Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fill Me With JOY & PEACE!

About a year and a half ago I was clinically diagnosed with long term depression (they think I had slipped into depression around the time I got married), severe anxiety and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I'm a "rally girl". My friends would all probably tell you that I am very good at picking myself up, dusting myself off and carrying on without missing a beat. I was not the person you would ever think of as "depressed." From a very young age I had learned to hide my hurts, swallow my tears and put on a happy face. 

We can do all of those things - the happy face despite the pain we are facing - but it doesn't make the hurts heal. When I learned of my depression I was scared. I worried what my friends would think. I was the "rally girl." Would they still love me if they knew I was depressed? Would it be okay for me to be the receiver and not the giver for awhile? They all knew I had reached a place where I couldn't rally anymore. I call it hopeless. 

I had lost all hope. I was certain that my circumstances were never going to change. I had lost sight of any glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel I was in. All I could see was darkness. I have since decided that being hopeless is the very worst place a human can be. Without hope the world is dark. Without hope depression, anger, anxiety, worry, stress and fear take a firm grip that tries desperately to pull us deeper into the darkness. 

A year and a half ago when I was diagnosed, I was not a believer. I didn't pray. I was pretty sure if there was a God, he hated me. My testimony and how I found God is a bit lengthy so I won't post it here, but there is no denying God used social media to reach me, led me to the bookstore where I found a book that I had no idea was by a Christian author but the title, Begin Again (Joyce Meyer), sounded like a great idea. From that day forward, the light kept getting a little bit brighter each day. I was hungry for the Word and I found many ways to satisfy my hunger. 

I started feeling a joy and peace that I couldn't explain or really even describe. It made no sense. My circumstances hadn't changed. I was still in the throws of the biggest fight of my life but I was enjoying life again, I was smiling...authentically, not covering up my pain. Only God. That is the only explanation I can give you...only God. I took meds and I saw a therapist weekly as well as a life coach, but when I become immersed in God's word is when I really saw changes in my life.

Yesterday I was meeting with a friend who is ministering to me and mentoring me and one of the key words he said that really clicked with me..."yeah, I need to study that deeper"...was JOY. As I was reading during my Bible study this morning, I was led to Romans 15:13
May the God of HOPE fill you with JOY and PEACE as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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