I have been feeling so down the past week or so and I can’t pinpoint why. I feel more sad than usual when I look around this facility and see people who are confused, lost, or feel left behind by their family and friends. I can tell there is something bothering me but I’m not sure what it is, so I’ve been praying about it and asking God to reveal it to me.
I feel the internal angst on the outside of my body as well. My face just feels pulled downward, as if the flesh and skin are too heavy to smile. I feel pressure in my chest and a pit in my stomach. Sometimes I don’t feel like eating. But I do eat. And I do talk to others about what I’m feeling, including a therapist and some of my spiritual mentors.
I realize what I need the most is time with God. He is my Comforter. He is my Counselor. He is my Redeemer. Most importantly, He is ever-present in my life – especially in times of trouble.
Psalm 139: 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
In my life, some things are blessings and some things are lessons, but they are all gifts from above. When I was first paralyzed in 2013, I thought my injury was a curse and that maybe I was being punished by God. It took almost 2 years for me to realize that this injury is actually a blessing and is teaching me to have more depth in my prayers and Bible studies, and it is an incredible opportunity to reach others who feel lost and alone.
As I dig in the Scriptures for answers, I feel stronger and more able to climb over this emotional mountain. Even as I write this blog, I am feeling stronger. I know I can deal with my feelings because I understand that the Lord will give me everything I need for each day, and I can feel at peace if I only reach out to Him.
Psalm 23: 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul.
God grants me peace and tranquility, more so than I would get from any other source. He refreshes my soul when my soul feels dried out and empty. It is God that feeds me. It is God that fuels me. It is God that calms my anxious heart. When I am not intentional about my relationship with God, I am an empty well. When I do not push through to spend time with Him, I am the dry bones described in Ezekiel 37.
Psalm 23: 3 He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
There will always be dark valleys in my life, but God will lead me where I need to go if I will just listen to His word and cry out to Him. Moses and Aaron used the rod and staff to perform great miracles before Pharaoh. If the rod and the staff can turn the Nile into blood, create an infestation of frogs, and the overtaking by locusts throughout the land, they are certainly powerful enough to heal my heavy heart. God same rod and staff comfort me.
Psalm 42: 1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,“Where is your God?”
The psalmist understands that he needs God like he needs water. In the midst of his tears, he understands that his soul is dry without meeting with God.
Psalm 42: 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
The psalmist also understands that the way out of his well of despair is to praise God. And I understand this as well.
Today I am grateful that I can share vulnerably with all of you. Today I am grateful for the technology I have that allows me to connect with the world. Today I am grateful for the friendships I have, and the church family, that take such good care of me. Today I am grateful for the prayers you pray that allow me to get through each day. Today I am grateful for this wheelchair, that’s allowed me to see the world and to understand God in a different way – a way I’m convinced I never would have experienced had my injury not occurred.
Today I would rather feel this depression, as long as it takes, knowing God is with me, than spend even one day back in my former way of life of drunkenness, loneliness and disillusion.
Psalm 84: 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere…