My Battle Plan against Depression, first steps

Sword Spiritual Warfare2 Corinthians 1:8-10: 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

I have been looking into spiritual warfare a lot lately. I have also been reflecting on my inward struggles and have decided to draw up a battle plan. My biggest inward struggle is against the depression and anxiety that try to control the rest of me. It has been since I can remember. I am at a much better place than I once was. The biggest current struggle now, is that the serotonin-deprived parts of my brain are trying to convince me that it’s not worth exercising or stretching every day. It’ll tire me out and prevent me from getting anything else done today. It might get better for a little while, but then one slip up, and I’ll be right back where I started. It’s almost Thanksgiving, when we’ll be flying back to Minnesota. Car rides and flights always set me back. Why bother? This is a lie I have struggled with for FAR too long.

This spiritual battle wages because we are given the power to overcome sin’s grasps when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. There is no battle when there is no opposing side. The Spirit of God brings us to life spiritually, but we still live in these bodies of flesh that still have a sinful nature. Thus, the battles rages—but victory is assured because we are in Christ! (Matthew 26:41; Romans 7:14-20; Galatians 6:16-17)

In Genesis 4, Cain gets angry that God didn’t look upon him and his sacrifices with favor as God did with his brother, Abel. God addresses it in verses 6 and 7: “6 Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’” God tells us to fight against sinful feelings! These feelings of depression and anxiety? THEY DON’T CONTROL ME!

Isaiah 53:4-5: “4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for out transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Here, we discover that Jesus went to the cross for our body, soul, and spirit. His suffering was not just for our soul’s salvation, but the HEALING of our soul, as well! He brings us peace—because not only are our sins on that cross, but so are EMOTIONS, FEELINGS, and everything we can imagine! Frustrated? Nail it to the cross. Depressed? Nail it to the cross. Anxious? It’s on the cross!

I know these are a lot of scriptures, but these battle plans need more than just words of mine. You see, the word of God is the sword of the spirit. And with the faith that we receive by reading these verses of truth, we can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16-17). I shall continue.

The very first scripture I wrote was a time when Paul was depressed. So depressed that he despaired of life itself. In 1 Kings 19:3-4, we see Elijah when he is depressed. “3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom brush, sat down under it, and prayed he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’” Here, we see Elijah in isolation. Depression THRIVES on isolation. Shame is in the driver’s seat when depression shows up. “I am no better than my ancestors who died in the desert before seeing the Promised Land. Kill me, too!” That sounds an awful lot like what I said earlier in this post: It’s not worth exercising. I’ll just go backwards, anyway. I’ll just have this disability forever. Ahh!

How do I fight this? I need to focus on God changing ME instead of what’s around me. In Matthew 14, Jesus is walking on the water, and Peter asks to be called out, too. Picking up in verse 30: “But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.” Peter didn’t pray for the storm to stop, he prayed, “Lord, do a work in me! Reach down and rescue me!” – THEN, the storm stopped! I’m not going to wait until I get miraculously better or I “feel like” exercising or stretching. I can’t keep praying that I’ll “feel like” exercising and stretching more. I just need to DO IT. Because I know that when I take a step, God will be there to guide it. Peter walked on the water until he saw his circumstances and got scared. I’ve been scared too long.

I talked a lot about exercising and stretching for my MS in this post, which is definitely something I need to be doing. I have been dealing with a lot of other lies that this battle plan will help to eliminate. The first step of what I need to do is to straighten all these things out in my mind. Actions are the follow through of thoughts, and I need to start there. Instead of praying that I’ll get more work and that it will pick up, how about I start doing the work I have better? It all starts in my mind.

“…But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:9b-10).

Resources: “The Depression Struggle” sermon by Richard Holmes; “Understanding Spiritual Warfare” by Tonilee Adamson and Bobbye Brooks.

This Post by a warrior in Christ, Anna E. Meyer

Letting Go and Letting God

It has been a roller coaster of a week. Two weeks ago, I was presented with an opportunity to be a Mary Kay Independent Beauty consultant. Well, Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I discussed it, and decided that this randomly WAS from the Lord. It was totally random, and I had never dreamed of working with beauty products EVER. I was working 4 hours a week at my other job, and needed to get out of the house and associate with people other than in a music lesson or online. So, I accepted the opportunity and ordered a starter kit. Then came the discussion about inventory. Any inventory I bought upfront would be an investment, as I would sell it. But it was block week, so Dr. Coyote and I decided to both pray about it and discuss the following Saturday (AFTER tests were done). We made a decision, I told my sales director and my senior consultant (aka my awesome friend Kat who presented me with this unexpected opportunity).

Last night, Dr. Coyote and I stopped and looked around at what had been happening. We had both somehow been in a little funk this week. My debit card would not allow the purchase of the inventory we wanted (and I had already called my bank to discuss it a few times, thinking everything was said and done after that). My website was not active and I couldn’t get to it. Why were these things happening? My confidence in this decision was faltering, and I was relying on myself to fix everything.

Duh! The devil was trying to stop me, and I was trying to resist him by myself. What happened to the armor that the Lord had given me? He protects my head, always reminding me who I am—I am his child and was chosen by him for a purpose! I wear the belt of truth, so that no lies can entangle me and I can always be reminded of the truth. I wear the breastplate of righteousness, which protects my heart. The breastplate keeps the devil out of my heart because it is too easily deceived on its own. And Jesus lives there, empowering me! I also carry the shield of faith, which protects me from attacks and helps me through obstacles in my path (have you seen the way that Captain America uses his shield? I imagine using the shield of faith somehow like that). I hold the sword of the spirit—the word of the Lord. In my own experience, I have found that if I do not start off my day by reading the word, the rest of my day is filled with self-pity and I don’t look up—I’m stuck “naval gazing” (looking down at myself—it’s all me me me me me). We have access to the word like never before—I think I have 8 bibles on my shelf in different translations or with commentaries and such. And lastly, the Lord has given us use of this amazing “weapon” called prayer. And when we’re praying, we have an access to God that we wouldn’t have otherwise!

This Mary Kay job is a ministry. I decided that right away. I will be doing so much more than I would without it! I will have access to so many more women, and I will be able to invest in them. Way more than if I was sitting at home on my computer (which is what I am doing right now as I type…). This job is also an opportunity for the Lord to do his thing and grant his blessings to Dr. Coyote and I, that we can bless, as well.

Nobody and nothing will get in the way of this. The Lord set it in front of me and showed me possibilities he could do with it. Most med students have $250K of debt when they become a doctor. What if I’m not okay with that? I can interact with women and help them discover the beauty that so many of the rest of us see. Somebody did that for me, and I want to share this greatness! I don’t WANT to be normal. I WANT to be different. I WANT to let Christ use me and shine through me. I WANT to make a difference in someone’s life. And maybe someday I’ll drive a pink car (as long as Dr. Coyote wouldn’t have to). Then someday when you’ll see me, you will know that the Lord has been up to something in my life. Are you going to let him be up to something in yours?

Anna E Meyer