Tag Archives: depression

He Lifts My Head: by Cheryl Lutz

“But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”
(Psalm 3:3)

 

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The oppression has been thick and heavy, making it hard to breathe. This journey of “walking by faith and not by sight” has been harder than I ever imagined. I have walked alongside and prayed for others as the darkness seemed to close in around them, but somehow depression has never been my thing. One of my spiritual gifts is faith, so this “losing hope” is new territory. I’ve had to ask others to pray for me when I couldn’t seem to pray for myself. I’ve had to ask others to believe for me when my belief seemed elusive. I’ve had to practice what I preach and fall on my face in prayer. I’ve had to stay in the Word when I just plain don’t feel like it. I’ve had to let the tears flow, and know He is “catching them in His bottle.” When the enemy’s lies have continually assaulted my mind, I’ve turned on worship music to drown him out. Sometimes my heart cries have been simple but profound, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The beautiful thing is that Jesus’ mercy does rain down. He shows me His glory, and He lifts my head.

How about you? What do you do when depression strikes, or when the enemy of our soul attacks?

The old hymn writer William Cooper sure seemed to get it!

“Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing in His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.”

Dear One, read Psalm 3. Know that the Lord is your shield and glory. He WILL lift your head!

Are You a Stuffer?

Choosing-Soft-HolleyGerth.com_-150x150“Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.”          (Matthew 9:22 NASB)

Hello, Friend:

Have you ever struggled with isolation, fear, anxiety, depression, undiagnosed physical symptoms? I have!

The above verse (spoken by Jesus) is from the story of a woman who had been struggling with a hemorrhage for twelve years. She followed Jesus in the midst of a crowd, knowing if she could “only touch His garment, she could get well.” What faith she had in the healing power of Jesus! However, it is important to remember that the most significant healing in this life is spiritual. Many times our Savior healed the body and the soul in the same encounter with those drawn to Him.

John 8:36 says, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (NASB)

I sadly confess that for many years as a Christian (and pastor’s wife) I did not walk in this freedom, as I was still in bondage to my past. I was a “stuffer,” stuffing the pain down deep, never choosing to think about it much less share it. The older I got, the harder it got to keep the pain under the surface. The pain began to manifest itself in ways that were anything but productive. As Jo Ann Fore says in her book, “When a Woman Finds Her Voice”:

“Those things we stuff, try so hard to ignore, they are the very things begging for release–the things that hold the promise of hope, the flame of freedom.”

What about you? Are you a stuffer? It may seem less painful at the moment to stuff, but I assure you it will come out in other ways, such as isolation, fear, anxiety, depression, undiagnosed physical symptoms, etc. Processing the pain at the moment hurts, but it hurts much more to keep it inside.

“The story you’re scared to share–that story has the power to change both your life and the lives of others.” Jo Ann Fore

“But Jesus turning and seeing her said, ‘Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.’ At once the woman was made well.” (John 9:22 NASB)

Dear daughter of Jesus, take courage! As you step out in faith and share your story, you too will be made well.

“Every joy or trial falleth from above,

Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;

We may trust Him fully all for us to do;

They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.”

(from the hymn “Like a River Glorious” by Frances R. Havergal)

Good Grief!

IMG_1596 “So that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope…” 1 Thessalonians 4:13 I feared I was slipping into depression last week, and my heart grew troubled within me. Thankfully the Helper (Holy Spirit) revealed to me that I am not depressed, but rather grieving. Grieving is a positive thing for a former professional “stuffer.” It is important for each of us to remember any loss is a death. Loss of health, loss of a dream, loss of a marriage, or as I am experiencing, loss of a church family, are all examples of a “death.” Some losses come suddenly and unexpectedly, and some losses are prolonged and expected. My dad died suddenly. My mom died slowly of cancer. I grieved both deaths (though not always constructively). I grieved for my mom as she was dying. Most of the grieving for my dad was done afterward. There are several stages of grief. Denial and anger are two of them. If we grieve properly, we will eventually come to the acceptance. We’ve grieved the loss of five church families over the course of 25 years. When we left our beloved body of believers at Covenant Church in Hammond, IN, we had a couple of months to grieve before a final decision was reached (calling from God). We recently left one of our most blessed of my husband’s pastorates, (Westminster Chapel in Ball Ground, GA), and the decision was quick and unexpected by some. We have a clear calling from God to move in a new direction, yet the grief runs deep. I am grateful for the growth God is bringing into my life to allow me to process this pain, and not stuff it down deep where it will pop out in destructive ways. I am likewise thankful that as 1st Thessalonians 4:3 states, “I’m not grieving like the rest of mankind, (unbelievers) who have no hope.” I’m choosing to believe in the HOPE of the resurrection power of Christ, knowing He will provide for Westminster Chapel, and for my family and me. I’m trusting as Proverbs 3: 5-6 calls us to: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” What about you? Are you experiencing a loss (death)? Are you trying to stuff it down deep and ignore the pain, or are you learning to grieve (yet not as one who has no hope)? Look to Jesus, our only hope in life and in death.