Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On Higher Ground


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I was feeling quite low the past couple of days. The usual things that I know to do in order to pull myself from the darkness of depression just simply were not working. I hiked; I stayed active and productive. I blogged, and commented on other people’s blogs.

I got to the point where I felt nothing. I even questioned my faith. It seemed as though the words I was writing, though they sounded good enough, were empty. I tried to read scripture, and my eyes would skim over it as if reading some obscure technical manual…above my head.

I continued to pray, but I felt nothing still. My logical brain told my emotional brain that this will soon pass. After attempting (once again) to write everything out last night…I finally put some words down.

Then I gave myself permission to really sleep in this morning. Again, it was the logical side of my brain speaking. So I did, I slept in quite late.

As soon as I awoke, I prayed that the Lord would guide me through this day, and that He would somehow help me to make the most of it.

My husband and I live a reclusive lifestyle here in the forest
We are not looking for an escape from people, yet I sometimes deal with feelings of guilt about not being more social. Since both my husband and I are very introverted this lifestyle appeals to us, and we find it very difficult to function any other way…it feels unnatural to do so. So I have learned to allow the guilt to be replaced with acceptance instead, but every once in awhile the guilt resurfaces.

I am called to serve where I am and with what I have, in such a way as God created me for.

So here I am in a cottage in the forest where I have undressed all the windows in order to see God’s awesome creation. Throwing open a window, I can hear the birds as they eat from the feeders, and much like *St. Francis of Assisi would do, I can tell them of a Creator who loves His Creation, especially those whom He made in His own image. Then I will write this out for you to read, as I am hoping you will find encouragement somewhere in this message…
I have been delivered out of the darkness of depression once again. The Lord has lovingly taken me by the hand and pulled me up. I am no longer feeling guilty about who I am, but accepting the uniqueness of how He created me.

I am rejoicing in the fact that I have a message to carry; a message of hope and joy and peace to all who have a heart that seeks to know the One who made them, the Creator of us all, the Creator of everything good.

 (Genesis 1: 27, 28,31)
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”…
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

It is the mission of the devil to deceive you into thinking you are something bad (sin is bad, but you are not your sin, if you confess your sins and accept that Jesus died in order for you to be cleansed from your sins, then you become His righteousness, and sin has no more hold on you!) You were made to praise your Creator and in doing so, He gives you joy, and you are a joy to Him as well…the apple of His eye!

 In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye..Deuteronomy 32:10
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, Psalm 17:8

So in conclusion,
I know that I will occasionally fall back into that dark hole of depression from time to time, but I also know that the Lord will always deliver me from it and lead me to higher ground. And from there I will preach the gospel of a Savior who loves us enough to not leave us in the dark, and a Heavenly Father who thinks we are pretty awesome!

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He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.  Psalm 18:33

*For more on St. Francis of Assisi:
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2013/01/14/130114crbo_books_acocella

~God bless~

And remember, we are…

~NEVER FORSAKEN~

22 comments:

  1. No....never forsaken. Thank God! And thank you for what you have shared today. Blessings friend

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    1. Hi Shelley,

      We can rest knowing that Jesus is always near. We have a good shepherd!
      ~God bless~ Lisa

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  2. In the Book of the Revelation, there's a passage that describes angels that do nothing but praise the Lord all day and night long. Praising the Lord is a very good thing. And can be done no matter how much of a recluse you are. Not that you really are, Lisa! You're here spreading His word like a good and faithful servant. I've had bouts of depression also. I found that when those dark days are upon me, it is best to go out and serve someone (even if it is the birds). Anything to take the focus off of "me". Sounds like that is what you did also. I also like to visit blogs and encourage others. Something that an old hermit like myself can easily do.

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    1. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Rev. 4:8)

      Thank you for this, my friend,
      From one hermit to another...God bless~ Lisa

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  3. Oh I am so happy to read that this recent bout of depression has lifted from you!! I too feel (finally) that I am up out that pit!!
    LIving with depression gives us many times to face trials with joy (James ch 1). *Sometimes, I feel it to often trial after trial :)
    Nevertheless, we always grow more into His image just as He wants us to- preparing us for a place where there are no more tears and suffering!!!

    I'm so happy to have you at my blog visiting!! and I look forward to where ever the Lord may be between bloggy-friends!
    A sister in Christ, Deanna

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    1. Hi Deanna,

      I once told one of my daughters that when you find yourself at the bottom, you have no other choice but to look up...I think that each time the Lord delivers us from that low place of depression, it reinforces our faith in His strength...it makes it easy to understand the scripture that teaches us that when we are weak He is strong...He is always strong, but we don't always utilize His strength until we have exhausted our own.
      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for that prayer on your blog!
      ~God bless you my dear sister in Christ~ Lisa

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  4. Lisa, You words have encouraged me and helped me in my struggles more than once. I imagine many people are touched by the beauty of your words as I have been. Even if you are living a somewhat reclusive lifestyle, God is using you to help,others. I 'm so glad He has lifted you out of your depression as He has also lifted me out of mine. There is always His light. Sometimes we have to wait a bit for it. But spring and sunny skies will be here soon. that always helps. Peggy

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    1. Hi Peggy,
      I am so glad that I encouraged you. I know that you struggle with this too. You are doing so well, I am glad that I haven't discouraged you by posting about this...But then again, Jesus is like our knoght in shining armor when he rescues us, so that is always an encouragement for the next time when we fall!
      Yes, spring is on it's way...and then I can look at all the pretty pictures of the snow we had this year, and enjoy the good part of the winter months again, LOL.
      ~God bless you, my friend~ Lisa

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  5. Hi Lisa,
    Even though your life style is reclusive you still have many people in your path. You have encouraged so many with your blog...me being one of them. I consider you one of my forever friends even if we never meet until we get to Heaven. Keep on doing what He has called you to do.

    GOD is always faithful to deliver us out of the darkness we sometimes find ourselves in. It seems that when HE does that we somehow grow closer to HIM. You are a blessing.

    Chelle

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    1. Hi Chelle,

      You are such a blessing to me Chelle, I got teary when I read your words "Forever friend"...that is how I feel about you too! I consider the internet to be one of the greatest blessings that the Lord has given to us...it makes it possible to meet a forever friend from somewhere that I would never have gone to otherwise! It is a joy to be able to visit your blog, and talk to you through email and on here...Makes my day!
      ~God bless you, dear friend~ Lisa

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  6. I am a bit of a reclusive and quite introverted too.
    Living in the woods with my "sisters", the birds, to preach to like Francis sounds heavenly to me.
    I am what is called a contemplative/active person.
    I love people! But I need solitude and silence too.
    I'm glad to hear you have come out of the depression - praise Jesus!
    You have blessed me today and I pray you have a blessed day too :-)
    Trish

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    1. Hi Trish,

      I like that description, contemplative/active...I have learned that introvert is not a personality type, but more a description of how the brain is wired to process energy and information...you can love to be around people, but an introvert will find that instead of gaining energy from it, they actually become depleted of energy from interacting with others...I love to be with people (once I am settled in), and I find myself enjoying our conversation, and everything, but then I get back home and feel drained, sometimes for more than a day!...When I was working this really took it's toll. I started becoming ill from anxiety whenever I scheduled a meeting with someone.
      Again I am grateful for the internet...What a blessing!
      ~God bless you today too, my friend~ Lisa

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  7. Blessings and love to you. Appreciate you sharing.

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    1. Hi Denise,

      Thanks hon, I pray for your blessings also~ with love~ Lisa

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  8. I have lived in the black hole. I know how easy it is to make a home there. But when I am there...I know that is not where I belong. I have been a 'people' person for most of my life. It is not, in the mid-years of my life, that I find myself in solitude. My Lord knows that it is here where I am content now. Living in a small town, far from the city lights, has taken quite a bit getting used to...but this is home now.

    You have touched me deeply...thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for allowing us to take so much comfort from them.

    m.

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    1. Hi Maria,

      It is amazing that even after all these years knowing that Jesus is the way out of that black hole, I still find myself camping out there for awhile...I talk about the logical brain vs the emotional brain because that is how I have learned to speak to myself during those times when how we "feel" seems to just take over...when we "feel nothing", we tend to "Do nothing"!
      I love nature, but sometimes I need a dose of the "city lights" too. That's why I love to visit my daughter in Lafayette Indiana. I am from a medium sized city, and after 20 years I still have some of the city in me; but boy, it sure is noce to come back to the woods after a visit there!
      ~God bless~ Lisa

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  9. Hi Lisa,
    I guess with guilt you have to discern if this is from the evil one, which if that is the case, should be rebuked, or if it is a nudging from the Spirit of God, which if that is the case you should heed it. The only way you will know is by measuring what you are doing for the Kingdom of God. You have this amazing blog that is reaching many with the Word so I would say you ARE active in the Kingdom and would venture to say that this is guilt and is from the evil one. Cover your self in the blood of Jesus, ignore the whispers he sends your way and press into God.

    I too am a recluse and live in the middle of no where with my windows wide open to God's creation. I don't believe living so far from everyone is bad and having virtually no contact outside of my family hinders my work in the Kingdom. As long as you are doing for the Lord what the Lord has placed on your heart then you are working and furthering His Kingdom. :)

    So glad to hear that you are lifted out of this depression. Praise God!! :)

    Blessings sister,
    <><

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    1. Hi COG,
      You are giving me wise council sister. I did just that...rebuked the enemy for telling me lies!
      I know how blessed we are to live in such a place, where not only are we free to express our faith, but we also can see God in His Creation! (Romans 1:20)

      I am highly sensitive to my surroundings, so whenever I am in a big crowded place my excitement becomes anxiety and it is not until I retreat that I can actually start refocusing on the Lord...I do miss the people I seldom see, but I know that I could not take being in the "middle of it all" everyday!
      I am pleading the blood of Jesus over our online ministries...All who are proclaiming the gospel truth...
      ~In Jesus' precious name~ AMEN!
      (And therein is the POWER over the tactics of the enemy!)
      ~God bless you too, my sister~ Lisa

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  10. Thank you for sharing this and I needed to read it.. You are such an inspiration to me and so many others... God is working through you.. God Bless!!

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    1. Thank you Susie, I'm glad this was needed. I truly believe in the scripture that says like iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another...so true that we do so with our blogs!
      ~God bless you, Susie~ Lisa

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  11. What an honest, uplifting post -- thank you for sharing. Indeed, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; I thank Him every day for keeping me out of "the pit" and being the lifter of my head. One of my very favourite verses is "Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!". Very glad to have discovered your lovely -- and adorable (such sweet dogs!) -- blog :)

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    1. Hi there Bik Bik and Roro,
      (that's some name!)

      Glad you found this uplifting. Yes, I like that scripture.
      God's shikinah glory is too magnificent to behold...chasing away all shadow and doubt for sure!
      ~God bless~

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