Trust God. He Will Strengthen You And Restore Your Endurance
Last week I wrote about how the mother ducks on my walk remind me of God’s protection, sheltering me under His wings until the calamities pass by. Today, our first scripture promise comes from Isaiah 40:31. It leads us to the example of another, much bigger feathered friend, the eagle. I love this passage because the fourth word in this passage, wait, conveys hope and expectancy that God provides renewal. When I read this passage, I can trust that He will do what He assures us He will do.
Among other things, some of the first signs of depression are lethargy, apathy, and ongoing fatigue. Filled with a spirit of melancholy or anxiety, it can become inordinately difficult to want to take care of much of anything; simply achieving the basics of the day can become a major hurdle.
Rather than soaring, I remember feeling more like I was scraping the bottom of the accomplishment barrel. I’d had a great day if I had managed to shower, fix a meal, or drive the kids to school without enduring another panic attack. I didn’t trust my nerves when I watched TV. The only thing I could cope with was Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck reruns. At one point, I couldn’t even sit through church without becoming overstimulated by the music, fog, and lights. When I did manage to make it through, I would come home and sleep and leave everyone to figure out their lunches for themselves.
Trust in Faith That Healing Will Come
As we sought help from my naturopath, medication, and complementary therapies, we also sought spiritual help. We called the elders of our church to come and anoint me with oil and pray over me. I also know I was the subject of many prayers from friends and families alike. In the beginning, we had one thing to hang onto, and that was our faith. We waited with expectation, hope, and confidence that our prayers would be answered and healing would come.
When I look back on those days, it’s incredibly difficult to believe that I am the same person. It’s not that I have become some remarkable athlete with superior endurance but rather that God has restored my ability to walk through each day. I waited and trusted, and He equipped me with the capability to accomplish that which is set before me with renewed vigor and confidence. My certainty is fueled by the knowledge that He saw us through before so He will see us through again.
There is a phrase in this passage about soaring on wings like eagles. This was sometimes translated as “they shall put forth fresh feathers like the molting eagle.” (Barnes) It was a popular theory among the ancients that when an eagle molted his feathers, he shed his old age and regained the vigor of his youth again. I like what this idea brings to the passage. Only God is capable of turning back the clock and restoring the endurance, vibrancy, animation, and passion associated with our prime.
Hope In Him – He Is Your Compassion, Comfort, And Joy.
This verse is the quintessential embodiment of the beauty that rises from the ashes of our defeat and depression. It would be a mistake to focus on our journeys to mental health and wellbeing, having arrived at a place of comfort and healing, without asking the question, why?
Why have I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and survived?
Why have I been allowed to experience the incredible grace and mercy of God?
Why have I been ministered to by His comfort, His hope, and His peace?
Comforted to Become a Comforter
This verse has, rather inadvertently, become the adage by which I live. I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and survived because God is with me, His rod and His staff comforted me, and He made me lie down for a season of rest.
I experienced his incredible grace and tender mercy, His assuring comfort, His inspirational hope, and His blanket of peace so that I can share the faithfulness of my Healer with the wounded.
The journey to this place in my life has been long. It’s now been seventeen years since my breakdown. In the beginning, I was not in a place of renewed strength so I could not hold others up. I remember a friend coming to our home whose husband had just attempted to take his own life. Their anguish was too grim and my emotional wounds were still too raw. I remember leaving her with my husband and escaping to the solitude of my room. I had no words for her, no advice, no prayers. I just wanted her to leave and take her agony with her. I couldn’t even simply sit in “shiva” and mourn with her. Their reality hit too close to home.
But today is a different story. I received comfort so that I can comfort others. With my endurance, vibrancy, animation, and passion restored, I took classes to learn how to help others with their nutrition and their mental wellbeing. I’m using the skills that I acquired on my journey to encourage and educate those that God brings across my path and you will get to the place where you can too. There is hope.
Praise Where Praise Is Due
Having walked this journey to peace and healing, I can unequivocally tell you that God deserves every ounce of praise that I can muster.
He deserves my praise because when I cried out in the middle of my raging storm He came to my rescue.
He deserves my praise because when I asked for forgiveness, He faithfully and justly forgave my sins and took them away.
He deserves my praise because although I was broken and crushed in spirit, He delivered me and restored my soul.
He deserves my praise because, although there were times that I felt utterly alone, it was NEVER true. He never abandoned me. Instead, He was my guide my assistance, my strength, my protector, and my defender. He gave me success and victory over my enemy.
He deserves my praise because, like a shield, He encircled me and defended me from every terror of the night and arrow that flew by day. When I could not lift my head, He replaced my sorrow with joy, my darkness with light, and my mourning with dancing.
He deserves my praise because he restored my endurance, vibrancy, animation, and passion.
He deserves my praise because has brought me through these challenges in order to share His healing with those that are still struggling.
Your Healing is Unique to You
Journeys to mental health and wellness look different for everyone. Sometimes healing happens overnight but sometimes it takes years; occasionally, like for Paul in the New Testament, the thorn remains and complete healing is elusive. Your answer to prayer might look like a physician who really understands you or an awesome counselor who hears you. It might look like just the right medication or supplement. Sometimes it looks like a friend that comes over at just the right time. At other times, you can tangibly feel the presence of God. Sometimes it looks like wrestling all night long until you come to peace with Him. No matter what your path looks like, cling to the promise from Isaiah 43:2.
For most people, minor lifestyle changes will make a big difference. However, there are times when the problem runs deeper, and you need professional help. If you’ve tried to figure this out on your own, or you feel like you’re lost in a maze of information and aren’t sure which path to take, don’t give up hope.
We use a range of different approaches to help you figure out the root cause of your dysfunction and stop the cycle of sickness so you can feel better now. Book your free 30-minute Breakthrough Strategy Session today.