2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
I’m going to break this lesson down into a two part series because this is by for one of the most improtant things I feel like a person should grasp in their relationship with Jesus! Though our anxiety and depression seeks to destroy us, we have to hold on to something, so let it be Jesus!
I can remember just a few years ago riding in the car with my husband looking out the window and just allowing the creation of Gods hands completely overcome me with joy. I can remember when the air I breathed felt a little lighter and the moment didn’t feel so overwhelming. I can remember feeling as though nothing in the world could make me feel like my life wasn’t worth living and then, my world crumbled beneath my feet and I shattered to pieces. Loving God has never felt more like obedience than it does in this season of my life. But that’s okay because even in this season, there is still grace.
For anyone who knows me knows that I struggle deeply with the decision to take medication for my anxiety and depression. I literally go to war with myself. Some people can’t understand it and some don’t even try. But, I’d like to try and explain where medicine and I meet. There are many reasons I keep medicine at a distance and I’d like to try and explain why here. For me, medicine is an unsure risk. Statistics say antidepressants help, yet there are people in my life who take the medication and seem as though they’ve gotten no better. Then I think to myself, “What if this medicine only makes it worse?” See, I have a little problem with control. I could careless about controlling you. But, I need to control me. Right now, I live and breath anxiety and depression. Some days, it utterly consumes me and theres absolutely nothing I can do about it. If I take medicine will the anxiety get worse? Will I have more panic attacks? Will the dreams I have at night haunt me? Will it set me back? How far will it set me back? Will I make it through a second time of almost losing my mind? I’ve come so far just to get where I am now. The trial I went through brought me to my knees so many times and the fear I experienced afterwards is nothing I would wish on my worst enemy. (Not that I have one, except the devil)! My life was that of a horror movie for a period of time. The devil played with my mind in a way that I wasn’t sure what was reality and what wasn’t. I wasn’t sure who I was serving and who I was hearing. I was to the point that I couldn’t be alone. So, for me to take medication means I have to surrender and if I’m going to surrender than I’m going to know exactly what I’m stepping into before I give way to something.
After what happened to my baby boy I reached my last straw. My mind had become a ball of unwanted, fearful, terrifying thoughts of despair. There’s just something to be said when a person is screaming uncle in the midst of all their pain. I told my husband in the hospital after everything settled down, “I have to take medicine. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know how to process everything that’s happened and I don’t know if I can continue to do this alone.” As perfect as he could be he said, “I agree babe. It’s time.” I’ve held out on taking medicine also because the way I grew up it was looked down upon. As if I didn’t have enough faith on my own. So those thoughts haunt me as well. “If I take this medicne is my faith in God real or is it the pill? A part of me knows it’s because the chemicals in my brain have become messed up from all the fear that I allowed to overtake me. I gave way to fear. Monday night sitting in my garage after I put the babies to bed I sat with my mom and we talked. I told her I wanted to take the pill, I wanted to relax and remember what it felt like to just be normal. She was very gracious with me and just sat and talked as I held the pill in my hand trying to get the nerve to take it. “Patrice, just take the medicine. It will help you relax and you need to relax. You will be no good to the babies if you don’t get some rest.” After about 30 minutes of the pill just sitting on my leg I finally get up the nerve to pop it into my mouth, but I don’t swallow it. I’m holding it in because at that moment, I’m about to have a panic attack. One voice is saying “Take it, it will help.” The other is saying things like, “You don’t know if this will turn out bad or good. You need to be alert in case something happens. Don’t take it.” Before I realized it, the pill disolved in my mouth and the decision had been made. I took the pill. I had a ton of anxiety for about ten minutes. Praying please God don’t let this kill me. As mom and I sat and talked more I felt my insides begin to calm. My mind became mine again and I could think clearly. Though the medication did make me very sleepy and feel a little like a zombie, the apprehenssion and fear wasn’t consuming me for the first time in four years. I began to remember what it felt like to just live and not feel like the world was going to come to an end in the next five minutes.
Which brings me to this post. We walk by faith not by sight. There was a time in my life before depression and anxiety haunted my every move and I loved that life. Nothing came between me and my God. Not fear, not depression, not anxiety, not drugs, nothing. I realized something the other day. I did used to have depression and anxiety. It didn’t just appear over night. I’d always struggled with it. The difference from then and now is simply this. When I was down and broken, I invited God into my mess. When I was scared my first thoughts were of Him and how He loved me. This trial, took that out of me. I became so disalussioned about who I was, who He was, I questioned every part of myself and every part of Him. I put a wall up between me and God and everyone else. I made a decision to go at this alone until I knew forsure God was what I wanted. You know what, even in my darkest moments, God has not left me. Even when I struggled with who He was, He never left me. Even when I was angry and screamed and yelled at Him and shook my fists at Him, He never left my side. Anxiety has a way of making you feel like no one else on earth can understand your pain or your struggle. No one knows how to lead you back home and when no one is trying, that just makes the depression worse. Questions begin to arise in your mind and hopelessness begins to unleash and wreck havoc on your mind. You become unstable and unsettled.
Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Anxiety at times can make you feel like a double-minded person. Constantly questioning yourself and the decisions your making. Then, there’s the fact your not just making decisions for yourself but your family also. Sometimes I feel like I’m just going to jump out of my skin because I’m not sure if where I’m at, is safe. I become unstable in my thinking and therefore unstable in my desicions. My loss of appetite for life has drowned me into a bed of sorrows and filled my pillow with more tears than I ever thought would fall from my face. I’ve shouted at God and been short with my husband. My kids have seen a part of their mother they should never have to see. If anxiety and depression has taught me anything, it’s taught me to just be real. Be who I am in that moment because though the waves are coming, His grace is suffcient for me. God is perfect in all that He does for us. The bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. When I began researching anxiety and depression, I learned exactly what that verse really meant and how the bible brings it to life when God tells Cain in Genesis 4:7 “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” I’ve studied the bible for years. God has opened and enlightened the eyes of my understanding of His word in many ways. But sometimes, it takes something drastic to get you to see the preverbial “Light”. We have to learn to combat our thinking and lead our thoughts into captivity. We know what is right and we know what is wrong. God has given us the ability to understand these things through His Holy Spirit. When you do something wrong, Holy Spirit will let you know. When you do something right Holy Spirit will confirm it. It’s time for us to take back our minds. It’s time for us to stand up and fight back against the wiles of the enemy. He’s been creating strongholds in your mind for years and it’s time to take back what is rightfully yours by the blood of the lamb.
The tagline for my page is simple but it’s not easy to conquer.
“What you give way to, you give life to”
Sounds simple doesn’t it. You figured you’d just walk right out your depression and everything would be fine again. “Bye, see you later. I’m not enjoying myself here anymore. This party is lame, I’m out.” Except, it wasn’t that easy to just walk away and you can’t figure out how you got here or your way of escape. The cross wasn’t for nothing. I am more than a conquerer through Christ who gives me stregth, even on my worst days! Stay tuned for more!
If your someone who struggles with anxiety or depression, I urge to please seek help. Look for someone to talk to about your struggles. You are not alone in this and there are people out there that can help. You don’t have to live a life of solitude feeling as though no one can undertand your pain. If your having thoughts of suicide please reach out to the suicide prevention hotline and they will help you through this time. I know in that moment of despair it can feel like your best and only option. But trust me, it’s not. That’s a lie your being told because these feelings of apprehenssion and fear have kept you from love for a long time.
God bless y’all!