Friday, July 1, 2016

STEPS TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION

 Okay, so this is where you are but it is not where you are going and definitely not where you will stay. Acknowledge what is going on in your life right now. Don't go crazy self-diagnosing.Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Personally, I've been in that dark place. There isn't anything I won't write about unless I have in some way or another lived it. Yes, even as a Christian, (and I believe especially if you're a believer) there will be ongoing attacks into our lives to paralyze the calling of God in your life. I believe the Enemy will work tirelessly to numb you and put you in such a helpless condition that you will no desire to live, even if you believe that the Joy of the Lord is your strength. If you are serious about moving forward in your life, then continue reading. 

1-Recognize you don't belong here.

Depression, sadness, confusion and despair are all partners. They team up in your mind and in your life to render you hopeless and frozen in time while the world goes on without you. You don't want to be there. Truth is, you may not even recall when or how you ended up against the corners of each room in your life. You may not even understand why you can't get your once energetic body to obey the simple commands of, "Get up." Realize that this empty confinement where all you do is re-live traumatic moments in your life is a chapter in your life that needs to be closed. "But, Angie, it's so hard to do this when you keep seeing the images and you keep seeing the scenarios on continual replay in your mind!" I hear what you're saying and I know it is not easy when you find yourself literally "stuck" in a moment that just causes pain, questions that cannot be answered, and you don't have the desire to take the next step. Still, I need you to recognize that "YES", you're in this dark, depressing place that holds you captive right now and "YES", you have the KEY to open the door and walk out.

 

2- Find the door and escape.

When a person is depressed and feels like giving up, the rooms close in on them, their mind is an enemy, and it seems they've been thrown into a bottomless pit to rot away. In my life, when there were times that I experienced this dark place in my  life, I didn't know how to even get up. It was my role as a mother that gave me the courage to sometimes push through the arms that pulled me down and do what I needed to do as a mom. It was a faith rooted deep inside of me that called and pulled me out enough to force me to look in the mirror and see what I had become. The woman I saw in the mirror wanted to die, but the voice of the One to whom I had given my life to as a young girl challenged me to fight and come out of that dark pit.

 Are you crying out and find no relief? My friend, you have the "KEY" to open the door and break out, walk out and run out of that present darkness. God has given you and me what we need, but you need to open that door. You alone can begin to believe again by filling your life with faith and hope and all God has provided you and me through His word.

3-Change your environment

If you find yourself strapped down, hands and feet, by depression and dark moods, you're going to have to get up and find the will to pray. When I allowed my confused mind to re-focus and meditate on God's Words and His promises, I was feeding that place in me that was holding on to life. I began to pray, to sing unto the Lord and cry out to Him. I began to write songs where I poured out my pain and my disappointments. I wrote songs that cried out to God and asked him to set me free because I knew He could and He would. I sang scripture verses that became life lines to my heart. I began to put music on in the home like I used to. Taking specific verses that touched on my situation, I wrote them out and placed them around my home, my mirror, the bathroom, my bedside and the doors.

I changed my environment by becoming pro-active and going back to things in my life that I knew without a shadow of doubt could unlock the door of  depression and sadness. I took my guitar and I sang my battle cry songs. I put on music and even though I felt as if my dancing days were over, I danced in the living room and poured out my heart to the Lord. I invited God into my home and I cried out, "Break every chain, Lord!"

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4- Don't fight alone

You are not alone. Especially if you are aligning yourself with God's will and trusting in Him for your breakthrough, Holy Spirit will be present through your hard times. I also know that we need someone to talk to. I had times where I reached out and sought counseling. When I looked for it among Christians or those persons in church who should be there to support you through your trauma and hardship, there were only listening ears to know my downfall so that it could be shared with others, but not for the sake of building me up and standing with me in prayer. I am not saying, "Don't trust people in church." Every church is different. God will show you who to trust, but trust Him above all else. There are anointed people of God that are ready to listen, pray and counsel you. I have found such people afterwards and I am blessed. I pray the Lord leads you to the right person to be your helper when needed.

Professional counseling has its place but when you are a believer in the power of God, you know there's something more. The person I reached out to during this time was my mother. Many times I regret sharing so much with her because now I realize the great many burdens she carried along with her own. But, she was my buddy in the battle. We ran into the battlefield and took some giants down together. She was my anchor to keep reminding me to pray, to read God's word, to hope and hold on. My mother was the person that prayed with me when I could only cry. We shared bible reading times and got stronger in the Lord together. I had times with my brother as well, but I felt wrong to place my cares on them when I believed I should be the one helping them. Family became my support system when I felt alone.

In order to find your freedom from what you are going through, you also need to find someone that can walk with you through this valley of darkness. Perhaps you have a family member, a close friend or maybe someone from the past that will pray with you, encourage you and hold your hand as you walk through the fire. It is not easy, but God will provide you with the people to cheer you on and stand with you as you get up and move forward.

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5- Recognize Warning Signs

So, you take the steps to overcome depression, anxiety and living in that dark place. You begin to seek the Lord through prayer, join some friends or family who become your support team, and begin to rejoice in the work the Lord is doing in your mind, in your heart, in your spirit and in your life. Although you begin to experience a change, don't get too confident in yourself and believe that the Enemy will not continue to make efforts to take you back to that dark place. Please understand and recognize the warning signs so that you are vigilant and able to withstand the Enemy's plan against your life.

Memories, another tragic event, any kind of set back or trauma can suddenly throw you off and you can find yourself questioning and wondering all over again. God's word tells us to renew our minds, to put on the whole armor of God, to resist the devil and he will flee, and to understand that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. God's word also tells us that we are not alone, that we are more than conquerors, that we have been given victory and that we have power in the Name of Jesus.

The moment you don't feel like praying it's a sign to pray. The moment you don't feel like going to church or hanging out with your Bible study group is the signal to get up, get dressed and just go meet up with them.
The moment you don't want to worship and praise the Lord, put on that music, grab your guitar, do what you do but do it. That moment when you don't want to read the Bible is a sure sign that something is happening. This battle for your mind is ongoing. This battle to keep you down and defeated will not end. But, you need to speak out into the darkness and remind it that you belong to a Mighty God. 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. You know all these scriptures, right? We all do but how little we truly believe them or live by them. So, today and always, take to heart the steps I've shared. They have been the help for me when I've been down. You knew all of this already, also, right? So, then, get up and worship, praise Him, sing a new song to the Lord, dance before the Lord, and rejoice in Him. He has done great things in our midst today!~ 

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