This section of the book really hit me hard. When I first read it, I was struggling with severe depression. I had thoughts of leaving, deep down in my heart. Not that I would truly do that, but the thoughts were there.
At the deepest point of my depression, I prayed for God to take me away from the pain in my heart. It was my belief in God, and the knowledge that suicide is a sin that kept me from going that far down that scary, ugly path. For a while, I truly believed that my family would be better off without me.
But, God had a different plan in that area, because He did not beam me away from here. Fortunately, I received the help that I needed, and have since gotten my depression under control.
Before I go on, I feel strongly that I need to say this:
Please, if you think that you may have depression, seek help. It is not a sign of weakness. It is not something to be ashamed of. When I finally did open up about my depression to those around me, I was SHOCKED by how many people said they were touched by it in their own lives. Also, knowing that a very good, strong, wonderful Christian friend of mine also suffered from depression gave me a sense of freedom to admit my problem and to seek help. Talking about it with others may HELP somebody. Don’t hold it inside, okay?
On that same thread, if you think that somebody you know might be depressed, please encourage them to seek help. They can talk to their pastor, their primary care physician (which I strongly recommend), or another counselor that they trust. But sometimes you can’t just wait for it to go away on its own.
Okay, stepping off of my soapbox now.
Back to today’s section, written by Stacey:
I found my heart being stirred and so I went to spend time bowed low with the One who had whispered, “Come.”
I confess, I don’t go to the altar often.
But I knew where He wanted to meet me that morning. And meet me He did.
As soon as my knees hit the carpet, the words began to pour out.
Confession of failures. Oh how I’ve yelled.
Admitting my sins, one by one they rolled out.
I can’t do this. I can’t do this…I am such a disappointment as a mom.
I began to cry ugly.
The Lord, gentle and loving in His response to me, brought Ann’s words to mind:
“We disappoint, but sisters, we disappoint and we point to the One who does not disappoint.”
Friends, it is in our weakness that God uses us. Not when we are strong. If we were strong all of the time, why would we need Jesus?
If we were strong all of the time, people would look to us and say “she’s so strong. She does EVERYTHING. And she doesn’t need help from anybody. I wish I could be more like her.”
Ummm, wait. Do you know what that leads to? That leads to putting others up on a pedestal and….worshiping them.
This is hitting me really hard as I write this. I have been guilty of looking to other moms and wanting to be more like them. Wishing I could do this, that, and the other thing like they do.
That’s not what God wants from us. God wants us to lean on Him. God wants us to strive to be like Him. And when we achieve things, He wants us to praise Him.
He is the one worthy of our praise. Not anybody else.
I want others to see my weakness, if it means that they can see God working through me. I want to be that cracked vessel for Him so that His light shines through the imperfections.
If we could do everything on our own strength, then we wouldn’t need Jesus. Aren’t you so glad that we DO need Jesus?
As hard as parenting can be, as hard as homeschooling can be, I feel that God has used these situations to draw me closer to Him. And that is SO much better than being apart from Him!
Our discussion questions for today:
- Have you ever just wanted to walk away?
- Stacey and Brooke both have family members who walked away when the weariness became too much. What has kept you from leaving in the past?
- Some people think the only place where you can find an altar is at church. But that’s not true!
God, because of Jesus, is available anywhere, anytime to His people! If there’s something you need to confess, something that’s weighing on your heart or keeping you from experiencing joy in your life, quiet yourself where you are and talk to God about it. Where can you go in your house (or anywhere else) that can double as an altar?
Remember, you can post your answers in the comments area, or on your own blog. If you choose to post on your blog, I just ask that you leave me a link here so we can keep the discussion going. Thanks, friends!
Other posts in this series: