16th May 1990 –
Two weeks ago I felt almost normal again,
But was I too hopeful?
The last two or three days have been almost as bad as before,
And it has caught me off guard.
A familiar disturbed sensation once again flooded my chest and emotions,
And it was too much for me today.
We fear that we are not actually improving at all, and that we will never actually reach our goal of complete recovery.
And then there are those issues that pop up during counselling or therapy. Some issues or experiences from our past that surface are so painful that we can barely face them, let alone deal with them.
It was during a counselling session that the Lord showed me I needed to step out of a comfort zone that was taking His place in my life. In that session I was also encouraged to face one of my greatest, irrational fears. This is what I wrote in my diary after that session.
Man this hurts - my reaction all day was to be in pain. Because of this, and also because of confronting my fears...What a mess! Today I have felt like a larger mess, in so much inner pain, so much worse. But I guess this is necessary.
And it was necessary. Once I had worked through this issue with Christ’s guidance and my pastor’s counsel backed up by the Word of God, I stepped out of that comfort zone, overcame that fear, and received wholeness and freedom in Christ that allowed my life to go in an entirely new direction.
Counselling during depression also revealed that I had faulty theology and thought patterns that needed to be aligned with God’s Word. These not only contributed to depression but were also hindering the recovery process. Dealing with these was also painful and in some cases, took perseverance over several weeks or months before my thinking and beliefs lined up with God’s Word.
The purpose of this post is to share something that helped me to persevere when my life encountered such difficult times.
My last year of senior high school, year twelve, was so stressful and demanding that I fell ill many times as the year progressed. Time and again I wanted to quit, leave school, give up my dream of going to university and be content with second best.
However, one thing that helped me persevere was a scene in the movie Star Wars.
Towards the end of the film, we see the Rebel fighter pilots launching a near suicidal attack upon the evil Death Star space station. In one scene, three Rebel Y-Wings are rocketing down a trench during a torpedo attack run on the Death Star’s reactor. Imperial Tie Fighters were on their tail, trying to destroy them. One pilot kept panicking that they weren’t going to make it, that they were going to die. But the leader, older, and more mature, just kept answering calmly, “Stay on target.”
So throughout year twelve, whenever I felt like throwing in the towel and giving up, I would say to myself, “Stay on target.”
The Bible tells us to persevere, to be an over comer, to let nothing stop us from following Jesus and completing the race He has set before us. The Bible tells us to “Stay on target.”
Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
So if we are having one of those bad days and we lament, “It’s too hard, I can’t do this - I want to get off this planet!” we can fix our eyes upon Jesus rely upon His strength and say, “Stay on target.” The goal is an abundant life in Christ – both now and for eternity, and of course, learning to deal with and recover from depression.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
When faced with the memory of a past trauma and we say, “No, it’s too painful, I can’t face it, I can’t work through it,” let us instead remember Jesus was there when it happened, and is with us right now, helping to set us free from it. We can say to ourselves, “Stay on target - I will not settle for second best.”
‘I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 3:14
When we have to unlearn faulty thought processes and belief systems, and retrain our mind so that it is aligned with God’s word, and we say, “But I’ve always done it that way, I’ve always believed that was the case, why do I need to change?” We can press into Jesus and ask Him to help renew our mind so that we can live in the freedom He has purchased for us on the cross, and we can say to ourselves, “Stay on target.”
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16
All verses from the NIV.
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