Sometimes things come to a screeching halt until you make a decision. Sometimes the decision is hard. You avoid it. You deny it. You even try to trick yourself into believing it isn’t a big deal.
I’ve come to that place in the past ten days. I’ve faced a hard decision. But I believe I am on the right track. The sermon at church yesterday confirmed it. Again. How does God do that?
You know those charts that list all the things that cause stress and you are supposed to tally up your score to see how vulnerable you are to stress-related illness? I looked at one of those online the other day and actually laughed out loud. The number of items I could check off, that have occurred over the past two years, is off the charts.
Many years ago I struggled with depression and after ten years on medication I was well and went my merry way. I’ve been doing just fine until the long line of challenges began over a year ago and haven’t let up. I’m sure some of you know exactly what I mean. Sometimes it looks like it will never end. If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the past few months, you can see that I’ve cried out to God for some relief. Asking if we could be done now. But we aren’t done.
In the sermon yesterday, Pastor Willy spoke directly to where I am. It felt like he’d been reading my journal. He talked about how even Elijah struggled with discouragement and even depression. King David certainly did. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Especially when you can trace the list of stressful events that eventually cross the line of what any person could handle. Pastor Willy encouraged us to deal with the physical issues first. I was glad to realize that I had already taken that step by visiting my doctor last week. That was hard. It felt like I was moving backward instead of forward.
Then we were told to address the spiritual issues. Visits with doctors, medication, counselors, those are all good. But the bottom line is that God is the One who can make all the difference. He is the final authority about your life and has all the answers you will ever need.
I am glad that I have a support system that helps me deal with the challenges I’m facing right now. I’m glad for skilled medical professionals who offer input and options. But mostly, I’m glad I serve a God who knows my deepest thoughts and knows exactly what I need.
If you are struggling with discouragement or anything else, please be encouraged that God knows where you are. He will guide you to the answers you need. And if His answer includes help from a doctor or counselor, please don’t feel condemned for taking that step.
If you’ve been down a difficult road and have found victory, look for those you can encourage. If we all keep our struggles private, what we go through doesn’t help anyone else. I am praying God will continue to give me the boldness to be transparent. It’s the best way to undo the plans of the enemy by encouraging others to find victory through my own life lessons.
“The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” – (Psalm 34:17-19) NASB