Just keepin' it real

Unless you've known me since I graduated from high school, you may not know that I have had struggles with major depression through the years. I'm blessed to say that through the years, I've learned how to handle my depression before it gets out of hand completely.  The key is to first learn to recognize it.  If you don't see it coming as it first starts to sneak its way into your life, it can get out of hand quickly.

For the most part, I feel that I've been healed....and I can thank scripture for that. God's Word truly is powerful and I've hidden so many verses in my heart that quickly come to mind during difficult times.

But even though I know how to recognize and deal with depressive thoughts, it can still take its toll on my body at times. Spiritual warfare is serious business!

I blogged over a week ago about how God spoke to me recently during church worship.  My family and I have been going through so many difficult things and circumstances lately.  I shared the reason for my hope because I wanted to be obedient to what Christ was telling me to do. But I forgot about how much more we can come under attack when God is moving.

Long story, short....it's still been a rough couple of weeks. I could list everything that's happened in the last month, and at some point, it might get quite comical.  It's unreal how many things have gone wrong!

The most recent is that our plans to hike another section of the AT this weekend had to be cancelled - due to the expected weather conditions on the trail and Dillan still needing to replace his wrecked car because insurance company has drug their feet (don't even get me started on that....I hate bad customer service).  Having our hiking plans changed was the nail on the head for me.  I have so much looked forward to being back on the trail away from all of the distractions of the world - with just my two favorite guys.

Anyway, on my way home from visiting some clients Monday, I saw the most beautiful blue sky I've seen in quite a while.  But below the beautiful blue was dark clouds that seemed to hover over the entire earth...at least as far as I could see.  The picture in this post only shows the pretty blue....not the darker clouds below it and in the distance.

But as I looked at the beautiful blues of the sky where the sun was shining, and compared it to the rain clouds, I realized how I must have looked lately.  I literally felt like a dark cloud had been hanging over me and my family.

I pulled over on the side of the road and stared at the sky and for the 2nd time in a month or so, I again felt the peace of God come over me in a very real way. By last Sunday, I had literally made myself sick from all the stress and worry that I had been fighting.  I was feeling better by Monday and able to get my visits done, and I'm so glad.  Had I not been on the road at this time, I would not have seen this visual reminder that although I've felt like dark clouds were surrounding me, the sun was still shining overhead and preparing to burst through those dark clouds. And so it is with Jesus.

My family and I are still having some challenges with things beyond our control, but I'm dealing with the unknown much better.  That's one thing that's very difficult for me - the unknown. I like to be in control and know what lies ahead.

I know that's not practical, but that's the way I'm wired.  I'm a planner, worker, perfectionist personality and I like to get things done and to ward off all potential problems.

Secretly, I'm afraid of what I can't control. But in this life there are many things out of our control.  But I'm gonna keep doing what I know to do - trust in Christ and let him handle it for me.

It's tempting to sell everything I own and just live on the AT but running away from hard times solves nothing, right?  I'm certain that my family and I will see God's hand in all of this if we keep looking to Him and trusting in Him - no matter how hard it may be at times.

Sorry for rambling on so long about all this, but I just wanted to encourage anybody else out there that deals with depression.  You are not alone. Even if you know no one else who struggles with depression, you can know that Jesus sees you and everything you are going through. He loves you and cares for you.  Dig deep in His Word and hang on to those promises that are there.  They will help you during the most difficult of times.  

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