Tag Archives: depression

Trusting God for the Outcome: A Mother’s Prayers

I’ve been reminded that a mother is only as happy as her happiest child. We’d rather experience illness or unhappiness ourselves than to see our children struggle. I’m learning to trust God has a plan as we walk alongside our son in his battle with anxiety, panic and depersonalization. I share this very personal story on my friend Amelia Rhodes’ blog today.

I will never forget the first time I sat with my son while he was experiencing a panic attack. Everything in me wanted to hold him and make it stop. All I could do was pray and wait for it to pass.

When he was in his early 20s, our adventurous, confident, athletic and creative son had his first collision with anxiety and panic. It came out of nowhere. He had moved from Indiana to Nashville, TN, and was enjoying the city with all its new experiences and friendships. Though he’d had periods of mild depression in the past, anxiety and panic were something new. The first time he experienced anxiety was confusing and frightening, but it passed and he lived mostly anxiety-free for the next five years………(read more)

While visiting Amelia’s website, check out her beautiful new book “Pray A to Z”. Amelia has taken her own desire to be intentional as she prays and developed a useful and inspiring tool to guide us in our prayers. My blog post today is one in a series on topics covered in her book.

 

When Staying “Frozen” Is Not An Option, Resolve to End Well

I read them all — those resolutions, the intentions, everyone’s “my word for the year” — and I came away with….

….nothing.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

The Christmas tree still twinkled from the corner and the warm glow of the holiday season continued to fill my home, but inside my heart, on the cusp of this new year, I was numb. Frozen.

frozenFor a solid week I wandered from room to room, going through the motions of creating a post-Christmas “normal” and attempting to make plans for the new year. But something wasn’t right.

I’m a “new day” kind of girl. I like nothing more than a fresh start, a clean slate, a brand new page on the calendar. But where was the inspiration? Why couldn’t I get excited about 2015?

I began to realize that my condition wasn’t just a holiday letdown, and it went deeper than the need to recover from the Christmas flu.

I was more than sad. I was becoming truly, seriously depressed.

SadWoman

I prayed and I slept. I ate chocolate and started a new novel. I watched a funny movie and went for a walk and stood in the sunshine and listened to uplifting music. I talked to my husband. I even CLEANED.

Nothing helped.

Then I visited my neighbor, and there in the noise and crazy confusion of a house filled with six adult children and a passel of grandkids, I found the cure for my malaise — people.

At my neighbors’ house, I hugged her visiting grown-up kids and played with her grandkids. We shared a cup of tea and we talked about books and knitting and food and college. And I rocked her youngest grandson to sleep.

Back in the quiet of my empty house, where a week earlier our own grown-up sons and their significant others had shared meals and laughter, I had an epiphany.

To be happy and healthy and sane, I need to be around people.

More than that. As I began taking stock of how I had spent the past several months and looked at what I had planned for the coming year, I found the other missing element that spells health for me — writing.

For all of October and November, I had written something nearly every day. 31 days of blogging and a couple thousand words of a novel had stirred my creative juices for two solid months. It didn’t matter that I worked at home alone most days. I was interacting with my own imagination and creating something I could share with others.

After Thanksgiving, my writing had stalled to a trickle.

With these fresh revelations, the iceberg that had been my frozen brain melted and my “resolutions” for the new year became clear:

  1. Spend more time with people
  2. Write daily

And my “intentions” for the new year? That list is a little longer. It’s borrowed from a Facebook post via my yoga instructor and it’s tacked up over my desk (you’re welcome to copy it and hang it on your fridge, too):

 

Intentions

In the midst of getting my feet back on the ground, another bit of inspiration was provided by one of my sons. In part, here is his heartfelt New Years’ Day message, posted (of course) on Facebook:

“To all of my loved ones, do something this year that you can look back on and feel good about. Create something that will last forever and make a change in the world. Happy New Year.”

Do something you can feel good about. Create something that will last. Make a change in the world. Simple, but profound.

And finally, as I searched for that one word to tag as a theme for the year, this one showed up at every turn:

presence

God’s and Mine. I look forward to celebrating His presence in the coming year and to being in His presence daily with a new Bible reading plan and intentional prayer. And I plan to be present in all the moments that make up this one life.

Because the truth is, while we’re beginning a new year, we don’t really get to “begin again”. The race is already underway. What we can do is resolve to end well. That chapter is yet to be written.

When God Just Knocks Your Socks Off: Writing for 31 Days

http://write31days.com/Today’s “God-Spot” was more of a “God-Smack”. If you knew my friend Jamelle, you would agree.

Jamelle runs a ministry in my community called The Reason4Hope. To say Jamelle is enthusiastic about her calling is an understatement. Like most of us, this woman has had her valleys, and over the past year she’s questioned God’s calling on her life. But she’s moving back up that mountain and she’s on fire.

I joined Jamelle and other volunteers today to serve lunch at The Hope Cafe, an outreach of her ministry. Home-cooked food is donated to the cafe every Thursday to be served to people in our community who need a good meal. They eat for free, but local business people and others stop in to buy lunch and support the ministry.

I’ve been at the cafe on Thursdays in the past, but it’s been awhile. Today, I was there because my friend put it to me straight recently when she asked me “Why aren’t churched people in our community willing to reach out to the unchurched?” My first reaction was to be defensive. I said perhaps they didn’t realize she needed more than food delivery and servers at her weekly mission.

Get that? “Her weekly mission”. What a dumb statement on my part. We’re all called to share the gospel, not just those who name their ministry and put a sign out on the sidewalk.

It’s great that people are willing to bake a pie or make a pot of goulash, or to stand behind the counter to dish up soup and wash dishes. I know. I’ve done both and felt pretty good about it. It’s a lot harder to sit down and talk with someone who doesn’t have a job or can’t see a doctor because they don’t have insurance and offer to pray with them. Harder still to open a Bible and show them that God has a plan for their lives — even when it looks like there’s nothing good coming their way.

Jamelle has a passion to share Jesus and it’s exciting to watch her in action, but she knows that to get to the place where hearts are open to her message, she has to meet them right where they are. So she gets to know the people who come to the cafe and the ones she helps out on the street when she’s handing out coats or school supplies. And she talks to them about the hard things — like depression and how it feels to live in a motel instead of a house or apartment.

Recently, she’s been visiting area high schools to help kids deal with depression. Here’s a portion of a recent blog post about what she learned. (Find the whole post and more about the ministry at www.thereason4hope.com):

“I have spent the last week talking in health classes in high schools throughout LaGrange County. The teenagers have been brutally honest. They do believe that depression is a SERIOUS issue among teenagers. Did you know that? They estimate that over 60% of teens think about suicide (although only 20% seriously consider it, but kids believe it’s WORSE!) So, in any given classroom, 5 kids are seriously thinking about it. More than half admit to bullying or making fun of someone, and about 30-40% admit to being a bully (some are the same kids.) When we talk about the signs of depression and then I tell personal stories, well, the truth is you can’t always tell and sometimes (a lot of times) it’s not the person you expect. It is the person you sit beside in history class. Now…. here to me is the heart breaking statistic: when asked if they feel they have someone they can talk to, the response is usually around 50%. ONLY 50% feel they have anyone to turn to. (In other words, they feel alone!) Hold on, it gets worse. About 70% feel they DO NOT have an adult at their school they can turn to. That is heartbreaking and horrible!!!! Are we aware of that? Does this break your heart as much as mine? These kids feel alone.”

Jamelle and others like her take The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) literally. They put feet to their faith. It’s time more of us got in step.

The Great Commission