I still have HOPE and a PROMISE

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Last week I made the very hard decision to go back on medication for depression. This was not an easy thing for me to do, because I so detest the side-effects of antidepressants. But, the time had come to either do something or to go to bed and never get back out of it.

Since we cannot afford for me to have a stint in the hospital or for me just to go to bed (we can’t afford for my husband to stay home from work to take the kids to/from school, or to come home from work every single time I have a breakdown and am crying hysterically down the phone), it was necessary to do something.

So, yesterday, I bit the bullet and went to the doctor. I was officially diagnosed with severe depresion (scoring a 24 out of a possible 27 – the higher the score the more severely depressed you are) and was given the prescription.

My attitude to it is this: I know how I am supposed to think, I know what and how I am supposed to think, but my brain will not work that way; it needs some serious help. This is the first step to getting better; this will open the door for me to be able to make myself think the way I should think. This is the first step – on  a journey – to better days.

Yesterday morning, in my quiet time before getting out of bed, I felt God give me this verse of scripture:

Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.Zechariah 9:12 NLT

I am a prisoner of depression. But, I still have hope, and I have God’s Word; His promise of blessing.

No, I’m not happy that I’m on an antidepressant that I know, while it’s helping, will affect me in ways I do NOT want to be affected.  But, I have hope of deliverance, from both the depression and, eventually, the crappy side-effects of the medication I have to take in order for me to cope with my every day life.

Hope is not synonymous with wishing. Real hope is not the same thing as wishful thinking. The difference between hope and wishing is as much as the difference between a dream and a fantasy: the former is inherant with power and possiblility while the latter is just smoke and sandcastles.

I still have hope. And, I have a promise which keeps that hope breathing.

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A Great Promise to Begin a New Year On

Today, when I should have been listening to what the pastor was saying in his message, God re-showed me a beautiful promise for those – like I – who suffer with depression (so, you decide if I really, technically, should’ve been listening or not…after all, I heard what God wanted me to hear, what I needed to hear).

2 Corinthians 7:6 AMP says:

But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus.

 

In the KJV it says that He ‘comforteth those that are cast down’. Being ‘cast down’ is an accurate (short) definition of severe depression. But, I love the way the Amplified Bible amplifies this verse; it tells us that God comforts, encourages, refreshes and cheers the depressed and sinking.This tells us God’s nature and desire. This is such a brilliant promise.

I’m on Twitter and I noticed that Spotify (internet radio, MP3 service, etc) are asking people what song best represents their 2012. Well, there’s been a lot of music that touched and help define my 2012 – my own music and other peoples’, as well. I answered their question with one of my songs – my first single release, ‘Hope Breathing (A Lullaby)’, because, one, it was my first single release (a pretty big deal, to me…well, and to a few others who count themselves among my fanbase – it was a defining moment which took me from struggling/starving singer/songwriter to recording artist proper) and because there is a lot about the song that speaks of 2012 for me (and, because, I’ll admit it, I was trying to plug my own music…shameless plugging, yep)…but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that there are two more songs that, together, sum up 2012 even more than ‘Hope Breathing’ does. Read on…

I recently wrote and recorded a song that highlights a lot of what it’s like to suffer with severe depression: the sinking, the sorrow, the overwhelming nature of it. That song is ‘Waterfall’ (if you follow my blog at all, you might have read about this seriously morose song here). I experience and struggle with this on a regular basis. But, in these times, if I stop and ask God to help me, He is always faithful to ‘help the sinking’. Some days are better than others. But, I can honestly say that God’s comfort is real, and I couldn’t make it without the comfort God gives.

In this verse in 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about how God used another person – Titus – to comfort and cheer him. And, indeed, there are times when I’ve had a message or a phone call or a visit from a friend that has made all the difference to my darker days. The difference between total despair and coping. Sometimes the comfort comes from taking a moment to quiet myself before the Lord and allow Him to minister grace to my aching heart and troubled mind…

Yes, I ended up this year writing a song that accutely describes the depths of depression and the agony thereof,  but earlier in the year I wrote and recorded another song – ‘My Salvation (Ageless One)’– that is all about how God can help the depressed – indeed, how He often helps me personally. It was based greatly on Psalm 27. Today, using 2 Corinthians 7:6, God reminded me (He is so good) that it is always His desire to comfort the hurting and broken, the overwhelmed, the SINKING!  With this verse, God is ending my year with hope for the new year ahead…and, well, that was definitely worth blogging about (as well, I think, ‘interrupting’ the pastor’s message).

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(AMEN!)