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from rock bottom to rock solid

The last couple weeks? They have not been the best. It’s not even the fact that I work every day – I mean, that plays a part in it – but I’ve been emotionally and mentally drained for other reasons as well.

I started my second new job on September 28th. It’s a job that I’ve wanted ever since I can remember. I won’t go into the details now, but I’ve mentioned it before (if you want to use your detective skills), and will hopefully share more with you in the future. These first two weeks have been intensive training in very delicate issues; issues I am very familiar with. It’s been a ride – one that involves a lot of narrow bumpy roads with a few wide smooth sections every once in a while.

I’ve been slipping further and further into this depressive funk since that first day. I didn’t really notice it at first, and just thought that my blurry thoughts were due to the fact that I no longer had whole days off. But, this week the slipping has been more like sliding on a very steep slippery slope.

My alarm went off this morning and I didn’t care. I didn’t hear the kids, so I turned it off and went back to sleep. I’d had a fitful night, and Liliana had woken up at 4:30am crying. She’s been sleeping through the night since she was 12 weeks old (don’t hate me) and from the time she was born she’s always been a great sleeper. So, the times that she does wake up in the night (which are extremely rare) really throw me off. But, even if she hadn’t woken up, I still wouldn’t have slept well and still wouldn’t have cared about my alarm.

You see, this depression thing has a self-destructive twist with me. I like to purposely sabotage myself. I guess “like to” is the wrong wording, as I’m always angry with myself afterward, but it’s like I don’t let myself succeed in anything – even things as little as waking up on time. I like to be on time and hate being late. I also hate for Kaylie to be late for school. She rarely is. But, in the last two weeks, she’s been 5-10 minutes late 2-3 times per week, and at this point in her school career, it is not her fault. It is mine. She’s also had to have lunch from the canteen twice this week (which she LOVES) because I haven’t had time to make her lunch. I’ve been late for every day of my new job. I’m really sounding like a model employee (and mom), now aren’t I?

You see? I “like to” sabotage myself. I’ve wanted this job for years and now that I’ve finally gotten it, not by my own doing even, I won’t let myself enjoy it or even be on time for it. (I didn’t apply for this job, I was offered it. The best offer I’ve ever been given.)

I am, by nature, very independent. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m the oldest child in my family or maybe it’s just how God made me. Maybe it’s both. In many ways, my extreme independence has been a good thing – like when I was a single parent for four and a half years. But, in other ways, it is not. The thing is, I cannot live by my own strength. I know this. When I’m struggling, though, I start to think that if I just tried a little harder, I can overcome my issues on my own. By my own power. I’ve learned over and over AND OVER again, that this is not true and yet I keep deceiving myself into thinking that it is.

The thing is, there is a God – my heavenly Father – who wants to help me. He wants me to come to him with my burdens.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~Jesus (Matthew 11:28)

I sometimes hate referring to myself as a “Christian” because of the negative connotations linked with the word. But, in it’s original definition, a Christian is simply a follower of Jesus Christ – one who has a relationship with God and strives to live as Jesus did while He was on this earth, and as He still lives in heaven. That is what I want to do.

(Let me just take a little moment here to explain to those who are unfamiliar with God – He is three persons in one – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. It’s like an apple – there’s the core, the flesh, and the peel – three parts, but still one apple. I’m not a teacher for a reason so I hope that made sense, but if I didn’t, I’m sorry!)

I have a relationship with my God, my heavenly Father, that has nothing to do with what church I go to or what denomination I’m associated with. My church/denomination encourages me in my relationship and teaches me things about my Father God, but going to church does not make me a Christian. My relationship with my God does.

Apparently I’m all about explaining myself (and my God) today.

Anyway, I find that when I neglect that relationship, my life does not exactly go smoothly. It starts to fall apart. That’s what’s been happening lately. I can do it myself. I can beat this depression myself (with the help of my doctor and a lot of drugs). I can live the way I want to and make all my own choices, because I know better than He does.

“But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

(Isaiah 40:31)

On my way to work today, I gave in. I surrendered my independence to One who knows me and knows what’s best for me way more than I do. I physically felt my mood lift. I have the privilege of working with fellow believers and asked them to pray for me during our usual morning prayer time. I even sent out a text for prayer.

I’m not exactly one to ask for help, in fact I hate it. But, I don’t want to hit more of a rock bottom than I already have. Every time I think that I’ve hit rock bottom, I fall off a new ledge and find out that there’s an even deeper rock bottom. I’m blessed to have an amazing support system, I’m just not very good at tapping into it when I should. Sometimes I just have to swallow my stupid independent pride and seek the help that I so desperately need.

I’ve found that, from attending church my entire life and going to a Christian school for eleven years, some verses of Scripture (the Bible) lose their significance with me. They turn into “just” words. But, last week I read Psalm 23 like I’ve never read it before. It was more than just words on a page. It was comforting and uplifting. I needed (and still need) it.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

(Psalm 23)

I love that when I hit rock bottom, I can depend on my rock solid God. I can cast all my worry, concern, and problems on Him because He cares for me and knows what is best for me. He will make me lie down in green pastures and he will restore my soul.

My day (week, month, year) just got a whole lot brighter.

Categories: anxiety/depression, faith

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Teresa Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 10:19 pm

    I’m glad you’re letting Jesus carry you through this tough time.
    And thanks for sharing those beautiful verses that have touched you. They encourage me too.
    .-= Teresa´s last blog ..The new kitty =-.

  • bethany actually Thursday, October 8, 2009, 12:29 am

    I’m so glad you know Who to look to for comfort and healing when you’re in the valley! I’ll keep praying for you. Love you!
    .-= bethany actually´s last blog ..Day 5 – Peachtree buffet =-.

  • bethany actually Thursday, October 8, 2009, 12:30 am

    p.s. I think I owe you another care package soon! ;-)
    .-= bethany actually´s last blog ..Day 5 – Peachtree buffet =-.

  • Katie Thursday, October 8, 2009, 7:38 am

    I’ll keep you in my prayers! I know where you are coming from on all of this and I can understand the depth of how hard all of this is for you. I hope you feel the power of all the prayers coming your way and that they continue to help you feel God’s presence in your life.
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..contemplating.. =-.

  • Kami Thursday, October 8, 2009, 9:10 am

    Praying you have hit that last ledge and are on your way up! You have such a good outlook despite the fact that the depression keeps brining you down.

    See you soon!
    .-= Kami´s last blog ..I strive for mediocrity =-.

  • MyKidsMom Thursday, October 8, 2009, 9:43 am

    So well put Jen! I’m a lot the same – the do it myself attitude. If it has anything to do with birth order I’m the youngest, and hated being seen as the “baby” and so therefore I always have to have it together and do things myself. But in my private life I’m a lot like you. I’m attending this amazing bible study (BSF international, google it) and it helps so so much. I asked my husband the other day how he felt about me going (b/c it means another night a week I’m out of the house, I’m already gone 3 times for work) and he said he loves that I go because he notices a shift in my attitude and he can see how it affects me spiritually. It’s amazing how when we actually connect to God and make an effort to have that relationship we feel so so much better. God is so great. :) Thanks for being willing to share, there’s a lot of people (myself included) who aren’t willing to talk about their own inner struggle. It’s really encouraging to know there’s other people struggling the same way and that we can reach out and it gets better.
    .-= MyKidsMom´s last blog ..Keeping up =-.

  • Ann Matthews Thursday, October 8, 2009, 10:24 am

    Oh Jen, Tam and I have been praying for you. We know what it is like to be down…but it is the Lord that will lift us. You’ve seen it evident in my life…you were there when He answered my prayers and lifted my anxiety. He can do more than we can even ask or would even know to ask.

    Your self doubt is of the enemy, he doesn’t want you to succeed at your new job. God gave you that job because He knows the good you can do and the people you can help, the enemy doesn’t want you helping anyone…even yourself!!

    Love you tons…you are in my prayers always!!!
    .-= Ann Matthews´s last blog ..Biting the Bullet =-.

  • Lauralee Thursday, October 8, 2009, 1:43 pm

    I often feel like a crazy person… haha I know how that sounds, but truly there are days that my brain and my thoughts just don’t function like they should. And I ask God “What is going on? What is wrong with me?” And He always answers me the same, “When was the last time you read your bible” Then I it clicks, Aw yes I can not do this alone, I can not live day to day in this life in this world without the Bread of Life. I’m slowly starving myself to death each day that I’m “to busy” to sit and read and pray. And it catches up with me very fast and my mind is overwhelmed with daily tasks and people, and children and I feel like I’m insane. But Praise the Lord He is faithful, even when I have not been, and I ask Him to help and He tells me what I’m missing. So I read my bible and take a deep breath and pray. Now all my problems and chores are still here, but I can handle it so much better, and my mind is much more peaceful. I can think and the fog lifts, I can smile and actually feel like it:) I can be the mom my kids need and the wife my husband needs. But I need Him constantly, I can not neglect that reading time, that spending time alone with God. And just because I do spend time with HIm doesn’t mean I will behave perfectly, nor does it mean I will have a trouble free day. It only means I’ll know what to do, what to think, what to feel, and I’ll be who He wants me to be, ME :)
    I love you Jen and know that you are never alone we all run this race, some days are good, some not so good. But God is still God and He will always carry us through:)
    .-= Lauralee´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  • Elizabeth Friday, October 9, 2009, 8:19 am

    Praying for you, too, Jen. Loving you loads and loads.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Oh no, you di’n’t =-.

  • Anna-b-bonkers Friday, October 9, 2009, 9:35 am

    Jen. You are an inspiration even when you are going through the muck.
    Calling on God and remembering that he is the solid rock in a time that you could so easily turn your back, inspiring!

    I love you.
    .-= Anna-b-bonkers´s last blog ..Getting on track and on a side note, it is SNOWING! =-.

  • Amanda Brown Friday, October 9, 2009, 8:40 pm

    I love the word “restore”. Sorry the dark days have been so strong…but you are doing exactly what you need to find the light.
    .-= Amanda Brown´s last blog ..A Real Shot =-.

  • Jennifer Glen Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 4:23 pm

    It was good to hear these words from you. Sounds like Travelling Light has made an impact. :) Did you cry? :) When I think about you, you’re in my prayers.

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