Thursday, November 15, 2007

Right Now

Right now...

I am breathing.

Right now...

I am alive.

Right now...

I am sitting in my recliner, resting a moment.

Right now...

I am sipping a cup of coffee, slowly enjoying its warmth and comfort.

Right now...

I am clean after having just gotten out of the shower.

Right now...

I am resting under the wing of my Refuge, My Savior

Right now...

I am happy.

Right now...these things are all I can handle. And that's okay. I am resting in the fact that God doesn't give me more than I can handle. He has given me Right Now. He has given me everything I need to get through this moment. This moment, right now.

I am struggling with the proper way to write what I am about to say. How can I say this without causing you, my dear readers, to turn away in disgust or have ill thoughts of me? Then I realize that this doesn't matter. If no one ever reads my blog again, it doesn't matter. If I lose all my friends in the world, it doesn't matter. I am loved. My Savior loves me. That is the ONLY thing that matters. So, in light of that, I will stumble my way through this in hopes that God will use it for His Glory and possibly help one of you along in your journey through life as He is helping me through mine.

As many of you already know, I have been having some health issues lately that have caused some concern. Sleep troubles. Headaches and migraines. Achy body. No energy. Sweating profusely. (just to name a few) Things progressed from bad to worse over the past couple of years to where I KNEW something was wrong. I needed to be checked out.

A couple of weeks ago, we finally made it to the doctor's and had a gamut of tests run. Blood tests of all sorts. (yes...even a pregnancy test) We got the results back last week. Everything is normal. No anemia. No diabetes. No thyroidism. No pregnancy.

I have all but been diagnosed with depression.

Yes. You read that right.


I kind of knew that I struggle with depression already. I've actually known it for years, but somehow I have been convinced somewhere along the line that depression is a horrible, horrible thing and no "good" person should have it. Depression is a result of sin in your life or not walking with the Lord. I mean, if you are close to the Lord then there is no way you can be depressed, right? We are supposed to have the joy of the Lord, right? Where does that leave room for depression?

Well, the past couple of weeks have been real eye-opening ones for me. I picked up a book from the library called "Approval Addiction" by Joyce Meyers. I have learned so much about myself through reading this book. She has even suggested saying certain phrases over and over to myself to "retrain" my mind. God tells us in Romans 12:2

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."

So, I am trying to transform my mind by renewing it with truth. God's truth.

I feel like a failure. I walk around in complete guilt all the time. I lash out at anyone who asks me any question because I already know I have failed and I feel I must remedy it as soon as possible. I do not have freedom. I am a slave to my sin. It has me bound.

The truth is just the opposite though. I am NOT a failure. I may fail many, many times...but I am NOT a failure. I AM the righteousness of God through Christ's work on the cross. Christ redeemed me from my sin and God no longer views me as that. He views me as righteous. Even when I fail and make mistakes, God loves me anyways.

It is hard work to overcome all these negative thoughts I have running through my mind. How will I deal with it when James comes home and says the wrong thing? How will I deal with it when someone at church says something about me missing church last week? How can I get through another one of Chloe's toddlerhood "episodes"? And then this morning, God whispered in my ear..."Anna, I don't expect you to get through the whole day right now. I don't even expect you to get through the next hour right now. All I expect you to do is to get through this moment, right now! I have given you everything you need to get through right now".

Psalm 46:10a - "Be still and know that I am God..."

I can rest. I can enjoy the moment right now. Even in my depression, I know God is with me. Last night during one my "episodes" God reminded me of that very fact. A few years ago I memorized Psalms 139. A wonderful chapter and if you ever have the opportunity to memorize scripture, I challenge you to put this one at the top of your list.

Psalm 139:7-10 - "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my beds in the depths, you are there. If I rise up on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

I have always read that verse to mean that no matter where I go in the world, God will be with me. It has helped me in our many moves that have taken us all over the world. (literally...because such is the life of a military wife) But last night, God showed me that it also means wherever my emotions take me as well. If my spirit flies up so high I am on cloud nine, God is there with me. Equally, if I make my dwelling place in the deepest, darkest pit of despair, God is STILL with me. I cannot flee from Him. His right hand is holding me fast. AND HE LOVES ME! No matter where I am nine or the pit of despair...He Loves Me!

So, right now...

I am ending this blog post.

Right now...

I am hoping and praying God has spoken to someone's heart through my openess.

Right now...

I am smiling because I am about to go play with my little girl. What we will play, I don't know. I think I will let her choose. But whatever she chooses, it will be fun and I will smile and I will enjoy that moment in time. Just that moment.


Ashlie said...

Anna, I'm so glad you shared this. I know it must have taken some courage. I'm also glad to hear that you don't have any of the ailments you listed. And please, please, please do not feel guilty about suffering from depression!! I believe that it is a far more common malady than anyone wishes to admit and I also think that it is one of satan's favorite playgrounds! For who can see what is in one's mind but oneself and God? Since satan isn't able to know what's in our minds, he loves to pile on negative thoughts and worries that bring us down. But there is hope! You are right about only needing to get through "right now" with God's help. And if your doctor recommends medication to ease your depression, then try it. There is no shame in that. In fact, who's to say that God didn't allow depression medication to be invented as a way for His children to be relieved from the taunts of the evil one? I'm so glad you've discovered what has been causing you to feel so ill. Now you have a new chance to change your life...with God's hand on your back of course! When you get discouraged, think on those things that are good and pure and lovely. Make a conscious decision to put aside the bad thoughts and feelings. And remember the words you've written in this post and the way you felt when you wrote them. I will pray that your spirits remain high and your eyes remain on Jesus.

Much love, Ashlie

Christine said...

Bless you, dear friend. You are a blessing to me.

Anonymous said...

God bless you. Hang in there! And remember through Christ all things are possible. And I'll keep coming back.

Brandie said...

You wrote "I've actually known it for years, but somehow I have been convinced somewhere along the line that depression is a horrible, horrible thing and no "good" person should have it. Depression is a result of sin in your life or not walking with the Lord. I mean, if you are close to the Lord then there is no way you can be depressed, right? We are supposed to have the joy of the Lord, right? Where does that leave room for depression?"

I am so sorry you ever had that line of thinking. I'm sorry that you ever thought depression was from sin and that if you were depressed you couldn't possibly be a good person. I know you are not alone in that thinking. I know it is taught to people - probably by people who mean well. But the problem with that thinking is that it does attach a stigma to the topic and it makes people who think they might suffer from it slow to get help for it. Just last week I was told if I only prayed harder I wouldn't have anxiety anymore. I was also told if I believe in God and all he could do for me then obviously there was no need for me to be anxious about anything anymore. And although I know it was said in love and out of care it infuriated me to know end! As if I must not really believe or I must not pray the right way or long enough or often enough. Because really, underneath it all - isn't that implication? I mean, maybe it wasn't but it surely felt that way to me and you can bet I'll be very unwilling to share with that person again, lest they decide to tell me how my failings and shortcomings are causing it!

Anyway, back to you - depression can happen to the best of us. It can hit men, women, believers, unbelievers, children, adults. It's there. It exists and it doesn't only happen to "bad" people, nor are "good" people immune to it.

I'm glad you know now. I'm glad you will get help for it. I'm glad that you are talking about it here. I hope that through this you learn that depression does not make you "bad." I don't think you are bad person. I am not turning away in disgust. I do not think ill of you. I simply hope that you can find ways to help yourself get through this. And I hope you can find treatment for it and have it not be such a struggle in your life.
And along the way, I hope that your thoughts will change ... that you will not only be able to say that you are still good and worthy with the depression but really mean it and feel it.

Know you are not alone in this. Lots of people struggle with depression (myself included a bit).


Lady_MSnow said...


Crochetingangel said...

Anna, it is good to hear that your health is good. But I am sorry to hear that you feel this way. I will never turn away from you, especially in disgust. You are a wonderful person. Like the others have said depression has been talked about and treated like it is a bad thing and that we are failures in God if we develop it, but sometimes it gets the best of us. As in another post here stated remember how you felt when you typed this post and reread as much as you can, because you are so right we can only live for right now, and God never gives us more than we can handle. Sometimes that is just hard to understand and take some days. Your words did speak to me as I need to also learn to just live for "Right Now" as well. I know the feeling of when you think you are a failure, but you are NOT a failure and you need to keep up what you are doing. I have been so worried about you and will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Hugs, Kim

CraftyShannon said...

I am sorry you are feeling so bad right now. Not sure what kind of treatment you are getting, but I hope you feel better soon.

As a fellow Christian and someone who has battled depression off and on for years, I feel I need to address this. Feeling bad about yourself like there is something wrong with you is a normal part of depression. It does not mean that depression is a sin.

There are a lot of reasons people can be depressed. Maybe they have a chemical imbalance, maybe they had a horrible event happen to them, maybe something didn't work out the way they wanted. Through your blog, I can see you have gone through a lot in the past few years, so it makes sense that it all added up. Life happens and God expects us humans to feel bad sometimes. Earth isn't supposed to be all wonderful and happy. That's what heaven is for.

If you truly believe that it's a sin to be depressed then you will never get better. Honestly admitting to yourself that what you are going though is normal and finding out what you can to fix it will be the key to you doing what you need to feel better.

If you haven't already, I hope you'll talk to your doctor about the next step you need to take. Recovering from depression isn't always easy and it's never immediate. With a lot of hard work and faith, you will get through it.

I hope you will keep us updated on how you are doing.

Cheri said...

I don't think I've ever commented, but I have read your blog for a while. (I came across it via crocheting) Please know that you are loved with an Everlasting Love. How awesome that you now have a diagnosis and you can work from that. Keep on being inthe Word. Keep on loving Him. And keep resting in knowing that He loves you, no matter what!

Sarah said...

Praise Jesus! and Bless you Anna!

Sarah said...

Praise Jesus! Bless you for sharing this.

debra said...

Anna, Sending many hugs your way.. Know that I love you! I think of you daily and will remind myself to pray for you whenever you come to my mind..
God bless you sweetie!

Lea said...

My dear Anna, I feel like driving up and just taking care of you for a bit... (((ANNA)))), I'm glad you were able to put a finger on what was wrong.. to identify it... to move forward with it.... You'll be the mean time, your not going into this battle alone.. you ave Jesus, and friends like me, and TONS of others, who will hold your arms up for you like Aaron and Ur... I'm here for you, I am praying for you...if you need me holler!!!!!

laralou said...

((Hugs)) I can certainly relate. Don't look at it as a mental thing. It is a bio-chemical disorder. Your brain isn't making the proper chemicals to function as it was designed to. I have been on Paxil since the girls were 6 months old. I did come off for 6 months this year only to realize that it was dangerous for me not to take it. So I am back again. What has helped also was getting diagnosed with asthma, which, when treated, gave me lots more energy.

Bella said...

I am so proud of you.
I love you. xoxo