What a week this has been! For some reason I have felt much more stressed than is typical, and moments of depression keep trying to push their way in. It’s not always easy to pinpoint the cause of our emotions; we often think they are related to something obvious when in fact it’s usually that thing we pushed in the corner to deal with later and then didn’t. I honestly think those things we push away develop lives of their own in opposition to our lack of attention … they begin to spread roots and sprout tendrils that wrap themselves around everything they possibly can, like those pesky weeds in the garden we continuously need to pull. If we don’t deal with them, they will quickly get out of hand, leaving us in a state of mental, and sometimes even physical, anguish.
I have a couple little things I’ve shoved to the bottom of that inbox in my brain. Things I don’t have time to deal with now, or don’t really want to deal with at all. Is it one of those things starting to grow that is causing my stress and depression? Not sure … perhaps.
Once upon a time, I tried to deal with everything by myself. Fear and pride kept me from sharing that I was struggling. I didn’t ask for advice from those who could help, I just barreled through it, and most of the time I failed miserably and was left with a larger problem than when I started.
How should we properly address those little things? What approach should we take? What will be the implications of continuing to ignore them? Who do we ask? How do we ask? Is it something of our own doing, or something someone did to us? Why do we feel like we’re at the end of the road?
My advice is to go to your prayer closet and get raw and open with God. Whatever it takes, but share with Him the worry, the stress, the confusion – whatever it is. Cry. Let the tears run down your face without worrying about your mascara. Punch your pillow for emphasis. Pray out loud if you can, so you can hear your words and the emotions they carry. Whatever – just pray. I’ve said this in several other posts, so please forgive me if you think I’m belaboring this point, but there is more power in prayer than you can possibly imagine!! God hears every single one of your prayers.
Then take it to your best Sister-Friend. I’ve found that the act of sharing helps me to begin to see things from a different perspective as I let the words flow out of my face. Sometimes I don’t need my friend to say a word, just the fact that she listened starts me on the path to resolution. Many times though, she is able to shine a different light on the shadows, show me where I’m chastising myself for ridiculous reasons, turn my eyes away from what I perceive and back to reality, or point me to someone who can help when she can’t.
Once the real problem is identified, pick up your Bible and read. There are many times when the solution was right there in the Word the entire time, and until you talked with God and your Sister-Friend you were blind to it. I can’t tell you how many times in the past year God has answered my prayer through the voice of my friend and her direction to a certain scripture.
It’s when, out of fear or pride, we isolate ourselves from those who can help us that we find ourselves at the end of the road overcome with desperation and hopelessness. If this is where you are, please cry out to God for help. Please reach out to your best Sister-Friend. Do not isolate yourself from the help that you so desperately need. We are not supposed to travel this life completely alone.
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement.” Proverbs 18:1 ESV