By Lori Peters
I was so desperately seeking doctors and therapists to heal my son, I never acknowledged my pain, and I stopped seeking the One who truly held my heart, hope and ultimately my healing. David writes in Psalm 69 (NIV), “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”
My eyes are what failed, and I was drowning in desperation, and I did not even realize it. I did not want to feel the pain, so I never bothered to stop and look for God, for His strength, His direction, and ultimately His will. Dropping my eyes on the circumstances took my footing out from under me and left me in a state of hopelessness, despair, and ultimately in a deep state of depression.
In coming to grips with being diagnosed as clinically depressed, I needed to learn new strategies for dealing with my emotions. When given the option of fight or flight, I fight. I took off running without even understanding what I was feeling. I was just going to fix the “wrong.” I learned to stop and feel the pain. I learned to name that which I was feeling and give legitimacy to my emotions. I was challenged to cry out to God those emotions and pain in order for Him to move in and renew my heart and mind.
David did the same in Psalm 69:29 (NIV), “But as for me, afflicted and in pain – may your salvation, God, protect me.”
I prayed for God to search my heart and know my anxious thoughts, to reveal those beliefs that clouded trust and confidence in Him. He did step in, and the pleas of my anxious and troubled mind became calm. A peace washed over me, and the promise of God saturated my soul.
My pain eventually turned into praise. My distrust changed to confidence. My need for control turned into my need for ultimate dependence on the God who never fails. My heart was changed, reflecting the very words of David’s Psalm 28:6-7 (NIV): “Praise be to the Lord, for he as heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy, and I will give thanks to him in song.”
God is faithful. He never leaves us, and He always hears our cries. Being proactive and assertive is not wrong. God gave me the wiring to be a fierce advocate for my son. God chose not to change my circumstances; instead He changed me. I have surrendered to God, with my darkest of feelings, believing He will renew my spirit and keep my feet on solid ground. He will do the same for all His precious children, if we just let Him.
Bio: Lori Peters is a speaker, organizational and leadership consultant, counselor, freelance writer, and professor at George Washington University. She is an advocate for the equal opportunities for people with special needs and takes graduate classes in her spare time. You can find her at loripeters.com or Facebook and Instagram.