I am the poster child for depression and anxiety. You may be shocked to read that statement, but it's true. Been fighting it for years now, and although I would like to tell you I have it beat, I do not.
But, Amanda. . .you're a follower of Jesus, right? You read your Bible, you teach, you pray, you write. For goodness sake, you bounce around church, Ocala, and Chick-fil-A with a spring in your step and a smile on your face. Are you faking it?
Sometimes, yes. Most of the time, no.
It is what it is. We live in a fallen world, and our natural inclination is to focus on self. Self-improvement, self-preservation, self-fill-in-the-blank. . .I have fallen into that trap more than once in my life and as a result, I have experienced consequences. Lack of joy, lack of commitment, lack of faith, lack of trust.
I can sing the fruits of the spirit song, and tell you without a doubt, it was simply not my anthem for years and years. Older and wiser, I have come to realize a few truths. . .
1) Jesus is the Great Physician, and by claiming that I am not ruling out the wisdom and resources of doctors on this side of heaven. It simply means I consult Him by throwing myself at His feet many times a day, if necessary. I have and do sit in doctor's offices to ask for help, and praise the Great One for the resources they provide.
2) Prayer is key. I am reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer for an upcoming review (keep your eyes out), and a wonderful acronym is gifted in the book. Prayer Releases All Your Eternal Resources. Amen and Amen.
3) Emptying my bucket is the key to filling myself up. What does that mean? Look outside of self and give to others through time, resources, service. It is key. We are designed to give, give, give. Through prayer, Jesus directs my gaze away from my reflection and focuses it on the picture of others. Others who desperately need Him.
I have not beaten anything, but I am under the care of Someone who holds unlimited grace and mercy. I am under the care of One who holds me firmly in the palm of His nail-scarred hand, and He is my victory.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.