A 30 Day Plan for Conquering Depression.
I haven’t posted a blog in a few weeks. My family went through some difficult times in the past weeks as my mother-in-law passed away on Wednesday night, September 16th shortly before midnight after a seven year long battle with dementia. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the funeral would not be until the next Monday, September 21st. Why am I telling you this? Because two things happened to me personally during this ordeal.
On the evening of my mother-in-law’s passing just hours before we were notified, I received news I was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes type II. I should not have been surprised. I have been borderline for about three years and I finally gained enough weight to put me over the edge. The three hours after learning of this diagnosis were almost as devastating as the night I went into my deepest, darkest depression. That evening was a life changing event for me as well as for our family as we learned of Judith “Shine” Kidd’s passing shortly before midnight. In a future blog, I will share how God helped me work through what should have been the most depressing episode I have had since 1995.
The second event would take place the following Saturday morning and Sunday morning. Mark Sutton and I were scheduled to hold a Conquering Depression Seminar at Grand Cane Baptist Church on Saturday from 9 to noon and then team preach on Sunday morning. On a lighter note, my son Sean and daughter-in-law, Jennifer were driving in from Abilene for a “Doctor Who” premier party Saturday night at which we would celebrate Jennifer’s and her sister, Lisa’s, birthdays. Saturday would be a full day. Could I make it? Was I prepared to speak on depression just two days after my mother-in-law’s death? That event certainly prepared my heart for a discussion of depression and almost 40 people were counting on Mark and on me to help them with depression. I had no choice.
The seminar went very well. Mark was in good strength and spoke strongly and firmly during his part of the seminar. That night, we had a great time at the Doctor Who party and the next day, our sermon went very well at Grand Cane Baptist Church. By Sunday evening at 4, just in time for the visitation, I was exhausted but the most important tasks were behind me. Now, I just needed to be there for my family and friends. Sherry and I were not prepared for the huge number of visitors that came Sunday night. We were shocked and pleased that Shine’s legacy outlived her life. And, the next day, not only did our Senior Adult pastor, John Harp do a great job at the service, by Shine’s nephew, Glenn James knocked it out of the park! What a great testimony to Shine’s life and legacy.
I share all of this because of one realization. Life goes on. We get up in the morning and face another day. Friends, family, other people depend on us. I do not know how anyone who does not have a relationship with God can continue to do this day after day! Without His sustaining power and the hope and promise of His love, I wouldn’t be able to get out of the bed! But, one thing I have learned through all of my battles with depression is to look outward and upward. My strength comes from my wife and family. But, all of our strength comes from the Creator of our universe and our reality. God sustains us and holds everything together.
Glenn shared this story. While he was in seminary, he was asked to share the Gospel with a close family member. He called his Aunt Shine. Now, if you don’t know Shine, suffice it to say she was feisty and outspoken and never held back on telling you the truth. As their discussion progressed, Glenn asked her if she understood the Gospel and if she had a relationship with Jesus Christ. Her response, “I don’t think anything has changed in the last 2000 years, has it? Yes, I do.” The family was stunned at this revelation because Glenn had never shared this with us. He brought the entire family hope again.
Our hope for anyone and everyone reading this blog post is that you will find that deep, abiding hope again in the life, the story, the presence of Jesus of Nazareth. It will bring a peace that is beyond all human understanding!
Just a reminder that if you are in the Shreveport area on Saturday, November 14th, Mark Sutton and I will be holding our Conquering Depression Seminar. You can register by clicking on the Seminar tab online! Do so now! We hope to see you there!