I Have Been Fed Joy

Hey everyone! I hope you are doing well. Where I stay, the wind has been blasting away and so the Internet has been… intermittent, to say the least. I was sitting in a coffee shop earlier with a friend and one of the outside umbrella’s almost stabbed a woman from falling over because of the wind. How’s that for exciting, eh?

Anyway. Today’s post is about a few things. So let’s get it started.

I won’t lie to you Internet, the past couple of weeks have been hard. It started in December. I was asked by my sister to help her house-sit at this place about 30 minutes drive from home for a week and a bit (about 9 days). I won’t tell you too much about what happened to her during this year, but I ended up doing all the cooking and cleaning (I don’t mind cooking and cleaning normally, as long as I’m not the only person doing it day in and day out) for the both of us. So my stress levels went pretty high up during that time, not to mention that Christmas happened during that time. And then a couple days after Christmas, something that should have been one of the highlights of my year quickly became one of the most demoralizing. I can’t tell you what it is because of other people’s identities and stuff.

But yeah. Remember I wrote about my ADD and the depressive tendency? Yeah, my stress was basically dry wood and that event was a spark. I slipped into another depressive episode. It didn’t stop there though. I had my own house-sitting contract straight away and so I went in, expecting to have some time alone to reflect, come to God and process what had happened. But it wasn’t long before my brother and sister decided to stay with me. I suppose I could have said no but I’m not like that. And now I had to cook and clean for 3. So my stress levels went higher and my emotional state went lower.

And where was God? Right there, trying to talk to me, but I was too busy wallowing in self pity and trying to forget the world around me. See, in the midst of this, I was still doing my daily reading, but not… getting joy from it. It became an obligation. Something that I had to do.  Not fun, or joyous, or meaningful. I started to wonder why I wasn’t connecting with God and that helped me slip further down my spiral.

I wasn’t trying to sound like “oh poor me, look at me, woe is me, bla bla bla”, that’s just context for what comes next.

Enter stage left: the friends and a good Bible reading.

I saw one of my close friends today who I haven’t seen in a very long time. And it wasn’t like set up a week in advance or anything, the conversation on WhatsApp went something like this:

Friend: howsit going man?

Me: Honestly, not well at all. You?

Friend: Can I come around after 1?

Me: Always 🙂

When he came around, we spoke about so many things. The youth camp he did, new churches, identity in Christ, discipleship, the elect of God, etc etc. A wide range of topics. And then we turned to the Word, we call it being fed. And we did so many different things, all things that I realised I had been missing, things that I had neglected or turned my back on (unconsciously) and then we hit something big.

I wasn’t relying on God. I wasn’t doing His will and trying to draw near to Him. I had become so absorbed in trying to get out of where I was that I had almost forgotten about God, or at least really trying to connect with Him. I was spiritually starving in my depressive state. I had become so reliant on myself, what I could do, my own failed strength. I hadn’t even really engaged with the Bible. I was being an idiot basically.

Then we turned to some random Scripture and were reading together when one verse just jumped out at me. It might seem weird but here it is.

John 4:34: “My food”, said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.”

In that moment of reading that verse, something happened. I could feel something shift in my mindset, in my heart. I was no longer hungry. I had been fed joy for my darkened mind. I found joy in the verse, in Scripture. I had been lifted out of my darkened mindset, my negative emotional space. Obviously the entire time we spent together helped but for some reason it was this particular verse that stood out to me and I know why.

Purposelessness. When someone is depressed, often their behaviour reflects that. They see things as purposeless. Pointless. Meaningless. There is no joy in what they used to do because it has no end-value, no big impact, to them it all seems meaningless (there’s an idea that atheism breeds depression and the logical end of it is suicide but that’s a post for a different day). To bring it home, when I was in that emotional pit, I was in a state of purposelessness. I could see no purpose to myself, to who I am and what I do. But that verse, that verse reminded me. Not just of the joy I find in Christ, but it also reminded me of who He is and what His purpose was. And what mine is.

Thank you for reading.

 

If you are struggling with something, talk to someone. Engage with Scripture. Go to God. He’s always there to listen to you.

Go out and have a fantastic week + weekend people. God bless 🙂

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