I’ve been out of legalism and attending a healthy grace-filled church for six years and feel like I’ve come a long way in my healing from spiritual abuse. I struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTCS (post traumatic church syndrome, my made up phrase for bad church experiences).
At the new healthy church, I’ve been through many bible studies and programs and currently involved in Celebrate Recovery. I’m also getting ready to teach a spiritual abuse bible study called Life’s Healing Choices (Thanks Lois for the book). I have overcome a lot of junk from my past and I’ve had remarkable healing of relationships and even forgiving and forgetting certain situations in my past.
But even with all the victories, every once in awhile I wake up and feel like I’m back in that deep miry pit and struggling with depression, anxiety and overeating. The negativity is so strong and my mind is swirling with negative thoughts, worry, anxiety and fear and I can’t seem to shut it down. I just keep sinking into the pit of despair.
Did something trigger it? Probably the paperwork I received from my long term disability insurance that needs to be filled out for them to review my case and decide to continue paying my disability.
Now this insurance company knows I have Parkinson’s Disease and it is progressive with no cure. You never improve you just keep adjusting and you are dependent on the medications. I need that disability income to survive financially and to pay my insurance because my medicines are expensive.
I know all the scriptures that I’ve quoted to others and I’ve had them quoted to me. Luke 12:29, Philippians 4:6, Philippians 4:13, “to be anxious for nothing,” “God will supply,” “take no thought for what you will wear or eat” and there are many others. I quote them all and pray them all but I’m still in the pit!
I tell God that I hate the pit. That I’m being sucked down into the miry clay of depression.
So I cry as my daughter fills out the paperwork because my handwriting is too bad and is not legible anymore and I bemoan my fate and complain about my plight. Until my sweet daughter sighs and tells me to read something in the Bible. Something different.
Something different? She suggested Psalms 40. So I opened my bible and began to read:
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart. I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly. Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me. Psalms 40:1-11 NKJV
When I finished reading I had to admit I was very humbled and shamefaced and I looked at my daughter and wondered when had she become so wise and I said as much. She smiled and shrugged a shoulder and said “Mom, you taught me and you have always done all the things that portion of scripture says. I read it and pray it all the time.”
Then she told me to read Proverbs 12:25:
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.”
So as she finished the paperwork and made copies of my Power of Attorney to attach, she spoke good words to me and it did make my heart glad. Then she took my hand and she prayed these words: “Heavenly Father, You brought us out of the miry clay of legalism and put our feet upon the rock of Christ Jesus to stay. You put a new song in our hearts to sing. A song of praise hallelujah!” She looked at me, this young woman who I raised, the mother of my five granddaughters, with wisdom and faith in her eyes and said we used to sing the old hymn differently in the past but this is how I sing it now!
So I dried my tears and we both smiled and I climbed out of the pit.