So we have a special guest who wanted to share her testimony.
Hello my name is shireene AKA shazzyB and I had been suffering with depression for over 21 years,
My depression experience
I felt ashamed of myself, lost, angry, isolated like somehow I had failed. That’s what depression does to you it makes you feel like a terrible failure. People close to me didn’t know that I was suffering from crippling depression I learned to put on an amazing show to world to hide my shame, but that became more and more difficult, depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just trying to get through the day can be overwhelming.
How depression affect me
It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy life. Making any kind of decisions, reading, or watching television can seem really hard with depression because you can’t think clearly or follow what’s happening and there’s no way to feel better. Depression made me feel that there’s no way ever to feel good again. I would hold on to negative events and experiences and be unable to see positives. Falling asleep at night or staying asleep at all felt nearly impossible, or I could sleep excessively, but still wake up feeling tired or unrefreshed, despite the extra hours of sleep.
Sometimes i could not get out of bed, or feel exhausted all the time even when getting enough sleep. I would feel too tired to do simple daily tasks. Living that life is a nightmare, and to top it all I had to try to hide if from my kids when they come home from school and pretend i am functional; to be fair they played a big part to me fighting this, I used to fight with myself every day to get out of bed to just function.
My journey to salvation
In 2018 October this is where my life transformed I made a decision to go to a church called Potters house in Harrow. In this month i have never cried out for help or change in my life ever like this i feel to my knees and literally began to plead with God to help me get my life together, I continued to attend church I was determined to read the whole the bible and what began to happen was a miracle.
My healing process
I gave up smoking within two weeks of attending church, my depression lifted as if it was never there, if you truly know depression it just doesn’t go i was on medication, had counselling for this mental illness for years so when this change in my life was happening it was unbelievable.
I could not comprehend how this was actually happening until i realised, I have not had a helpless moment in weeks, I can shake myself out of feeling helpless, this was the awesome power of my father, God has literally reached inside me and taken my smoking addiction and this depression out of my actual being because I felt new like a different person.
It was a very overwhelming feeling i can’t really put in to words what it feels like to truly know that God has answered my prayers you have to experience it for yourself it’s the most beautiful experience you will ever have,
I can say I feel free like a massive weight has been lifted every day making life much better to live.
God is truly good, all he wants you to understand is he is the one and true God, I celebrate the reality of his presence in my life and still for the last 9 months I am still overwhelmed by the fact that my Heavenly healing and Loving Father God and I have an amazing relationship and he continues to work within me he will never forsake me and God your Father yes he is yours too can do the same for you all you need do is speak from your heart and ask him.
Peace and God bless I hope this helps.
Sharing true stories of what God is able to do in real lives is amazing. Feel free to share your story and see God name be glorified.
Anxiety is a living nightmare.
It’s one of the most uncontrollable, irrational feelings I have personally felt, and to anyone that hasn’t been through it before it can be quite hard to describing the feeling, as it is different from the momentary anxious feeling you would get before a job interview, or on a date.
But to those who are contending with this spirit, and to who this blog is aimed, that over-stimulated, paralysing ‘hot’ feeling is all too familiar…
My aim is not to belittle your experience with anxiety, because your experience may be different from mine, but it is just to share some tips that have personally helped me conquer anxiety in my life.
All things being said, here is my personal weapon holster for destroying anxiety attacks quickly:
1) Your breathing (deep slow breathing)
This may sound simple, and to some, ‘unspiritual’, but your breathing is one of the first things to go when having an anxiety attack.
In that moment when fight or flight kicks in, and your senses become acute to virtually everything around you, including your own breathing, TAKE CONTROL of your breathing with long, deep breaths.
Regulate your respiratory system, step outside and realise the world is bigger than the situation/room/place you’re in.
2) God’s strength/Your courage
With anxiety being so easily misunderstood (particularly in Christian circles who may incorrectly consider you unbelieving or fearful for allowing those feelings), it can be easy to beat yourself up about something almost involuntary at times.
What you MUST understand is that you are not weak for experiencing anxiety, but strong through Christ.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 – “or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Far from making you weaker, the fact that by the end of this post, you will be able to master this spirit through Christ’s power is STRENGTH. Just remember to boast in Christ when you do.
3) Your transparency (Tell someone you’re fighting anxiety)
I’m a private person i.e. I don’t feel comfortable telling anyone my business. But when it comes to anxiety, I realised eventually that to win this battle I had to expose what I was feeling, especially to those who’s opinion I cared the most.
Because my anxiety often magnified around people knowing I was acting weird, to the point where it played out. Therefore, if I am on the same page with everyone who’s opinion I care about, I have no real reason to feel anxious.
I remember being pulled into a meeting at work, at the height of my anxiety. My line manager and head of department told me they had been monitoring my frequent and long breaks. I was honest and told them I had anxiety, and to which they both apologised profusely, and shared with me they both suffered from anxiety.
From that day forward, my anxiety levels at work decreased.
A devil exposed is a devil defeated. Share with friends because your ‘weak moment’ will be another’s strength.
4) Your attitude (of gratitude and thanksgiving)
Now, I’m not a fan of trendy new-age affirmations or mantra-like repetitions, however, an attitude of gratitude is very scriptural.
The thought that “this life is God’s, not my own, and I’m just walking in what He has already laid out”, fills me with great comfort and peace.
It fills me with peace because I know I can trust God more than I can trust pure willpower or medicine.
Always remember; any thought that is ‘self’ focused, whether vain or depressing, is unhealthy. When we take our eyes off ourselves, we see GOD in a situation better.
This thought alone will sweep away anxiety. Replace you worry thoughts with worthy thoughts (Philippians 4:8).
Prayer point – “Lord, I’m grateful for what you’ve given me today, I’m grateful for this moment, thank you”.
5) Your voice (rebuke fear and doubt)
This is where a lot of you will stop reading. But don’t, because you will miss something important.
There was a great book written by A.W Tozer entitled “I talk back to the devil”. Sometimes, you’ve got to get violent with that thought of anxiety and see it for what it is, an assault against your well-being and life.
Now this may seem alien to you if you haven’t been brought up to pray in that way, however, we are fighting for peace in our minds and bodies, so we have to get serious.
Tell the spirit of anxiety it is weak and you have power over it through God.
6) God’s presence (take it to Him in prayer)
When soldiers fight, they get tired. Similarly, when you are fighting a battle against anxiety on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level, you get tired.
Invite God into your situation.
If God is near, you are OK;
If God can minister to you, like icy water on a hot day, you will be replenished.
However you cultivate/enter into the presence of God, whether it be through quiet reflection or praise and worship, take some time out of our week to really touch base with God, and let God replenish your mind. Once you are replenished, leave it in God’s hands by asking Him to go before you.
“The most powerful weapon against anxiety is the presence of God.”
Read: Practical Tips on how to overcome difficult times as a Christian
7) These weapons (Mobilise the above points as weapons of war)
We are in a spiritual war; let these be your weapons.
I told a friend at my church going through anxiety “these are not just points, these are WEAPONS against anxiety”. Since then, she has used these techniques to overcome her anxiety in various scenarios.
I know how it is with anxiety; you can get pretty desperate after a while. But I want to reassure you that you don’t have to resort to pill-popping or herbal medicine to calm your nerves.
Let me be honest…I didn’t finish the story I began in weapon 3). That particular meeting with my managers ended with them offering me a visit to the occupational health nurse. I declined, and with me doing a bit more soul-searching, I put together these weapons and God delivered me from the power anxiety had over me.
You can kill off/destroy anxiety in your life if you use these weapons, and not just dismiss these as mere points in a blog.
Thank you for reading, and if you were blessed by what as written please drop a comment or share with someone who may benefit.
Fight on soldiers.
People have different ways of dealing and coping during difficult times and as christians we are not immune to life struggles and the hardship of life. God has blessed us with tools and he has also equipped us with all the knowledge to apply in order to survive. Applying these christian tips during hard times will help us survive the difficult times in life.
For a very long time, I read the scripture below and took it to mean that God will never give us more than we can bear. Which is completely false but breaking it down provides a deeper revelation:
In 1st Corinthian 10: 13 : No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].
The revelation: During Hard times we are more likely going to be tempted to fall into sin and this scripture demonstrates the God will not tempt us even during dark and difficult periods of our lives.
Case study: A young christian woman experiences hardship that feels like an assault in her life. Due to this experience, she is more likely going to be tempted to do things she wouldn’t usually do. Let’s be honest, we all have a sinful nature and bad experiences can surfaces our desire to sin.
So let me cut to the chase, it would be easy to be religious and say just PRAY and read your BIBLE. But sometimes we need a little be more realistic practical tips.
CHRISTIAN TIPS FOR HARD TIMES
TALK TO SOMEONE
Talk to someone. Even if you have nothing to say, share with someone that you have nothing to say but you are not alright. In shining a light on the darkness, you are going to expose the devils strategy. It is important that you have at least one person you can confide in.
LISTEN TO WORSHIP MUSIC
Music has the ability to get into your subconscious without your approval so listening to worship music, it will take your mind of yourself and focus on who God is, how great and amazing Jesus is.
I sometimes fall into the trap of listening to secular music in hopes that it will lift my mood and it will for a short time period but the sadness and anxiety or stress will return.
The truth is, if our vertical relationship is out of check, everything horizontal starts to fall apart.
Let God in with worship. I love Tasha Cobbs – spirit , Bow down and worship him, you are Alpha and Omega. These tunes get me into the zone. Music also has the ability to make you want to worship and pray as you listen to the lyrics.
I know I mentioned it would be easy to ask you to just pray but prayer is our source of strength so we can not neglect it during hardship. Worshipping God will inspire you to pray. Pray is just taking to God. It does not have to be formal or ordered. Just say what is on your heart and God will hear you.
READ YOUR BIBLE – DO A STUDY
During hard times, it can be difficult to read your bible but the bible is the living word and God speaks to us through his word. We live in day were we all have access to technology and access to christian apps makes it even more easier to access the bible on the go.
WHAT TO READ IN THE BIBLE DURING HARDSHIP
When you do not know what to read, you can simply turn to the concordance (the back of the bible) and look for topics that matter to you in that moment. You can also use apps like YouVersion or Glo Bible which provides short studies/reading plans tackling specific issue. E.g, I was struggling with the fear of lacking in finances. I typed in finances and a well of topics came up.
Once you find your relevant topic, read the word with any supporting notes and just meditate on it.
HELP SOMEONE ELSE
When we take the focus off ourselves, we are able to heal and get through our problems. Help a new believer, meeting up with a friend who needs to know Christ or selfishly help someone who is going through more than you can in turn help you through your own difficulty.
Be an encourager to others in your time of hardship.
The over-arching truth is that what God says about us is the overall truth because we have the ability to lie to ourselves and then believe our lies. Be objective and choose to listen to what God says about you. I hope these Christian tips helps you during hard times.
ALWAYS REMEMBER :
You are valuable
Nothing can separate the love of God
You are never alone.
You are the head and not the tail
You are a conqueror