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How to Overcome Depression (Step One)

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I've been staring at this blank white screen for what feels like hours, wondering where to even begin.

"How to Overcome Depression."

Depression.

The Monster that took the life of my brother.

The Monster that fueled my eating disorder.

Even putting "how to" and "depression" in the same line seems downright silly.

As if a wikiHow article could save someone from a life of depression...

(No offense to the creators of wikiHow, keep doin' your thing).

How to treat a sunburn.

How to train a dog.

How to clean a carpet.

How to overcome depression.

One of these four doesn't belong.

Depression isn't a quick fix.

For some, depression is a daily, lifelong fight.

Just how many people struggle with depression?

15 million. In America alone.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression "affects more than 15 million American adults in a given year."

And that's only American adults age 18+. Think of how many children yo…

Beautiful Surrender

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As I lie awake in bed at night,
I wonder how to make it through this fight.
This fight between myself and the world,
Between myself and temptations unheard.

How can I survive, conquer, overcome,
When the actions I've committed cannot be undone?
Where is strength to be found,
When fears and failures abound?

Trapped, feel I, beneath the chains of my despair,
Forever longing for someone simply to care.
In the midst of my misery, where is Peace?
Where is Hope as I worry and weep?

My eyes are open: I now can see,
That the lost are always found in Christ our King.
Grasping Peace requires letting go,
Letting go of worries about which He already knows.

When we struggle and suffer through pain,
He opens the eyes of the blind and lifts up the lame.
Our brokenness through Him is healed,
Our sins and past mistakes concealed.

We must surrender, let go, and move on,
Before He can get us back to where we belong.
Surrendering our worries and trusting in Him,
Over our fleeting trials, He will surely win.

Forgiveness

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If you know me, you know I have a lot of trouble with forgiveness.

Not when it comes to forgiving other people - that's the easy part.

The hard part is forgiving myself... And letting go of the past...

It's hard for me to believe that God has truly forgiven me.

I can't wrap my mind around the fact that He has made my sins white as snow.

"'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord.
'Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall become like wool'" (Isaiah 1:18).
Thankfully, high school Haley has some words of wisdom for post-grad Haley (I recently stumbled upon my old journal of Christian poems from high school).

One such poem I titled, "Redemption," written on February 4, 2011, reminds me that in Christ I am forgiven, loved and redeemed.

Redemption

You wash away my sins,
Creating me anew.
You comfort my soul,
With a peace that's ever true.

Your forgiveness heals,
Resto…

The Only Solution to Our Struggle

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Most people I know are broken to some extent, whether they realize it or not.

As human beings, we are born empty.

People have all sorts of different ways of filling the emptiness...

Alcohol or drugs.

Sex or porn.

Overeating or undereating.

For me, it used to be undereating.

[Praise God for freedom from the chains of a decade-long struggle.]

But as I've learned through my church's recovery ministry,

It's not really about my eating disorder.

There is a deeper issue at the heart of every struggle we face.

"The struggle that brought you to recovery is only a symptom of a deeper heart issue."

The heart of the issue is our brokenness -

Our inability to find everything we need within ourselves.

But wait.

Say that again?

"Our inability to find everything we need within ourselves."

We'll never find what we are looking for when we look to ourselves.

We are broken.

Sinful.

Empty.

For this reason, we must seek a solution outside ourselves.

Something beyond.

Something…

Faith is Not a Feeling

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"I don't get it...sometimes I wake up and really feel God's presence. I feel happy and ready for the day. Other times I don't feel Him at all. I'm so confused. How do you know when He's really there? How do you know when He is actually speaking to you?"

I could almost hear the desperation in her voice,

See the longing in her eyes,

And feel the restlessness in her heart.

"For our hearts are restless until they rest in You" (Augustine).

"He's not a feeling," I whispered in the darkness of her midday slumber.

"He's more than a feeling. He's everything."

We live in a society obsessed with feelings of instant happiness.

Instant gratification, instant satisfaction.

Thanks to social media and technological advancements, we can pretty much get anything we want, whenever we want.

I used to think once you became a Christian, those instant happy feelings would immediately be replaced with a permanent, unshakeable joy.

At an …

Surrender

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I lay it all down, here at Your feet,

My weary heart, my joy incomplete.
To You I run, before You I fall,
You are my Love, the Maker of All.
In You, I find, the fullness of life,
You are my Hope, in this world of strife.
You are my Light, my Strength, and my Song,
I praise Your great name, all the day long.
Each day, I know, that surrender is key,
To be fully Yours, to be fully free.


Yet I toss and turn and shout and fight,

Wrestling with God with all of my might.
When will I learn, that You're all I need?

When will I follow, blindly where You lead?

Hold me close, My God, for I am so scared,

Of the path to come, of the way You've prepared.

Of this life to which You're calling me,

Of the task of trusting in what I cannot see.

Still, I give up my worries and my fears,

To You who has loved me all these years.


"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in t…

No Boundaries

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"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'"
Luke 24:1-8

The stone was not rolled away from the tomb so that Jesus could get out.

Jesus knows no boundaries.

He is not bounded by stones, walls, or doors.

John 20:19 "...when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and …