Tag Archives: Depression

When life still sucks and you want to run away

It’s been an interesting few weeks since my last post on my colors colliding. Let’s see. For starters, our bank account was hacked into. (Did you know that people can actually have fake checks printed up with a fake name, a fake address, a fake signature, and yet a very real account number on it – namely yours?) Yes. They can. I won’t tell you the very real things I want to do to this person. You might not follow my blog anymore.

Not only that, but after closing out this now-hacked-into beloved checking account that I’ve had for over thirty years, opening a new account offered us only more heartache. First, our bills automatically continued to be paid out of the old account which made checks bounce all over the place like grasshoppers on steroids. Then, because of that, the bank froze our automatic bill-pay so we can’t pay anything online out of our old or new account. Which is how we pay everything. Which was supposed to unfreeze after five to seven days. Which hasn’t.

I don’t think I can spend one more hour on the phone with the bank being put on hold, hung up on, transferred to the wrong department, told there’s nothing they can do…you know the drill. At this point, I might just lose what little is left of my mind. So, I will wait another few days to see if this magically gets fixed on its own.

Let’s move on, shall we? Then there’s the guy, a week or so ago, (totally unrelated to the whole bank fiasco), who is trying to rent out commercial property under our business name, pretending to be us – fake tax documents included. Only God could have orchestrated it so that he would try to rent it from a broker who happened to know my husband. (A little silver in the lining.)

And then there was the complete mix-up of my husband’s name on his airline ticket to Uganda just a couple of weeks before he had to go. Then there was the phone call that said we didn’t send a return envelope for his Visa to be returned – which we did. And then there was the losing of his passport the day before he left. That was fun. You’ve never seen a house so thoroughly torn apart.  (Yes, we eventually found it in the scanner where it was hiding after the airline misprint debacle.) And then there was my computer freaking out and me watching my emails being deleted right before my eyes at hyper-speed for no apparent reason; no virus, no malware. Just gone; all of my new emails plus four month’s worth of important ones I was saving.

But, hey; here’s some good news: the baby’s tummy started doing better just in time for him to start teething! Yay!

Ever feel like you just can’t take anymore? Like your colors colliding was a picnic in the park compared to what came after? That’s about where I’m at.

My attitude sucks, I cry at the drop of a hat (or a phone call from a friend), I fight being mad at life, I can hardly think straight, I want to eat everything (and have), and I want to run away. How’s that for a confession from a screwed-up saint?

And yet, strangely, I’m okay. It’s almost as if too much got to be so much, that I’ve actually become immune to anything and everything else that can go wrong; like a toughening up of sorts. It reminds me of the Amplified Classic version of Isaiah 41:10:

Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

This is the part I love about that version: I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties. It reminds me that all of the crappy, sucky things that life throws our way will only serve to make us stronger, tougher, and more resilient in the end. (Another piece of silver in the lining.) Because it’s one thing to know that God works all things together for good; it’s another to know how. Right now I need to know how.

And knowing that God is making me one fiercely strong person out of all of this is fuel enough to help keep me going for one more day (or, at least, one more phone call with the bank).

I’ll look at it like exercising. The more my muscles are worked, the stronger they’ll get. And I like strong muscles.

How about you? Going through a rough season that seems to be lasting FOREVER? I hope if you are, Isaiah 41:10 gives you hope as well. And we can become tough, unshakable Christ-followers together. I think in this day and age we’re needed.

When Colors Collide

My colors collided. Again.

I didn’t even realize it; never saw it coming.

That’s what happens when you keep painting and painting and painting… never rinsing out your brush. Never acknowledging each individual color for the beautiful contribution that it is.

Because each color serves a purpose, you know. Each one is necessary to complete the overall picture.

And I’m not talking paint, by the way. These “colors” are what I use to refer to as feelings. So, for instance, yellow would obviously be a happy feeling. Dark blue, not so much. Red? I’m thinking anger, right? Green… hm, maybe greed. Or perhaps envy. And orange, I think I’ll assign that as thankful. There are so many more…

I remember as a little girl having a watercolor set with a variety of eight colors and a thin, nylon paintbrush that was so flimsy, you couldn’t paint a pin-straight line with it to save your life. (Not to mention the brush hairs that kept coming out and sticking to your precious art piece. Fun memories.)

Nevertheless, I loved to paint and was always excited when it was art time in grammar school. It was even more exciting when my watercolors were brand-new. Each color looked perfect in its oval bed, not yet tainted by my incredibly artistic talent. But, alas, before I knew it, I would be painting away…first green, then yellow, maybe brown, then midnight blue…and it wouldn’t be long before those colors weren’t so vibrant anymore. Or individual.

I have to tell you, as a former, professional second-grade watercolor painter, it’s a disaster when your colors all start to blend together because you went a little overkill on the water usage. And never rinsed out your brush after dealing with each individual color.

You no longer recognize each color for what it is. It all becomes one dark, murky-gray puddle.

And even more, it means you can no longer use each color individually, brushing their unique essences on just the right spot of your canvas so that they each work in perfect harmony with one another. Complementing each another. Making the bigger picture.

Kinda like our feelings.

The last six months, there have been so many highs and lows, I couldn’t even tell you… one yellow, the next dark blue…then orange, and a few times green…I got so busy trying to cope with all of life’s colors the “Christian” way that I crashed the other day. Hit a wall – big time. All of the ups and downs, so many of them – too many of them – collided together and became one dark, gloomy mess.

So, what do I mean by the “Christian” way? Reading my Bible. Reading devotionals. Memorizing Scripture. Listening to Podcasts or watching Beth Moore on Wednesday’s with Beth. Praying. Fasting. Letting things go. Forgiving. Moving on. Forgetting what lies behind. All the prudent things any serious Christ follower would do.

But…can it ever be too much? Or better yet, can the “Christian” way ever be a way to avoid – so you don’t have to deal with all your colors?

I was talking to a good friend of mine. She told me to hang in there. Christ’s power is in me – use it. Don’t let the enemy get to me. Don’t give up.

What an amazing friend. And I agree with her! But I have to be honest. Those words just bounced off of me like a rubber ball off that same grammar school blacktop I used to paint at. I couldn’t “do” anymore. I had been frantically doing so much ‘Christian way’ stuff to keep me going, I wasn’t addressing all my colors.

I ignored my feelings – good and bad – so I could press on and, in wanting to do things the “right” way, not hurt this person with my red color. Or make that person mad with my green color. Or that person jealous with my yellow one.

I fell right into the trap of legalism; legalism that says you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re a Christian. Legalism that says you shouldn’t feel too good if you’re a Christian. Legalism that says denying yourself means denying the very essence of who you are – human. Body, spirit, mind, and emotions. Legalism that says you can’t feel opposite feelings at the same time; like you can’t be thankful and angry simultaneously.

I beg to differ. Right now, I am very angry at some things and extremely thankful for others.

So, amongst my many musings over the last few days, I came to a conclusion:

The problem isn’t having all of those feelings at the same time; it’s believing the lie that it’s either impossible to have them all at once or wrong to have them at all. And when we buy into that trap, we stuff. We deny. And all our colors start bleeding together, creating nothing more than indistinguishable and unusable chaos.

Since I have finally come to the end of myself, (yet one more time), I’ve been thinking. It would have been so much better – and right – for me to, instead of hiding behind religiosity, acknowledge each colorful feeling for what it was, talk about it and be okay with it. In fact, if I read my Bible correctly, confessing and dealing with truth are also part of the Christian way.

I’ve also been reminded that each color – every feeling, every experience – will be perfectly placed on the canvas of my life by the great Master Artist himself to create a good and beautiful overall picture.

Each color has a place in my life. Each one will serve a good purpose. Because God said so.

I’m starting to separate my colors, one by one. (Yes, you can do that with a make-believe watercolor tray.) For starters, I dumped on my husband. (Don’t worry, he’s pretty friggin’ awesome and has learned how to handle me by now.) I also dumped on a few other pretty cool family members and friends – letting it all out. I’m going back through many of the experiences of the last six months and processing how I’ve felt about them. How I still feel about them.

I’m already feeling a little less gray, although I’m not completely there yet; wherever the heck “there” is.

I humbly accept your prayers. (After all, we should never really do away with the Christian way.)