This will be a post totally different than most of mine. I have contemplated not sharing this but I feel the need to do so. I never know when I need to look back and read this post or if someone needs to know they are not alone.
I am a wife, mama to 3, homeschool mama, ministers wife, Jesus and Bible lover, and well I will not be ashamed to say I am a radical worshipper for the Lord. For the most part just an average woman. For years though since my oldest (he is 16) I have struggled with depression.
I have quoted scripture, prayed, fasted, changed diets, exercised, and went to Christian counselling. I have worshipped, praised, and sang loud on my darkest days. I have even danced before the Lord. I have shared my testimony with several women in bible studies, and spoke at St. Louis Community College in St. Louis, MO about this very topic. I have spoken to women's groups, mom's groups, and I can go on and on. I even participated in a cardboard testimony sharing my painful story about trying to commit suicide years ago.
I am amazed (well...not really) at how many women will come to me and tell me how I ministered to them and they had experienced what I have and glad they are not alone. It is not my most proud testimony I can tell you. But I am aware it helps others feel they can make it if I can.
I would rather tell you how wonderful my life has been (and it has at times) or how many awesome blessings the Lord has showered on me (He sure has) and I would rather tell you how my life is great, and you can do this and that to make it that way, and all is WELL ALL the time.
But I CANNOT! I am so sorry. I use to be upset with the Lord. Yes...I just wrote that...but I didn't understand how He could part the RED SEA and wouldn't heal me. I would beg, plead, cry, shout, and....you get the picture...why oh Lord...will you not heal me.
But over time I learned that my greatest thorn in my flesh was and is to be used to help others and most important grow in the Lord. You see I once prayed a prayer...USE ME, LORD. Refine ME Lord. Let me work for your Kingdom Lord.
I am not saying that praying made me have depression and that the only way a person can be used is through deep pain or storms. But I will say that we live in a very dark and hurting world and sometimes certain things we go through allow us to cling to the Lord like never before, and to help others as well.
You see each of us has a thorn, a cross, or a refining process. These things allow us to be ever dependent on the Lord. They allow us to become a vessel to be used to help others in such a dark place. I honestly couldn't imagine going through all I have with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks without Christ. I couldn't imagine not having the comfort of praying, His Word to meditate on, or other Christians that has experienced this before me and cheered me on.
Until Part 2......