Christian, where is your joy?

“I’ve spent most of my life battling depression.  I first noticed it as a teenager.  Even though I was popular in school and had everything going for me, I would imagine driving myself off a cliff.  It wasn’t uncommon for me to daydream my funeral and each time the cause of death would be more gruesome. 

 

My first thoughts are never good.  I am a pessimist.  If it is bad then it will happen to me.  If it has happened to someone else, then I am next.  Pity parties are a daily way of life.  My hair is too thin and straight.  My stomach bulges too much.  My skin is rough and freckled.  I need to be taller and prettier.  When I dream of being Cinderella, I imagine a prettier me.  The Prince would never fight a dragon for me looking like this.

 

I can add paranoia to my problems and the result is a lethal emotional weapon.  I know without a doubt that everyone is talking about me all the time and it is never good.  They laugh at how I dress, how I walk, and the dumb things I say.  Everyone thinks I’m stupid.  I either talk too much or not enough.  I could have or should have done more.  I am never enough to please anyone…least of all myself.

 

To top it off, I am a perfectionist. In other words, if I am not pleased with it then it is never good enough.  Because I am a paranoid pessimist dwelling in the pits, my daily thoughts are haunted with reruns of countless failures. 

 

I remember very little about my childhood or my life in general.  But I assure you that every thing I do remember is bad.  I fell prey to every sin.  There is never a day that I don’t face a demon from my past like a nightmare that won’t end. 

 

So tell me, how is it that I can be a Christian and never know joy?  I would even be happy with a day of relief from this agony and from my thoughts.  I tired of me.  I am certain everyone else is too…especially God.”

 

We both swing a steady back and forth in a season of silence.  My friend reviewing her story making sure she didn’t leave out anything.  Me, I am praying for the right words.

“Do you want to be well?  Do you really want to be free from your past memories, your present struggles, and to live in freedom?  Everyone in his or her right mind would say, “Yes, of course I want to be free.  I wouldn’t be here sitting with you on this porch if I didn’t want to change.”  But truthfully not everyone is in their right mind.

My question is a valid one.  So I will ask it again but add to it the cost of freedom.  Do

you want to be well even at the cost of not being the center of your own universe?  You see every sentence you spoke is immersed with you.  Your every thought is polluted with false images of who you are.  In order to be free, you have to die to yourself.

The Bible says that left on our own, man will be completely submerged in wickedness of heart and mind.  The Spirit of God can take the Word of God and make it alive in any child of God when that child wants it.  Do you really want it?

Even if it means you have to let go of your past grudges, hurts, and sorrows by forgiving those who harmed you?

Even if it means that you can no longer spend your days telling your story over and over to all who will listen?

Even if it means that the time you spend dwelling on yourself will now have to be focused outside of you?

Even if it means that you can never again be the center of the universe?”

The secret to being free is loving freedom more than you love yourself.  I spent most of my life being just like this friend sitting on my porch.  My life began to change when I had an ‘out of body experience’.  I didn’t actually leave my body but I imagined I was watching my life through the eyes of a documentary.  What I saw didn’t line up with what God’s Word said I was.  I reasoned one thing:  Either I was lying or God was.

This was my turning point because I KNEW God did not lie.  Therefore, I made a list of what I saw in myself that I knew needed to change.  The list was several pages long.  Next I found a scripture that gave me God’s victory over each trait.  I then began to pray the Word to be victorious in my life.

Every time I would see myself begin to fall, I would speak aloud that verse.  We must speak aloud the promises of God for two reasons.  Our ears need to hear for our faith to believe.  The enemy cannot read our minds.  So we shout the victory to the demons of our past so they flee at His Word.

I will share in a second post… a list of scripture that will help.  Next week, meet me here again and we will go deeper to dig up some hidden roots.

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2 responses

  1. Evelyn Noweder | Reply

    Thank you for sharing. I confess that your friends words sound just like me! However, I think right now I am caught in an up and down, roller coaster ride. Victory for a week or so, and then a slow decline back into the self-focused self-pity. I look forward to your continuation of this.

    1. Thanks Evelyn, my friend is me! We have all struggled in the roller coaster of life. Grace is the safety bar that keeps us from plunging to our deaths!

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