Friday, July 13, 2012

Living Proof

     Well, Songbirds I hope you can bear with me as I have had such a heavy heart and been so conflicted while preparing for this post. I cannot tell you how many times I have started a sentence, even finished a few only to delete them afterwards.I have struggled with what to share with you and the following is what I have come up with.
      In my first post "The Hand of God" I touched on my experience in counseling when I was being treated for clinical depression. What I left out was my experience in those months and weeks prior to counseling. The year was 1994 and my husband and I had begun our reconciliation process in our marriage. It had been two years since our initial crisis. We had attended counseling together for nine months and we both thought we were well on our way to healing.
     But, there was a problem. During our crisis and even the time subsequent to it I had focused so hard on acting and being all that I thought God would have me be and all that I thought my husband would have me be and all that I thought would be the best example for our girls to be that I neglected to deal with the pain I had experienced.
      I cannot blame anyone for my response to my pain. I would not put that burden on anyone. If it had not been my marriage I fully believe it would have been any number of other events that would inevitably have taken place in my life and I would have responded the same way. It just happened that my marriage was the catalyst God chose to use to finally deal with this Goliath in my life.
      Depression has a kind of snowball effect if not intervened upon. Just like a snowball that is barreling down a mountainside, until it is dealt with it continues to grow until such time it gets so big that it will consume and destroy anyone in it's path.That last week before I re-entered counseling I started getting thoughts of  being with Jesus. I was thinking if I could just be with Jesus I would be alright. In reality I was candy coating the thought of ending my life. I can honestly say up until that point in my life I had never had such a thought yet I had never been in so much emotional pain. I can't tell you if it was just the pain of our marriage experience or the accumulated pain from my life up until then. It felt like the latter.
      I literally felt as if a heavy weight was on my chest, I physically felt it. And when describing my pain I felt I could only adequately describe it by literally lifting my bent arms and motioning away as if I was attempting to push that wall of pain off of me because I was feeling smothered by it. My voice even changed, the pain was evident in my tone. I felt consumed and was drowning (not unlike Peter) when he focused on his circumstance and not on Jesus and by that point I did not even have the capacity to consider how to escape it so I was succumbing to it. My snowball was barreling down quickly.
      This would be a tragic story had it not been for two Knights that came to my rescue. First of all God is and will always be my first Knight in shining armor. He has rescued me time and time again (usually from myself) and is the only One who gets the ultimate glory. He will come and rescue me and all His saints again one day on His white horse once and for all. Revelation 19:11-16.  Until that time, I believe my husband is my second Knight, the one here on earth, provided to me by God Himself.
      I am one who can say that their spouse literally played a role in saving their life.You see toward the end of that last week my husband led me into our kitchen and picked up the phone and called our counselor. He intervened on my behalf which was the first step in destroying the snowball. God used him and our godly counselor to lead me back on the road to healing and I was subsequently brought back from the brink of self-destruction.
      One thing I learned about my thought process during that time was that I was in so much pain that I was fast approaching the point that I would do anything to stop that pain. I did NOT want to die. I just wanted my pain to STOP and I was not able to see any other way out at that time. I believe that this thought process is what anyone considering suicide genuinely wants but may not be able to adequately convey.
      Through my counseling I learned that I had been deceived into believing that I could not go to God because I was carrying guilt and shame for what went on in our marriage. I was blaming myself, punishing myself. I was convinced that my sin hindered me to the point that I could not go to God. Not rational at all, but I was not thinking rationally. That thinking was full of lies and deceit but that was the position I found myself in.
      I had taken my focus off of the Lord and His truth and was experiencing another "Peter" moment. If you remember what a "Peter" moment is, it was when Peter took His eyes off of Christ as found in Matthew 14:22-33  and looked at his circumstances that he started to drown in the sea. BUT, Jesus held out His hand as Peter cried out for His help and Jesus saved him. Matthew 14:28-32.  This time I felt I was drowning and my "Peter" moment had turned into months and I felt I had begun to drown in a sea of  hopelessness.
      When a Christian loses hope, where does he turn? There is nowhere but a black abyss and that is exactly where the enemy of my soul wanted me. It was in that state of mind that I entered that counseling room and experienced the hand of God firsthand that broke through my darkness. Like I said in my testimony of that experience I could not reach up to God, so He reached down to me.
     I had to make the choice that day to call out to God for help. His hand was the first one reaching just as in Peter's case. I can't explain why the God of the universe would even offer to do that unless it is His unfathomable love for us. I do know He loves us so much that He would rather die than live without us. He proved that on the cross. He conquered death He is also able to conquer our Goliath. We can live because we serve a living God Luke 24:5-7 NKJ and Matthew 22:32 NKJ.
       "Come to Jesus" by Chris Tomlin is a beautiful illustration that our Knight in shining armor truly does exist and He is but a cry away to all who believe in Him. I am living (living) proof of that! All who believe on Him are living proof of that and that is our song!


"You'll never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have."  Max Lucado from his book titled Facing Your Giants.

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