My year away from Jesus: Part 4
In the deepest level of my depression pit; where I was surrounded by the darkness of my heart and the heaviness of my situations, I feared that I would never see the light of day. What was more unnerving was my lost of desire to pull myself out of the depression pit. I figured I would live out my days and die in this state of mind.
Daily my mind raced through thoughts of darkness; I thought of her and the love-filled heart slowly beat in my chest. I thought of the man that stole my love from my grasp. My anger quickly inflated in the pit of my stomach at the mention of his name.
I scrolled through the card catalogue of my memories, pulling details of the numerous conversations that her and I had that proved that I was a better match for her than the man that she was dating.
Deeper in to the pit I go.
As my personal life sunk deeper into the pit it seemed that my professional life followed close behind. I soon heard that the parents of my students were complaining about my teaching methods, my discipline of the students and even my attitude.
I guess I can't blame the students or the parents. The only person that I can blame is myself. Of course I must admit the students were a challenge for me. Many of them came into the classroom with bad attitudes or with the desire to behave badly, but that's one of the many roles of the students. While the students were difficult, my attitude toward life, teaching and the students didn't remedy the situations.
I felt ashamed. I felt as if there was nothing that I could do right. I felt even more worthless and even harmful to the students. I questioned my entire future. I questioned my existence.
Deeper into the pit I go.
"I had swooned; but still will not say that all of consciousness was lost. What of it there remained I will not attempt to define, or even describe; yet all was not lost. In the deepest slumber-no! In delirium-no! In a swoon-no! In death-no! Even in the grave all is not lost." -Edgar Alan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum)
Although I was in such a difficult place in my life, both personally and professionally, I knew that the smallest iota of hope was still hope to hold on to. Truth was, I wasn't dead. Everyday I was given a new opportunity to redirect my heart from the darkness of the pit to the glorious light of God's presence. Yet, that was easier said than done.
As a Christian walking through life and the variety of trials and tribulations, there are three areas that help with ones personal growth. These three Elements often empower us and keep us encouraged as he journey through our darkest days and our brightest nights. Unfortunately as I tumbled through my personal life and my professional life deteriorating, these are the very same elements that I ignored.
Prayer- For many prayer is a complete mystery that leaves them lost in confusion. They feel as if they are talking to the wall in front of them instead of to an almighty creator of the universe.
When I first decided to accept God's love and I began to follow Jesus' commandments, I had the same thoughts that many have about prayer. I felt ridiculous speaking under my breath to God. As I read more about God and his almighty power of the universe, I realized that the privilege to communication with this God was a spectacular treat that we should marvel over.
All of that changed in the pit. As I left the blessings of God behind to pursue another lifestyles, I left my desire to pray with it. Throughout my time in my depression I must admit that I would try to pray, but I couldn't seem to find the words or the drive to connection with this God that I once considered so close.
I realized that I had no where to turn. I had to pray. I had to find the words and the passion that I once had. Too often I would find myself in my room trying to speak my heart out to God, but with no prevail. I was completely discouraged, but with the loving words of a caring friend I realized that it didn't matter the words that I used, God's focus would be on the intentions of my heart.
So I kept praying.
Bible reading- For many reading a Bible is a chore. The idea of using our precious time reading is preposterous for so many. Also, many have it engraved in their minds that the Bible is something that is not meant to understand or apply to their everyday lives.
As I desired to know more about God and what He has to say about life than reading the Bible became very important to me. At one point in time I would read for hours and study the background information of the readings. I loved to find the true facts behind the scriptures that I would find throughout the Bible.
Just as I found myself running away from prayer, I also distanced myself from Bible reading. I attempted to read far more than I attempted to pray, but I wasn't reading to connect with God. Instead I read in order to check an items off of a check list. Also, I continued to go to church, but I didn't always connect with the message that the pastor would share.
From my days as an avid Bible reader, I remember that there is so much to apply to our everyday lives, but if I do not read consistently then it is more difficult to sense God's direction in my life.
I began to read as often as I could, but I quickly found that my attention span had shrunk to very little. In order to remedy this I realized that I needed to build my stamina while reading and praying. I read a verse at a time, asking God to reveal whatever I could understand. Over time I was able to read more and more verses from the Bible, gathering God's direction for my life.
I kept reading.
Anthony K. Giesick
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