Year 2007... the worst Christmas of my life.
That October I had found out how my husband had betrayed our marriage and Christmas was nothing short of a colossal farce. No one knew the truth while I played the part of an actress that would rival the likes in Hollywood.
I could barely find the will to live, let alone find rest or peace for my tortured soul. I knew I was falling…falling…falling into an abyss so deep, there was no human way out.
As the months went by despair leaked into every pore of my being, especially when the two people I trusted more than life itself (my prayer partners) inadvertently betrayed my confidence. As my life unraveled at the speed only gossip flows, depression pressed in.
Thankfully God is not confined to this world or to its solutions. God stood faithful. Though I felt undone, God spoke truth into my spirit… “Blossom there is a way out of this pit.”
I want to share with you what I learned. It started with Psalm 13 and was by no means an over-night process, but a continual decision to believe the truth God revealed.
A psalm of David.
1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him)”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
As I read these verses I realized that either David was schizophrenic in his thinking from the beginning of the chapter to the end, or…he understood something I did not.
He understood how to enter the rest and peace of God in the midst of turmoil, sorrow, and deep sadness.
He understood how to wail out to God…yet trust!
He understood how to vent his pain, yet believe in God’s goodness.
King David's three “D’s” became my life-line.
DECIDE…to lean into the truth of God’s word, even when I didn’t understand. I had a decision to make...TO STAND IN FAITH or fall, TO TRUST IN GOD’S UNFAILING LOVE, or succumb to a joyless existence.
DESIRE…change. I couldn’t be content to stay in the doldrums of depression. I had to look beyond the confines of the pit I was in and SPEAK OUT, SING OUT, SHOUT OUT, MY TRUST AND MY DESIRE FOR A BRIGHTER TOMORROW as David did in this Psalm. I had to look back at all the ways God had helped me through difficulties in the past and claim healing.
DETERMINATION…Healing takes persistent determination. I had a very influential member of my family who went through infidelity in her thirties…she lived the rest of her life a wounded, embittered soul. This example forced me to see where unforgiveness and self-pity lead. Determination set in to pursue Godly healing. God did not disappoint, nor will He disappoint you.
As with David in the Psalm above, I began to enter God’s peace that passes all understanding. As I spoke out my trust in a God who never fails and began to believe healing was possible, combined with the power of praising God for things in my life that were good, healing followed. (Contrary to my pain-filled mindset, not all was dark in my life, I had two beautiful children to live for.)
Today I joyfully proclaim that there is a way out of the torturous place you find yourself. For God does not want the circumstances of our life, nor the heartache inflicted upon us by others, to determine our future. He heals. He restores the soul. He is our PEACE ON EARTH.
Write to me if you need encouragement…I will listen, I will pray, I will care. I know how difficult Christmas can be in the midst of sorrow. YOU are not alone.