Friday, July 1, 2016

Hope in Times of Despair

As a person who experiences occasional bouts of depression, I can sometimes struggle with the day-to-day. Sometimes, even just the bickering between my children, the messes they make, or the physical pains that I am going through can be too much for me. I just want to give up, crawl into bed, and sleep. But I know that my children depend on me so I must press on.

How do I find that strength to press on? I've tried so many things. I've tried talking to my friends, but the only friends I seem to have are on Facebook and this just tends to isolate me even more. I try to get out of the house and do something without my kids, but that's not always easy to do. My husband works so hard at his job that when he comes home he just wants to sleep. He doesn't want to go out. Finding a sitter is not always easy either.

Besides, these are just temporary fixes. What works for me every time? Turning to God.

In his book Transform Your Thinking, Transform Your Life, Dr. Bill Winston reminds us that our thinking will be transformed when we continually read the Word and fill our minds with God's Word. So when I am feeling down, I remember to do this. I read the Bible. I read books like Dr. Winston's book. I attend church services to fill my mind with God's Word. And I am comforted.

A friend of mine recently gave me the book God's Promises for Graduates as I was struggling through some tough times. I'd like to share a few of the verses with you that have brought me comfort lately.

I have a decoration in my home that includes the beginning part of this verse, so I always try to have it in my mind.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalms 55:22

There are by far more where those come from, but I find that when I couple these verses with positive thinking, exercise, and a good night's sleep, I feel much better and I am able to move forward. Depression does try to press on sometimes, but the more I am in the Word, the more I am able to get through it.