So this is the most impactful point I take from this lesson! I have heard many sermons etc, about how God can take away our “depression”. However, as a person who has battled Major Depression (meaning it’s not situational, there is no rhyme or reason for why/or when it hits) since I was 12, it’s always been extremely frustrating and sometimes offensive when people who have not been given this challenge in their life, speak of it as if I have the control to just cast it away! Or how many millions of times I’ve heard “if you just think happy positive thoughts, then you’ll be happy”, it’s like telling someone with end stage COPD, to just take nice deep breaths in and out and you’ll be fine! But at the same time I’ve been on the fence of confusion, knowing that God IS almighty and powerful and, wouldn’t choose to give me something to bear without providing some type of ammunition. I believed there was truth in these sermons, but couldn’t understand how exactly it worked, or how to use/apply it to my life! But Bishop Steve Houpe, finally made it clear for me! If I Rejoice in EVERYTHING, TRULY BELIEVING IN MY FAITH IN HIM, no matter how low, or my worst moments of wanting to die, challenges in my marriage, etc just taking that one second to remember to rejoice in IT, through Gods promises, Counting IT as Joy, will shine a special light in my Spirit and quickly spread! So I understand that I’m always meant to deal with my depression along with all other life challenges but if I count EVERYTHING as Joy then I will always win! Even if I lose, He uses it for something bigger/better for my future or for the better of another soul, so that to me is a win! Kinda in sync, but much deeper and (God) spiritual, with what I’ve been trying to always practice in life for a while now… Couple years ago, the tension and stresses of my job in Hospice, (on the political/office side of the business-NOT with my actual work in field with patients) was getting so horrible and causing such negativity that it was hard to shake… I worked closely with another CNA, whom is still my best friend/only friend, and I looked at her one day before going in to see a patient, and decided that I/we were going to find the “bright side” to the situation! No matter how small the positive was and often, how silly what I came up with it sounded, it always made us laugh and smile putting a refreshed confidence and joy in our day! Making it possible to see our patients and provide a fun and lighthearted day for us, and the people around us! I’ve continued that way of thinking ever since and applied it to any and every situation and it’s grown into a much bigger picture in my life! I would say that it’s been a big part of helping me grow spiritually d/t the original place it came from. Which was the fact I’ve always believed in God and that he is in control with some type of plan for His reasons! So now, Thanks to Bishop Steve Houpe, and you (the amazing LaShonda Lee), watching this amazing lesson, about Joy and Rejoicing in the Lord ALWAYS, I have a different/deeper/NEW understanding of what it means, I know now, this is HOW/WHAT GOD MEANT FOR ME TO USE THESE TOOLS IN APPLYING THEM TO MY LIFE “struggles” making so much sense and providing clarity!
Then there’s my “Well”….. It definitely needs some cleaning, lol, like a filter and getting the mold off the walls! This made a lot of sense and really made me think awhile… I can only pull out (or in times of hurt/anger what is possible to slip out?), what is inside my well already! Made me think about the other night when Ezra and I were making points about one another having to do with our feelings regarding what we “think” the other should do or shouldn’t do etc, when he hit a very tender spot on me and I reacted very poorly with words that are disgraceful to God and myself, and even the fact I let us get into this discussion so inappropriately… Which I did apologize very sincerely for, to Ezra and the Lord… Still need to apologize to Isaiah,mental note, anywho! Point is, I’ve been cleaning out my well, while not realizing it or intentionally I guess… Through my more recent devotion, and self-striving to be more of who God wants me to be, it’s just kinda happened. I, not long ago, had a pretty bad vocabulary choice when I was free of children’s ears. I use to say, now admitting it was an excuse to not feel guilty, that curse words are only “bad” bc some random human made them up and said that we’re bad! So they were merely just words like any others not labeled as “bad” that I enjoyed using for better relief in expressions! Hahahaha! Lol! Pretty clever huh? I thought so! However, I know better and have always known better, so in my expanded path with God I have been refraining from using words that are dishonorable to God and reminding myself and praying asking God to help me only use words/actions that he would be proud of. It was really tough in the beginning, which was January, but now it’s just, for the most part, not in my “well” anymore! I love the way Bishop uses examples! An area of my well that needs some extra scrubbing is where anger/hurt comes into play… So I’m focusing on new ways of dealing with my immediate response when hurt or angered. And of course there are other areas of my well that need some disinfecting which I will give focused attention to. But I clearly understand now that if those ugly things aren’t there to start with inside me then I won’t have a chance to use them!