Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fighting Despair... and Winning with the Word of God.

Life has been difficult since the pretty Easter pictures. The room started spinning and I started puking on Sunday night. I have no idea what this is all about. Side effects of meds, stomach bug?? My health is so unpredictable. One day I am 'normal', the next... feeling like I am on my deathbed. I have absolutely no control these days. My friends who have control over everything... annoy me. I have totally been Debbie Downer these last few days and thought I shouldn't blog. But, life is not always a pretty picture. Life can be H.A.R.D.
I have been sick in our marriage longer than healthy. For pretty much all of my boys' life, I have been on medicine battling for my life. It is very 'depressing'..
I got this email today from a friend-
I can't believe you're homeschooling the children despite "tons of medicine"! I don't know how you can keep your wits about you, truthfully, or how you can keep going with them all in the house 24/7. You are one dedicated mom! I'm sorry to hear you're still fooling with this physical thing. I'll definitely keep praying for you, as I have been. Such a mystery that it doesn't yield to treatment in any permanent way. May the Lord bless you for your willingness to keep slugging it out and not cave to depression. I think I would have by now.
There are 3 main things that have KEPT me from depression during 4 years of chronic pain.
My anti-depressants have been...
"If your law hadn't sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery." Psalm 119:92
2. Tim's undying optimism..
"Come on, we are rounding 3rd! You can't give up now!!"
And when he lays his hands on me at night and prays over me.
3. My boys
They bring me so much joy.
They all 3 are my joy in the mean time.

But, I continue to daily wrestle despair and become very weary in the ring. I am weary now and just want to wake up from this bad dream so I can jog again, have more babies, be OFF of horrible medicines, and rid of headaches and joint pain.
May God continue to redeem (bring worth to) this trial.
I want to be a good steward...allowing God to use this for eternal impact.
Thank you for caring. I don't know that I would have had your compassion before this happened to me. Your sincere sympathy really has challenged me so much to really care for others in their trials.
Here are some more verses if you, also, are in the ring fighting against despair or know someone who is..
"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,
for he breaks down gates of bronze
and cuts through bars of iron."

Psalm 107:13-16
"Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul."
Psalm 86:4
"When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your love, O Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul."

Psalm 94:18,19

There is ALWAYS hope for a child of God..
"O prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you."
Zech 9:12

"...the faith and love that spring from
the hope that is stored up for you in heaven."
Col 1:5
"I wonder many times that ever a child of God should have a sad heart, considering what the Lord is preparing for him."
Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)
Start Praising!!!
I believe this shatters the shackles of depression.
Turn my music up and start praising!
Get your mind off of YOU and onto HIM and things that are praiseworthy...
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
...And the God of peace will be with you."

Philippians 4:8,9
(thanks for the pics, Jill!!!)
"To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
Rev 1:5,6
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

Col 3:1-4
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."
Eph 1:3

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name."
Hebrews 13:15

WOW!! This is a great one to use in praise!!
"When we worship, we join the future heavenly chorus.
Though continuing to live in this world with its suffering,
we step momentarily into the glorious future of God."
from my Worship Bible
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

"Let my prayer be set before You as incense.
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."
Ps 141:2
He is so near to you!!!
"God puts his ear so closely down to your lips that he can hear your faintest whisper. It is not God away off... it is God away down here, close up- so close upthat when you pray to him, it is more a kiss than a whisper.
Thomas De Witt Talmage
Don't miss the treasures surrounding you in darkness.
I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

Isaiah 45:2,3

He has brought you to this secret place to GIVE to you. Don't miss out on all the riches He has to give you. The enemy knows THE POWER that can happen in times of darkness and does not want you to receive these treasures that will change the rest of your life and the lives of others. Don't miss these intimate moments with your Savior. He is so near to you.
Don't take a short cut. Don't take a pill. Don't be afraid to GO THERE. HE IS THERE. HE WILL PROTECT YOU AND GIVE YOU TREASURES. If you let His light pierce into your darkness, you will see the treasures. After all, there is no darkness if He is there. Pour your heart out to him. He will never take advantage of you. He adores you.
"Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."
Ps 62:8
"He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him."
Daniel 2:22
"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light."
Micah 7:8
"I have come into the world as a light,
so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."
John 12:46
"God is light; in him there is no darkness at all."
1 John 1:5
Finally, Be ready to SHARE your treasures...
"What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight;
what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs."
Matt 10:27
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

2 Cor 1:3-5
Just from writing and thinking on these verses, my countenance has changed from Debbie Downer to Debbie 'DAUGHTER'. ;)
Here are some more wise words that I have received since sharing my sadness with my sisters...
a prayer from a friend...
"Lord you know the number of days of this trial. Give her peace until then and after. Help her to trust and continue to press in to touch the hem of Your garment and hold on for dear life until You give her complete and full healing. Lord restore to her ever year, month, day, and minute that was stolen."
an email from a friend..
"I have this struggle five days into a cold, for heaven's sake! I can't imagine years. I will continue to pray not only for your healing but for your emotions. Hour by hour is the only way to live it. Walking on water is what you're doing. I'm sure you'd rather be in the boat, but Jesus has another plan.
For now."
a verse from a friend (with commentary!)...
"The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul."
Ps 121
After reading this I looked up what Merriam Webster had to say about preserve…to keep safe from harm or injury, protect, keep alive, maintain, to keep from decomposition, prepare for future use, to keep up and reserve for personal or special use.
I am praying for you Stephanie! In His Love, Amy
What a blessing the body of Christ is!! Ask for prayer from friends.
Encourage one another! Reach out to one who is struggling. Share one of these verses with them. The Word of God gives life!
"He spoke, and they were healed-- snatched from the door of death."
Psalm 107:20
My friend, Jill, sent me these pictures to help me think on good things.
How fun is she??

I pray that this is helpful to someone. Feel free to forward this post on to one who is struggling with despair.
These beautiful promises are for the one who has personally trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin. If you have not done that and have questions, please email me and we can walk through this together.
If you would like to come into a personal relationship with Christ now, you can!
The Simple Steps:
1. Acknowledge in your heart that Jesus is Lord.
2. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.
3. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised three days later.
4. Repent of your sins and get baptized in the name of Jesus.
This is not the power of a prayer, but the power of truly committing our lives to Christ as Savior and Lord.
The following is merely a guideline for our sincere step of faith:
"God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross at Calvary, and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my King, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in Jesus' precious and holy name. Amen."
"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:9

Be blessed.



Carrie said...

that is an amazing testimony! I don't even know you, but have found strength in your situation and LOVE of GOD! It is so easy to get depressed and down with the daily things in life and pull of family needs, but you truly inspire us to put our faith in God and not to give into those things that can break us! I will pray for your continued strength and a that drive to keep at it...so that you can provide for your boys and husband...and continue to minister to our needs as readers, as well!

You are such a lovely person and I pray for your health. Thanks so much for taking time to keep us informed and for sharing your lives with us!

Faye said...


Julie said...

Steph - I wish there were more I could do for you. You are such an inspiration - as a wife, mother, friend, daughter of Him. Know that even though we have never met you have touched my life in a positive way. And that I pray for you each day.

Remember..."Hope is what happens as long as we breathe." Just keep breathing....

"A day away can transform uncertainty and renew the spirit." (Maya Angelou)

Mary T said...

Stephanie, this is a most wonderful, inspiring, testimony. You are such a disciple, sweet one!
You teach and lead with such a loving hand and spirit, even in your pain and sickness. Oh, my cup overfloweth with joy when I read your words. You show how comforting it is to be in the Word. You are like the city on the hill shining forth light and giving glory to our Father.
I pray for you now.
And I pray in thanksgiving for all your wonderful friends holding you up.

Amanda May said...

Wow, Stephanie. Your testimony is ALREADY incredible...and the Lord isn't even finished yet!! I'm looking forward to "the rest"!

Revelation 12:11
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony..."
I am praying for you!

Angela said...

Love you, girl. Glad you're clinging to Him.

Traci@ Beneath My Heart said...

I continue to come to your blog for encouragement, and again today I have received it!
The verse Isaiah 45:2,3 really spoke to me and I am going to memorize it this week. I can't imagine that God can bring goodness out of my darkness, but I'm going to trust...
Thank you for being such an instrument of His peace!

I am praying for your healing.

Unknown said...

This is an awesome post! I am continuing to pray for you and your sweet family.

Alicia said...

This is awesome! You come to update and encourage others, and these Scriptures encourage you the same! I am reminded of things that Jan Silvious has shared regarding Phil. 4:6-7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Jan has read and studied about the brain, and she has learned that anxiety and gratitude cannot exist in the brain at the same time. Isn't that amazing?! Thanks be to God for His Word and His lovingkindness! Praise God that you are holding fast to Him and His Word, and that He gives you the grace to endure the difficult trials.

Unknown said...

I am a friend of Christina Emmons and met you many years ago at your Song of Solomon study. This is from streams of the dessert and I thought of you as I read it. You are blessed by your heavenly Father! Thank you for your encouraging words:
Broken Things

"By reason of breakings they purify themselves" (Job 41:25).
God uses most for His glory those people and things which are most perfectly broken. The sacrifices He accepts are broken and contrite hearts. It was the breaking down of Jacob's natural strength at Peniel that got him where God could clothe him with spiritual power. It was breaking the surface of the rock at Horeb, by the stroke of Moses' rod that let out the cool waters to thirsty people.

It was when the 300 elect soldiers under Gideon broke their pitchers, a type of breaking themselves, that the hidden lights shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries. It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil, and poured it forth, that God multiplied it to pay her debts and supply means of support.
It was when Esther risked her life and broke through the rigid etiquette of a heathen court, that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death. It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them, that the bread was multiplied in the very act of breaking, sufficient to feed five thousand. It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box, rendering it henceforth useless, that the pent-up perfume filled the house. It was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken to pieces by thorns and nails and spear, that His inner life was poured out, like a crystal ocean, for thirsty sinners to drink and live.

It is when a beautiful grain of corn is broken up in the earth by DEATH, that its inner heart sprouts forth and bears hundreds of other grains. And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation, and all spiritual life, God must have BROKEN THINGS.
Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken ofttimes in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon, and using for God's glory. "The lame take the prey," Isaiah tells us.

O break my heart; but break it as a field Is by the plough up-broken for the corn; O break it as the buds, by green leaf seated, Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn; Love would I offer unto Love's great Master, Set free the odor, break the alabaster.
O break my heart; break it victorious God,
That life's eternal well may flash abroad;
O let it break as when the captive trees,
Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties;
And as thought's sacred grove to life is springing,
Be joys, like birds, their hope, Thy victory singing.
--Thomas Toke Bunch

Stacy said...

Amen! :-) Powerful words, Steph.

Amanda said...

Thinking and praying for you, Steph...

God's girl said...

Simply beautiful girl!
Much love,