Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Long Road

Over the years, I have had many struggles. Ever since I was a small child, I have struggled with feeling loved. I know that this fact alone has been a great barrier to my relationships and ultimately with my relationship with my Father in Heaven. Quite frankly, if you do not expect people or God to love you then it becomes very easy to become a very strong-willed, independently acting individual and if someone does love you, it is almost more frightening than to believe no one does.

Regardless, I have always had a very strong desire to be in God's will, but I'm not sure it was always for the right reasons. However, a few years ago I was faced with the challenge for my life. I had slipped into a very dark, deep, and crippling depression. I suffered from irrational fears that kept me inside my house, uncontrollable sobs, and a state of constant worry that resulted in many physical problems. And what was the cause of this? I could say it was the many unfortunate circumstances that I had endured, but the truth is that I had put my faith in a God that I did not know. I did not know His character, neither His ways nor of His love for me and when He did not meet my expectations, I was without a foothold in solid, biblical knowledge and understanding of who He is and what I'm not, and I fell. I fell hard. I fell far. I fell fast.
And I did not get up quickly.

God in His GREAT mercy for me, patiently and slowly drew me to himself over the next few years. I was so upset and sad and yet also so very angry all at once. Each day was a battle. Would I make it out of bed today? How many times would I cry today? Could I eat? I cannot tell you how many times I yelled at Him for answers. Why God? Why this? Why not this? Do you love me? Do I love you? I read so many books to help me understand what my problem was and how to fix it, and I have to say many were very helpful. I began to read my Bible more diligently and tried to get answers, but all along I knew that God was not going to give me answers, He was going to give me Himself.

See, He wanted me to know Him and love Him without expectation. And He waited for it. He did not give me the answers I wanted. He did not give me the things I wanted. He gave me what I needed. He gave me the opportunity to know Him without all the stuff and the success I was used to having. No, instead He gave me humility (and a BIG helping of it too...), He gave me great friends, and He gave me time. LOTS of time. Through all of this, He has changed my heart.

So now looking back with a changed heart and, of course, hindsight being 20/20, I can see His handiwork in my life thus far. He knew that I would fall. He knew that I would be disrespectful and beligerent. He also knew that He was going to have mercy on me and now, now I KNOW that my God loves me. Not because of what He has given me, but because I know WHO HE IS.

Reading Habukkuk in Bible study, has really been a treat. Had I been reading it at an earlier time in my life, it would have made me so angry and filled with a feeling of hopelessness. Think about it. If you do not know God and His character, and someone tells you (as a way of comforting you in a hard situation/season) that God is in control and He is sovereign, would that not terrify you? See, now that I know God and who He is more fully, I can read Habukkuk (and the rest of the Bible for that matter) and have great peace, comfort, and faith that my God is good and loves me no matter the circumstances. *

"I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
   out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
   and put their trust in the LORD."

Psalm 40:1-3 (ESV)

*If you struggle with depression, please contact me. I would love to talk to you and get you some books, people, Scripture, and prayer.

Much love,