Monday, September 8, 2008

Little Victories

How does a person emerging from depression convey the magnitude of life events? Especially little victories. Someone who has never been incapacitated with anxiety and agoraphobia could never understand how big it is for a person like me to go to church, move to a new home, or go out to a movie. How can you explain to someone just how much effort you had to put into something as simple as no longer being in trouble for attendance at work? A normal person would walk into my new home and see boxes everywhere. What they wouldn't see is the fact that the couch and bed are assembled, the dining room furniture is arranged, the entertainment center and desk are put together, and the place is cluttered but livable. How do you explain to someone just how exhausted you feel after a full day of "taking every thought captive"?

Here's the answer: you can't. Might as well explain the difference between a major or minor chord to a deaf person or the color, blue, to a blind person. There is no way to make someone understand. But the thing I need to understand is that this is actually a gift from God. Why do I place people in my audience? Why should I care if someone thinks I'm just a flake. This is merely another way for God to break me of my People Pleasing tendencies.

The way to destruction is not a freefall drop as much as it is a little slip here and there that grows into bigger slips, stumbles, trips, and then the final plummet. In the same way, the road to redemption comes not from a single leap. It comes from taking a small step forward. It comes from deciding to NOT stand up on the Slip 'n' Slide. It comes from not quitting because you have stumbled. The slips are noticed by God, but so are the little victories. And when we stumble forward even though we don't have an audience cheering us on; when we push through the times we don't feel like pushing; when we make the decision to still seek righteousness, recovery & redemption even though we are experiencing the emotions of depression, doubt & despair...I believe these are the times when God celebrates with us the most. Sure, the world may be silent or even condemning, but God is rejoicing and that is enough.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Fears

Spiders; People; Snakes; Getting Dirty; Corrective Action; Moose; Crowded Stores Full of Breakable Baubles; Bugs; Slime; Rejection; Failure; Zombies; Activities Happening Behind Me; The IRS; Drunks; Parties; The Numbers 13 & 666; Being Brought to Tears in Public; Being Abandoned; My Gramma...But She's Dead, So She Doesn't Scare Me As Much Any More; Clowns; Running Out of Gas On a Lonely Stretch of Highway; Being Lost As the Light of the Day is Diminishing Behind the Horizon; Pretty Girls; The Screaming During Lights Out in the Psych Ward; Getting Hit in the Back of the Head; Driving in the High Country in Arizona When a Snowstorm Hits; Crucifixes (We Nailed Jesus to the Cross Once...Please Don't Put Him Back Up There); Shopping; Asking for Directions; Trigonometry; Being Buried Alive; Being Jammed in a Crowd So Tightly That I Can't Move; Making Conversation on the Phone; Leaving Voice Mail Messages; Being Misunderstood; Going to Prison for a Crime I Didn't Commit; Foreign Cultures; Hot Topic; Realizing My Speech in Front of an Audience Is a Dud & Trying to Think of How the Heck to End It & Get Off the Stage; Falling; Burning.  But Number One on the List Has to Be Phone Calls in the Middle of the Night