I am a planner. I have to know what I’m doing and when. It’s a struggle some days when life throws a curve ball that I can’t catch. Depression, and overcoming it, is truly one of life’s lemons. I am learning how to make lemonade though. It’s sweetness completely depends upon what God has planned for me that day. Depression, and all that accompanies it, is a day-to-day battle.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13
Let me be clear about something in regards to my depression. When I’m in the throes of a deep depression, to the point of suicidal ideation, I don’t want to find joy or think about things that might make me happy. I want to curl up on my bed and wallow in my tears. I have no motivation to do much of anything. I’m argumentative and easily agitated during this period. Emotionally distraught, I tend to shut down and shut people out.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
My mind was in a very dark place but I heard God calling me. He was offering me respite from the darkness. The next thing I know, I was on my knees calling out to Him. It wasn’t easy. The tears were flowing down my face. I spent most of the time in silence, waiting to hear my Heavenly Father speak to me. I heard Him. He was telling me to reach out, not only to seek Him, but to bring some very special people closer to me. I needed accountability to overcome what I was going through. One of the hardest things I had to do was face myself and to lay my heart out to these women. I continued to pray before I picked up my phone to send the first of many text messages. I never realized how much I needed to have Godly women in my life. When I started the process of reaching out, I felt a light come on inside of me. There was a yearning that I hadn’t felt before. I had to humble myself in order to feel God’s presence.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” – 1 Peter 5:6
Admitting that I needed God to combat the demons of darkness that were waging a war in my mind was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Only God could cast out my demons. He is doing just that and I believe He has used my depression to draw me nearer to Him. It’s my fault that I never looked to the heavens first when I was trying to battle depression on my own. I never acknowledged God or even that He had a plan for me.
I’ve spent a good portion of my life searching for my purpose. I have wasted precious time focused on the things I have failed to accomplish. I failed at marriage. I failed at motherhood. I have failed at finding love. I have wasted time on the wrong people, those who loved me for what I could do for them, and when I failed at that, I failed their expectations of me. The bottom line is that I have felt like a failure and that I had no purpose in life. Boy, was I wrong! The only place where I have truly failed was in not seeking God first in my life.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
By putting God first these past two weeks, I have seen a change in my heart. It doesn’t matter to me if others have seen it; for some people, visualizing change takes time. I’m on God’s time and I refuse to fail Him. I know I will disappoint the people in my life but this time, it does not matter. I am learning to not be so caught up in what others think of me. Over the last two weeks, I have still been searching for a purpose for my life in God’s plan for me. As I walk faithfully towards Him, I know that He will use me to His benefit.
As I take my baby steps, my faith grows. Trust is still a struggle though. I wish I could say that it is difficult to trust in something that I cannot see but I see God every day, in every thing. God isn’t just in the things that we find beautiful; He is in the sunsets and sunrises and bouquets of flowers. He is also in the thunderstorms and the floods and things that many people find to be ugly. The situation doesn’t matter; God is there!
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21
At one point in my life, I had plans and goals for myself. Each of those plans fell through. Now, my only plan is to look to God for my purpose in this life. There’s a joke that goes something like this: If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. I know there have been a few occasions where I’ve made Him laugh. I’ve tried to plan my life but God has thwarted those plans. He has His reasons. I’ve seen some of those reasons in hindsight. I’ve been protected during those moments.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11
God has protected me in so many ways. He has provided me with a direction that may have seem detrimental to my life but everything I have done has had a purpose. The good, the bad, and the ugly has all been orchestrated by the hands of God. While I have felt like I have failed in the things I had wished to accomplish, the reality is that I’ve only failed God by not looking to Him for guidance. I’m at the point to where I refuse to fail God for the remainder of my days. I do not know my purpose, but I am asking Him to use me however He wants. I’ve turned my life over to God and He will give me a purpose that has prosperity beyond measure.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
I can make all the plans I want. BUT are they the plans God has made for me? My will is not my own. My plans are not my own. My life is not my own.
“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” – Proverbs 54:4