Week 1 of my Journey out of the Pit
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post about the scars in my life. Scars are signs that a wound has healed. In 2010 I lost my husband, but long before that I battled depression in my life. After he was gone, my rock and my emotional support, I found myself mired in grief and depression.
In a previous post, I shared how in 2013, I found a Christian counselor in my area that helped me break free from the pit I was in.
I’m certain God led me to this counselor, as she and her husband were missionaries in Saltillo, Mexico, around the same years that I studied there. Not only that, but she studied Spanish at the same language institute that I did there in Saltillo, just not at the same exact time. It was enough of a connection to believe that God brought her into my life to help me heal.
One of the first things my counselor talked about was Psalm 40:1-2.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
The verses describe what it feels like to live in depression and grief.
My counselor gave me the word picture that there is a pit of depression, but there are rungs to help us climb out of it.
The rungs are truths that we know. For a Christian, those truths are founded in the Word of God.
My late husband had made notes in the margins of his Bible. I had come across these words he’d written in the book of Ephesians:God loves me.
God loves me.
God accepts me.
God forgives me.
These were three truths that I could count on. They were rungs that I could use to help myself climb out of the pit.
I added a truth on my own:
I am a child of God.
My counselor agreed with these truths. She also added some.
I am who I am by God’s design.
God gave life to dirt. He made us in His image. My value comes from being made in the image of God.
God sees us as His children.
He delights in us.
He loves us for who we are.
Whether we believe it or not, it’s still the truth.
As a person thinks in their heart, so they are.
These are the rungs of truth that I could use to climb out of the pit of depression.
Before I could grasp hold of a rung, however, I first needed to catch myself thinking negative thoughts. I learned to picture a stop sign.
Once I caught myself thinking a negative thought about myself, I could stop the thought from taking root.
The the next step was to replace the negative thought with a positive truth. After a while, these truths became a part of who I was.
The process of climbing out of the pit did not happen overnight. Sometimes it was two steps forward and one step back. But I continued to go to counseling and built on that foundation.
Over time and through much prayer and determination, I can say that I am safely on the topside. Occasionally I slip towards that pit, but God has helped me to remember what I’ve learned and keep from falling back in.
For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more of my experiences and the truths that have helped me build a good life today.