Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Commitment

I have had a total and utter break through!! It is a must share.

Since I can remember I have always felt second best, if not third, fourth or fifth. I always felt last on "the other persons" list. I dont know why but its just always how Ive felt. This is not some complaint from my childhood or anything I just had this little feeling inside that just was there, I think alot of people have little nudging feeling. Anyway, I remember hearing many of the Saints saying to Our Lord
" I can resist You no longer" 
and whenever I heard this I thought, oh I will never be so holy to feel that way. I will never experience such grace as they did to feel that way about Christ. Christ will never pursue me in a way where I would resist Him. I, in some ways thought I was just made to take the left overs that were left out for whoever. This little feeling increased over the years and led me into some ugly situations. I believe alot of the depression I struggle with has much to do with the hurt I gained from the years of what I thought was the best I could get. Well lately God has been doing something to me...something BIG and extravagant. He has been in some ways leading me into the desert.

                                                 Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
                                                     Bring her into the wilderness
                                                                      Hosea 2:14

And let me tell you this dessert was NOT lavished with an Oasis. Or atleast what I saw was a heavy rough desert filled with the heat of anxiety and the poisonous vipers of depression. But He knew where I had to walk, He knew where I needed to go.

                                 Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns,
                       And I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths.
                                                                      Hosea 2:6


I kept struggling walking in circles likes the Isrealites in their desert for 40 years. I kept walking around the same old things over and over again. Id walk around that old rock of " If only I had done things different" or the prickly cactus of " Why did I do that. How could I do THAT" and I could never seem to get away from the dry pit of  " I will always be 'that' girl. Who's going to love me?"

Now I want to stop there for a minute to clarify something. When we are led into the desert God is usually not the only one there. You know who Im talking about. Lets look at Matthew 4:1

                     Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

This is a point that is so crucial, so important. Im not going to stand here and say things like " The devil made me do it" or " Satan has all this power" NO NO NO...He doesnt have any power. He trembles at the thought and at the sight of God and that includes at the sight of God within us.

So here I was rolling around being tormented by these thoughts and words that had ABSOLUTELY no power. Now when Im in that kind of despair it feels like I have no power but one of the main things I wanted to share today was a power that Ive always had but never exercised until recently. I have the power to be COMMITED. I can be commited to something or someone even if I cant stand it or Im tired or whatever.

So a while back I was literally in a really bad place and I was struggling with another bout of depression and trying to figure out what I needed to change: food, more sleep, what was my thyroid doing, which are all valid things to look into. And I was searching through out all of my past stuff and just wallowing in guilt and pain and then my pain changed to anger that this was my life with all the junk of my past. Then in a moment of utter despair I said out loud to God "Ok Lord, thats it. I am going to remain with you but I dont love it. I have lost my desire to be here with you, but Im not going to go anywhere. I know I wouldnt want to be loved the way I am going to love you but this is all I can do." THERE...that is the power of commitment. This may sound like no big deal to you and honestly in that moment in felt horrible. It felt like I was giving up all my dreams and hopes and happiness and joy just to stay in a relationship with God that didnt even seem all that good. After that I got the weirdest sense of a calmness inside. I wasnt happy. No, if anything I was terribly sad, but calm at the same time.

I found a break  from the desert and went back to regular life for a while. But lo and behold another bad bout of depression was around the corner and this one was not good at all. And of course I spent it doing all the old same old things: asking "why", what do I do, " Is this really the past Im going to have forever" etc.  But again I grabbed hold of my only strength which was my ability to commit to God. I kept saying to Him    " Where else am I going to go" as St. Peter said to Jesus over 2000 years ago. I kept thinking on the Churchs teaching on human dignity and how no where else in all the books Ive read and groups of people Ive been around never had I heard so beautifully put or exquisitely explained as in Catholic teaching on human dignity and how I kept saying to God "where else am I going to go" He is the only one in all of existence that has the truth about my dignity and I knew I didnt want to go anywhere else. So I tried to find some answers searching in all the same places I got on the internet and looked up different Catholic speakers that I like and that are encouraging but I felt like no one was as bad as I was and no one knew what I was going through and I could tell I was right back there in that old desert being tempted to wallow in all the old pain. A friend of mine had recently sent me a really beautiful picture and I was sitting looking at it. This is it.



I just sat there staring at it. Then I got up and walked in the kitchen with tears just rising up in me. And suddenly I experienced the sweetest moment of grace Ive ever had. I literally said outloud from my soul "Thank You Lord. Thank You" I knew that it was grace because nothing physical could be the reason for that. I have never experienced in all my years of depression a moment like that. And in that moment I happened to look over at the window and saw a small picture I have of Christ being crucified with the flames of purgatory beneath Him with angels collecting His precious blood in little chalices. And I was flooded internally with the gift of knowing that all of this pain in depression was a purifying suffering. I would never let myself believe before that I could be worthy of purifying suffering because I always felt like the sins I had comminted in the past were choices and any pain I had was deserved but could not be used for His Glory. Boy, was I wrong. God showed me in that moment that He indeed was using this great suffering for a DEEP purification within my soul and possibly through out the world.

 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 
Colossians 1:24

I didnt quite know what to do with myself. But I remembered reading somewhere that reading the Bible could help you to receive a partial indulgence to help to release any tempory punishment for sins.

The Handbook of Indulgences states, "A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who read sacred Scripture with the veneration due God’s word and as a form of spiritual reading. The indulgence will be a plenary one when such reading is for at least one-half hour" (80).

My understanding of receiving an indulgence was not completely accurate but I think God used that thought to lead me to His written Word. I went to get the Bible and I just opened it up and when I looked down and began reading I came across these very words 

So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
John 6:67-68

My heart poured over the very words that I had been saying to God over and over the past few days of my deep depression. In that moment I knew without a doubt that God surely did exist and that He was showing me that He had been listening to every word I had spoken to Him. I felt FREE, free to be me and to love Him. I felt free to be proud of God and to not be ashamed of loving Him in front of others. I felt free to tell my children about Him and I felt free to know and love myself and my family.

So throughout that hard time in the desert of on going depression this is what God had intended for me


           Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
            Bring her into the wilderness
            And speak kindly to her.
      Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
            And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
            And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
            As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
Hosea 2:14-15 


Now I know Im not from Egypt and I definitly dont know where Achor is, but I can really understand the main purpose of what God is accomplishing within me. I have a committed heart now and my vineyard is filled with hope. I never felt that feeling of commitment inside like I do now. I am truly learning what Love really is and how to stick around long enough to really experience His purifying love. I know its hard to read my experience with Christ and fully understand it since it was an experience in my soul with Him, but I wanted to share this in hopes that someone might not feel so alone the way I did when I would search for someone that was like me or someone that could relate with how I felt. And maybe thats not the purpose of me writing all this down. Maybe God has a greater purpose then I can see and I will just have to wait to see His hand at work. 

I dont know what God has in store for me in the future and if depression and anxiety are part of my future walk but now I know I am deeply loved and sought after by Him. And finally to sum up what my heart has finally come to realize...


I can resist Him no longer. I am His
~Rhianon 



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