Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day

Hello all my beautiful readers. I just want you to know that I haven't forgotten you, and that I do intend to continue the depression series. However, my diabetes is giving my eyes fits lately, so my vision is just a little messed up, to put it mildly. So I just can't sit here and really pour my heart into this like I need to. I have a post burning my heart at the moment, but it will have to wait until my eyes settle down.

Meanwhile, I want to wish all of the Moms out there a Happy Mother's Day. I pray your weekend is full of love and joy and memories. As most of you know (and if you don't, spend some time reading back a few years worth here, you'll get the idea), this is a REALLY difficult time of year for me. My sweet Mommy was taken from me much too soon May 14, 2008, the Wednesday following Mother's Day. It's just not been the same for me since. So, I may be MIA for the next week or so as I trudge through heartwrenching memories and grief. It's inevitable. I would appreciate your prayers through this time. My old "friend" depression comes on pretty strong during these times. Satan works hard to pull me back into that terrible place.

But I want to leave you with a scripture that I feel defines who my Mother was, and who the rest of us want to be. It's from the infamous Proverbs 31.

Proverbs 31:25-29 NLT

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

Shelia Diana Evans Stover
April 11, 1955-May 14, 2008
My Mommy holding my youngest, Nate, on the day he as born. May 26, 2007. We miss you so much Momma and Nana! You are still so very loved!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Depression, the Beginning

Have you ever known someone that suffers with depression? Maybe you are that person? What was your initial response to this news or realization? Were your thoughts something along the lines of "Well he must not be the Christian he appears to be!" or " Her faith isn't strong enough! She needs to trust God with her problems!" or "They just need to give it to God and He'll change their heart!"? If so, you're right there with a large majority of the church. And to be honest, I was on the fence myself on the whole depression in Christians topic. Well, until a year ago, anyway. Then I received a rude awakening on the topic.

When you think of depression, what comes to mind? What do you consider as more than normal grief after a loss or some change and deep depression? Have you thought about it? Do you see it as a character flaw, or do you recognize it as a medical condition? There are so many varying opinions and champions on the topic. There are multiple sub-conditions that fall under the umbrella of depression. You have PTSD, Bi-Polar, CFS, and the list goes on and on and on. 

The fact is, depression is NOT a character flaw. There are so many causes of clinical depression, and many varying degrees and types. Sometime last summer, I began to fully realize just how difficult this was. I discovered that I have ALWAYS battled it. That I've always had depressive tendencies, but they were mistaken as insecurity and the result of life events that caused me to build walls around my heart. I have always heard the same ol' condemnations for Christians on antidepressants. But, let me tell you, if I had access to medical care that I could afford, I would probably have chosen them some time ago. And if you know me at all, you know that I am not a weak person. I am very stubborn, resilient, rebellious, and all out strong willed. I am not weak! So why was it, that during a time when God was giving me the fresh start I had prayed for, that I found I was isolating myself while at the same time craving a close friendship with ANYONE?! I withdrew from church attendance, from my children, my spouse, my father, and anyone else that loved me. I spent my days with heartache and my nights thinking up ways to end my life. My husband became concerned to the point of not wanting to leave me alone to go to work.

So, the words I heard so often kept coming back to me. Give it to God! All I have to do is ask Him to take it away, and He will! The thing is, I tried that. Please understand that I was not running from God. I was still seeking Him every day. I was reading the Word every day. I was praying every day. I was not separating myself from Him,  yet I felt farther from His presence than I had ever been. So I began to cry out to God. I'm talking on the floor, on my face, crying so hard I couldn't breathe, BEGGING God to release me of this darkness I felt. But as hard as I prayed, and as hard as I listened, I received and heard NOTHING in return. I fully BELIEVED that He could and would take this depression away. But He didn't. I found myself so confused, broken, and defeated. Why had He abandoned me? This went on for weeks. Still, I clung to His promises, and continued to seek Him. 

It was one night, late, as I was laying in bed unable to sleep, that God revealed His reasons to me for allowing me to continue in my suffering. As I was doing most of the time, at that point, I was asking God "WHY?!" and for the first time in months, I heard His voice. It was as clear as if I were talking to my husband laying beside me. I got one word for my answer. There, in the dark, with tears streaming down my face, I heard His answer. "Write." That was all He gave me, but in that moment I understood. God had allowed me to suffer so that I would use the gift He has given me to bring awareness to a topic that is considered very taboo among "the church". So, that is what I plan to do. I'm going to share this journey of mine with you, one blog post at a time, and heed the call He has placed on my life. As always, I am transparent, and don't plan to hide anything about this journey. I will be opening my closet wide open. So, before you read, please pray. Ask God to rid your heart of preconceived notions and condemnation.

Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me-
now let me rejoice.
-Psalm 51:8

My Crazy Life

My photo
I am a Christian wife and homeschooling mom of two precious boys. I enjoy photography and spending time with my family, along with any other hobby I can manage to dig my nails into. I'm married to PJ, God's precious gift to me ;) I'm honest, passionate, and find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with my Creator each and every day that passes. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic at the age of 10. I chose not to care about my health then, and am paying the price now with multiple complications including kidney damage and neuropathy. I currently reside in Florida, where God led my family in February of 2011, but my heart is, and will forever be, in Alabama.