Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Under the Shadow of My Wing

I feel compelled of the Lord to write to you this morning to encourage your heart that the Lord has not left you for His promises are yea and amen.  One of His greatest promises to you is that He will never ever, no, not ever leave you or forsake you.  Heb. 13:5.  He IS with us always; even in our point of despair.

Let me share with you that my husband and I were in the midst of a very turbulent time in our marriage.  The traumatic experience triggered my PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and I went in to full blown anxiety and chemical depression.

Chemically in my body, I began to slide emotionally.  I struggled to keep myself together and continue to function in life and my piano teaching job, but life within me began to shut down in an attempt for self-preservation.  My anxieties grew to the point of being overwhelmed and life seemed like one big tidal wave slamming into my heart and emotions.  I wanted a place to escape, but could find none.  Fear gave way to panic.  Thoughts of suicide caused me to panic even more.  I knew that as a Christian, suicide was wrong and would send me to hell.  Yet, I felt increasingly unable to control my emotions let alone my actions.

It was at this point that I became so despondent, I didn't even know in my heart if God still loved me, because I'd bottomed out into such a deep pit...the deep pit of miry clay and despair.  I despaired of my life; no longer able to see beyond my overwhelming pain.  I felt so alone.  No one to really admit how I was feeling.  Oh yes, I called a couple very close friends to ask for prayer, but I never admitted how close to the edge I was....yet, they had figured it out anyhow.
(How I thank God for praying friends who will pray without being asked!!!)

I had driven to a small park down by the river wondering what it would be like to throw myself into the swirling rapids and drown.....Sitting there, I cried out to God, "PLEASE let me know that YOU LOVE ME!  It was within seconds of ending this prayer that a friend called me who lived 800 miles away.  My heart rejoiced!  The Lord answered by having Becky call me.  A glimmer of hope.  Thank You, Jesus for Your swift answer.  (He says to call to Him and He WILL answer. Jer. 33:3)

From there I attended our church's prayer service.  Kneeling and sobbing before the Lord, He said in His still small voice, "Crista, I shall keep you covered under the shadow of my wing and care for you as a mother hen cares for her chicks."  I continued to sob and sob from my great pain, but I knew God was in the midst of my storm.  Just as Jesus said when He looked out over Jerusalem, He was now comforting me with His promise from Ps. 91 that I was under the shadow of His wing. 

Why would I, a Spirit-filled believer in Jesus Christ, admit to such a thing?  Because sometimes we experience emotional pain to such a severity that we hardly dare to admit to ourself let alone someone else....Because sometimes our bodies take us into an emotional emergency due to chemical imbalances.  And like a heart attack or diabetic coma, we need emergent treatment.  (I'm not talking about a bad case of the blues, I am talking about full blown clinical depression out of which a person cannot bring themselves out.

Medical intervention for psychiatric problems does not connote faithlessness.
I believe quite the opposite is true.  It takes "Jesus Help!" faith to cry out to Him for help and then to do as He directs.  And for me, it was to a psychiatric hospital where I could get physical and emotional help in my time of need.  The pain of depression was as if  I'd entered an excruciating cocoon.  Hurting and feeling so alone.

I thank God I had the presence of mind to schedule an appointment with a therapist.  My husband and I were also meeting with our pastor, but with my body's chemistry now altered, I needed medical intervention.

At my first appointment, my therapist recommended that I enter an out-patient partial hospitalization program at the psychiatric hospital.  I packed my bag and moved in with friends for a week while I attended the hospital program. 

It was there that I came face to face with the diagnosis I'd heard before:
MDD....Major Depressive Disorder with anxiety.  This was my third hospitalization since 1990.  This type of depression has a genetic component, and I knew enough about my family history to know that my German birth mother and two sisters had suffered from depression and emotional issues.  Medication has now become a part of my life, just as my blood pressure and cholesterol medications.  I thank God for the medication He's provided to keep me in chemical balance.  I thank God for psychiatric care workers.  I thank God for my husband and praying friends who saw what I couldn't at the time.  It's been five months now since my hospitalization and I can truly say that I now feel well!  Hallelujah! 

In closing, this is God's promise to us that "He who dwells in the secret place shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Ps. 91:1 And in Ps. 91:4 "He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge."

Ps. 18:6 "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God.  He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears."

Deut. 33:26-27 "There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides the heavens to help you.  The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, 'Destroy!' "

Know this, that no matter how deep your pit, Jesus is deeper still for nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from His love.

Be encouraged this day that no matter how much your storm is raging right now, that He is with you and will deliver you for He is no respector of persons.  What He did for me, He will do for you.  And by all means, if you need professional help, seek it. 

"Lord, please encourage the ones who find themselves in a raging storm.  Reach down from heaven to touch them, for your arm is not too short that it cannot save.  Lord, fulfill your promise that underneath are your everlasting arms and you cover these hurting ones with your feathers; for You will care for them as a mother hen cares for her chicks."  Thank You, Jesus.  Amen and amen."

Ever yours in His love and mine,

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Welcome ~

The purpose of this blog is to encourage our walk in Christ; together in Him; for as we develop our relationship with the Lord, we ARE more than conquerors through Christ Jesus! Praise God! My writings are mostly from an experiential standpoint; however sometimes this includes dreams and visions. (Comments are reviewed prior to posting.)