WOW. It has been much too long hasn't it? I am SO sorry for how long it has been sense my last post! The reason for my absence has to do with why my title on this says what it does. These past couple of months I have been going through major surgery. Heart surgery. It has been EXTREMELY difficult and challenging. The painful days have far outweighed the good ones. I am thankful to have had my life in the hands of such a wonderful healer. Jesus Christ took out my old rusty heart full of past hurts and dissected my bitterness, washed away my Post par tum depression. He has given me a brand new heart. I cannot express to you the joy I feel. He has replaced that old heart with a heart that is pure and clean, joy-filled and polished till' it stands shining. I feel renewed and revived. The windows through which I see the world, I see much differently. Everything is brighter, feels like it has purpose and meaning. And joy comes and visits me a lot easier now. It's no longer a struggle to smile. I don't have to push my way through each day hoping for the night to come so I can "escape". When God gets a hold of your life things happen -great things. Not only do I have a new heart. I have also received a new start.
Recently, my husband felt the Lord leading Him on to Pastor a different Church. It wasn't at all an easy decision to step down from a church we've been a part of for 2 years. I felt like we poured every bit of our life out until there was nothing else to give. We served with everything we had. (Sometimes literally), the people we have come to know have become extended family and they will always be deeply missed. It was a wonderful experience. I like to think of it as a training ground for what was ahead. What was ahead was another Church. New people, new town, new home, new life... entirely. I am writing to you from my Husband's home office in our new home as we speak. We have been here now for just a little over a week. This past Sunday was my husband's first time preaching as Sr. Pastor at this Church. It went well. We love it. We feel we are where God wants us to be at this section of our lives.We are grateful and thankful to start this new season and trust that God will provide; which He most certainly has and in ways I never thought possible at this point in our lives. We are truly thankful and consider it a blessing everyday to wake up to this new life.
My 22nd birthday was just about a week ago. It feels good to be 22. (Stay with me here ;)) It feels different than 21. Just like our age constantly changes...so does our life situations. I mean think about it for a minute. What you were doing say; 3 hours ago was most likely different from what you find yourself doing now right?. For some, maybe even 3 minutes ago things have begun to change. When I think of aging and time I don't know about you but I get this sense of urgency all of a sudden that rises up in me. Almost like a flood. I feel the urgency to not just sit back and waste this time that I have been given. Not even for a minute. Why? Because time adds up. And what you choose to do with your time, is what your choosing to do with your life. These past 2 years, I have wasted a lot of precious time. I was much to focused on the temporal things and I was being all too successful at neglecting the eternal things. Things. That's just it! I was crowding my life and stuffing that empty feeling with so many "things" I forgot that God was all I needed. I know now that God IS TRULY all that I need. It is easy to look back on this now because I am in hindsight. Oh, but just imagine if I would have taken the time to think about the outcome of my ways then --when it was in the present! How much of my now future would have been changed for the better? I am sure it would have. But I chose not to focus on the important things and I failed to realize my need for God. I got caught up like a fishing line in the rocks, caught up in everything but Christ.; and I wondered why I cried myself to sleep and felt empty all the time? I was stuffing myself with stuff! And filling my life up with things expecting myself to feel full but instead the more I crowded out the important things, the more intense that feeling of emptiness became. Looking back on this, I can see the 'booby traps' Satan had covered my life's floor with. I fell into every one of them and to the point of wanting to kill myself. He made me feel isolated, afraid, rejected, unloved, and destroyed. In my head I thought of ways I could die. It was the end for me. Or, so I thought.
It was on a cold January morning around 4:00am. I awakened by the darkness around me. and I' not talking about the lights being off and it being night. Before my eyes even opened...I could hear in my ears this whisper..."I want to kill, steal, and destroy". For some reason, my lips began to speak what I was hearing. I repeated it over and over again almost unknowingly because I was still in a half awake half asleep state. Eventually, I woke up all the way and came to. My first thought was, "Oh my Goodness, I need to pray." I felt like there was this heavy weight overtaking me, I could barely get out of bed. I realized later that this was a demon-oppression.... and was something that gradually got worse over time. All I knew to do was pray. Kneeling down and bowing before God never felt so awkward. I felt so far gone, so lost, so deep in sin that the light of God's love or even the thought of it was painful. God's love almost stung like a sunburn that wouldn't go away. Actually facing Him made me feel vulnerable and almost numb. I didn't know what to say...I felt, scared. In the presence of God, just on my knees, there in my living room, trying to pray, it was all so different. I could feel each sin being exposed in the presence of God. I never felt so broken and exposed.
I began to pray.
I felt, what felt like HUGE globs of darkness lift... with each prayer I felt lighter and lighter. I felt like the chains I was carrying around were breaking apart, allowing me to feel free again. That morning prayers of repentance, were prayed. I rededicated my life to Christ and worshiped Him for the rest of the morning. I woke my Husband up early and told Him what happened and admitted to Him my wrongs. We cried, we laughed, we prayed. We thanked God for another day together. To love each other and to serve the Lord for what felt like the first time --in unison. I felt one again. One with God and one with my Husband. Since that morning.. each day has gotten better and better...my relationship with God and others has changed dramatically for the better and that has made me all the more grateful that I decided to keep my life.
I am especially grateful for my new relationship with my daughter Elliana. I remember holding her that morning God saved my life.. and I remember thinking, "Wow.. so this is what it feels like to be a Mom." For the first time ever... I finally saw my child through different eyes. I had more love for her, she was no longer an annoyance but a joy! A blessing! I felt this tender love and this bond between her and I that I had never felt previously. 10 months of constant post par tum depression ceased that day. I felt like I became a Mother for the first time. I cannot express to you in words how amazing it feels to FINALLY feel close to Jesus. It's like the scales have fallen from my eyes! It feels great to feel right with God. And quite honestly..never have I felt more right with God. I have not "arrived" in anyway, I recognize a good relationship with Jesus doesn't happen over night. Just like with any other relationship... it won't be much of a relationship if it doesn't take time. It's a process so I've found. I have a lot more growing to do. And it's exciting! This relationship can only get stronger! It's a new life! A new life, in progress.
Are you going through depression? Do you feel like you are just existing each day but not truly living? Have you lost interest in the things you've once enjoyed? If so, I give you this verse:
"I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.2
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.3
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Let Jesus pull you up out of your "slimy pit" today. Don't be ashamed of whatever it is you have done wrong. He will not be surprised by what you admit to Him. Put your hope and trust in Him. God is a loving God. He wants to help you heal. Would you consider reaching out to Him today? I hope the answer you just thought of was, "Yes".