August 27, 2009

I have a testimony

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…”

The devil has been trying his best to attack me this week. The best place to find strength this morning was in the Word, and this scripture popped up first thing. I need to overcome Satan right now, so I'm going to share a testimony with you. (In your face, Satan!)

Several years ago, after I gave birth to my son, I suffered through post-partum depression. It was bad, and I didn't have a clue what was wrong with me. All I knew was that I couldn't stop crying and I had no desire to hold my new baby, which made me cry even more. When Robert finally insisted I go to the doctor, I was diagnosed with PPD.

I started taking medications and by the end of the first month, I started feeling a lot better. I stayed on the medication for not quite a year, and after a consultation with my family doctor, I weaned myself off them. At first, I was fine, but then as more time passed, I felt myself slipping back into a depressive state again.

This was the beginning of a time period in which I went in and out of depression after depression. I had suicidal thoughts at times. Most of the time I wanted to just dig a hole, climb into it and never come back out again. I turned into a reclue, hiding away from the world. What I couldn't see then was that this was a spiritual warfare, and had nothing to do with my body. (In the beginning it did start as an imbalance in my body. Isn't that how the devil loves to work? He picks at a *real* scab to make it bleed, then once you've healed, he tricks you attacks you again and tries to make you believe it's still that same problem....when in reality, his main goal is to steal, kill, and destroy.)

For a few years, I went through cycles of going back on depression medicine, then getting off, only to get back on them again. In 2006, my family and I moved to Louisiana. At the time, I was off the medication and felt like I was literally going to lose my mind. I reached a point where I felt desperate for medication to help me, but we didn't have two nickles to rub together, so it was out of the question. (Another Christian irony...why do we always wait until we have nowhere else to turn, but God, before we seek His help?)

It was during this time that our church held a long series of revival meetings with Bro. & Sis. Lorman. One night, Bro. Lorman gathered some ministers and men of God at the front, and told the church that if anyone needed a healing, to form a prayer line. I was at my lowest point then, and so very desperate to be free from the torment of depression. I got in that prayer line and when I received prayer, I told God, "I can't do this anymore. You have to take this from me. Please touch my mind!" And He did. I was healed and am free from depression since that night.

I still have my struggles--don't we all? Nobody promised this life would be easy. But I praise God and thank Him that He touched my mind and freed me from that struggle and burden. Medicine couldn't do it for me. Only Jesus.


August 03, 2009

Personal Themes

After reading about my friend setting a yearly theme for herself, I pondered on that idea for quite some time. I read the article she referred to, but it still needed time to sink in. This morning I realized that even though I didn’t consciously set a yearly theme for myself for 2009, I’ve actually had one (or more) all along.

Make new friends.

This is something I’ve struggled with for several years now. It has never been easy for me to make new friends. I tend to be overly cautious and wary of opening up to new people. This year, though, I have made some new friends that I hope to build lifelong relationships with.

No more outside influences.

For almost my entire life, I felt like I lived for everyone else. I did what was expected (or what I thought others expected from me). I wouldn’t make waves because I didn’t want to be labeled as rebellious or rude. In fact, until just over three years ago, I had become so miserable with living my life according to others that I didn’t even have the desire to live another day.

In the last 6-12 months my eyes have been opened to a lot of things. I’m not living my life for anyone else but me. And if others don’t like it, well, then…I’ve learned that is their problem, not mine.

Become empowered through education.

This is the one thing I am most proud of. For just over a year now, I have been in college, working on that once-elusive degree. I’m almost half-way to earning my bachelor’s degree and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. When I finally decided to do this, once and for all, it was like I dug my heels into the ground and nothing can stop me now.

What’s to come

I don’t know what the next 6-12 months has in store for me. Maybe I will sit down and set a personal theme for myself, now that I can see how far I’ve recently come. Either way, I know that my life is evolving and I am slowly becoming more of what I hope to be, instead of fretting over others’ expectations. It feels great!