Saturday, June 13, 2015

Turning weeping into laughing

I have written about my struggle with depression here and here.  But there is a brighter side, a happy side more recently!  I get told that I smile a lot (some clients at my old work nicked named me Smily), whether it is true or not, I do know that I have so much more joy now than I have had in the past.  There was a time in my life (years) where this was far from the truth.  Depression and it's weary head would plague and follow me to no end.  While in high school I begged my mom to let me paint my bedroom walls black.  I felt that was all that was inside of me, and that was all I should see. Thankfully she did not allow this completely but compromised with some gray, white and black.
That darkness came to mind when I read Jonah's words this week (2:7-9):
"But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God.  

When my life was ebbing away, 
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.

But I, with a song of thanksgiving, 
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation come from the Lord."

I do not want to follow in Jonah's footsteps in many ways (lack of compassion, running from God, and total focus on self)...but I do want to have a song of thanksgiving easily on my lips, to sacrifice whatever the Lord's calls on me, to honor my vows to Him, to remember him in good and hard times and to share with others about my joy and the hope that is in me (1 Peter 3:15).  For He is the main reason I can now smile ...and the freedom God has granted me.

This was a great quote that Jeff, our pastor, shared in this past week's sermon.  It spoke to my heart, for as much as I want to be able to do the above things, I want to understand God's love for me even more.  Is this ever a struggle for you too?  
My people pleasing, serving, hard working self battles my mind in understanding grace and His love...but the more I do the more I have to smile about!  Give me grace Lord!

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