Psalm 143:8 - Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
Out the front window you can see your car parked in the driveway. That’s the same place the car bedded down for the night for many years. Yet sitting there, with no one in front of the wheel, the car is alone.
Alone. That’s a word that you’ve felt for some time yourself. You’ve been stranded on a desert island, because you can no longer come and go as you please.
I know what that’s like, because I’m the one looking out my window, but the car’s not just parked there alone. It’s gone. Someone else has it. And with the loss of my car came a loss of my independence.
But it’s a choice I had to make. About three years ago I developed double vision. There were many things that the doctors tried to help my vision go back to normal. But it hasn’t.
I thought I’d be independent again after purchasing new glasses. And yes, the glasses did help some. But not enough. So here I am, looking out my window and feeling alone.
Now I have to depend on other people to take me where I need to go – the grocery store, church, to pick up prescriptions and to doctor’s appointments. Depending on other people has not always been easy for me, because of my past. It’s really a trust issue.
Trusting the person behind the wheel. Trusting that they’ll get you to your appointments on time. Trusting that this is what they want to do not something that’s been thrust upon them that they feel they have to do, “their duty”.
Many people have been kind to me and have supported my mixed feelings about needing someone else’s help. I look at them in the eye and wonder if they think I’m in some way faking what my body is going through and that I want to be sick. Just so that I have someone to see. To talk to. To feel for a few moments like someone cares.
So if I break through my trust issues and lay my needs at the feet of another person, it has been my goal to not just take their help, but to also give something back in return. My gift back to the people who support me is to encourage them. Just because they have the physical ability to drive you somewhere, or clean your house or cook some meals, they have needs, too.
I watch for small opportunities to clearly tell them how important they are and what their service means to me.
When we trust in God’s unfailing love, he will show us the way to go. And that means he will also direct us toward someone we can trust to help fill in the gap for us. Learn more by clicking the link below discussing how to trust people again.
Have you or someone you known go through losing their independence? Or do have difficulty trusting people? Click the blue “comments” below and tell us how you feel about these issues. I look forward to hearing from you.
Luke 6:45 - A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
“Well, Susan, it’s time to hang up for now. We’ll talk later.”
“Ok, Denise. Have a good day. Bye.”
Let’s take a look at this conversation. When you end a phone call do you say your “goodbye” with a monotone voice, a depressed goodbye with a downward tone, or with your voice lifted?
I’ve thought a lot about this lately, and have been paying attention to my phone conversations. I think the tone of your voice at the end a phone call matters.
I know you may be depressed, angry, or have had a really bad day. You don’t feel like being positive.
And I’m not suggesting that we try to hide what’s going on. Sometimes there are very valid reasons why our voice may be shaking as in the loss of a loved one or frustration with a project that keeps hitting roadblocks.
However, often our feelings are expressed in our words and how we say them. It’s not just what we say that counts, but how we say it.
And, since we can’t see the reactions of a caller through facial features or body language, the words we speak, and the tone of our voice is that much more important. It may be the only thing we have to go on. The same is true of the listener becoming the speaker. It shows the attitude you’re showing to that person.
While speech is how you use words, voice is how you create sound. To your listeners, your voice is a part of who you are and what you believe.
The Bible verses above talk about our hearts and that what we speak is out of the overflow of our hearts. What’s inside finds its way outside. So let’s paint a picture with our voice that we want to pass on to our listener.
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Philippians 3:13-14 - Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
When you think about the future, do you feel hopeful or hopeless? Perhaps we feel that our pasts will always cast a shadow on our future.
But, I’ve really messed up. There. It’s out there in the atmosphere. Why is it so difficult to admit when we’ve blown it and then move on?
I went through some rough things in my past. Some of it wasn’t my fault, but some of it was truthfully my fault. If I’m not careful, my mind will play the same sad song over and over. Not only that, but the volume is turned up so loud that I can’t hear myself think.
In the Bible verses above, the apostle Paul wrote about his own struggle. He didn’t make the struggle the focus, but the race he was running to finish. Paul didn’t say that it was easy. He didn’t say that he had decided to quit. In fact, he said just the opposite.
Take a look at the verses again. Paul said that he was forgetting what was behind and straining towards what was ahead. He had a purpose. A goal he was reaching for.
Also, Paul didn’t say that everything was over and done with. Nor did he say that he had arrived at his destination. He was still working it out.
That’s how we each are. Even in making peace with our past it doesn’t stop there.
In order to truly move forward into a fruitful life, we have to keep our minds from focusing so much on the past and pour ourselves into other people’s lives.
Is there someone in your circle of influence that you could encourage? Pour your life into? Perhaps you have done that and have seen the joy that comes to us by helping others. I’d love to hear your story. I look forward to hearing from you.
Psalm 145:14 - The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
I have experienced seasons of mild depression and some of major depression. Circumstances can play a large role in which depression is active.
On the milder side, some individuals become depressed on a dark and cloudy day. These individuals then feel happy on a sunny day. As for me, and a small number of people, we feel happy on a cloudy day and depressed when it’s sunny and hot. This “milder” side can lead to a stronger depression when the weather is dark for long periods of time.
On the more serious side, I’ve gone through periods of time that I can’t even get out of my chair. Everything I do takes extreme effort. I don’t want to leave my apartment. I don’t feel like eating or I overeat.
In a previous post I wrote, I discussed how our emotions affect our physical being. Depression has the face of exhaustion and pain. And, it can go on for days even months on end. But how do we find a way to overcome our depression?
First, both those who suffer from depression and individuals in their lives, need to realize that depression is real. It’s not something made up in the mind, and one that can’t just be stopped because you want it to.
Second, it takes work. Most people cannot learn to manage their depression alone. Seeing a psychiatrist, counselor, or pastor helps the patient to feel that someone is at least trying to understand them. This opens the door to communication and developing a toolbox filled with coping mechanisms that you can take with you as you live your life.
Third, you’re not the only person going through this. As statistics above stated there are many others suffering from serious depression. Knowing this can helps lift the load of the suffering.
Fourth, sometimes it takes medication to help treat depression. They can help by balancing the blood chemistry in your body. And don’t feel like a failure because you need to take a prescription to accomplish this. I’ve often felt guilty and like as if this is a terrible sin for “giving in” to a depression medication.
This moves us on to the fifth and perhaps the most important factor in managing depression: God is on your side not against you. As the Bible verse above states, God holds up our heads when they are bowed down. He knows your heart and understands where you are coming from.
Have you ever felt judged for battling depression? If so, how did you get past it? To leave a comment just click on the blue "comments" below. 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.