Testimony time:

I lived so much of my life depressed. Depressed is only the surface word. Under it you would find despair, stress, anxiety, anger, and defeat. I tried covering that depression with all kinds of lusts of the flesh. I won’t go into detail because there are some readers that may not be at the maturity level to handle hearing the roads I have taken, but for some of you that knew me then, you already know. Those lusts of the flesh appealed to me because it was instant gratification. I didn’t have to face the pain for those brief moments. Those moments in the flesh promised me peace and good times and “great memories” to replace the bad ones. But that flesh lied to me. It created choas, more pain, and more bad memories. I also drew other people in to these fleshly ways and they also share these same bad memories. I hurt myself, my kids, my marriage, and my whole family. None of this helped my depression in any way. Such lies I believed!

Jesus called me out of all of that. People talk about finding joy the moment they were saved. Can I be honest? I didn’t feel the joy of my salvation right away. I knew God was the answer but I still felt depressed and defeated. I would sit back and constantly ask “why, Lord? Why me? Why my family? Why did I do that? Why didn’t you stop me?” God didn’t condemn me for those questions, He just kept guiding me. One step in front of the other was all I could do for a long while. Just stay the course, Monica. One step at a time. I KNEW God was the answer. I had no where else to go.

Me and God have been a team for a few years now and I am here to tell you this: I have learned crying out “why?” to God doesn’t get the problem solved. When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus he started to sink when he looked at the storm instead of focusing on the power of Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-33) Peter could have cried out “why?!” as he was sinking, but what would the answer to that “why” do? How would that answer save him from drowning? Instead, he cried out; “Lord, save me!”

That has been my biggest lesson as I have learned to trust God with my life. It has been the cure to my depression and all that goes with it. Crying out “why?” does not bring the solution. I trust the One that carries that answer and I trust He will reveal it to me should it ever be something that I need to know. That question of “why” does nothing for me when I feel like I am sinking. The only thing that saves me from drowning is when I cry out; “Lord, save me!”

And He does. Every single time.

I do feel the joy of my salvation now that the depression has been defeated. I feel it so much at times it is hard to contain, and maybe I shouldn’t contain it. So, if you ever hear me yelp out in excitement or jump in the air in celebration, just know that I am remembering where I was and where I am not anymore and where I am going when it is all said and done. I am remembering just how much I can trust God in this life and I have no reason to fear or have anxiety or be in despair! I am remembering just how long and wide and high and deep God’s love for me is. (Ephesians 3:18) And not just for me but for all of us, including the ones I have hurt.

All thanks to God who sent Himself in the flesh as Jesus to live amongst us and go through this troubled life with us. Then to have every bit of evil this world contains thrown on Him on His way to the cross where He took on the wages of sin for us so that we can have an eternal relationship with Him unhindered by that sin. He gave us a way of escape! (1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 68:20)

I will never be defeated again! Yes! I have joy!! An everlasting joy!

Psalm 61:2
“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 107:19
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.”

Isaiah 51:11
“Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

True help

There are times we can think we are helping an individual or even a whole group of people find freedom when we are actually helping them stay oppressed. Good intentions dont always mean a good outcome. How do we know what kind of help to give? The bible. It takes studying all of God’s word to know how to stand firm in His will and not just cherry picking a verse here and there that will sound like it fits what you are wanting to do. You can go out and do what feels right to you or you can bring God into it and actually see change happen.

Be a blessing, not a rescue

Being a blessing or rescuing? I have been torn between those two for as long as I can remember. I have seen the damage rescuing can do. It worries me now to do too much but then worries me that I dont do enough. I know there are parents, friends, and family of a struggling loved one that knows what I am talking about. Or even just everyday life…wives with husbands, husbands with wives, parents and children’s school problems… I read Matthew 14:22-33 and see how Jesus rescued Peter from drowning while he was walking on water. If Jesus was so quick to rescue him then shoudnt I be willing to be like Jesus and be quick to rescue as well? Then today, it suddenly hit me. JESUS rescued Peter. No where is it mentioned that the people in the boat jumped out into the water to rescue him. They knew Jesus was right there. Sure, He allowed Peter to sink, but not a moment too soon or too late…He pulled him straight up. Peter’s sinking taught him a lesson about not letting fear get the best of him. Jesus’ rescue taught them all that even if they make a mistake He is right there to save them. Then the verse says, the people in the boat worshiped and rejoiced. It is not my place to rescue. It is my place to share Jesus so they know He is the rescuer. To share the importance of keeping Jesus close so He can pull them up quick. Jesus rescues. Not just for the sinking but for the people still on the boat. So everyone can see His great work and feel the comfort of knowing He is right there. I cant always be there for you but Jesus can. I never want to deny someone that feeling ever again. I never want to deny someone a chance to see Jesus save them and then be able to carry that comfort for the next battle.
Lord, we pray for wisdom. Please show us the difference between rescue and blessing. Please help us to remember to come to You in prayer and to Your word for guidance in tough to navigate situations. We thank You for Your ever ready rescue that is not on our time but Your perfect time. I trust you with my life and the ones I love. Please help me to stay out of your way. To give when it glorifies You and not my own need to fix things. In Christ name, Amen