Special Heart/

Brad's Promise

Depression Life Preserver


I've been, as they say, "struggling" with depression. In fact, I wake up crying some times. Some of the things that brings me down are:


I'm bereaved of two children, and although I truly rejoice in where they are now, even Jesus wept when confronted with death (Luke) I also can't seem to shake the painful memories of their hard times that resulted from their disability.


For the last few years I feel invisible at church. I walk in and walk out and it seems of no consequence to anyone whether or not I am there. I know... I sound a lot like Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh's sorry friend. And I know the problem is probably mostly with me. But just sharing how I feel.


I have this autoimmune illness, which is so much better than it used to be, but it looks like I will never really shake it completely. It's kind of like having a badly broken bone, it never really feels right, even when it heals.


Well, I'll spare you from any get the idea. And knowing that you have your own list is also depressing, especially since I observe families who deal with special needs and I know that the children themselves have an enormous struggle each and every day, and so do their parents, because they love their children so much.


I wanted to share how the Lord recently reached down and lifted me out of my depression.


In the midst of my emotional slump, I was willing to ask God to fill my mind with His truth. The truth that came to mind surprised me because each promise also contained a command, a piece of responsibility on my part. I knew that in order to escape the tumultuous waves of sadness, I had to do my part. The Lord threw me a life preserver, but I had to grab hold of it.


Here are the scriptures that came to mind and in bold are the parts that I realized were a choice.


In this world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)


I can choose to have courage. It's not something I need to hope that I will somehow mysteriously attain. Jesus said, "take courage." When you take something, you reach out and make it your own.


Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future (Proverbs 31)


Clothing is something you choose to put on. The proverbs 31 woman in v. 25, actively put on strength and dignity...she refused to wallow in her emotions and be pathetic. (I have often felt pathetic lately!) The garments of strength and dignity are befitting for a daughter of the King. The worn-out clothes of hopelessness and despair look wrong on the King's princess.


Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. (Isaiah 41:10)


Not being afraid is something God commands. It doesn't feel like something we can choose, but if He commands it in His love for us, we can choose to not be afraid. It's not something we can just zap away like magic, but we can fill our minds with un-fearful and un-anxious thoughts deliberately and eventually, fear will get squeezed out.


Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, rejoice!


We think of that verse "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!" as a little jingle we sing with the kids in Sunday school. But it is actually a very serious instruction to us from the Lord. Again, if it weren't possible, if it weren't a choice, God wouldn't tell us to do it. Nehemiah 8:10 says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." That's why it is such an important discipline to choose joy...because it is our strength for living. Lack of joy means lack of strength, literally lack of strength to carry on at times.


Notice these are all pretty simple, familiar verses. That's why memorizing verses is not for little children only. They can be that life preserver that we are thrown when we are overwhelmed by the lie that God doesn't care, that things are hopeless, that there is no good plan for the hard battles in our lives


May God give us all the grace we need to choose courage, strength, dignity, and joy in our Savior. Many blessings to you!

Bev Linder


This time I'm ending with a photo of my friend Anna and myself. Anna has a daughter with a very severe disability and her husband was in an accident from which he never really recovered. She's a woman who clothes herself with strength and dignity, and I learn from her in that way.


Just love the 10 second timer on the camera...don't even need anyone to take the picture :)


Love to hear from you!