(Sorry about the delay. We were out of town without internet access.)
After God didn't give me the desire of my heart by giving me a natural delivery with Todd, I was devastated. I didn’t know what to believe anymore. The Scripture no longer made sense to me. What do you do when you feel like God is the one who hurt you? I became depressed. I stopped trusting God and started asking “Why?”. I wanted to give up on God and church. I was confused and inundated with mixed emotions. I was astounded that I was in this place spiritually. I grew up in church – saved and baptized when I was six, baptized in the Holy Spirit when I was nine, and I never strayed from God as a teenager. I went on missions trips with Teen Mania and even spent a year in Tulsa in the Teen Mania Honor Academy. I had thought I would always be close to God, but now I felt like He had betrayed me. I wanted to give up on everything, but I knew it wasn’t an option because I had a husband and two kids who needed me. Something had to give – I couldn’t go on this way anymore.
I tried to give up on God. I tried to ignore Him. I tried to believe He couldn’t really be there. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t deny Him. No matter what I tried to think or imagine, my thoughts always went back to Him. He was, and always will be, a part of me and who I am. And I can’t exist without Him. I realized that I really do need Him, even if I don’t always understand what He is doing.
So, eventually I came out on the other side and slowly began trusting God again as I let Him heal me. Then I got pregnant with Sadey when Todd was only six months old. I wasn’t totally emotionally healed yet and now I was hormonal on top of everything else. I chose to let depression overtake me again. I wasn’t ready to be pregnant again and I was terrified that I wasn’t going to be able to handle another child at that time in my life. (Fear has been one of my closest accomplices most of my life.)
During that time I was on the worship team at church. I had a hard time bringing myself to worship God. I felt like every time I got up on stage I was being hypocritical. I felt like I needed to step back from the team for a while because I couldn’t lead people where I couldn’t go myself. (Depression really skews your thinking. It keeps you totally focused on yourself, and even twists selfish thoughts so they seem altruistic.) So I told my Worship Pastor that I wanted to step down for a while. Rather than accepting my reasoning, she reminded me of why we worship. She told me that we don’t worship God based on how we feel. We worship God based on who He is. Worship isn’t about us. It’s about Him. Sometimes we have to make the choice to worship even though we may not feel like it.
So, I made the choice to worship God and things started to turn around. For a while it truly was a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:5). As I persisted, however, I was strengthened and it became easier to choose to combat the depression rather than accept it. I started acting on II Corinthians 10:4-6 by taking the negative thoughts captive and replacing them with positive godly thoughts. I began to reach out to other people for help, (which is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do because vulnerability scares the crap out of me) and allow others to help bear my burdens (Galatians 6:2). I started meeting with God and hearing from Him again.
(To be continued...)