Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why, God? Why me?

Those are two questions I've never asked. I've always been okay with my disabilities and the challenges they present. But lately my depression is getting out of control and I'm tired of it. I can cry at the drop of a hat; and if I'm not crying, I'm on the verge of starting. I'm having a hard time seeing this as a blessing and find myself asking God why. Why do I have to deal with this debilitating condition that no one in my family understands?

My physical condition kept me from doing something the other day. Honestly, it stung. I was really upset. But I got over it. It was weird that the thought even crossed my mind. It really never does...I'd much rather stay in anyway...USUALLY. I think I've kinda got some cabin fever going on.

I think this applies:

On the Other Side of Suffering
 
In the Old Testament, faithful believers seemed shocked when suffering came their way. They expected God to reward their faithfulness with prosperity and comfort. But the New Testament shows a remarkable change. As Peter advised suffering Christians in 1 Peter 2:21, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."
Other passages go further, using phrases I will not attempt to explain. Paul speaks of "sharing in his [Christ's] sufferings" and says he hopes to "fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regards to Christ's afflictions [Colossians 1:24]."
Harry Boer, a chaplain during World War II, spent the final days of that war among marines in the Pacific Theater. "The Second Division saw much action, with great losses," he writes. "Yet I never met an enlisted man or an officer who doubted for a moment the outcome of the war. Nor did I ever meet a marine who asked why, if victory was so sure, we couldn't have it immediately. It was just a question of slogging through till the enemy gave up."
According to Paul, at the cross Christ triumphed over the cosmic powers - defeating them not with power but with self-giving love. The cross of Christ may have assured the final outcome, but battles remain for us to fight. Significantly, Paul prayed "to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings" - embracing both the agony and the ecstasy of Christ's life on earth (Philippians 3:10).
We will never know, in this life, the full significance of our actions here, for much takes place invisible to us. When a pastor in an oppressive country goes to prison for his peaceful protest, when a social worker moves into an urban ghetto, when a couple refuses to give up on a difficult marriage, when a parent waits with undying hope and forgiveness for the return of an estranged child, when a young professional resists mounting temptations toward wealth and success - in all these sufferings, large and small, there is the assurance of a deeper level of meaning, of a sharing in Christ's own redemptive victory.

-Selections from Grace Notes: Daily Readings with Philip Yancey

So instead of asking "why me?", I need to say "thank you for choosing me."

Philippians 1:29

"It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pride

Galatians 5:22-23

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”


Nowhere in that verse does it say pride. I realized, Sunday (thanks to my grandmother), that I am being prideful when it comes to my disability. The way it came to my attention was actually kind of neat.

I go to a church ladies group on Sunday evenings and this past time I had a real problem. My legs and arms and even my head got very fatigued, heavy, and painful. The other ladies in my group wasted no time being supportive and a couple even went in search of a wheelchair. I was so...just tired that I could barely make it to a bench to sit. One of the ladies got a wheelchair and wheeled me out to my waiting grandmother. I was so afraid of what she was going to say and prepared myself for a stern lecture about not acting like that in public. I even stopped listening to her at one point. Although what she was saying was true (if that happens again, someone will call an ambulance...and there's nothing they can do for me in the E.R.), I didn't want to hear it.

DISCLAIMER: I apologize for turning a 15 minute car ride into a long dramatized story :)

Then she shifted the conversation to me needing to use a walker on Sunday nights, since I've been having had trouble getting around lately...especially at night and when I've been sitting for a long time. Well, that didn't sit well with me. I told her that I didn't want to be "disabled and needy". She asked me what that meant...and with my best "well, duh" voice I told her that I basically don't want be be a disabled person who has to use visible adaptive equipment. I have to use a leg brace, but I wear pants all the time, so no one really sees it. (I apologize to anyone who feels that I am being rude or disrespectful to people with disabilities.) Anywho...my grandmother told me that I have to put away my pride and do what helps me...even if it's use a walker and a cushion.

Ug...learning a lesson the hard way. I hate to do it...but I do know that God was in that conversation. And I finally feel like I have some friends here...:)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I get a Bible quote as well as a devotional delivered to me everyday. Since I moved back with my family, I've found those two things to be a little more helpful in my 'journey' to overcome this crippling depression. I've been saving them in a document on my computer in the hopes of 'doing something' with them. Maybe printing them out and putting them in places where I will see them everyday. Well, since I'm not living on my own...yet..., that's not really feasible. Then I got the brilliant idea to blog using those items as centerpieces. That works...if I would only sit down and do it! So, now I'm sitting down and doing it...

God is a God of beginnings. The good news of Mark is that God begins again with the chosen people by sending his Son. At the end of the Gospel ... things look far more gloomy. The women slink away from the empty tomb and are mute from fear. [See Mark 16]
Failure, denial, and fear are not the end of the story, however. When things seem to end, there is a new beginning. The gospel is good news because one can begin again.
One may wonder how these discredited disciples could ever emerge as leaders of a growing church and fulfill their mission, but we know that their failure was not fatal. Neither is ours. God is the one who consistently makes something out of nothing. What seems like the end, and a pathetic one at that, is only a new beginning. God will continue to work with and revive the people.
Mark makes it clear that "the church exists because of what God has done in Christ, not because of any outstanding abilities in its first members." The gospel proclaims that the one "who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6)...
Christianity is not a closed book, and Christian readers are the latest chapter in a continuing story of God's good news. The question for us is...the same as it was for those early disciples, "Where do we go from here?" The next stage is up to us. How will we continue the story? Will we cower in fear or boldly proclaim the glad tidings of Jesus to the world?


When I first made the decision to move across the state, back with my family, as a way to (hopefully) get this depression under control; I was so afraid it was the end. The end of my life. The end of my friendships. You get the picture.

But I'm now realizing that it is the beginning of a new chapter in my life...and leaving doesn't mean I'll never go back.

I always felt like a failure. That I couldn't cut it. But sometimes it's not about me. Actually, it's really NOT about me at all. It's about God and how best to show HIS glory...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Anxiety and backsliding

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


I have been feeling very anxious lately. Perhaps it's because I feel like I'm moving backwards. Sometimes I wonder if God really knows my anxious thoughts and how I feel like crying all the time. Maybe this is His way of dealing with an offensive way.

I have to admit that I am having a very hard time trusting God right now. I feel like He has abandoned me and that He doesn't care that I'm hurting...even though I know in my head that that isn't true. I also know that I will get through this rough patch, but I'm afraid that it won't be the way God wants me to.

At church this past week, I learned "The secret to contentment is to trust Christ to give us strength to celebrate every day". But do I really want to be content? Initially, my answer was a resounding NO! But as I sit here, even now, just thinking that I am where God wants me to be surrounds me with peace; and maybe I can be content. Do I still want to get out of this anxiety and emotional instability? Yes...but if God has something for me, maybe I should stick around for awhile...