The Years the Locusts have Eaten

Dear Child of God,

         I swallow you whole.  And I convince you that this is forever.  You feel so overwhelmed and ashamed that you don’t know if you can go on one more moment.  You take a knife into the bathroom.  That fire lit inside of you – it drives you to do things you would ordinarily not choose.  You begin to take that knife and cut into your arm.  But before you complete the task before you, you listen to that still small voice inside.  This time it is not me.  This is the voice of God asking you to stop.  Because you, dear child, still have so much life before you.  If you let God carry you through and be patient with the process, you won’t regret it.  God will bless you so abundantly throughout, but especially, on the other side of this storm.  I want you to keep your eyes fixed on your pain and hurt.  But don’t do it.  Keep your eyes fixed on God.  Let others hold you up.  And then, one day, when you have made it through, you will see the abundant blessings that God has lavished upon you.

 Sincerely,

                                                   Depression

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.  Joel 2:25

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And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises

Dear Anxiety,

You tell me I am helpless; but God is my helper.  You tell me that this is more than I can bear; but God always provides a way out of temptation.  You tell me that I am broken; but God is my healer.  You tell me that I am hated; but God pours out His love for me;  You tell me that there is no mercy; but God pours His grace over me.

Anxiety, you physical assault me.  And you are a lie to me.   But despite how I feel, God IS truth and I can stand on HIS promises.

Sincerely,

Child of God

2 Peter 1:4

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

 

 

But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so you can endure it. 

Dear Anxiety,

I thought I had you under control.  But you slither out from under me and attack me with all your might.  Late at night, my insides are lit on fire….. my body hurts inside.  My extremities are tingling or numb.  I can hardly breathe.  My blood pressure shoots up.  And let’s face it, you practically take over my mind.  I hate myself.  I am lonely.  No one cares.  I say stupid things.  I can’t believe I did that.  I’d be better off dead.  I press against my head hoping the spinning will stop.  But it doesn’t.  I am a horrible mother and wife. There is nothing I can do.  I am so tired hallucinations surround me. And I have this fear that one is lurking behind me.  My head is going to explode.  I hate this.  Others hate me.  I am so hard to be around.  I can’t keep up with anything.  Every positive thought I’ve learned is a lie.  This is who I really am.  I hate it.  I hate me.  

You hurt me more than any other.  You attack me long and hard.  And, honestly, it’s so hard to keep faith that God will rescue me in these moments.  But I know He will.   He gives me the power to make it through the hard times.

He always has a way out.

With bitterness,

Child of God

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out s you can endure it. 

1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned

Dear Depression,

You guilt me.  Time and time again.  You claim my faith is weak if I take medicine.  Between you and my PTSD, anxiety, and borderline personality, I am fighting against a lot.  And yet, you are a constant whisper in my ear trying to convince me that I am without faith if I treat my body.   That I’d get better if I just believed God would heal me.

But we live in an imperfect world.  A fallen world.  A world in which we will inhabit imperfect bodies until He returns.

So, Depression, I choose not to believe your whispers oozing with guilt.  Faith is very much a part of my recovery.  And yet, weak faith is not the cause of my mental illness.  My brain is not working correctly.  And that’s ok.  It’s not only ok, but it is good, that I can get help from a psychiatrist and a counselor.

Your guilty whispers no longer work.  It’s over for you.

Sincerely,

Child of God

 

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—       Romans 5:12 NIV

 

Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”

Dear Depression,

     I appreciate the days that are good.  So very good. My mind  and spirit are calm and reasonable.  That deep ache inside my gut fades into the background instead of pounding me to a pulp.  I have to remember these days when you press on me hard and long.  If there were no hope, there would be no reason to keep fighting you.  But there is hope.  God gives me hope.  Even if He doesn’t fully restore me, He can walk me through your storm.  And eventually, even if it is heaven, I WILL have victory.

 Sincerely,

                                                                   Child of God

Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.  I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.  I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
         Psalm 3:2-6

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Dear Depression,

Sometimes your darkness swallows me and then gnaws at the core of my soul.  It hurts so deep and so hard.  Unbearable.  A consuming fire.  Your flames surround me.  You trap me, screaming at me that I am not worth it.  But that is where your power ends.  Because I know what God says about my worth.  You can set my emotions ablaze.  And rip my heart right out of my chest.  But as long as I know you lie, I win.  I know that God is unchanging.  And I know  His love for me remains constant.  I know I am His chosen.  So, keep raging with in me.  Go right ahead.  You won’t keep me down.  I have God on my side. You WILL still lose this battle.

Child of God

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

 

 

…to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit….

Dear Child of God,

I cover you in ashes and darkness and whisper hopelessness into your life.  But it’s lies.  And deception is  the only power I have over you.     But, your God is greater.  Your God is stronger.   Just focus your eyes on Him through it all .  Through the darkness.  Through the ashes that cling to you.  Through the emotions of hopelessness.  And when you emerge on the other side,  you will clearly see fingerprints of God woven through your struggle.  And where you thought you were covered in ashes and darkness, you will finally see God’s light shining through every crevice…. lighting your way as you struggled your way out of your darkness and shame and into the very arms of your Heavenly Father.

Depression

To grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3

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Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes….

Dear Devil…. the author of my depression,

You can try your best to keep me down.  But I am a fighter.  I know your ways.  You try to isolate me and weave paranoia into my life.  But I refuse to push people away.  I will choose to be vulnerable and authentic.  And that forms deep, Christ-like relationships.  And if my goal is authenticity and sharing God’s love,  I will win. So, Devil, take a hike.  It’s all over for you.

Sincerely,

Child of God

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways

 Dear Depression,

       You pull me down. And yet, today, I stand outside myself.  And I have so many questions.  Like, why is there such a strong pull toward unhealthy coping strategies?  I know what the healthy choice is, and yet, I still find myself buried in temptation to surrender to self-destruction.  Why is that?  And why do I feel squashed under dysfunction and others stand up under the pressure?  Why is self harm and suicide even an option in my mind?  Why do they seem like logical options? Why do I even consider when I know the heartache it causes my family?  Why is this impulse to self destruct so strong? Yet, no  answers.  I can’t understand.  I may never understand.  I can only trust that God has some good that He will bring out of this difficult season.

         Child of God

 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

As Iron Sharpens Iron, so One Person Sharpens Another.

Dear Child of God,

You live in a physical body.  And God is not physically tangible.   Yes, there are seasons where you may be lonely but if I can convince you that you need God and ONLY God, you begin to get lost in the physical loneliness.   But God did not create you for isolation.  You, dear child, need hugs and encouragement and accountability.  God did not create you to suffer alone.  No, He created us to need one another.  He created us for victory.

Sincerely,

Depression