January 2020 - GraceAndWorks

HE TOOK CONTROL!!

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This is a story about a person that has battled with alcohol for nearly 30 years. I may be a little bit all over the map with this, but I felt it needed to be told. There are those who have been in these shoes and will fully understand and there are those who will have a hard time wrapping their head around it.

Alcohol played a big roll in his life, but he never thought he had a problem….until the last few years. It had control of him even though he wouldn’t admit it. There were lost marriages. There were lost jobs. He had lost the trust of family and friends and finally had his brother to the point he wouldn’t talk to him. It wasn’t because his brother didn’t love him, it was because his brother needed to show some tough love to hopefully set urgency into the situation. It gets to the point where a person can’t wait to get home and just crawl up with a friend (Bottle of alcohol). I look at the situation as he was a “Functioning” alcoholic. Go to work, get home and start the drinking and get up the next morning feeling horrible and stumble off to work. It becomes a vicious cycle!! Most will say that a person has to hit rock bottom before they can begin the trip out of the deep dark dungeon. But what is rock bottom? It is different for different people. Some have to lose everything….the family, the home they have, the jobs, and all their money. For some it won’t go that far before they seek help. Some never  seek the help and drink themselves to death.

Well, this story has a REALLY happy ending. He has gotten the help he needed and has reached a milestone. He is 1 year sober!! His Mom and Dad flew in and his Brother and his wife flew in for a celebration and the presentation of his 1 year medal. The first time he and his brother had spoken for about a year. The love was still there. The forgiveness was there. He had to feel so good to have his family back. Then………..after he was presented the medal, he gave it to his brother. To me this was an act of love and compassion and a thank you for the tough love. A tremendous way of showing the appreciation and love for his brother. If you’ve never been in these shoes, it will be hard to wrap your head around what really transpired. He is finally up out of the dungeon and climbing up the mountain. He has finally got control over his life instead of the alcohol controlling him. I’ve been in these shoes. Not as far down as he was, but I can appreciate where he is now and what the giving of that medal means to him. CONGRATS on your 1 year of sobriety and many more years to come!!

SMILE God loves YOU!!

DEPRESSION IS HORRIBLE!!

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Most of us have probably, at one time or another, have had to deal with depression. We maybe didn’t even know we were depressed. It’s almost impossible to deal with it on your own. The following may shed some light:

Depression is a widespread condition, affecting millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike. Those suffering from depression can experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, fatigue, and a variety of other symptoms. They may begin to feel useless and even suicidal, losing interest in things and people that they once enjoyed. Depression is often triggered by life circumstances, such as a loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, or psychological problems such as abuse or low self-esteem.

The Bible tells us to be filled with joy and praise (Philippians 4:4; Romans 15:11), so God apparently intends for us all to live joyful lives. This is not easy for someone suffering from situational depression, but it can be remedied through God’s gifts of prayer, Bible study and application, support groups, fellowship among believers, confession, forgiveness, and counseling. We must make the conscious effort to not be absorbed in ourselves, but to turn our efforts outward. Feelings of depression can often be solved when those suffering with depression move the focus from themselves to Christ and others.

Clinical depression is a physical condition that must be diagnosed by a physician. It may not be caused by unfortunate life circumstances, nor can the symptoms be alleviated by one’s own will. Clinical depression is not always caused by sin. Depression can sometimes be caused by a physical disorder that needs to be treated with medication and/or counseling. Of course, God is able to cure any disease or disorder. However, in some cases, seeing a doctor for depression is no different than seeing a doctor for an injury.

There are some things that those who suffer from depression can do to alleviate their anxiety. They should make sure that they are staying in the Word, even when they do not feel like it. Emotions can lead us astray, but God’s Word stands firm and unchanging. We must maintain strong faith in God and hold even more tightly to Him when we undergo trials and temptations. The Bible tells us that God will never allow temptations into our lives that are too much for us to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). Although being depressed is not a sin, one is still accountable for the response to the affliction, including getting the professional help that is needed. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Depression is REAL and it is HORRIBLE!! If you are suffering from it, GET HELP!!

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good day all.