About a week ago I shared a very heart-filled wordy post talking about my depression. I closed the comments on that post, but received several e-mails from those who read it and many who saw themselves in what God allowed me to share. One of the comments, though, wasn't so much about the reader's own battle with depression as much as it was a gentle prod asking me a question regarding forgiveness. I know the Holy Spirit led this lady to send the e-mail and there was a time in my life that I would have allowed it to anger me, taking it as a "slap in the face", so to speak. This sweet lady meant nothing of the kind.....
she was only asking me a question because it was something she had experienced herself.
Her question was a very simple one.....
"Do you have anyone to forgive?"
I've thought about that question and pondered on it. As a matter of fact sometime before she sent me that e-mail, I had prayed asking God to show me people I needed to forgive. I truly felt in my heart that I had forgiven those that I thought had wronged me. (maybe a later post on the topic of only being wronged based on our own "stinking thinking").
But, then as I sat and did my devotions one morning I felt in my Spirit that there was one person I knew I hadn't forgiven. This person tried desperately to do what was right, to not wrong anybody, to be the best she could be, but still it was NEVER good enough. She beat herself up over every little thing and just couldn't seem to let go of her past, bringing up things that had happened so very long ago that she knew God had already thrown into the depths of the ocean (Micah 7:19). She was so full of self-condemnation that she knew was wrong but still couldn't rid herself of.
This person that I had refused to forgive was.....
Then, a few days later I saw the little sign at the beginning of this post and realized that was meant for me, too. For oh, so long I've watered the wrong things in my life. I've kept alive those feelings of self-condemnation, nurturing them and allowing them to grow deep roots. Prayerfully I'm digging up those roots. It might take me awhile to get them all out of my heart and mind and there will probably always be "sprouts"......
but I know He's doing a work in my heart about forgiveness.
I have a cousin who also battles depression, and as a totally God-thing, he sent me a text last Thursday evening. I had never shared my battle with depression with him, but he knew. I sent him a text one morning this week and part of it read simply....
"Be kinder to yourself".
So, that's what I'm going to try to do each day, and I know it's going to take time and effort and the Lord's help.....
but I want to be kinder to Deb.
God thinks she's worth it and who am I to argue with Him?
Breathing in Grace,
Thank you, precious reader for listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to ask me that very hard question.
I truly appreciate it!!!
What a convicting statement; Stop watering things that were never meant to grow in your life. Profound! Glad your cousin took the time to be an encouragement to you. Great reminder too.ReplyDelete
That could be applied to a lot of things in our lives, right?!?!? My cousin just doesn't know how much he's loved...although I try to tell him!Delete
Here's an interesting excerpt I read just yesterday in "Rich Mullins: an Arrow Pointing to Heaven: "He had a very unique encouragement technique. When he counseled people who were depressed he told them to walk around their neighborhoods and learn the name of every tree. Rich believed that if people could get outside of their little shells of self-preoccupation, they could be healed of a lot of problems.....They might, just for a moment, forget their troubles (which are often self-imposed) and catch a vision of something larger and more enduring. And maybe in that simple act they would become free."ReplyDelete
(I think you know a little about my personal struggles with depression and would understand why this paragraph stuck out to me.....)
We share MANY common traits, Ms. Rebecca. Thank you for sharing the quote. I've heard it said that depression is just being self-centered. That is somewhat true, so getting my thoughts off of me and onto somebody, or something else is something I'll have to try....the next time....because it will come!Delete
Funny how things connect and come back around. This post REALLY speaks to me. Self-condemnation, watering things that don't belong...wow. God sees us. Two bloggers who need a Word. Haha (relieved laughter)...He says, ok, here is a Word. Take it. Hear it. You're going to learn this and you will make it. Really.ReplyDelete
Oh, Ms. Sandi....how precious you are to me and we've never even met! Yes....God sees us both and knew we both needed a Word and He gave us Words for each other. It's kinda mind-boggling, yet wonderful and awesome and humbling all at the same time!!! ;-)Delete
"there was a time in my life that I would have allowed it to anger me, taking it as a "slap in the face", so to speak..."ReplyDelete
Oh, boy, can I relate to that!
I am a new friend, and not sure of what has been going on in your life. Just know that I believe in the power of prayer and I will be praying for you each day.ReplyDelete
Oh, Ms. Linda, thank you. It's an honor to know that I'm being prayed for by you. And, thanks for stopping by and following. I am a follower of yours, too!Delete
I was saying "Amen" the whole time I was reading your post. I think it is so hard to forgive ourselves. I've battled that for a long time and with that, just not being able to accept God's forgiveness either. Thank you for your honesty and sharing with us.ReplyDelete
It's somewhat comforting to know that I'm not in this boat alone....yet on the other hand it's so sad to know that others suffer with this, too, especially knowing how debilitating it can be at times. We'll pray for one another....how's that?!?! ;-)Delete
Deb, you are an amazing person with a beautiful soul!! This post is so meaningful and I think probably speaks to anyone who reads it. You are in my daily prayers!! Love and hugs through the cloud!ReplyDelete
So very blessed to have you as a friend and prayer warrior, Ms. Terri. Blessings on you, sweet Lady.ReplyDelete
Oh oh...guilty. My Effective Speech Professor asked me did I forgive my brothers etc... It happened so long ago...(the push out of the treehouse)---anyways---we all carry baggage around...that's life...your posts are always so full of truth---and leave me pondering, sweet friend. Thank you. BlessingsReplyDelete