On FB (face book) I have access to both my son's & daughter's sites (that's part of why I have fb). When I checked my MB's last week I noticed she'd changed something....she'd put her "life verse" right under her name.
When each of the kids were born, Brad & I picked out a life verse for them; I also prayed (and have continued to pray) that God would "write His name on their heart"...or become real to each of them personally. The life verse isn't something we've made a huge deal about, but obviously it's impacting MB.
I wasn't given a life verse when I was born...my parents were not Christians yet. But in the last ten years, God's given me many life verses...words that make an impact on my heart and leave an indelible impression.
One night, in the midst of my darkest depression, when I didn't think I'd make it until morning, God gave Brad the insight, wisdom, and strength to step in and intervene on my behalf. Psalm 40 became very real to me: "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Brad was God's physical presence to me, taking my hand and lifting me. That wasn't the end of the struggle, but it was yet another evidence of God's faithfulness to me.
I've thought alot lately about this verse...and the firm place to stand. I have no doubt that I'm on a solid rock; The Solid Rock~ Jesus.
I guess, growing up, I pictured true, solid faith, or someone standing on the rock, kinda like a cartoon: confident Super Faith Girl, with hands on hips, chin up, cape & hair blowing in the breeze, boldly going wherever God wanted her next.
But, as I wrote in a collective journal that a few close friends and I have, the truth of my faith is more like someone shipwrecked on the rock. Pulled from the dangerous seas, I lay, sprawled out, desperately hanging on while the wind & waves threaten and even the rock seems slippery. Most days it feels too risky to actually stand...I more like cling for dear life, afraid at any moment of being swallowed by the sea. I don't feel like a confident Super Faith Girl with my cape flapping in the wind.
The reality of life is that people die--children & loved ones, churches needlessly split, people screw up and sin, they get divorces, they intentionally and unintentionally hurt others, parents abandon their children, mental illness & depression are real...and we all end up shipwrecked. And even after we're rescued, all of the above still exists...it doesn't go away.
As this movie (of me on the rock) was playing in my head and I was praying and telling God all this, He, for a brief moment, pulled back the camera for a wide angle shot. The shipwrecked girl clinging for dear life on a little outcropping of rock wasn't what I thought. I could see that I wasn't clinging to a tiny piece of rock, but firmly planted on a huge bed rock foundation.
I realized that, as I wrote in my last blog, God's got me. I don't have to be Super Faith Girl...I just have to be me. With all my doubts, insecurities, short comings, questions, failures and yes, with depression, He's got me. Through the crap, He's got me.
Continuing to live life in faith, not giving up, not giving in, is standing on the Rock even when it seems like there's no standing involved.
Some of you reading this have never struggled with depression, or your faith. Praise God! That's wonderful for you.
Others of you are more like me. Faith is a challenge. Following & trusting God involves labor.
Some of you maybe think I'm crazy, talking to God and all...you're not sure what you believe or if you believe anything.
If you're part of the first group, praise God and please realize that every one's faith story is different.
If you're part of the second group...well, I don't know what to say because it's a daily battle and although I know I'm safe on the rock, I often don't feel it.
And if you feel like you're shipwrecked and clinging to a plank ready to drown and there's no rocks in sight, please contact me.*