My year away from Jesus: Part 6
It finally started. I spent nearly a year in the bottom of this depression pit, but it was finally time to ascend out of the underground tomb. Through prayer, Bible studies and various attempts to socialize with the outside world, I began to feel like myself again.
I realized that I needed to pull myself out of my current comfort, which unfortunately had become an extremely dark place, and I needed to place myself in situations where I could interact with the world around me. On numerous occasions I would Google local events that I believed that I would enjoy. Yet, too often I backed out of the promises that I made to myself. That couldn't continue!
I would often Google local wrestling shows and small concerts that would allow me to interact with others who share the same interests that I have. While I found some interesting-sounding wrestling shows, I never got up the courage to go to these shows. I guess I was afraid of reaching out.
I needed to stand up and be seen.
I slowly began to go on shopping visits with family member and tag on to outings with my brother and his girlfriend. Even though I was often silently walking like a zombie throughout these outings, it helped me to look at the world again. It helped me to see that there was an entire world outside of my tomb that laid in nightly.
It helped me to see that even though there was a dark cloud following me, I realized that the sun was still shinning for everyone else. Too often this revelation turns a darkened heart darker, creating thoughts of: "Where's my sunshine?" or "Why is their life so perfect and mine is so messed up?"or "Why are they so much better than me?"
While I saw the sun shinning for everyone else, I slowly became grateful. I was grateful that there were people who were benefiting from the blessings of God. I was grateful because I eventually realized that those same people that were absorbing the sunlight had also faced their own depression pits throughout the years, and for many they may have been worst than my own.
Since the sun shown for them eventually, I had to believe that God would shine His rays on me one day. I just had to crawl out of my pit in order to receive those blessings.
I kept praying.
I kept reading.
I kept going to church.
Suddenly it was like a light switch; one day I was surrounded by the darkness of my thoughts and my attitude and the next day there were rays of light shining in life, showing me God's grace and love for me.
Rebuilding that broken relationship with God did not happen overnight. It took work. I realized that I needed to start by rebuilding my confidence, which meant honing my craft as I focused on my talents. I began to write daily. I wrote poetry, songs, articles, and blogs. Along side with the reconstruction of my confidence, I continued to focus on God, going back to my passion for God's word and work throughout the world.
The progress of Bible reading and praying went through a series of changes over this time of healing. When I was buried beneath my depression pit, I was unable to read my Bible without becoming distracted or uninterested. Due to this revelation, I would become very frustrated because I would recall the reading I was able to accomplish before I fell into the depression pit. It disturbed me that I fell so far away.
I figured it out this way: your faith grows jut like your human body. Think of a baby, when they are in their infancy they drink formula. Their body can not digest solid foods and they don't have teeth to chew. As our bodies grow, we are able to eat solid food and even later we are able to eat larger amounts of food. I believe our faith is very similar: If you don't feed your faith, you eventually have to leave solid foods and retreat back to formula. For example, I spent an entire year not fully reading, therefore when I finally read the Bible I was unable to digest what I was reading. I had to re-train myself to digest larger chunks of scripture. So, that's what I did. I would read small pieces of scripture until I was developed enough to handle more.
Even though I escaped the pit, there were still plenty of symptoms that I had to deal with on a daily basis. I found joy in my everyday life, yet I often motioned through joyful and happy to sad or disappointed and then back again. Although I still have a lot to learn, I will continuously seek the ways of the LORD and I will trust his path for my life.
Now, I can happily say that things are better. I have found my ultimate joy in the LORD of the universe; the LORD of grace; the LORD of love; the LORD of my life. I have found a new job; a place where I truly feel like I fit in and I belong. I've even started dating again.
All I can say is that I am blessed and thankful for all that I've been though and all that I've learned from this experience. I hope by reading my words God has blessed you and begun to show you what He is capable of. I pray that you would search for the love of the LORD and trust in the path that he has you on. If at anytime you find yourself lost or you find yourself making a wrong turn somewhere, just know that God loves you and Jesus died to free you from all your sin and all of your mistakes.
Anthony K. Giesick
My year away from Jesus: Part 5
"In the return to life from the swoon there are two stages; first, that of the sense of mental or spiritual; secondly, that of the sense of physical, existence." -Edgar Alan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum)
As I found distance in the wreckage of my dating relationship and began to find a closeness in my relationship with God, the healing began. I must be honest, while my recent ex entered into another relationship, I eventually took her advice; trying out an online dating site to try to meet some more people. I went on a few dates, but nothing that resembled a dating relationship would emerge.
To be honest, that was for the best because I was not emotionally ready for another relationship. I needed to heal. Just because I wasn't ready for a relationship, that doesn't mean it didn't hurt when I would be ignored by women or rejected by someone that I would begin to like.
One of the incidents that I encountered was very confusing for me. I met her online and we started talking through text. We seemed to have a lot in common, but I was still very hopeful that my lost love and I would clear the air and work out our confusion. When I finally allowed my mind to grab hold of the idea that we would not be together, I began to talk to this new interest more often. We finally decided to meet in person. We went out on two dates, one of them was a dinner date and the second was a dinner and a movie.
As we talked over dinner, I felt that there was a great chemistry and possible connection between us. She agreed. When we met the second time for the movie, we found ourselves snuggled in the seats together. It felt great. We kissed. I couldn't believe it how it felt.
I thought this was the beginning of a new relationship, but within a few weeks we weren't talking. I would text her, no answer. I would call her, no response. I would try to email her, not a word. I was confused and my already shattered confidence took another solid hit.
This was another sign that I needed to focus my heart on God for healing. So, that's what I did. I have been going to a new church over the months, but I was considering going back to my original church that I found here in Phoenix. I thought to myself whether I should leave the church for another, each week trying to decide on what to do. I kept going to church throughout this entire depression and recovery, but I just couldn't seem to find the spiritual connection that I felt like I needed.
In order to find healing from this pit I knew that I needed to focus on my spirit. I needed my heart to heal and I realize that I couldn't heal my mind and body until God freed me from my sin and my spiritual bondage.
I kept praying.
I kept reading.
I kept going to church.
I thought I was ready to return to my previous church, until I heard a sermon that opened my stone encased heart to the truth of God's words. As the pastor spoke from the Holy Bible the Holy Spirit opened my ears and led my thoughts through the dark catacombs into his light.
Every day I prayed and my prayers began to resemble the words of a forgiven son of God as opposed to the words of a heart broken young man seeking a relationship with his lost father.
I began reading God's word regularly, taking the time to digest the meaning of the passages, reminding myself of the honest truth that are written in those pages. The power of God's word opened my eyes to my darkened state of mind and gave me a light to lead me out of the pit.
Along with taking time to heal my spirit and my spiritual connection with God, I also had to take time to heal myself physically. I can safely say that I was't severely harmed physically during my descent, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't physically harmed. One incident where I physically harmed myself....I was in the shower, thinking through the series of events that had happened with this love of mine. I thought of all of all that she said to me and the fact that I never seemed first on her list. I blood began to boil. Before I knew I was punching myself in the chest, the arms and legs. I rammed my clinched fists into the tiled-wall of the shower.
I felt disgraced. I felt overcome by grief and anger. I couldn't seem to control myself. due to my lack of self-control I was left with a large bruise on my left arm that was so tender that there were times that I couldn't move it or touch it.
This would never happen again.
The power of prayer is a very useful tool when one is dealing depression, frustration and even anger. When I'm feeling that old feeling of anger creeping through my system, I must think through the situation that is angering me and take a moment to pray. I will speak my anger to the LORD, knowing that He will listen to my prayers and calm my mind and my body. This will prevent my anger from boiling over into acts of sins and disgrace.
Anthony K. Giesick
I grew up loving stories and quickly found myself loving writing poetry, stories, songs! Here is a sample of what Beautiful Feet Writings is all about!.