Monday, December 12, 2011

"How are you REALLY doing?"

"How are you doing?" We've heard it time and time again...it's one of the most common questions (if not THE most common questions) ever. We hear it everyday. At work, at school and at play (okay, I really didn't mean to rhyme there, seriously). You run into friends, acquaintances, strangers, and even people you don't "fancy" all that much and the first things that usually come out of our mouths are, "Hi, how are you doing?" In fact when you are learning a different language, that is one of the first sentences you learn. I remember I took a stab at learning French and "Comment allez-vous" was one of the first things I learned and still know til this day. "How are you?" and "I'm okay/fine" have become so normal that a lot of times we just say it because it's customary to, but do we ever slow down and wonder how that person is really doing?

I will not be using names or even gender affiliation to protect this person's identity (btw, I asked this person if I could include their story in this blog and they granted me permission to)...but this past week, I was talking to someone and it was just a casual conversation. One thing lead to another and it eventually lead to the person telling me that they were deep in depression and has even contemplated suicide to get away from it all. You know you always hear about these stories from other people, but it hits "home" when you have to face the music and assist a friend who is in complete darkness. Honestly, I had no idea that it was THAT deep. I would ask this person, how are you? The answer was always "I'm okay/fine." And sometimes you just don't want to prod someone so much for fear that they will shut down or put up the 10 foot walls and block you out completely. So, anyway, like I was saying, I was facing the music..."Lord, what do I say? Lord, what should I NOT say?" In middle of my conversation with this person, I pleaded with God, and my Heavenly Father gave me words that were not my own to bring light to this troubled soul. As the conversation continued with this person, I eventually told them about my own struggle of depression. Many of you who know me know that I'm a private person, but I strongly believe that when God allows us to go through something and He gives us victory, we should turn around and give a hand to those who are in similar situations. My friend could not believe I had a bad case of depression in the past. They were super surprised because they said, "Wow, I never knew. I saw you and you looked fine...I did not know!" I then told them that depression was very much alive in my life...there were days I literally could not get out of bed, days I could not eat...every day I would cry myself to sleep. Depression had gotten the worst of me. I literally felt like my life was over, but I PRAISE GOD that He victoriously brought me out of the cold darkness and into the light of His warmth. God is still able!

So, you must be thinking to yourself, "okay, that's great, but what's the point of this blog post?" Don't worry, I'm getting to it. The purpose of me sharing this is that we truly (myself included, of course) take James 5:16 to heart and it says:"......Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." There is power in prayer, my friends! Imagine if we would all pray more for each other? What would our lives look like? Would we be able to easily discern our friends' struggles and be of greater service? 

There is this quote I saw on one of my friend's Facebook wall and it instantly caught my attention:
Let's ask God to help us be vessels for Him...to be able to see when our loved ones need us. God most certainly uses us as messengers to bring others God's hope, comfort, love and compassion.

I leave you with this beautiful prayer found in Ephesians 3:16-19:
16 I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Amen and amen.

Be blessed,

Nissy

P.S. If you want to speak to someone other than God or anyone you know, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. God bless you my friend.