all my classes. I thought the semester would never end.

But it did. It did end.

However, the past year still haunts me.

Late nights staying up laughing and discussing God’s grace with my roommate. Memories of first dates and budding relationships. Two stepping with friends at Cowboys Red River. Nights serving alongside other young adults pouring into teenagers. Serving food to refugees in Germany. Day after day cleaning my area of the church, thoughts came and tears followed. Leg pains at night resulting in restless sleep. Crying uncontrollably for two hours, yearning for the negative thoughts to go away. Pessimism became the new normal. Trivia crack and browsing Pinterest were my best friends as I sat restless in class. Once again, unexplained tears, my boyfriend hugs me for ten minutes, and I hide myself under couch pillows. Tension between my mom and I because I refused to tell her the hurt building inside of me. The look on their faces when I told my loved ones I felt like harming myself. The reality of the disease. The reality that the dark tunnel doesn’t last forever, but it’s crappy in the middle of it. The disease that God has used to bring me into a new season. A season I didn’t expect. A season in my life that is confusing and painful, but the good days do happen. And there is still lots to rejoice about and to thank God for.

Nonetheless, I won’t lie. It hurts. And I still feel lost, like the beginning days of my depression. Lost, teary-eyed, and desiring for someone to hold me and to never let go.

 

 

Read Full Post »

It was only a few minutes ago when I was sitting at the kitchen table, looking at my phone and meandering online.

My phone was laying on top of my Bible which had been there from my morning quiet time.

I asked myself, “Naomi, what the heck are you doing? You’re using precious time up. The Bible is right there in front of you.”

How many times do we do this? The Bible is right before our eyes, but instead we opt for our phone, or some other distraction.

Ironically, this morning I read Proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (NASB).

DILIGENCE: Constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.

If we carry on with our days continually doing whatever we’re doing because it’s what the world does, and we never take into consideration that we could be making better use of our time, how unfortunate is that life???

A life full of Christ is beautiful and lively! He has created our heart anew! Why wouldn’t we want to spend time in the Bible?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:1-4 (NIV)

I want to challenge both of us.

Let us use our time wisely. Let us ardently seek to know Jesus. Let us ardently seek with a diligence free of distraction.

Precious time is out there. Don’t miss out.

Read Full Post »

The past two weeks Hebrews 13:5-6 has been on my mind.

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’

One’s character should be free not only from the love of money, but from the love of anything which keeps them from genuinely pursuing Christ.

It is now the eight week into my first semester of college. It has been crazy discovering the differences that sets college apart from high school (especially attending a tiny Private Christian school). Self-discipline has always been a struggle, but now it is even a more constant struggle as the teachers lecture in class and expect you to diligently study in preparation for the quizzes/tests in the coming weeks. Social wise, the first couple weeks were pretty lonely. I have learned to appreciate the quietness in between classes. When I can, I make sure to sit outside in a secluded place and rest. In time I have become acquainted with some people at school and the “first day of class awkwardness” is thankfully no more.

The last Wednesday of August, I also began serving in the youth ministry at my church. Rounding to about 400 students, junior high through high school, this relational youth ministry has volunteering leaders who come alongside these students and lead them towards the Truth. At least, that is the hopeful and constant prayer of many. I, and one other awesome woman, lead a small group of about 8-10 ninth grade girls. I love the girls. I admire this youth ministry and their continual vision for the ministry.

There are many other activities that contribute to my busy schedule. These past two months have been a learning experience, trying to figure out how to juggle my commitments. But, also how to say NO when possible commitments come to my door step. God has been teaching me that my life is not my own. Everything I do, everything I own, everything I strive for…all belongs to Him. All should be for His glory.

I fear change. Though it has been constant on the horizon, change will continue throughout my life. Life is about change. There are days I wish life didn’t change. I wish my family of six still had weekday dinners, game nights, and worship time together. Where’s that active imagination I had as a kid? Why this, why that, Jesus?!

In this changing life there is hope.

There is hope, because God never changes.

He is unchangeable.

There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your name in might. Jeremiah 10:6

Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. Psalm 119:90

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

NM 33

 

 

Take heart. Be encouraged. God is God, and man is not.

 

 

Read Full Post »