I am sure the word pity comes from the word PIT. When you are in a PIT, you are PITiful, or you could be having a PITy party.
This past week I had crept into a very big pit. It is a pit of discouragement and depression. I choose to share this story because in sharing, my hope is to give you hope. There is always a way out of the pit. Sometimes we allow Satan to imprison our heart with unhealthy thought patterns.
What do you do when you feel the world is caving in? I have some simple answers. I can give the answers to you because I just found them this week, again.
What is depression?
Depression is severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
The opposite of depression is hope. It is the cure for its disease. God knew that we would become discouraged so He saw fit to give us much hope in our troubles and to show us that it is only temporary. He is compassionate when we are discouraged.
Here are some verses from the Bible to illustrate God's compassion.
"The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace,
and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
"For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:
weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Here are some things that mean a lot to me:
- My family and relationship with the Lord
- My witness (the example I have before my fellow man—my reputation as a believer)
- Outreach and ministry (evangelism and also encouraging others by means of my blog)
- The homesteading or simple life
Well, those buttons were all pushed within the same week. It was all I could do to realize it was a plot to get me to give up ministering to others. Here is the story.
Friday: Our main goal in our home fellowship is to reach the lost. We have been making a commitment to go out and get busy sharing the gospel. Families are excited and jumping at any opportunity. Like fishing, we are looking for where the pools of fish are biting. We love people so much and would love them to know the same hope and peace that we experience with Jesus. Not religion, not our agenda, not for any other reason than to point them to God. We would love to show them the simple plan.
So we had a plan to go and there were two attacks to try to get us discouraged, but we just held fast and plowed ahead. It is not important how or why, just know we had some drama and at one point we had no tracks and had to get some, but the Lord worked it all out in the end...There is the first button #3 Outreach
Then someone warned another person that they would be better not to get information from me. This was done behind the scenes on the fall festival day, when our family was pouring out and trying to make a fun day, bringing people together instead of apart. I found out that I still had a problem with my mouth. I say too much and I sometimes get myself in trouble. Another lesson learned...This was the second button #2 My reputation or witness among my fellow man.
By Tuesday, I determined to read a book called Henry and the Great Society. I read the book and I must have bawled for 3 hours straight. It was like I opened a door in my mind that allowed darkness in. The book started out really wonderful, with a family who lived the simple life and then progress came. Little by little they all changed and the family life was gone. It was replaced with the latest conveniences and distractions. Henry was very depressed and eventually he dies. No hope. No happy ending. I left feeling total condemnation. I had been reading my book for the first time, but I set it down to read this book and found that it was a tool to bring me down.
After reading this book, I wanted to move into a shack, get rid of all conveniences, live off the land, and cleave to my family. I wanted what Henry gave up. And I felt I gave it up, like it was my story. Of course these things of the simple life are beautiful, wonderful, things, that could bring a family closer together. In our fast pace society (great society), we have come far from the bare essential simple living that our forefathers lived. Life was simple. They worked hard to put food on the table. It is a pull for me, in my spirit. I want to live the simple life—I covet it. But I know in my coveting heart of hearts, it is not where God has me or my family right now...This was the third button #1 (my family) and button #4 The Simple life
In a matter of 3-4 days, every button was pushed. I actually sat there thinking I was wrong to have a blog, I should not have technology, I should stop the madness. I thought I should not have written a book. It was a burden on my family to invest that time in writing it and the investment of self publishing it. Then I sat by my computer with tears filling my eyes, and with all the mounting buttons pushed in, and I looked at my statistics. That was when I noticed I went from 4500 unique visitors to 100 over the past couple weeks.
I sat there wondering if it was even worth it to continue blogging. I thought I must surely have let people down or failed them in some way for them to go away. Many hopeless things flooded my mind in that brief few hours of depression. I even had called someone and they agreed that I failed. They said I should stop blogging and that writing my book was a big mistake.
Satan is very good. Soon I realized that it doesn't matter if there is not very many people on that statistic list. I remembered Christ. I remembered that He would have died for even ONE. I was ashamed of myself for thinking those 100 people were not worth ministering to. I surely could see that I was focused in the wrong direction.
Secondly, I figured out, as I started to bring my thoughts back into the captivity of Christ, that it really does not matter what others believe about me. If I have made a mistake and I learned from it, that is my precious gift—MINE. They can't take that away from me. They can't take away the victory I have in Christ. If they hold to it, it is between them and God—their problem. I, thankfully, have only to answer to God for my life and how I lived it. I do not have to answer to others, they will not have the power to judge me in the hereafter. If others want to go around and warn people about me and my big mouth, that is between them and God. I have found that my value is not in what people think or believe about me, it is who I am in Christ! His blood is sufficient to make me victorious and new each day. I can write about these things and if others think less of me for my failings that is okay. I will testify of God's greatness ANYWAY. I just can't try to pretend so you can all think better of me. I won't do it.
Next, I had a visit from two young ladies. They could see I had been crying but there were no more tears. I was renewing my hope already. I must have shared stories of victory for 2 hours that evening. I had those girls in tears when I shared how Christ saved a wretch like me, to laughing so hard that they thought their bellies would burst as I shared stories about my poor frumpy attitudes I have had in the past. I was alive in Christ and I picked myself out of the pit by using strategy. We have to outwit the spiritual games that the Devil means to destroy us. Lauren stole that book about Henry that I wanted to read each night to my family. She told me I was not allowed to read it. I went back to reading my book, Living Virtuously. It is so good to read my stories and remind myself where I came from and how much I have learned so far. I read another chapter and I could feel nothing but hope. The whole point of my book was to show people, including myself, how to gain victory and have hope no matter what may come. And hope is what I needed the most that day. In becoming an over-comer, you first have to have something to overcome.
Satan is out there prowling around. He does not want us to reach out to others with the truth. He wants us to feel guilty and ashamed, hopeless and fearful. He would love it if I packed up and headed to shackville and never blogged again. Each soul is precious and I was reminded of that when I had those two girls sitting across from me with tears in their eyes. They are worth it. Who ever is reading this today, YOU are worth my time and energy. I know I have made many mistakes, I know I am not perfect—but that is just what some people need to know today. They need to know how frail we humans are in comparison to a mighty God who can renew our hope and make us victorious!
I do not have to have an entourage or a grand fan fare of people that hang on to my every word. I do not have to fight to gain the masses. None of that is lasting. It does not matter in eternity anyhow. It is all fueled by greed. Blogging is a big industry in this day and age. The bigger and more popular the blog, the more money is made. I could have got caught up with all of that, but I choose not to. What matters is being real, being true, and not compromising the faith I hold so dear in my heart. There will never be a big following with that stance.
Some of you have been in the pit or are in the pit right now, but there is hope! The strategy is to know who you are in Christ, know that He is real even though it seems like, in times like this, that He is far away. Remind yourself of something God has done in your life and the victory you have had over trials. Find someone to minister to. Share your testimony with others. It will cheer you up! It is the cure to the poison that gets into our minds. We have hope and comfort in these words...
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
"Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me,
lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee."
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;"
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
"Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop:
but a good word maketh it glad."
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
I linked this post up to this Wise Woman site. Go there if you would like to find more blog posts that are encouraging for your day! God bless!