The new year has begun, yet life is becoming increasingly difficult. With my goals and hopes for the previous year now behind me, many not achieved, I look towards new ones that seem too far away to reach. It’s easy to become discouraged, hopeless, and even scarier when that leads to depression.
I’ve battled depression my whole life. I’ve had to learn the importance of warning signs to assess my mental health. Questions I can ask myself to do a quick check-in; Where do I find my thoughts dwell most, what am I doing for self-care, how much time am I in my bible, and who am I turning to for my strength, wisdom, and peace?
It has been a lifetime of trial and error, learning each year, more than the last, to remember to pause and take inventory before simply just reacting. I can now sort through the madness and find peace much quicker than I left to my own devices in previous years.
Proverbs 3:24 (NIV) reads: “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
There is also maturing. I have to understand that not all unmet dreams or goals are failures. Some are questions posed by God. The hardest one is, “Do you trust me?” And so, I wait, pray, and keep moving forward, as my timing does not always align with God’s.
Over the years, I have been labeled a control freak. I have felt a deep need to control as much around me as humanly possible, falsely believing this would heal me from the woundedness I felt from others. I have scrambled for control when relationships fail. Jobs fell through, and friendships were falling apart. But that is not where peace has come into my life. No, the peace has been felt most when I acknowledge I am not in control. Instead, I must hold firm in my faith, knowing and trusting in the One in control. There is a certain freedom in knowing I was never expected to be perfect or have all the answers.
When I remember my failures and unmet pursuits are not mine alone to bear, there lies resting. When I readily admit that my view on life is seen through a narrow lens and God sees everything from beginning to end, this is where peace dwells.
Father God, help me to remember that my hope is found in you, that I need not fear the past, present, or future, and that leaving all these things in Your hands will give me sleep so sweet. Amen
Your turn: Moving forward in this new year, let me ask you two questions for you to ask yourself daily:
1) Where do I place my hope today?
2) How is my rest?