Thursday, October 5, 2017

Help In the Darkest Days

How are you doing today?" A simple question that can unleash struggles and trials and traumas beneath the surface.

I ask this question often, as there are those in my home who struggle with anxiety and depression. Sometimes the answer is, "Fine", when I know in my heart they are not fine- and I struggle, and pray, and wait until they are ready to share. Sometimes the answer is honest and heart wrenching all at once. And sometimes, the answer leads to an intense season of intervention, with support from those who are trained to help.

It is heart wrenching to see one you love more than life struggle to stay present in it. 

I can work off some of my own anxiety with the necessary medical response. Once an emergency doctor appointment has been scheduled, a counselor who is a good fit is found, and insurance approval has finally been given (after hours and days on the phone), there is a necessary stillness. A time to wait, and pray, and deal with my own feelings and emotions.

It takes courage to approach the fear. To confront it, rather than ignore it, or slap trite sayings over the top of it. It can be hard and heavy work to go to battle for your own wellness. 

Sometimes the hardest part is letting go. I can control (somewhat) when we see the doctor and who we see. I can work around the necessary insurance requirements, and oh, have I learned to jump through hoops! But what I cannot control is how one I love feels about themselves, their life, or their traumas.

Psalm 77:6 speaks of the struggle:

I call to remembrance my song in the night, I commune with my own heart, and my spirit makes diligent search. 

Sleepless nights, and anxious days can cause me to commune with my own heart, rather than diligently seek the One whose heart is for us. The first verses of this very same Psalm express where we can find sustenance for the hardest journeys:

"I cry up to heaven, 'My God, True God, and He hears. 
In my darkest days, I seek the Lord. 
Through the night my hands are raised up, 
stretched out, waiting...
my soul is uneasy."
(Psalm 77:1-2, The NKJV)

The NIV puts it this way: "at night I stretched out...[my] hands and I would not be comforted."

We have walked through dark seasons before, and I have prayed for rescue. When darkness strikes again, I feel so helpless. I cannot fix the one I love. I can only hold him while he falls apart and get him trained help-- once he is willing. The choice comes:

Will I hold myself apart from my Healer, or will I be comforted by the Eternal? 

When I finally release I can do healthy work:
Praying and grieving-- releasing pent up stress through tears, 
Aproaching the altar to surrender what I cannot control,
and
Working through each and every fear, holding tight to God's promises!


"Jesus will never leave you or forsake you."~ A. Marie Mitchell


 I do not have to be alone in this. Yes, there are seasons of struggle, and yes, there is heartache, but my own Healer stands ready to hold me and carry me through. I might be able to survive this season in my own strength, but I will never know peace until I lay down my pain and grab hold of the One whose heart is for my wholeness. 


Psalm 23 tells us,

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
He provides for every need, nourishing my body and my soul. 
He soothes my fears and restores my soul. 
Even in the unending shadows of death's darkness, 
I do not have to be afraid, for He is with me. 

Because You are with me, O Eternal, 
Near with Your guidance and protection,
I am comforted. 

(The Voice and NIV Translations)

Prayer:
God, you are my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer (Ps. 18:2)
I choose to cling to you.
I pray you will deliver the ones I love from the lies of the enemy.
Train my own heart to KNOW your Truth.
Hold me close and comfort me in the dark days.
Be my Source, my strength, and my Hope.

Give us Life and not death, and wellness in spirit, soul, and body,
Both now, and forever more.

~Just Me