2020 Is A Trip

So 2020 has been a trip!!

This year has been a major struggle for me, I won’t lie. I know Covid has been giving everyone a run for their monies and all but I feel like I’ve been through the ringer and back.

I have been having such a difficult time, not just with the pandemic and adjusting to life with the new restrictions in place; social distancing and wearing masks and job insecurity. But, in general, I have been having a rough time. My last two blog posts were about overcoming depression and bible verses that can help pull you through the darkness. At first I tried to convince myself that I was doing it for the benefit of those I know were having a hard time adjusting, but I was so lying to myself. I was going down the deep dark rabbit hole and looking desperately for a lifeline.

Have you ever felt like no matter what you do you just can’t catch a break? Like the effort you put in seems pointless in the grand scheme of things because it just doesn’t work out? Like as soon as you start to see the silver lining or bright side of the situation, something else just goes wrong? Yeah, so that’s how I’ve been feeling.

The year started and I had such high hopes. I made plans for my finances, career, even personal development and it just felt like everything went belly up. My husband and I sat down and planned out our finances and what we wanted to save and spend to start making our dreams a reality; dreams to own our own home, and forge new business paths…and then Boom!! Corona!

When the virus first broke out, I was cautious. We had training at work and learned all the things we needed to do to keep ourselves safe. Then people in Antigua started to get infected and it seemed even more real and the need for precaution solidified. Then the country went on lockdown. By this point everybody was freaking out and fretting about loss of wages and jobs and toilet paper. I wasn’t. Not because I have wads of cash stacked up in my bank account or anything like that, and not because I knew I was an essential worker and was assured job security, because I’m not. I work in tourism, which is the country’s main industry and due to the lack of activity I was sent home with a reduced income.

My work place!

But! I looked on the bright side. I said to myself at least now I have lots of time to work on projects that I really wanted to get done but didn’t seem to have the time to accomplish. I figured I could write lots of blog posts and schedule them, so I could stay ahead and consistent in my posting; I could get some work done on my debut novel that I’ve been working on for months; I could start some other side projects to make some passive income. I had a plan, and about a million alarms on my phone to keep me focused and productive. All I needed was my computer and some internet and I was set. Then, my internet went out.

Person Facepalming on Samsung One UI 1.5

The service provider told us it was a minor issue and we would be up and running within a week so I was like, okay no problem I’ll just use this week to strategize. Within a few days the internet was back up and running…. that lasted one day! Then, we were back in the dark ages. At this point we have no connection to the outside world. We can’t leave home, there’s no internet, we have no home phone and I didn’t want to run up my cell credit. The service provider said something went wrong, give them two weeks max. At this point I’m starting to get worried. Two weeks turned into four, and four bled into six, and six just kept bleeding until it was Almost three months with no internet and I was going crazy!

Now, I know what you might be thinking, millennials and their need for instant gratification….but, I’m not a millennial, I’m Gen Z thank you very much. For me it had nothing to do with entertainment and everything to do with a lack of productivity. I was getting nothing done and that was tearing me up. All I kept thinking was ‘what if my husband and I both lose our jobs, and have nothing to fall back on?’

I was so caught up with worry that I became depressed. I felt sick to my stomach most days and I didn’t even want to get out of bed. My husband tried to encourage me and get me to look on the bright side on things but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t see it. All I could think about was the “what ifs” and all I could imagine was the loss of everything I had been working so hard to accomplish.

And I’d love to say that I woke up one day and the spirit of the Lord fell upon me and suddenly I was given a great revelation and I no longer feel downtrodden, or disheartened but I’d be lying. What I can tell you is something that I’ve been thinking on for the past few days:

The journey is just as important as the destination. Without the journey, there is no destination.

I was reminded of this quote recently:

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The journey is rocky, and sometimes completely unstable, but in order to achieve great things sometimes you have to go through great things. I have a determination to not live a life a mediocrity and settling for what life throws out. I believe that as a child of God, excellence is my portion and I’m prepared to toil and strive and work hard to achieve it.

Then I woke this morning and stumbled upon this verse while doing my devotions; “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6. God goes before me everyday. Every wrong turn, every speed bump, every pothole, every detour in the road, God is there – holding my hand, being my shield and guide. And I don’t know exactly what that means for the goals I set or the plans I had but I know that eventually things will work out.

So I guess my encouragement to you is to not allow the potholes along the way in your journey to throw you off the road to getting to where you’ve set out to go.

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20 Bible Verses to Help You Through Depression

Depression is something that many people struggle with, but not alot of people talk about it. This seems especially true for Christians. Personally I have struggled with the realization that I struggled with depression, more so out of pride and thinking that “christians shouldn’t suffer from depression”. Most times though, this reluctance to admit that there’s a problem often hinders your ability to overcome. In my previous post, I mentioned one of the 8 Tips to Help You Overcome Depression, one of these include gathering a list of scriptures that help to uplift you.

Continue reading “20 Bible Verses to Help You Through Depression”

Overcome Depression – 8 Tips to Help you Overcome Depression

It would be easy if I could say I’ve never experienced sadness; that I’ve never stayed up half the night crying; that I’ve never wished that I wasn’t born; that I have no insecurities and I’ve never felt unworthy or less than.

It would be easy, but it would also be a lie.

It took me a long time to admit to myself that everything wasn’t sunshine and roses like I was trying to portray to everyone. That the bigger the smile didn’t mean the lesser the pain. That it was okay to admit to not being okay – its actually best.

Some people think that as a christian you shouldn’t experience depression and that if you do, then maybe you aren’t “christian enough”. Or saved enough. Or love Jesus enough.

I remember the first time I experienced a bought of depression. I was 13 years old. At the time I just thought I was feeling extra moody. Maybe it was my period or maybe it was because the boy I liked didn’t like me back. It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually realized that those periods of darkness in my life was depression. And let me tell you, the realization sucked. I was so ashamed of myself. Like, how was it that a youth leader and member of the worship ministry team was experiencing depression.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”

― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss

That self deprecation only made things worse. There was a point in time when I felt like a vampire in my house. I refused to go outside until it was time for me to put on my “face” and perform (at school and church). Most times I refused to eat. Breakfast was usually at 12 o’clock during the summers and I had everyone convinced that I was only eating that late because I’d just woken up. When in many cases I hadn’t ever gone to sleep. Then I started cutting. This was the best and worst. Best because it helped numb the pain that I couldn’t physically treat, and worse because it was the hardest to hide and I was physically battering my body.

You know that scripture that talks about our bodies being temples? I know that in the context it was talking about sex but everytime I heard it I felt sick to my stomach for the things I was doing to my body – God’s temple. And yet still, that just made things worse.

A depressed christian. It almost sounds taboo. And with the lack of conversation about this issue in church, you’d think it is. But its not. What it is though is heartbreaking and isolating. And its really hard to see your way out of it. It feels impossible to fight or overcome.

Over the years and through much prayer and study, I’ve come up with 8 steps that I use to help keep me in a happy space.

1. Write down one thing you’re grateful for everyday. Try not to repeat anything. Keep these points all in the same place like a gratitude journal/diary. You can make your own with a regular composition book or you can pick up one on amazon today that.
2. Journal! One of the things that usually causes us to spiral is internalizing everything – thinking and overthinking. It sends us in a rabbit hole of destructive thoughts. Writing down these feelings – unfiltered – is a great way to get them out of your head and heart.
3. Do devotionals geared toward overcoming depression. Here are a few of my favourite devotionals on the YouVersion app.
4. Listen to spiritually uplifting music. This doesn’t only have to be gospel, as long as its speaking a positive message into your life you’re on the write track. (Let me know if you would like a post where I share my Feel Good youtube playlist with you guys)
5. Pray daily that God would deliver you and help you to see the beauty of life and the wonder that he made in you. It might also be a good idea to enter into a period of fasting so that you can be completely devoted to prayer for this issue. It truly helped me.
6. Get a list of scriptures that uplift your heart and remind you of God’s goodness and display them somewhere you will see them often (everyday if possible). Stay tuned for next week’s post where I share a list of scriptures I find encouraging
7. Seek counsel. As christians I think its always a great idea to get counselling from the shepherd that God has appointed over you as his sheep – your pastor. In these sessions be completely honest. I know it’s going to be hard and emotional but it’s worth it. A great trick I use to help me get through the details without combusting into tears is to write down exactly what I want to say and then read it to my pastor. This method helps me to distance myself a little when the emotions feel too overwhelming.
8. Never stop. It’s easy to stop doing these positive tips once you start feeling better but that’s almost the equivalent of deciding to never eat again because you feel full in the moment. You have to continue this never positive behaviour in order to maintain it.

My prayer for each of you is that have struggled with depression and the restraints it outs on you life, family, relationships and even your sense of self worth is that God will restore you and make you new again. That he will heal your heart and open your eyes so that you may see yourself the way he sees you.

I love you all Chroniclers! Stay Positive

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