depression grief

Finding Footholds During Depression

12:46 PMHeather

It was a terrible awful no good very bad day. 

Not even for any good reason, really. I had spent ten hours unraveling some silly issues related to work. Anyone who deals with a customer service issue on the phone knows how poorly that can go, not to mention that I'm super impatient with bad customer service.

I was spent. I mean, deep in the hole of it. Zapped completely, and feeling ridiculous because I have friends facing some truly devastating things. So, I was mad at myself for feeling so beat down over things that aren't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. This day just sucker punched me.

I'll take it as progress that I've learned a few things about enduring bad days. It doesn't mean I don't have them. It just means that I feel like I'm making progress in gaining control over them rather than being controlled by them.

I'm learning to more quickly look past the struggle and just sit. To just lean into the birthing pains of life that are growing new things within me.

 Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

The best baby step to take when you need a foothold during a struggle is to just sit.

Be Mary. As in, Mary from Luke 10 in the Bible. 

Sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. Ignore the demands and the noise around you. Be still long enough to sit at the feet of Jesus, for "it is the one thing needed, and Mary had chosen what is better," (Luke 10:42). 

When life hands you a hard or frustrating day, or when you feel overwhelmed, take time to sit and listen for the One who made you. Read the word, choose a verse, and preach the truest things of who God is to silence the chaos of what you are facing. 

Remind yourself that the One who knows the number of hairs on your head knows exactly what is going on with you, including what is going wrong.

But what about when a bad day is actually more of an ongoing struggle?

When life includes some scary diagnosis and problems without answers that are causing you to bleed out, then be like the woman in Luke 8. As hope is leaking from your heart and circumstances overtake you, be like the woman who had bled for 12 years and spent all of her money seeking a healing that did not come. 

She put herself in the path of Jesus and she reached for his hem.

When your life is slowly dismantling, do the same. Again and again and again.

Take a rest from the fight, and sit. Sit and read the Word that is our very life. Read it out loud so that you can hear the words. Choose songs that point you back to the truth. Let them pour over you as you reach for the hem of the Great Physician. Just fall at his feet and pour out your heart to him. 

Remind yourself that he will never leave you nor forsake you, and you are not alone. 

And, when a grief overtakes you as something or someone in your life has died, look again to Mary. The same Mary who sat at Jesus' feet to listen to his teaching in Luke 10 throws herself at his feet in John 11. 

The loss of her dear brother, Lazarus, brings a soul shaking grief and questions for Jesus about where he was and why he seemed absent when death came knocking.

Again, we see the Biblical pattern of placing ourselves at the feet of Jesus. Weeping, questioning, anguished -- yet deliberate in where we choose to pause.

Lift your eyes to the hills when you wonder where your help comes from... for your help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121).

Remind yourself that the One who holds the universe in his hand  just as surely has a grip on you.

I know the feeling of having your world torn apart. I speak from experience -- from soul crushing grief and loss -- and I can tell you that though it may not feel like it, you can and will be held as you make it a habit to run to the Father. 

Sometimes, it's just that we want the thunder to clap and the ground to shake to proof that God is near. Then, we miss the gentle and quiet whisper of the wind through the leaves showing us the evidence we seek.

When hard things interrupt the flow of life, remember that you have a choice to make. 

You can choose to still yourself. You can set yourself firmly at the feet of the One who keeps this promise to you.

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 

Preach these truths to yourself. Repeat them to your hurting soul to remind yourself that the truest thing of God is that he defeated even death. He is our hope, and he holds us. He is with us, he quiets us with his love, and he sings over us. 

So quiet your hurting heart. Be still and sit and ask him to help you hear his song over you. This is what I tell myself over and again on hard days -- "Lord, today, just help me hear your song over me."

Quit the struggle, stop the fight, and quiet the noise and distractions. 

Listen for his songs in the birds, in the wind, in the love of friends and family.

And remember who our Savior is. Remember what he did for Mary when she sobbed at his feet. Remember this truest thing about Jesus when you need a foothold.

He wept with her.

We are not alone.

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