Depression Doesn’t Make Sense

It’s been a while…

The last few months have been rough.  I’ll spare you the details, but give you a glimpse.

My triggers are stress and a feeling of overwhelming busyness.  No down time in my life starts those feelings of being out of control.  I know it.  I feel it coming…breathing down my neck.  Yet I’m helpless to stop any of the plates I’m spinning in the air.  If one should fall, I know all will fall, and failure is not an option.  So, I keep going, until…I can’t.

Depression…

 

The contradictions of depression are endless.  It doesn’t make sense.  Unless you’ve lived it, it’s so hard to understand.  I’ve lived it…and I’m living it again.

 

It lives quietly inside of you.  Waiting.  It appears and then it leaves.  It comes for a day and leaves for a week, or it comes for months and then leaves for years.  Just when you think you are free from its grasp, it sneaks up again.

 

You can see it coming.  The signs are there.  The situations are ripe for it to appear.  The feelings begin to stir, but you are helpless to stop it.  Life happens.

 

“Take the medicine,” they say.  “It will help you feel better.”  What they fail to tell you, is a side effect is no feelings at all.  The extreme emotions are gone, yes, but the lack of feeling is almost worse.  Numbness to everything.  It’s selfish really.  There’s no ability to have empathy, to share joy or sadness, or to have righteous anger.  Or what about all the other side effects?  Nightmares, suicidal thoughts, weight gain, weight loss, the inability to sleep…the list goes on.   I’ve had them all at one time or another, with one pill or another.  It’s a game of Russian Roulette to find the one with the least amount of side effects for you.

 

It’s the constant feeling of emotions bubbling right below the surface.  Never knowing when the next little thing, that wouldn’t phase a “normal” person, will be the one thing to push you over the edge.  Yet, on the outside, you look like you have it all together…until you don’t.

 

It’s filling your day with a thousand things.  Getting it done.  Proving your worth and trying to get ahead, only to have others pile more responsibility on you, because they know you will get it done.  While deep inside you are crying for someone to just take care of themselves, without your help, without being told, without being nagged, because you… Just. Can’t. Do. One. More. Thing.

 

It’s curling up in your bed, not wanting to face the world.  Hoping that things will take care of themselves, but knowing it will be worse when you finally have to get up and face them.

 

It’s being asked, “What’s wrong?”  To which you reply, “Nothing,” or “Everything.”  Because you just don’t know.  You can’t put it into words, and when you can finally articulate what is going on in your head, people just don’t know what to do with it or you.  Because, really, they didn’t want to know, they just wanted to seem like they cared.

 

It’s finally becoming vulnerable enough to open up to someone, just to have them hurt you more.  They don’t mean to.  They just don’t know what to say or do.  They start shelling out advice and platitudes, throwing out Bible verses and turn to Jesus speeches.  Not that those are bad things.  They mean well, it just doesn’t help.  What you really want is someone to wash the dishes, burn the trash or cook dinner.  Take care of the everyday things that seem to continually pile up and never end!  Just remove one thing from your to-do list.  Or… just listen.

 

It’s knowing with all your heart that Jesus is what you need, but not having the energy or desire to read the Word.  It’s needing to pour your heart out to Jesus, but feeling too inadequate to approach the throne.  And knowing that those prayers, are going to evoke even more thoughts and feelings that you just don’t feel equipped to deal with.

 

It’s giving those closest to you your worst, but needing them to give you their best.

 

It’s feeling completely overwhelmed in a crowd of people, but overwhelmingly lonely when you finally get time alone.

 

It’s wanting those you love to embrace you, but all you can do is push them away.

 

It’s the need to control everything, with the realization that everything is out of control.

 

It’s wanting to run away from it all, but fearing that no one would even miss you if you did.

 

It’s your heart fluttering and an elephant sitting on your chest, but all the tests say you are fine.

 

It’s something you have.  It’s not who you are.  But in the midst, it’s all consuming and defines everything you do.

 

It doesn’t make sense.

 

It’s nothing and it’s everything…

 

It’s depression.

A Not So Merry Christmas


I’ve always loved Christmas.  It’s my favorite time of year.  I love decorating my house, making Christmas gifts and goodies, listening to Christmas music starting at Thanksgiving, spending time with family and Christmas traditions.  I love the lights and the beauty of the season.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year…at least it used to be.  Things have changed in my little world, and I know there are others just like me.  This year Christmas has been hard…really hard.  As a person who has struggled with severe depression in the past, it has really taken me by surprise this holiday season that it has reared its ugly head again.  If you have depression, you know it’s not something that ever goes away.  It may subside for a while, but it can show up at the most unexpected times.

 

For me, it shows up when I’m very busy, stressed, unable to fix something, or when I’m feeling unloved or unappreciated.  This Christmas was the perfect storm of all of these.  Some of it was self-inflicted, but a good majority was brought on by other people and situations.  It’s been a hard season, to say the least.  I know I’m not alone.  I’ve talked to so many who feel the same way or I’ve seen their posts on Facebook that allude to the same feelings.

 

Christmas comes with certain feelings, expectations, and traditions.  When those get messed with, it’s not easy to deal with.  For some it’s the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a diagnosis, a rift in the family, or a myriad of other possible scenarios.  There is a certain peace and comfort that comes in the way things have always been.  There’s a certain expectation that it’s the way things will always be.  Change is hard, especially when it is forced upon you with little regard to your feelings.  It comes through the natural progression of life, but it also comes through the selfish actions of others.  No matter how it is brought about, it is painful.

 

I don’t really have any answers for you.  I just wanted you to know that if you are feeling that loss this year, if the tears have been flowing a little more freely than usual, or if you have that heavy feeling in your chest…me too.  As, I sit here now typing this message to you, my heart hurts, my chest is heavy, and the tears are brimming in my eyes.  The feelings are real and raw.  Life can be a cruel beast!  The circumstances may vary, but the feelings can be the same.  Unfortunately, this time of year seems to exacerbate them.  I can swing from pure joy to extreme sadness.  One small thing can flip the switch.  You’re not alone.  I feel your pain.

 

This I do know…this is a season.  This too shall pass.  I will learn some valuable lessons during this tough time and will hopefully set different expectations for next year.  God is still good and I can still find comfort in knowing that this season is about His birth.  No matter what expectations have not been met this Christmas, it does not change the fact that I am truly and fully loved by Him. If I had been the only one on earth, He still would have come for me, and He loves you just the same.  The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, creator of the world and all of the universe, loves us!  He gave up all of His majesty to become one of the least of us.  God came down here for us.  People will always fail us or leave us, but He never will.

 

I have felt unloved, but He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  I’ve felt unappreciated, but He says “I have seen the time, effort and love you’ve put forth to others. Well done, you’ve loved well.”  I’ve felt stressed, busy, and out of control, but He says, “I’ve got this.”  He has seen my tears and says, “One day, I will wipe away all of your tears.”

 

His message is the same to you.  “I see you.  I feel your pain.  I save your tears and I hear your prayers.”

 

So…Merry Christmas, dear friends.  When joy seems to be just out of reach this season, no matter how hard you try…me too!  Know you are loved!  Prayers for you, that joy will show up in some amazingly unexpected ways!

This is Why I Run!

  • me at statehouse

Several months ago, I wrote a blog post Battle Cry “It’s Time Christians”.  I wrote of an experience I had with God.  It was a message He gave me during a time of prayer.  After months of wrestling with all He told me that night, some of which was too personal and frankly scary at the time to share, I have been moved into obedience.  It’s taken months for me to come to grips with what He has called me to do.  Honestly, it was a calling I did not want.  As I wrestled though, I went to scripture and found that person after person in the Bible were given assignments they did not want.  Each person dealt with those assignments in different ways, but I did notice a pattern.  Most of them when given the assignment were not eager to be obedient.  It also took them some time wrestling with God and coming to grips with what He was asking them to do.  Moses made excuses, Sarah laughed, Jonah ran, Elijah hid, Peter denied…and I argued.

I’ve had many “conversations” with God over these last few months.  Let me just tell you, we serve a very patient and compassionate God.  He knows our hearts and He knew mine.  He knows my weaknesses and insecurities.  He knows my doubts and graciously walked through them with me.  I still have some to be honest, but I am confident that He is in this with me and will be by my side the whole way.  It is amazing how connected you can be to God when you truly seek Him.  These last few months have been like a roller coaster and I keep leaning in and holding on.  No matter the twists and turns that have come my way, He is keeping me on track.  There have been moments of apprehension, anticipation, thrills and excitement and I know the ride is just beginning.  There’s a long way to go, but I’m resting in the fact that I’m just along for the ride and He is the one in control.

If you didn’t read my previous blog post that I mentioned above, let me give a brief recap.  I watched a movie with my husband called “Fury.”  It was a WWII movie about and American tank crew in Nazi Germany.  The depravity of the human race weighed heavy on my heart long after the movie was over.  As I went to bed, I cried out to God in the heaviness of my heart.  As I poured out my questions to Him and tried to understand, I finally asked, “What can I do about all this?”  (Just FYI-Don’t ask God this question, unless you are truly prepared for the answer!)  In the stillness of my heart I heard, “Politics.”

Let the argument begin… “But I don’t know anything about politics.”

“I will teach you.”

“I don’t know anyone in politics.”

“I will introduce you.”

“But, what about my family?”

“I will take care of them.”

“I don’t want them to get hurt.  Politics can be brutal.”

“I love them even more than you do. I will protect them”

Every question, every concern was lovingly answered, but I still wasn’t convinced.  I shared my experience with my husband and with a friend.  Both were very encouraging to me, but also had lots of questions.  As the next few weeks and months went by and the questions and seeking continued, God began to change my heart and my perspective.  I made a deal with God.  I’m not sure if this is allowed…non-the-less, I did.  Here was the deal…If you open the doors, I will walk through them, but if you close the doors, I will stop.  And He did.  The doors that have opened and the people that I have met has been, well…life changing.  I never would have guessed I would be on the path that God has placed me.  The doors continue to open and I continue to go through.  I am walking in obedience; one day at a time and one door at a time.  I don’t know where this will end up honestly, but with God at the helm of this ship, it’s bound to be an adventure.

Me and Amy in Senate Chambers

Over the last few months I’ve spent multiple days at the State House, a building I had never stepped foot in before.  I’ve stood in assemblies of people praying, singing and standing for religious freedom in the atrium of that great building.  I’ve walked the halls, sat in committee meetings, sat on the floor of the House of Representatives during session and learned the ropes of a representative spending the day with my Representative.  I sat in the seat of a Senator in Senate Chambers, as I witnessed the proceedings of the first reading of SB344 and SB100 and prayed for the preservation of religious freedom.  I’ve walked alongside my friend Amy as she has fought tirelessly and lobbied for the Heartbeat Bill in Indiana.  I’ve sat and talked with representatives, senators, councilmen and other candidates not only voicing my opinion about certain bills and issues, but most importantly listening, learning and getting advice.  God has certainly been opening doors and so I keep walking through.    People have even been contacting me and offering to help.  God is good and faithful, there is no doubt about it!

filing papers

So, what does all of this look like for me right now?  I am currently running for a Wabash County Council, At Large seat.  There are three seats coming up for election.  I am one of five Republicans running and there is one Democrat.  Three are current councilmen.  I know I have my work cut out for me.  It’s going to take a lot of time, resources and commitment, but with God on my side I can’t lose.  I don’t mean that I know I will win the election.  What I mean is…if He has called me to this and I am obedient in answering the call, no matter the results of the election, I win!  Will it be easy? No!  Will I get a little stressed out at times?  I imagine I will, because I already have.  The good news is…no matter the outcome, I am walking in confidence that this is the path to which He has called me.  God willing, if I win this election, I will serve for Him.  I will do my best to represent Him in the halls of government locally and who knows, maybe at the State House someday?

As I look into the eyes of my children and all the kids that I influence in my everyday life, I can say with confidence, “ I am doing all I can to preserve the future of this county, state, and great nation for you and future generations.”  I may be but one small cog in a great machine, but I will do my part.  I will fight for my values which are my faith, my family, and my freedom.  If we can preserve our right to live out our faith in all areas of life, promote traditional family values, and protect our constitutional and God given freedoms, then we have done well for future generations.  They deserve to enjoy those freedoms as we have and I want that for them.

girls at state house

Teaching, mentoring and growing the next generation is intertwined in all aspects of my life.  It’s who I am and what I’m called to do.  The funny thing is that I didn’t even realize it until I started examining this new path.  I’m a mom of two girls who are almost twelve and fourteen.  I have been and am currently a host mom of two exchange daughters from Germany.  In my seven years of owning my own business, I have employed and invested in seven girls ranging from Jr. High to college students.  I’ve been involved in our church’s youth group as a leader and helper for the last four years.  Serving on Faith Quest, which is a teen spiritual retreat weekend for the last eight years has given me the opportunity to speak into the lives of countless teens and watch them grow into adults, marry, and have kids of their own.  I can’t think of anything more rewarding that investing in the lives of the next generation.  Now I have the opportunity, God willing, to help preserve their futures in the halls of government and will be able to say with confidence and sincerity, “I did all I could to preserve a good future for you and generations to come.”

So when people ask me “Why are you running for office?” this is my answer.  I am running for office because God called me to do it.  One day in the future I will stand before Him.  When He asks me what I have done with the gifts and abilities He has given me, I want to be able to say, “I was obedient in the tasks You gave me and completed them for Your glory.”  My greatest desire in all that I do here on earth is to one day hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  And this is why I run!

 

In His Service!

God Can’t Fix This

GOD CAN’T FIX THIS…the headlines read after another mass shooting.  As I’ve watched the news the last few days reporting on this atrocity, I find myself yelling back at the TV as I listen to the stupidity of the reporting.  Phrases from “experts” like, “In all my years of study, I’ve never seen anything like this before.”  This is referring to a husband and wife killing team and the fact that they left their 6 month old baby to go commit this crime.  These are terrorist, people!!!  This is radical Islam!  These people don’t care about the cost of lives; theirs, their children’s, or anyone else’s for that matter.  Life has no value to them.  They sell their children for sex; it is widely accepted that their boys are used as sex toys among men.  They strap bombs to their kids’ chests and send them into their enemy’s convoy.  What part of this is surprising?  These are a godless people, with no other desire than to kill every person who does not believe in Allah.  Hate is their soul motivation.  There’s nothing to explain or conjecture.  It is what it is.  These people are controlled by the evil ruler of this world and his demons.

 

NO GOD, NO LOVE.  KNOW GOD, KNOW LOVE.  NO GOD, NO PEACE.  KNOW GOD, KNOW PEACE.

 

GOD IS THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN FIX THIS!  And not just this tragedy…HE IS THE ANSWER for all the evil, corruption, lies, killing, deception, anger, hate, lust, and the list of wrongs in our world goes on and on.

 

In the beginning, God…in the end, God.  Everything in between…God.

 

God created the heavens and the earth; everything that is on it, in it, lives, breathes, grows…God.

(Gen. 1:1)

God created man…God. (Gen. 1:27)

God saw man needed a companion, He created woman…God. (Gen. 2:20-23)

God joined man and woman and created marriage…God. (Gen. 2:24)

God saw all that He had made and it was very good…God. (Gen. 1:31)

God told them to be fruitful and multiply, so God created sex for procreation…God. (Gen. 1:28)

God knit us together in our mother’s womb and knew us before the foundations of the earth. He created babies who are known even before conception…God. (Ps. 139:13, Eph. 1:4)

God sent His only Son as a ransom for our sins, because we messed up His perfect creation…God.

(1 Peter 1:20)

God’s Son, Jesus, came in the form of man, yet was fully God and never sinned even though tempted and tortured in all ways known to man…God. (Heb. 4:15)

God’s Son died a torturous death, on a cross, to pay for the sins of all.  He died, went to hell, took the keys of death and Hades…God. (Rev. 1:18)

God’s Son ascended to heaven to prepare a place for those who love and follow Him and intercedes on their behalf before the Father…God. (Heb. 4:14, John 14:3, Heb. 7:25)

God will send His Son again to reclaim His own and bring judgment to all who have denied Him among the living, the dead, and the spiritual beings who now roam this earth…God. (John 6:44, 1 Peter 4:5, Acts 10:42, Rev. 20:7-15)

 

God is life. (Rom. 6:23, 1 John 5:11-12)

God is love. (1 John 4:8)

God is peace. (Phil. 4:7, John 14:27)

God is light. (1 John 1:5, John 8:12)

God is creator. (Gen. 1:1, Nehemiah 9:6, Rev. 4:11)

God is healer. (Deut. 7:15, Matt. 8:16-17, Mark 6:56)

God is salvation. (John 3:16)

God is provider. (Matt. 6:31-32, Phil. 4:19

God is sustainer. (Col. 1:17, Heb. 1:3)

God is all knowing. (1 Cor. 2:10-11, Isaiah 40:13-14, Romans 11:33-34)

God is all powerful. (Matt. 19:26, Jer. 10:12)

God is good. (Ps. 100:5, Ps. 136:1)

God is sovereign. (Ps. 115:3, Proverbs 16:9, Rom. 8:28)

God is judge. (James 4:12, Ps. 75:7, Rev. 20:11-15)

God is beginning and end. (Rev. 22:13, Isaiah 46:10)

God is I AM. (Exodus 3:14, Jer. 32:27)

God

 

Without God there is nothing.  There are no answers.  So…tell me again how “God can’t fix this.”  Do you have a better idea?

 

GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN FIX THIS!

Warning! Are You Ready for September?

Today’s blog will be different…

Today’s blog is difficult for me to write…

Today’s blog is difficult to read…

Today’s blog is a warning…

But please hear me out…

cross

 

Last Saturday, I had a conversation with a friend about what was to transpire in September.  Some of you may be aware of the events that are set to take place next month, but some of you may not.  It piqued my interest and forced me to do some digging and research.  After a week of investigation, I want to share some of my findings, but I challenge you to do some exploring of your own.  The resources are endless.  I have included some links, but there are many more out there.

 

In our lifetime, there has never been a series of events that are historically, scientifically, and biblically connected like the events that are set to unfold in September of 2015.

Biblical/Historical Significance:

September 13, 2015 is the once every-seven-years biblical day of reckoning on the Jewish calendar when all debts and credits are wiped clean. “Shemitah as it is called, is the Sabbatical year, which occurs every seventh year.  Shemitah is “Shabbat” (the Sabbath) for the land of Israel; the land “rests” in a fashion, similar to the way the Jewish people rest every seventh day (Leviticus 25:4).”

While observing Shemitah guarantees abundant produce, neglecting it leads to judgment.  Jeremiah foretold that the Jewish people would be exiled for not keeping Shemitah by not allowing the land to rest (Jeremiah 17:4).  When the Jewish people violated the law of Shemitah, God exiled them for seventy years until the land “enjoyed her Sabbaths” (2 Chronicles 36:19-21).

Jewish tradition teaches that exile is the penalty for the three cardinal sins of murder, idolatry, and sexual immorality, and for neglecting to keep the laws of Shemitah!  Our country is guilty on all accounts.  On the last two final days of Shemitah, the exact same biblical “day of remission,” which is Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar, there have been record stock market collapses.  Our stock market is currently on a path leading to another collapse of historical proportions, along with numerous other countries’ markets around the world.

2001 was a Shemitah year.  There was the dot com crash of 2001. On September 11, 2001, we were attacked on American soil by terrorists.  When the stock market reopened on 9/17/01 it lost 684 points in one day.

2008 was a Shemitah year.  On September 29, 2008, the stock market collapsed 777 points after nearly a year of economic collapse.

Jonathan Cahn Message of the Shemitah

September 28, 2015 is also the appearance of the final of the Four Blood Moons that align with the Feasts of the Lord within this century. There have been three Tetrads, or series of four consecutive Blood Moons with a total solar eclipse occurring somewhere in the sequence, that are tied to Jewish history.  Each time the four Blood Moons appeared on the exact days of Passover and Feast of Tabernacles on the consecutive years.

 

The first Tetrad of Blood Moons was in 1493-94.

In 1492, the Jews were banished from Spain when they refused to convert to Catholicism.  Christopher Columbus sailed to America and found a safe place for the Jews.  “The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 was a world-changing moment.  The mantle of prosperity was lifted from Spain and placed upon the shoulders of an infant nation that would become the United States of America.  God almighty used the Four Blood Moons of 1493-94 as a heavenly billboard to mankind.”

 

The second Tetrad of Blood Moons was 1949-1950.

In 1948, Israel was once again declared a nation.  The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people, so this was a truly significant time for Israel and the Jews.  The first permanent Israeli government took office on January 25, 1949.  During the next several months, several truce agreements were signed and the borders were established.  It was during this time that the second series of Blood Moons occurred.

 

The third Tetrad occurred from 1967-68.

After years of wars, following their statehood, things came to a head in 1967 when the Arab nations united to come against Israel.  In the Six-Day War that ensued, Israel was blessed by the hand of God and after a series of miraculous triumphs, they won the war.  Jerusalem was finally reunited with the Jewish people for the first time in nearly nineteen hundred years.

 

We are currently in the midst of the fourth Tetrad of Blood moons occurring from 2014-15, with the final Blood Moon appearing on September 28th.

  1. Passover, April 15, 2014
  2. Feast of Tabernacles, October 8, 2014
  3. Passover, April 4, 2015
  4. Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015

John Hagee-Four Blood Moons

The Jewish Jubilee year starts on Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, which begins September 23rd at sundown into September 24th.  A Jubilee year historically means blessing for those who are humble and repentant and are seeking to hear and obey the Holy Spirit, but is also judgment for those who are unrepentant for their sins.  A Jubilee year happens at the end of seven sets of seven years or every 49 years, with the last beginning in 1967, the year of the Six-Day War, making 2015 the start of the next Jubilee year.

Jubilee Year 2015

Current Events:

September 17th is the deadline for Congress to approve the Iranian nuclear deal.

September 23rd Pope Francis, the 266th pope, is to meet with President Obama, on the 266th day of the year.

September 24th the Pope will address a joint session of Congress.

September 25th The Pope will be the keynote speaker at the UN in New York.  He is expected to endorse the UN’s new global agenda titled “Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”  The Pope has already called for a global government to fight climate change and poverty.

I must admit, I don’t know exactly what all this means, but I do know that it is a warning. Why?  Because, historically God has given warnings to His people before the coming of a great trial or disaster.  He also says we will not know the day or the hour of His return, but we are to watch for the signs (Matt. 24:33,36).  I’m not saying that Christ is returning in September and I’m not saying He is not.  Even the Son does not know.  What I am saying is these are the facts.  I don’t think it is by accident that He is lining things up in this way or that He is revealing it to so many.  I believe we may be headed into a time of great trials.  There is no end to the possibilities of the repercussions of these events that are about to take place.  We could see terrorist attacks, natural disasters, economic collapse, or all of the above…or we could see Christ in the clouds calling His children home. Either way, the message is this…all that matters is where you stand with Jesus Christ.

Look UP

JESUS IS THE ONLY ANSWER AND THE ONLY SALVATION!

No matter what September brings…Christ is coming…soon! So Look Up!  I’m ready!  Are you?