The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed (Psalm 31:18 NLT)
As 2014 comes to a close, I wonder whether I am the only one who feels like the past twelve months have gone completely different from the way I envisioned in January… As always I had big plans, great expectations and high hopes, but life, apparently, had other ideas. In the course of 5 months, I experienced the death of as many friends and loved ones all of which were sudden and unexpected.
One a personal level I was hit with financial setbacks, creative blocks, health issues and spiritual struggles. Basically, you name it and it happened in 2014. The succession of events felt as if I was being hit by machine gun fire. I barely had a moment to recover from one hit before another came. I was overwhelmed, yet I still had to push through as the responsibilities of life continued to demand my attention. I see now that the stage was being set for depression to set in. Actually it did set in for a moment. You may know the feeling when everything seems to drain you and require an unreasonable amount of effort… I felt like I was sliding down a slippery slope and I couldn’t find anything to grab onto.
To be totally honest, I felt like I was losing it and it started to scare me. I knew I needed to reach out to someone, but I felt ashamed – like as a Christian woman I should be stronger and better able to deal with my life. I marinated in that lie for a while, and I isolated myself believing I was the only one.
Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit kept putting the name and face of a dear friend of mine – who also happens to be a Christian Counselor – on my heart. The promptings kept coming and finally I knew I had to do something or I was going to drown. So I contacted her and told her what was going on. God’s timing is amazing because we had been trying to get together and catch up for the better part of a year, but we were never able to synchronize our schedules. When I called her this time however, we were able to meet the following Friday. Each week that we meet my load gets lighter because I’m able to talk about what is going on with me. My improved attitude also helps me handle my circumstances better… it’s all connected.
Once I took that step, I began to feel a little better about things. After we actually had our first meeting I felt a lot better. Just having an ear and Godly counsel and encouragement made all the difference. Just think if I had continued to ignore God’s prompting; if I hadn’t stepped out of my isolation and reached out, I might still be in the place of despair. Thanks to my friend and the gifts God has given her, I can honestly say I have turned a corner and while I don’t know what 2015 holds, I know I can face whatever comes with Jesus my Savior and the people God has put in my life.
One thing is certain, through the entire time I knew God was with me. I knew He was the one keeping me from sinking completely. The verse above was such a sweet reminder of His nearness in times like these. Regardless of whether we “feel” Him or perceive Him, God’s presence is ever with us. It’s just who He is.
Are you going through a difficulty in your life? Is your tendency to isolate yourself and blame yourself for not being stronger or more faithful? Can I encourage you today? Know that even when it doesn’t feel like it God is right there with you – close. Allow Him to hold you up and maybe even show you people He would use as instruments to bring you to healing.
Although it’s not something I would have chosen to experience, I can say with confidence, from personal experience, that He is indeed close to the brokenhearted and he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Be encouraged today that the God who did it for me can and will do it for you. Blessings!
Isunji Cardoso started writing when she was just 8 years old. Her third grade teacher asked the class to write an original story. Her story was a hit with the class, and a writer was born! Isunji describes herself a a word-nerd who believes in the power of a good story to touch hearts, educate minds, lift spirits and even change the world. The Lord has given her many stories that she hopes to release to the world as He leads. In February 2013 Isunji published her first book, a devotional called Faith Lifts: 31 Daily Boosts for Sagging Faith which is now available for purchase. The book is designed to encourage, inspire, entertain, and, most importantly, to refresh the weary spirit. Please connect with Isunji on Twitter or Facebook.com/isunjicardoso2