Isaiah 58:11 - The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
It’s difficult for both friends and family to know how to handle what you’re going through. Give them a break. Whether it’s chronic pain, illness, emotional pain or loss remember that they’re going to let you down, but it’s not because they don’t care. It’s because they are only human and there’s only so much they can do for you. Do you feel like those around you are letting you down? What have you discovered that helps you give others a break while communicating your own needs?
Isaiah 42:16 - will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Depression is like a dark bag over your head. You know the light is out there, but you can barely see it. If you were to look at yourself in the mirror, you’d see exhaustion and pain written across your face. This calls for trust. Trust that God sees the bag even though others can’t. Trust that God knows the way and will help you when you stumble. Trust that God’s purposes for your life haven’t been removed. And trust that someday you can lift off the bag and feel the light on your face once more. Do you ever feel like a dark bag is over your head? I look forward to hearing from you.
1 Corinthians 11:31 - But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.
Do you like yourself or are you constantly putting yourself down? “I’m not going to be able to do this.” “I’m less of a person because I worry so much.” “Who’s going to ever love me?” “What’s the point in trying to make new friends? I know my old friends don’t want to be around me anymore.” “You’re a failure.” “Just give up.” What we think about ourselves is important. We teach people how to treat us. If we treat ourselves badly, more than likely others won’t treat us much better. How do you treat yourself?
Deuteronomy 17:11 - Act according to the law they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.
Do you have difficulty making decisions? I know I do sometimes. I think it’s a matter of how much confidence you have in yourself to make the right decisions. Let’s face it. We’re going to make wrong choices. It’s part of life. But thankfully there is a way to cut down on those choices – Go to God before making a decision. He will point you in the right direction. Is it easy or difficult for you to make decision? I look forward to hearing from you.
Luke 10:41-42 - "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed--or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
We all face disappointments. The worst of which is disappointment in ourselves, even if it couldn’t be avoided. Maybe we’ve taken on a project that consumes all our time and we then decide to add yet another one. But there is a limit to what we can do especially if you suffer from chronic pain and illness. God never meant for us to put an extra layer of cookies on our plates. In order to make the best effort, sometimes we have to give up something else, even if it’s something good.
Have you had to give up something because you only have a limited amount of energy in a day? How did you get past the disappointment? I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.