National Suicide Prevention Week& My Testimony

In Recognition of National Suicide Prevention week I am sharing my testimony once again, not because I am proud of what I had done but to share how grateful I am that I am still alive today. I hope this piece of my testimony will help at least one person.

Testimony / I gave up on life and survived

This is one of the most difficult thing I have to share with the world. I am not seeking your pity nor do I need your judgment. I am sharing this only because I pray to reach if just one person who is at the end of their rope and is ready to jump of of that ledge.

I cannot say that I understand your pain or what has lead you to this point but I pray that you will stop long enough to read these words that  I am writing.

It will be five years this Thanksgiving when my world had grown so dark and the pain was more than I could bear that I did give up on life. Falsely accused and arrested in the middle of the night just a couple of months prior my world was turned upside down. After a lifetime of abuse and a multitude of wrong decisions I was alone and all the pain I had suffered over my life came down upon me like a crushing wave. I am not a coward but had nothing that I felt that was living for. Alone on  a holiday meant for family and giving thanks all I could see was darkness and feel the loneliness of being cut out of my own life.  I lost my will to live. So with what I thought was going to be my last breath I kicked the stool out from underneath me. The belt I used to hang myself did not do the job I thought it would because it stretched to the point that even though I had lifted my legs it stretched until I was literally sitting on the floor. Yelling at God and pounding my fist on my floor like a child throwing a temper tantrum, screaming that I couldn’t even do this right. I continued to yell and cry until I heard a voice. It was not harsh or condemning but loving. I heard it say, ‘Are you done yet?’  I know some of you probably think I was crazy and just hearing things. Obviously my mental state was impaired. (This was not the first or only time I have heard God speaking to me by the way, but the other times they are different stories.) I had just tried to hang myself. Yet as I heard that voice I know I was not imagining anything. It was real, I had heard His Voice before so I do know it when I hear it. Though no one was physically in my empty apartment but myself there was someone who was watching over me. I even knew what they meant when they asked if I was done yet. You see this was not the my first suicide attempt, but my third. So I responded, ‘Yes Lord I am done. Obviously You aren’t done with me yet.’ Then I heard Him say, ‘Get up. It is not over yet.’

So I stood up and took the belt from around my own neck. I was amazed because how long it had stretched and how that no mark was left on my neck. (A little note a couple of years later I tried to stretch that same belt and it did not give an inch, so no one can tell me God is not real.) I still had a long road ahead of me and the trials did not go the way I had believed and hoped for. Even on the final day of court when the rest of my world as I knew it came to a crashing end and even though I was innocent of the charges I was still found guilty. I lost everything but my life, my home, and I was banned for life from my daughter, so I had lost her too. You won’t believe this but as crushed as I felt, I heard God speak to me again. He said to me, ‘Can you forgive them now?’ I responded with, ‘Not because I want to but because of You I will.’ Even though not one thing went well for me, I knew God was with me. That even though I was found guilty in the court of man I was not guilty in His eyes and that He did not abandon me even when I wanted to end it all. My mother died suddenly at the end of my trials, and I lost my daughter, but God was with me through it all. I won’t say that thoughts of giving up have not crossed my mind since but a small still voice says you can’t give up now, You have come too far to give up now. So as hard as it is at times because the battles I still must fight wear me down that I want to toss in the towel and quit, I know that I can’t. I must finish the race. I have not yet reached the finish line.

I will never know why my life did not end that day or why my previous attempts failed, when others who have attempted the same act are gone. I know that I am not a better person than anyone else. My life is no more valuable than another’s life so why am I still here? To be honest only God knows the real reason. The only reason I can think of is that I am to share my story and hopefully reach at least one person who is where I was at, who is hiding their pain and their struggles from the world till it has gotten to be too much for them to carry by themselves. The other reason might be to inspire you to pray for God to reveal those who are hiding their pain from the world, so that you can reach out to someone who is suffering. To someone who feels rejected, cut off and isolated, so you can let them know that they are not alone and that someone does care. Call them or even better visit with them. Don’t push too hard to get them to talk but be there and continue to be there. I did not immediately share my story but a year later I was part of a church who arranged an event inspired by a number of suicides in the area that happened in a very short time period. I saw lives touched and even though I was inspired to start sharing my story, I didn’t. With the holidays upon us I personally know how difficult it is for anyone who suffers from grief, depression and anxiety or is suffering any form of abuse. You may feel unloved, rejected and alone. The pain may be suffocating and the world may be completely dark without light of hope. I was there and I survived but you may not so please don’t give up. If there is no one in your immediate life that you feel safe to turn to, there are others that even though they may be strangers, who will listen to you who will give you the compassion that you need and even help. Your life is valuable and you are important. So important that God sent His Son to die for you.

Call someone. Get help. Please do not give up. I may not know you but you are in my prayers and I pray you find the love of Jesus and the strength and comfort He has for you.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.  1-800-273-8255  website  http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#

HELPGUIDE.ORG

If you’re thinking about suicide, please read Suicide Help or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in the U.S.! To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-helping-someone-who-is-suicidal.htm

1-800-SUICIDE

suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Always remember that there are phone numbers that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,  from any location in the United States:

 

Testimony / I gave up on life and survived

1-800-273-TALK / (1-800-784-2433)   (1-800-273-8255)

This is only a short list of where you can find help whether you are the one who is struggling or you think you may know someone who needs help please get the help that you need and please do it before it is too late. I know my life choices have been far from right too many times and that I survived but I know that if I try again I won’t survive again. Life is precious please don’t give up because you are precious and nothing can replace you in this world.

Check out this article on a special coffee shop that serves more than coffee.

Sip of Hope’s proceeds go toward Hope For the Day

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Sip-Hope-Coffee-Shop-Mental-Health-44989598

 

Testimony / I gave up on life and survived

This is one of the most difficult thing I have to share with the world. I am not seeking your pity nor do I need your judgment. I am sharing this only because I pray to reach if just one person who is at the end of their rope and is ready to jump of of that ledge.

I cannot say that I understand your pain or what has lead you to this point but I pray that you will stop long enough to read these words that  I am writing.

It will be five years this Thanksgiving when my world had grown so dark and the pain was more than I could bear that I did give up on life. Falsely accused and arrested in the middle of the night just a couple of months prior my world was turned upside down. After a lifetime of abuse and a multitude of wrong decisions I was alone and all the pain I had suffered over my life came down upon me like a crushing wave. I am not a coward but had nothing that I felt that was living for. Alone on  a holiday meant for family and giving thanks all I could see was darkness and feel the loneliness of being cut out of my own life.  I lost my will to live. So with what I thought was going to be my last breath I kicked the stool out from underneath me. The belt I used to hang myself did not do the job I thought it would because it stretched that even though I lifted my legs it stretched until I was literally sitting on the floor. Yelling at God and pounding my fist on my floor like a child throwing a temper tantrum that I couldn’t even do this right. I continued to yell and cry until I heard a voice. It was not harsh or condemning but loving. I heard it say, ‘Are you done yet?’  I know you probably think I was crazy and just hearing things. Obviously my mental state was impaired. (This was not the first or only time I have heard God speaking to me by the way, but the other times they are different stories.) I did just try to hang myself. Yet as I heard that voice I know I was not imagining anything. It was real, I had heard His Voice before so I know it when I hear it. Though no one was physically in my empty home but myself there was someone who was watching over me. I even knew what they meant when they asked if I was done yet. You see this was not the first suicide attempt I had attempted, but my third. So I responded, ‘Yes Lord I am done. Obviously You aren’t done with me yet.’ Then I heard Him say, ‘Get up. It is not over yet.’

So I stood up and took the belt from around my own neck. I was amazed because how long it had stretched and that not mark was left on my neck. (A little note a couple of years later I tried to stretch that same belt and it did not give an inch, so no one can tell me God is not real.) I still had a long road ahead of me and the trials did not go the way I had believed but even on the final day of court when the rest of my world as I knew it came to a crashing end and though I was innocent of the charges I was still found guilty. I lost everything but my life and my home. You won’t believe this but as crushed as I felt, I heard God speak to me again. He said to me, ‘Can you forgive them now?’ I responded with, ‘Not because I want to but because of You I will.’ Even though not one thing went well for me, I knew God was with me. That even though I was found guilty in the court of man I was not guilty in His eyes and that He did not abandon me even when I wanted to end it all. My mother died suddenly at the end of my trials, and I lost my daughter, but God was with me through it all. I won’t say thoughts of giving up have not crossed my mind since but a small still voice says don’t give up. So as hard as it is at times because the battles I still must fight wear me down that I want to toss in the towel and quit, I know that I can’t. I must finish the race. I have not yet reached the finish line.

I will never know why my life did not end that day or why my previous attempts failed, when others who have attempted the same act are gone. I know that I am no better a person than another. My life is no more valuable than anyone else’s life so why am I still here? To be honest only God knows the real reason. My only conclusion I can come to on my own is to share my story and hopefully reach at least one person who is where I was at, or inspire someone else to reach out to someone who is suffering just to let them know they are not alone and that someone does care. Call them or even better visit with them. Don’t push too hard to get them to talk but be there and continue to be there. I did not immediately share my story but a year later I was part of a church who arranged an event inspired by a number of suicides in the area that happened in a very short time period. I saw lives touched and was inspired to start sharing my story. With the holidays upon us I personally know how difficult it is for anyone who suffers from depression and anxiety or is suffering any form of abuse. You may feel unloved, rejected and alone. The pain may be suffocating and the world may be completely dark without light of hope. I was there and I survived but you may not so please don’t give up. If there is no one in your immediate life that you feel safe to turn to there are others that even though they may be strangers who will listen to you who will give you the compassion that you need and even help. Your life is valuable and you are important. So important that God sent His Son to die for you.

Call someone. Get help. Please do not give up. I may not know you but you are in my prayers and I pray you find the love of Jesus and the strength and comfort He has for you.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.  1-800-273-8255  website  http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#

HELPGUIDE.ORG

If you’re thinking about suicide, please read Suicide Help or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in the U.S.! To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-helping-someone-who-is-suicidal.htm

1-800-SUICIDE

Always remember that there are phone numbers that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,  from any location in the United States:

 

Testimony / I gave up on life and survived

1-800-273-TALK / (1-800-784-2433)   (1-800-273-8255)

This is only a short list of where you can find help whether you are the one who is struggling or you think you may know someone who needs help please get the help that you need and please do it before it is too late. I know my life choices have been far from right too many times and that I survived but I know that if I try again I won’t survive again. Life is precious please don’t give up because you are precious and nothing can replace you in this world.

 

The sound of a closing door

The sound of a closing door is not one we pay much attention to. A saying most of us have heard is, ‘When one door closes another will open’. Then there is the scripture Revelation 3:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him and he with me. These words encourage and give hope.Rev 3 20

 

We open and closes doors every day so the sound of a door closing means nothing to you,  yet there are those that it breaks their heart. It can represent loss, an ending, or rejection. Add the sound of a lock being turned it can make one feel hopeless. That they are not only shut out but that there is no hope of that door ever being opened again.(Which is not always a bad thing because there are some doors that not only need to be shut and locked, but the key needs to be thrown away.) The pain of loss or rejection can amplify the simple sound of a closing door. Then there is the sound of a door slamming shut. Which is usually done in anger, meaning one person has turned their back on another in anger and not just walked out but stormed out leaving the other behind. The one who stormed out may feel like they cannot return because they were the one to leave and no matter what their reason was at the time they may feel guilt and even fear because now they are the one who may be rejected. The one left behind feel not only rejected and hurt, but they may fear that when the door slammed that was the end, and that is not their desire. Loosing loved ones to death or an end of a relationship can leave a lasting memory that the sound of a closing door can reopen the wound that the sound of a closing door can bring.

I had not thought of this before, but while sitting on my porch I heard the sound of a neighbor shutting their door. A sound that I hear often living in an apartment because neighbors are coming and going daily. Yet this morning when I heard the sound it seemed amplified and I even heard the sound of the lock being turned. I don’t know why it made me stop and think, but it did. I go in and out my door multiple times through out my day and when I am on the phone I know the person on the other end can hear the opening and shutting of my door so I try to close the door quietly so I do not interrupt what they are saying to me. Yet today I am thinking of all the ways the sound of what a door makes can mean. For some it can mean security, (This makes me think of the song ‘Shut the door, keep out the devil’) and for another it can feel like they are all alone, shut out and not welcome.

For the ones who feel rejected and shut out there is One who will never leave you or forsake you. He knocks on your door patiently waiting to be let in. He is the one I mentioned earlier in Revelation 3;20.

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Now there is the sound of a door opening. Think about how a child reacts when the door opens and it is their Daddy who just came in. They run to him joyfully and yell ‘Daddy’s home’ and they jump into his arms.

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Now the sound of the door closing behind him means they are safe and they have no reason to fear. For when they are with their Daddy they are not afraid, but are happy and secure. For it is written that perfect love casts out all fear. The love of our Heavenly Father, our Abba Daddy is available to all who receive Him, and Jesus is the door we enter to get to Him.

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God bless you and keep you in His perfect peace

Moods/Spiritual Health/Physical Health

I do not believe that I am the only person that when my health is not good neither is my mood. Honestly do you really feel like smiling when pain radiates from every part of your body? I am currently working in the food service and I know people prefer to be waited on by someone who does not radiate misery. I have learned over the many years of any form of customer service is to put on my cheerful mask when dealing with the customers no matter how I feel. Yet this is very draining, both emotionally and physically. There are many health conditions that there is not a lot that we can do to make ourselves feel better. We endure and suffer through bad days and do the best we can,  yet as hard as we try our moods can very from sadness to full blown depression, and even anger and rage. You can feel helpless because of your condition, which can lead to frustration and aggravation. The company of other people can either bring comfort or agitation. So you may close your self off from others not wanting to feel like a burden. Unfortunately this is not good for you. First you start by isolating yourself only seeing or talking to people when it is absolutely necessary. Then your prayers become shorter till almost obsolete. Cutting yourself off from God. Prayers take more effort and can become even difficult. Now you are miserable and alone and don’t even make the effort to turn to God. He is still there for you but your health and your mood consume you. Once you have gotten to this place it is very difficult to get yourself out.  A good beginning may be as simple as crying out “God help me.” It is easy to let our physical condition dictate our moods, and I understand this completely. I still have this battle on a very regular basis. Sometimes it takes everything in me to even call out the name of Jesus. Then I think about people in the Bible and I read their stories and find inspiration. It was only recently that I had a new insight to the life of Job. He went through loss of children, wealth and health. Then he had friends who basically kicked him while he was down and his wife told him to curse God and die. When we first think of Job and all he lived through we see only his suffering and loss. I now see a man that God trusted even when he had every reason to give up, Job didn’t lose his faith in God. So what ever it is that you may be going through, understand God is not the cause, and that He trusts you, and believes you will endure and not fail. Also remember that Paul tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations. I know reading these words will not fix you and make things better, but you can make an effort not to allow your situation to make you so miserable that you allow yourself to drown in despair. Hold on to God, and do not give up no matter how painful and dark it may be for you right now. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

Blessing of peace and health to you all.

Do you feel like road kill?

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Photography by Julie Sheppard

There may be times when you feel that you have been beaten and you want to give up. You feel like there is nothing left in you and yet you still feel the vultures picking away at your carcass. You feel worthless. As if you were meant to be nothing more than a victim. This is a lie! Do not believe it. You may be getting attacked on every side and may feel like that you deserve what is being done to you. Don’t! The enemy comes to kill steal and destroy, but you have been given the victory over the enemy. You are no longer a victim but you are victorious.

Whatever mistakes you have made, you have been forgiven. Jesus loves you so much He died for you. However bad your current situation may look, keep your eyes on Jesus, and do not lose hope. What the world may try to do to harm you, He will turn into good for you. His love transforms the worst into the most beautiful and lovely.

When you have done all that you can, stand and let the Lord take over. He will never leave you or forsake you. He paid to high a price for your life to let it be destroyed. The world is filled with problems, strife, and tragedy. He has overcome the world, and wants to give you peace. A true peace filled with hope love and joy.

You may feel beaten but you have been given the keys to life. Take hold of His hand and let Him lead you through this world. You are not alone. Even when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace, they were not alone. He was with them and He is with you. Do not be afraid of what man can do to you but trust in our Lord and Savior. Be encouraged that you are not alone and you are loved. No matter how you may feel or how things look. Trust in God.

John 10:10(ESV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Psalm 103:8-12 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 54:17 (ESV) no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.

Hebrews 12:2 MSG Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

Ephesians 6:11-13 (NKJV) 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Matthew 16:19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Revelation 1: 18and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Daniel 3:19-25  Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Nehemiah 4:14 “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.”

Luke 12:14 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare  and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

29. Dear Woman,(Elijah and the widow)

Dear Woman,

(Elijah and the widow)

     My Dear Woman, I know that you are a widow with a son to care for, and that you have only enough oil and flour to make not even a meal for you and your son. You know you do not have anything else coming to you to supply the needs of you and your son. You feel hopeless and that this is the end.

      So when a man approaches you and asks you to feed him do not worry.  I understand that you will think, but this is all that I have left. Yet in spite of this, you will make him the small cake he will ask for. I know that you feel hopeless and that there is nothing left to live for and nothing left to lose. So when you bless My prophet Elijah, I will bless you.

     You will give the last of all you have and be empty, but I will fill you with more than what the body needs, I will give you hope and a future. The rest of your days will be blessed. Even though you felt unloved and abandoned, you will give unselfishly and this is an act of love. Give when you have nothing, and then to put another before yourself. You are loved, for I love you with an everlasting love. Live a blessed life. I will provide for all of your needs.

Love,

Lord God Almighty

Read

1 Kings 17

15.Letters from God (fictional letters based on people in the Bible) Dear Joseph (Dreams)

Dear Joseph

(Dreams)

The time is coming when you will soon be released from prison. You have kept your faith in Me. There are two men who are about to be put in prison. Serve them well as you will be ordered to by the guard. Through this service you will gain your freedom. I will give to each a dream and you will give them the meaning of their dreams to them. One is the Butler to Pharaoh and the other is Pharaoh’s’ baker. Tell the Butler that the vines in his dream represent three days, and that squeezing the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup is his position restored. So that in three days he will be restored to his position. Now the baker will ask you to tell him the meaning of his dream and this is what you will tell him. The three baskets also mean three days, and the birds eating the bread from the baskets mean that Pharaoh will hang him from a tree and the birds will eat his flesh.

     These things will happen, and the Butler will forget for a while what you did for him. Yet do not lose hope. I tell you this because then will I give Pharaoh two dreams. They will upset him and he will seek help in finding the meaning to his dreams. This is when the butler will remember what you did for him and he will tell Pharaoh of your gift and what you did for him. When Pharaoh hears what he has to say he will send for you. This is the meaning of his dreams that you will give to him. The two dreams are the same, The seven healthy and good cows and the seven good stalks represent seven good years, of prosperity in the land of Egypt. There will be abundant harvests for these years. The seven sick cows and the seven withered stalks represent the seven years of famine that will follow. He was given the dream twice because it will happen as he dreamed. Then you will instruct him to appoint leaders over the land that during the seven years of plenty they should gather the grain and make store houses to store it in. He will then be prepared when the seven years of famine come. Following this instruction will keep the land from perishing.

     When Pharaoh hears these words you will be freed from prison. Then he will give you a position of great authority. For you will be a leader over all of Egypt except Pharaoh there will be no man above you. Through your obedience many will be saved. You have heard my words and now is the time for you to follow my instructions. You have suffered, and now I will be glorified in you.

Love,

Your God

Read

Genesis chapters 40 & 41

Letters from God (fictional letters based on people in the Bible) Dear Hagar

Dear Hagar,

     I want you to know that I do love you. Yes you are an Egyptian and a slave to Sarai. This does not change My love. You did not seek to have Abram’s child, you had been given by Sarai to him. It was her choice not yours. You knew that she felt that she had been keeping Abram from his blessing when she gave you to him. You taunted her with the child you were able to give him, when she had not yet been able to do so herself. Her lack of faith in Me has caused this mess. One sin leads to another. Now there is nothing but quarreling between the two of you.

     She began to mistreat you. So I understand why you felt you had to run away. Then I sent you back to her, and asked you to submit yourself to her. This was a difficult burden to bear. Then you tried to elevate yourself above her by using your child to hurt her with him. This is wrong to use a child to do harm. Your sin is pride, and you are included in the sin of adultery with Abram. I know that you felt that you had no choice because you belonged to Sarai but wrong is wrong no matter what the reason.

     You have a son, and his name is Ishmael and Sarai has her son Isaac, who is the child I had promised to Abraham. You let her jealousy work for you. You turned it against her and have divided the two sons with this quarrel. You have placed Abraham where he must now choose between his two sons. The first son conceived in sin and the second is the child who I had promised to him.

     This was not an easy decision for him to make so he told Sarah to do as she wanted. Sarah in her anger and jealousy cast you and your son Ishmael out. This is not what he wanted, but he listened to his wife and forgot what I had told him. He did as she requested. The three of you have your part in this. Each one of you has sinned. Doubt, adultery, pride, and jealousy, none of these have anything to do with My love, or My plans.

     So now you journey through the dessert with your child, but you are not alone. I will be with you and your son will be the father of a nation. He will marry an Egyptian and live in Paran. He will be a father to a nation as I had spoken to you before. You are a mother who loves her son; there is no doubt to this. Yet he was conceived in sin, and this still will have consequences that you cannot hide from. Live now a life that is right and pure.

Love,

God of Abraham

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Genesis 16, 17:1-22, 18:1-15, 21:1-21

Winter Blues

bluejulie (1)

I am not going to be discussing colors, even though blue is in the title of this writing. Winter Blues, SAD(seasonal affective disorder) is something too many people suffer from, and for those of us who deal with depression on a regular basis this time of year is or can be more difficult to deal with. Most people do not recognize this is happening to someone they know for multiple reasons. The person who deals with depression or Winter Blues may be very good at wearing a mask and concealing what is going on inside, end even when asked they simply answer ‘I am fine, or I am okay’ even when they know they are not. They either do not want to burden another with their problems or they do not want to come across as weak or less of a person. This list goes on as well, but hiding it or ignoring it will not make it go away. I know I have gone through all the extremes when it comes to dealing with my own depression. The thoughts that float through my mind especially during this time of year even scares me. I am afraid of the day where I will give into my depressed thoughts. Yet I have continued to fight and keep pressing forward in hopes of a day when I will not feel the dark suffocating force that I feel when depression outweighs my peace or joy. How can I have peace or joy? For one I have learned that peace or joy can be in me in spite of my circumstance or how I feel. It is the calm assurance that no matter how dark and hopeless things are, it is not over and I will be okay. Unfortunately this is not how I feel on most days. Yet this is what keeps me going. I look to scripture for encouragement, as well as people who are supportive and understanding. These people do more than just listen to me, or just sit with me when I do not feel like talking. They don’t pretend there is nothing wrong, but they are compassionate and loving without being overbearing. They do not try to fix me but they walk with me and offer me a hand when I am down and need help getting back up. If I pretended everything was okay and hid my inner battle from them they could not do this. Yes it may seem that I am making myself vulnerable and weak, but it takes a special strength to open up and let the right people in. Depression, blues, anxiety, anger, etc… make us want to keep people at a distance if we even want to see people at all. By doing this we are only letting these things control us instead of us controlling them. I want to live free from these disabling emotions. To do this I have to make a choice daily not to give into them, some days I do good, and there are days when I fail and I let them overcome me. But I do not give up. Not because I did it all on my own but because of Scripture, prayer and people who love and pray for me. Then my important source of comfort and encouragement, Jesus, who died for me to show me how much He loves me, for the Holy Spirit He sent to me to be my Helper and Comforter. (John 14:26 (AMP) 26 But the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name[in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.) He is the One who is always with me even when I am alone. Loneliness is a companion of depression because when I am depressed or Blue I feel cut off, disconnected, even when I am in a crowd of people I can feel all alone. To help me deal with this feeling I focus my thoughts on Jesus (Who is the Word made flesh. John chapter .) I think about His words and how they tell me of His love, His peace, His Joy, and His victory for my life. I will not say this is easy but if it was not for His love and His Word I would not be here today sharing a part of myself with you today. I have bad days, it does not mean He does not love me, but it does mean that I am not going through the bad days alone. I like how the church (that is you and me who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior) is compare to being His Bride. Then I think of the wedding vows ‘For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, never to part’, and how this applies to our relationship with Him. He never gives up on us He hangs in there with us when life gets ugly. Do not let the Winter Blues get the best of you. I know depression is overwhelming and you may feel like you cannot go on and there is nothing you can do, but don’t give up. Say a prayer, even if it is only these simple words, “Jesus Help!” Then talk to someone and find help.

Here are some scriptures  and links to encourage you included are a link to Web MD and to the Mayo Clinic. I am not a professional but I am a person who has fought depression and PTSD for many years and I am doing better with help. I hope these will help get you started.

a link for scriptures on the Holy Spirit as Comforter and Helper  http://www.openbible.info/topics/the_comforter

a link for scriptures on depression  http://hopefaithprayer.com/scriptures/against-depression/

Philippians 1:19(ESV)  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

links on depression and Winter Blues

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/seasonal-affective-disorder

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November 18, 2015

We all have good days and bad. Then there are the in between days. I would have to say that this is one of the in between days. It is not terrible but it is not so good either. My pain level is higher than a normal day and I am fighting frustration and depression.

I am in pain seven days a week so pain is nothing new to me. I have learned to function with the pain in my body to the most part, but even typing away on my keyboard is quite painful. Some may ask then why do it? My answer is because someone else out there may be in their own pain, and thought their pain is different knowing they are not alone can bring comfort or encouragement. I am not writing as way to have a pity party, but to find a way to overcome what the pain does to me.

My body has suffered injuries over my life that never truly healed. So my body is now more limited than most but not as bad as others. (Something I remind myself on a regular basis) Yet when the pain and the lack of body function keeps me from performing even the most simple task, then frustration followed by depression come knocking at my door. Some days I am able to keep these outside, but then there are days I may not open the door but I open a window and they crawl in. Today is one of those days.

I did not plan on letting it in but I did. I woke up unable to do much because the pain had spread from it’s normal place my head arms and back down to my legs where standing is even extremely painful. I live alone so there is no one here to help with even the simple things. So let’s add isolation to the list. I felt terrible about myself and to be honest I feel worthless. I want to give up. I want to go and curl up in a dark room and close my eyes and give in to the darkness.

Instead of doing this I am up and writing. I have spent time in scripture and Bible study. I have written notes of encouragement, and yes I still feel in a child’s term yucky, but the sun is shining in through my window. I am still alive even though this morning I did not want to be. Yet I am now thinking of some people in the Bible who had their moments of frustration, and did not have the strength to go on, like Joseph, David and Job. I am reminded that I am not really alone. God is here with me and He is not done with me. I may look like nothing to the world but I am a treasure in His eye. I may want to give up but He will never give up on me.

So you may feel like life is more than you can bear, and the pain is too much. Do not beat yourself up for feeling this way. He can’t heal you till you can acknowledge you don’t feel good. He is with you always and He cares for you and loves you when days are good and when days are bad. He goes with you through it all.