THERE IS A KIND OF HEALING MORE IMPORTANT THAN PHYSICAL

Chronically ill? Recently lost a loved one? Recurring episodes of depression? Physical disability? If any of these conditions describe you or someone you love, absorb the perspectives and comfort of Joni Eareckson Tada’s Beside Bethesda: 31 Days Toward Deeper Healing (NavPress, 2014). Joni, a quadriplegic for almost 51 years since a diving accident at age 16, writes a compact but powerful  devotional book marked by raw transparency and deep knowledge of God’s Word.  Each reading offers a snippet from her story, and Bible texts that sustain her. Insights I gleaned include, but certainly aren’t limited to, the following:   *Honest, desperate prayer is a means of resiliency during affliction. One of my highlighted excerpts is this: “God may not always say yes to specific requests at specific times, but He will always say yes to the cry of a hungry heart that needs Him more than anything else.”  She also wrote, “I learned a long time ago to stop asking God why, but I frequently ask Him for how.  How am I going to go forward?  How can I endure this?  How can I stay positive and productive as I battle the chronic pain?”   *Memorizing Scripture fuels persistence during suffering. She views her …

THE AUTUMN YEARS OF MARRIAGE

  Perhaps my greatest earthly support in battling depression is my wife, Dolly. Her unconditional love and loyalty anchor me and remind me of how blessed I am even on days when I’m feeling downcast.  On June 5, 2018 we will celebrate 47 years of marriage bliss (46 years of bliss for me, one for her!). If you didn’t read it in my blog on 12/29/17, you can find a post titled “How A Spouse Can Help with Depression” by clicking “Blog” on my home page or use the following link.  I used Dolly’s responses to my depression to illustrate appropriate ways any spouse can respond to his or her partner’s despondency. https://www.penetratingthedarkness.com/2017/12/29/how-can-a-spouse-help-with-depression/ If you’re single and struggle with depression, and marriage someday is a desire, start asking God now for a spouse who will strive to understand you, who won’t judge you spiritually when you have rough days, who’ll pray for you and show affection when you need it most. If you have a teen or single adult child who’s depression-prone or suffering from a different mental illness, start praying regularly for his or her future spouse, and for the strength and maturity that your child’s spouse will need. I posted the following article …

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One Weapon To Wield When Combating Depression

The Life-Changing Effects of Gratitude   A good book informs you. A great book forms you. Why do I consider Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth’s Choosing Gratitude a great book?  Because its content is wedging its way into my daily consciousness and is in the fetal stages of making an observable difference in my life. Typically, depression spawns negative thought patterns: self-condemnation over imperfections; hopelessness concerning the future; doubts about core beliefs, and a greater vulnerability to complaining about inconveniences and frustrating circumstances. Though we can’t always prevent the onset of depression, God has given us as Christians the capacity to manage our responses to despondency.   What Describes Choosing Gratitude? *Biblical   Every chapter teems with principles and specific verses from God’s Word. Some pages appear to have bloodstains because Nancy “bleeds Bible” and uses it for her primary insights on gratitude. *Anecdotal   Attention-grabbing stories, showing both a thankful spirit and ingratitude, dot the pages. *Applicable   Repeatedly, Nancy links a point she makes to typical daily experiences of her readers.  She understands the human heart and the obstacles that try to eclipse a thankful spirit. *Devotional   Nancy ends her book with a 55-page 30-day devotional guide.  Each day’s reading employs a different …

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How Can A Spouse Help with Depression?

What a husband or wife does or says in relation to a depressed spouse can either exacerbate the symptoms or help relieve them. Dolly, my bride of over 46 years, doesn’t understand depression experientially. She’s optimistic, outgoing. Her emotions stay on an even keel. She handles setbacks with simple faith in a loving God. Whether it’s in response to a comic strip, a humorous pet video someone sends her on social media, or part of a phone conversation, her laughter reverberates daily off the walls inside our house. What a priceless wife! And despite her inexperience with depression, she’s wise and sensitive in how she handles my bouts with the darkness. If you’re a spouse of a depression-prone person, learn from one or more of these four reactions that describe her.   1. She lets me know that she’s praying for me. When she knows I’ve had consecutive dark days, I often get a short but inspiring message on my phone at work. “Just want you to know I love you, Babe, and I’m praying for you today.” In his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Richard Foster wrote, “Somtimes people have needs that we cannot personally meet. That’s …