Depression is engulfing me in darkness and sinking me into a pit of quicksand. I am so overwhelmed and sad. I cry to God, but it doesn’t let up. I hear Him encouraging me, but I feel too weak to grasp His promises.
“Save me, O God,
for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
and the floods overwhelm me.”
For some people church is a place of safety, worship, fellowship, and support. For me, it has been so different. We were raised in a church where I was more terrified of the hell and eternal darkness God would cast me into than hopeful for the unfailing love and precious grace of Jesus. In that church a sister, brother, and I were all sexually and spiritually abused by clergy.
My husband and I finally left that church and tried several other churches, only to end up having bad experiences in them also. Experiences that would throw me back into being a victim again.
A few weeks ago I tried going to church again, but I had the same result I often have. As I sat there, my mind disassociated again and I felt myself putting up walls and wanting to run and retreat into a hole. Depression and anxiety kicked in again.
We went on a little vacation, and it was so good to soak up God’s creation. Hope began to peek through the darkness. If God can make His creation thrive, His Spirit can fill me with life and help me thrive in this life for as long as He wants me to live.
But then we came home, and the depression set in stronger again.
I keep beating myself up that I must not have enough faith or I would be able to get past this fear. Yet I can’t control what happens in my mind and body.
Sometimes just when I believe God is healing me more deeply and helping me to place my identity in Jesus and His love for me, something like this happens. And I feel like a victim again.
Anyway, I’m all messed up, and I don’t want to write. I just couldn’t get myself to post last week as I feel so blocked and confused. I wonder what hope I could bring to other hurting souls when I’m so down myself. Yet it feels like God tells me to write anyway.
Perhaps I put too much pressure on myself. Telling myself I failed if I can’t go to church. Maybe it’s too rooted in me that I’m sinning if I don’t go. I really don’t know. But my heart tells me it’s not about going to church. It’s about my relationship with Jesus. And I feel I have to focus more on that. And be more patient with the ongoing process of healing.
Are you feeling depressed, overwhelmed, and hopeless? Do you feel like you have no control over the effects of abuse on your mind and body? There will be dark valleys in our life stories where the pressure of life squeezes out cries to God. And we learn again how totally dependent we are on Him. I’m trying to remember and I hope you will, too, that God has each of our stories in His hands. Every single incident in our lives is written there, and He feels our hurt as He writes our stories. Someday we will understand how much He is working towards our good. He has promised that His plan is to prosper us, never to harm us.
As I look out my office window, I see and hear the birds at the feeders and in a nest close to my window. And God quietly whispers, “I take care of these birds. Not one of them is forgotten. Neither will I forget you, My child. I will never leave you or forsake you. You are sad and overwhelmed and wish you could sing with all your heart like these birds in praise to Me. But know, My child, you will yet sing forth My praise. I will lift you out of this darkness and plant your feet again on the Rock, Christ Jesus.”
“O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to You for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for You are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.”
“Lead Me to the Rock”
Save us, O God,
and lead us to the Rock of Safety!
Linking up with:
Holley – Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer – Tell His Story
Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith
Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews