"It is a directive, not a judgement. Stop trying to cope, stop being independent; rely on God. Only God. That is all!”
A bible quote and some sound advice to go with it that were much needed the other day.
I struggle. All the time.
Every day something I’ve done a million times before takes on new meaning because I realise God’s role in it. With good things that’s easy. But when things go wrong…
Having grown up outside of the Church I’ve always done things my own way. Usually badly, but I’ve got on with things. I’m stubborn and independent and that’s one of the things I really struggle with in my faith. Giving away that independence. Letting God handle my problems. Being able to stand back and let His will be done.
When I was baptised last summer, I spoke in my testimony about my struggles with depression and how I had come to realise that it wasn’t a miracle cure that I was looking to God for; but the strength within myself to seek help. It is a continuing struggle and I often despair that I’m going round in circles, getting nowhere. It is at these moments that I want to be stubborn. I want to shut myself away, bang my head against a wall, ‘cope’ in my time-trusted way. But that’s where faith comes in. By seeing my struggle as God’s will, I am slowly (in a very circular, meandering way) beginning to realise that throughout and despite the despair and the ache and the numbness I am finding myself growing. I have found the strength to ask for help. I am forcing myself into situations that I would like to run away from. I am becoming, step by step, better.
One thing that I have always found helpful when I am feeling low though is to keep myself busy. Preferably around people, but not necessarily ‘with’ them. I do friends’ housework, freeing up time for them to get on with other things. I’m pretty handy at DIY jobs so seem to have become the ‘go-to’ person for all those sorts of things. It’s good, but it’s not ideal. I want to grow as a disciple and to do that I think I need to find a more specific way of spending my own time. As much as I love helping friends there’s more that I could, and should, be doing. But I need to stop beating myself up and feeling like a waste of space just because I haven’t found my path yet.
I’m going to try to curtail my stubbornness, limit my independence; rely on God’s spirit to guide me. I’ll find my way.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR MARCH 2012 MAGAZINE