Showing posts with label #DonnaClarkGoodrich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #DonnaClarkGoodrich. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DEPRESSION

Our church has a prayer loop. I noticed this week three requests for someone suffering from depression. It's real. It's devastating. It's one of the devil's best tools, but God can and will heal it. Praise His Name.
 

The devil delights in causing depression for saints. He whispers lies in our ears. We repeat them over and over until our spirits are so defeated only a miracle can redeem us, but God is in the miracle business.

 

Depression isn’t new.

 

Look at the prophet, Elijah’s words.

 


“I’ve had enough,” he told the Lord. “Take away my life. I’ve got to die sometime, and it might as well be now.”

                      1 Kings 19:4 Life Recovery Bible

 

 
Jeremiah poured out his depression on the page.

 


He has filled me with bitterness and given me a cup of deepest sorrows to drink.

                 Lamentations 3:15 Life Recovery Bible

 

 

In that same chapter of Lamentations in verses twenty-one through twenty-three, Jeremiah tells us the answer to depression.
 
 
 
Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness, his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. 

(That's one of my favorite verses.)
 

Our only hope.

 


God is strong enough to lift our burdens and loving enough to mend our broken heart.

              Life Recovery Bible, note on page 843

 

 
All forms of depression bring a wedge between us and God.


Like Jeremiah, the only remedy is soaking in the Word of God, allowing it to soothe and encourage, and reminding ourselves of His faithfulness in the past.

 

Depression is like an elephant sitting on you and you can't get up.
 

“If God never sleeps, why should both of us stay awake?”

                       The Freedom of Letting Go

                        by Donna Clark Goodrich

                 

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right."
                                                      ~ Henry Ford



Depression kept me down for years. I tried to eat myself into an early grave. I felt unworthy, unable to cope. Praise God for His healing. I still have days when I feel the effect on my thoughts, but His mercy is new every morning, so I know I must look up. I had one of those days Saturday. God is helping.

 Loss or betrayal can, at any time, throw us into a spiral of depression. Our only hope is through Jesus Christ. I pray today for all those battling with depression's effect.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Pride and Perfectionism

Perfectionism can hinder our Christian walk. Though not an obvious obstacle like envy or anger, it still can trip us up. Deceitful in nature, it makes us believe our actions are for God but might only feed our obsession.

 
The obstacle of perfectionism comes, in some form, from pride.
 
We still strive for parent's approval.
We desire laud and compliments.
We believe no one can do it as well as we can.
We seek to control everything.
We fear failure, so we don't do anything.

How do we know the difference between striving for excellence and being tangled in perfectionism?

 
The solution is less of us, and more of God. Remember, our worth comes from Him.

 
I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
                                             Psalm 139:4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
 
We fall into a comparison trap, when God loves us individually. He made us special just the way we are, not to be compared with another of his creations.
 
 
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.
                   1 Corinthians 12:18
 
 
 
According to Tara Johnson  in Hollow Victory: how to identify & disarm 5 landmines that make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie, before we take on any chore or ministry, we should ask ourselves this question. "Am I doing this so others will think better of me or is it because I'm trying to give my best to God."
 
 
Another of my favorite books, The Freedom of Letting Go by Donna Clark Goodrich makes these suggestions for dealing with what we consider to be a failure.
 
1. Were you simply not meeting unrealistic expectations?
2. Which doors opened or closed because you tried?
3. How is God using this to direct your life?
4. Accept yourself as you are.
 
 
 
Once, when I felt like such a failure because a class I was teaching closed for lack of interest, my daughter encouraged me by reminding me how God might use what I learned in another way, and that's what happened. The class evolved into a book.
 
From my book, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.
 
We ask Jesus to take over for us. We can’t do it alone. What a relief. We can lay down the load we’ve carried for years. Jesus will pick it up and carry it for us. I’m not perfect. Now, I don’t have to act as if I were.
 
Don't let perfectionism tie you in knots and ruin your Christian witness.
 
Give yourself permission to be human.
 
 
P. S. All three self help books can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and make great gifts.
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

PERFECTIONISM

We expect to be derailed by grief or fear, but perfectionism? That one slips up on our blind side. This problem is deceitful. What causes it?


I know I never measured up to what my mom wanted of me. Perhaps I’m still trying to make her proud. Beginning at the beginning helps overcome the urge to err on obsession.

What started your obsession with perfectionism? For that matter, how do we distinguish between trying to be the best we can be and worrying over being perfect? This can be a delicate balance with falling over the line, easy.


In her book Hollow Victory: How to Identify & Disarm 5 Landmines that make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie, Tara Johnson gives us this checklist of warning signs that you're out of balance.

1. Never satisfied with your performance
2. Negative recurring and persistent thoughts
3. A constant state of awareness about the lack of perfectionism in yourself or others.
4. Refusing to deviate from guidelines or the 'way things are supposed to be'
5. Constantly fearing rejection
6. When your mistakes feel like a death sentence
7. Refusing to change unhealthy behaviors because you might fail at the change
8. Thinking "I have no value in life unless I'm successful."
9. Thinking that love = good performance
10. Overt competitiveness
11. Persistent low self-esteem
12. Guilt over perceived failures
13. Depression
14. Rigid, inflexible, non spontaneous
15. Obsessive-compulsive behavior
16. Lack of motivation
17. Eating disorders
18. General unhappiness and comparing yourself to others.


If you read this list and decide you're there, the danger comes from deciding what you've been doing is a failure. Let me tell you a story of mine.


When I was losing my weight, our teacher left. I continued his class for several months but then stopped. About 7 years ago, encouraged by others to start a weight loss class, I did. I wrote my own curriculum. It was all about me and how great I had done. The class began with about fifteen members but, within four months, went down to four faithfuls (which isn’t unusual with people with weight problems). However, I started overeating, often crying in class, doing more damage than helping. I began to regain weight. I felt condemned and quit the class before the first semester was over. I felt such a failure.
God has given me 3 books, 2 on something about weight loss.

 

My daughter gave me some great advice. She told me, “Mom, that doesn’t mean it was a failure. God can use what you learned. Who knows but what He’ll use you to teach again, or have you encourage others online, or who knows what. It wasn’t a failure. It just wasn’t’ the time or the avenue. You weren't ready. You were still learning.”

 

That was before God helped me write “Divine Dining."
 
Before He spoke through me to groups about right thinking and weight loss.
 
Before, He used me to help others lose weight online 
 
 
 
 
One part of my teaching now is it’s NOT all about me. Perfectionism is a killer.
 
In her book, The Freedom of Letting Go, Donna Clark Goodrich tells us "Ask yourself: Have I truly failed, or am I simply not meeting unrealistic expectations?"
 
Accept yourself as you are before you try to be anything different. Failure in a task doesn't mean you're a failure as a person. Relax. Give yourself a break."

 
Thanks to my daughter's advice, I stopped, learned, prayed, and started again. It wasn't a failure; just success delayed.


If those warning signs hit you between the eyes, think about what you're doing. Is it really a failure or is it just your perfectionism showing? Are you ready or still learning?


Saturday, March 7, 2015

What's the Solution for Depression?

Think depression is something new to the twenty-first century? Think again. Ever since God kicked Lucifer out of heaven, that mean-spirited, beautiful ex-angel has been using every weapon in his arsenal to defeat God. One of those is depression. Listen to Elijah's story back in the time of the Jewish kings.

     So, Elijah fled for his life; he went to Beersheba, a city of Judah, and left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day, and sat down under a broom bush and prayed that he might die.
     "I've had enough," he told the Lord. "Take away my life. I've got to die sometimes, and it might as well be now."
             1 Kings 19: 3, 4 Life Recovery Bible
  
        But the Lord said to him, "What are you doing here Elijah.
     He replied, "I have worked very hard for the Lord God of the heavens, but the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you and torn down your altars and killed your prophets, and only I am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too."
             1 Kings 19: 9, 10 Life Recovery Bible

 
Another prophet of old by the name of Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. He wrote a whole book about his sadness. At one point in his ministry, here's how he felt.
 
      All hope is gone, my strength has turned to water, for the Lord has left me.
           Lamentations 3:18 Life Recovery Bible.

 
Symptoms of depression include:
     Insomnia or sleeping all the time
     Inability to concentrate or make decisions
     Loss of appetite or Inability to control overeating
     A feeling of emptiness
     Unconcern for normal enjoyments of life
     Change of habits
     Listlessness
     Crying over inconsequential things
     Outbursts of anger
     Panic attacks
     Thinking about suicide
     Inability to pray



Not everyone will have all these symptoms. There are degrees of depression, anything from “a little down” to physical, chemical depression requiring medication. All form of depression brings a wedge between you & God.
 
My devotion book, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness, shows my depression at the time I wrote this.
 
     I call out to God but only trust in my own abilities, because He is far away. I lost thirty pounds with a weight support group, but put it back on, plus some. I whittled off forty pounds with shots and pills only to find myself in deep depression and succumbing to old behavior patterns. When I purchased a diet franchise after losing a hundred pounds, the stress of keeping off the weight drove me to underground eating and gaining, until I lost my business. I had failed. I couldn't lose. I couldn't maintain what I lost. I was worthless.
 
 
Like Jeremiah, the only remedy to depression is soaking in the Word of God, allowing His Words to soothe & encourage, & reminding yourself of His faithfulness in the past.

On page 843 of the Life Recovery Bible, this note tells us, "Turning our life over to God includes giving him our pain and suffering. In our times of grief and shames, we can hope for the time when God will overcome the problems we face. God is strong enough to lift our burdens and loving enough to mend our broken heart."

                         
Lamentations 3:21-23 gives us the solution to depression.

     Yet, there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord's mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. 

 
Tara Johnson's book Hollow Victory: How to Identify & Disarm 5 Landmines that make Victorious Christian Living Feel Like a Lie tells us "Here's the thing about depression: you cannot operate based on how you feel. You have to cling to what you know." 
 



One Scripture that ministers to many of us comes because of Jeremiah’s struggle with depression.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, plans for good & not for evil, for hope in your future.”
                              Jeremiah 29:11

 

 
I look through the table of contents in The Freedom of Letting Go by Donna Clark Goodrich for all the things we must learn to let go of and deal with.
    Grief
    Failures
    Successes
    Fear
    Doubt
and the list goes on. One of the hardest things to let go of is control. Allowing God to take control.

I love Goodrich's quote from that book, "If God never sleeps, why should both of us stay awake."


Another promise from God to cling to:
 

 
When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up--the flames will not consume you.
                   isaiah 43; 2-3  Live Recovery Bible

 

Let’s list the things that verse says about what troubles we might face.

 

When we face waters – – He will be with us.
 

When we face rivers – We will not drown.

 
When we face fire – We won’t be burned.

 


Notice God says "when" we go through these things, not "if."

 
In life, we will go through bad things. So, we must remember God's solution that He gave us through Jeremiah.
 

Are you teetering on the brink of depression? Is the darkness calling you away from worship? Has there been a time in your past when depression has been a part of your life?

Do you need to remember the solution?