Gloom seeped into my mind and my heart. As thick and sticky as quicksand pulling me down into a bottomless black hole. No, God, no! Help! What’s happening? Please don’t let me head down the road of depression again. I feel so stuck. Please help!
Sometimes my illness takes my voice away, and this time it hasn’t returned after nearly six weeks. I felt so discouraged on Monday morning, but I knew this gloom was from deeper within me. Sometimes past memories are triggered from when abusers took my voice away, and I knew this must be one of those times. I have been doing fairly well with processing these triggered emotions, but it wasn’t working that morning. The gloom threatened to swallow me up. I tried to think of God’s promises, but they bounced like ping-pong balls right out of my head and far out of reach of my heart.
I decided to go online to one of (In)courage’s abuse support groups I joined, and the picture someone shared from their art journal touched the hurting heart of the little girl inside of me. I cried and realized I not only need to acknowledge what was stolen from my little girl, but I also need to grieve with her for her losses as I bring her with me to rest in Jesus and His love. In His healing and restoration.
It usually helps me to process triggered emotions when I can identify from where the gloom originates. I reminded myself that Jesus has recovered all our losses on the cross. He has given me a voice that no one – past, present, or future – can ever take away from me. A voice in my soul that sometimes comes out in my writing.
But a deep sadness still weighed me down most of the day and smothered my heart like a wet, heavy blanket as I woke up the next morning. I felt so empty. I knew I needed soul rest.
I recently read a fitting acronym of REST. I have added “and abusers” to it.
Satan and abusers
One of the ways God gives me REST is to go on a nature walk. It often refreshes my drooping spirit and grounds me again as to who is in control of everything. As I walked along a bike trail next to the river, God whispered, “Open your ears and listen, My child. Open your eyes and see, My child. I take care of My creation and that includes you.”
Soothing sounds reminded me God is still alive. Birds calling, frogs croaking, water gurgling and sometimes rushing, leaves singing a melody of peace as the unseen wind rustled through.
I opened my eyes and soaked in the variety of shades of green and brown throughout the trees and grasses, splashes of other colors mixed in by other plants or flowers. God’s paintbrush. Then I stopped and held my breath. A deer was only a few feet from me in the trees, a rare sight on my walks. Majestically displaying God’s tender loving care.
And God opened my eyes to more of His creatures. A frog, a dragonfly, ducks and other birds. Even an ant crossing my path.
With each creature, God said “I am in the ___. I am here, My precious child. Always with you. No matter how rough the journey gets, I will never, ever abandon you.”
God is still with us even when Satan takes advantage of our vulnerabilities. His shouts of lies into our thoughts try to drown out the whispers of God’s love and peace. He robs us of hope, and he tells us all that was stolen from us will never be restored. We are hopelessly dirty, damaged, and desolate for the rest of our lives.
But Truth will always prevail in the end. Jesus triumphed over Satan. God is Almighty and will never let him totally defeat us. No one, not even Satan, can snatch us out of God’s powerful grip of grace.
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
Romans 16:20 NLT
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.
No one can snatch them away from Me,
for My Father has given them to Me,
and He is more powerful than anyone else.
No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.”
John 10:28-29 NLT
God is with us always, even when we can’t feel Him. The evidences of His tender loving care are everywhere. He will never leave us or forsake us. Sometimes our hearts may feel so broken and unmendable, but He has promised to heal. And He will in His own time and way. He has promised to restore whatever is stolen from us, and He will layer by layer, digging ever deeper and exposing all our locked away hurts to His healing love. The same God who resurrected dry bones and breathed His Spirit of life into them can completely restore what was stolen from us. And He will, because He cares so deeply.