Two of Me?

Wow. What a great blog. Written by a pastor’s wife. GO CHECK THIS OUT NOW:

Two of Me?: “Today was a ‘normal’ day: me alone with my three kids. I played with the kids. I hugged them. We tickled and laughed. We even left the house for a small adventure. We made it through the entire day without anyone melting down into tears. That’s something to celebrate.

My husband came home with another tale of woe about church. I believe his introduction to the story was, ‘I don’t think things could get any weirder.’ I think he’s said that several times in the last couple of months, and yet the weirdness persists. I listened with attention and empathy.

I’ve fulfilled my roles of mom and wife well today, and that makes me glad. But under all of that is a strong, steady current of sadness and fatigue. Nothing in particular is on my mind to make me feel this way. It’s just there. It’s as though there are two of me, one is heavy, bolted to the ground. The other is happy and in the moment with people I love.

The happy me is inextricably tied to the heavy me, and that makes everything effortful. I think this might be a symptom of depression, and someday I hope I will have recovered fully and will be capable of feeling carefree. Right now, it feels like I have changed completely. Sometimes I think this weight will be with me every hour of every day from now on.

(Via On Being Mrs. Pastor.)

2 thoughts on “Two of Me?”

  1. How Long Will This Last?

    Posted: 13 Jul 2009 04:58 AM PDT

    (Author: Jon Bloom)

    A couple years ago I shared my experience of enduring a spiritual storm, a crisis of faith. Since then I've had the privilege of corresponding with numerous precious saints who are enduring similar storms.

    A common experience is that after the initial blast of the storm, it often takes a long time to regain a sense of spiritual equilibrium. A friend wrote me recently essentially asking me how long it will take to "get past this" to feeling normal again. I thought I would share my response to him in case others of you are finding yourselves asking, "How Long, O Lord" (Ps. 90:13)

    Thank you for the update. Yes, I remember well. I would say it took me a good year from the time I experienced an initial breakthrough until I really felt my spiritual equilibrium was more "normal." Changing metaphors, if the initial crisis was a massive earthquake, I felt aftershocks for a long time. And some were strong.

    My experience is that God brings deliverance from these things gradually. Because his purpose is to strengthen faith and character. A different analogy: it is similar to endurance and strength training. It's the adversity of the struggle that builds spiritual understanding, muscle, and endurance. And it generally takes longer and is more difficult and painful than we imagine at first.

    One last analogy. Remember Frodo in The Lord of the Rings? He is stabbed with the Mordor blade of the wraith king on Weathertop. It almost kills him. But thanks to the divine healing gift of Elrond the elf lord, the evil poison is removed. However, for the rest of his life, Frodo still sometimes feels the icy pain in the scar.

    It's like that with such wounding as you and I have experienced. I still feel the icy pain occasionally in the scar. But it has become a reminder of grace and a reminder to set my hope on God and his promises. It is a reminder that I walk by faith and not sight.

    I will pray for you. The Lord will not forsake you. It is he who will get you past this. Keep following Jesus who endured Gethsemane, the trial, the scourging, the cross, and death for you.

    He showed you that sometimes the path of faith takes you through indescribably deep darkness. He is not asking you to endure what he has not already endured—and infinitely worse. And he showed that you can trust the Father, whose will sometimes is that you drink a cup you really wish you didn't have to drink.

    But it's only because there is joy unspeakable and full of glory for those who do.

    "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

    Grace be with all of you who are struggling now.

  2. What I Learned in a Spiritual Storm
    December 4, 2007 | By: Jon Bloom
    Category: Commentary

    “Spatial disorientation” is what an aircraft pilot experiences when he flies into weather conditions that prevent him from being able see the horizon or the ground. Points of reference that guide his senses disappear. His perceptions become unreliable. He no longer is sure which way is up or down. It can be deadly.

    The only way a pilot can overcome spatial disorientation is to be trained to read and trust his cockpit instruments to tell him what is real. That’s why flight instructors force student pilots to learn to fly planes by the instruments alone.

    There is a spiritual parallel. I’ve experienced it. On a spring day in May 1997, I flew into a spiritual storm.

    The details are too lengthy. But what I experienced was a crisis of faith. I entered a tempest of doubt like nothing I had ever experienced before. God, who I had known and loved since late childhood, suddenly became eclipsed in my spiritual sight. I couldn’t see him anywhere. The Sun of my life disappeared and everything became dark in my soul. Swirling winds of fear blew with amazing force. The turbulence of hopelessness was violent. I found myself in a spiritual state of spatial disorientation.

    I was panicky at first. I swerved back and forth desperately trying to get my bearings. But one day the thought hit me, “Jon, fly by the instruments. That’s what they’re for. Don’t trust your perceptions. Trust what the instruments tell you.”

    Now over the years God had trained me to trust his Word. And to that point it always been reliable. So now in the raging storm, when everything seemed uncertain, I had to choose: would I trust my doubt-filled perceptions or trust God’s Word?

    In very simple terms, since my doubts were leading me deeper into confusion, and since God’s promises had given me more hope than anything I had ever known, I decided to steer by the Bible’s direction until I had enough evidence to determine that it was a faulty instrument.

    I continued devotional Bible reading, prayer, church and small group attendance. I opened my heart to trusted friends and mentors and asked for counsel. I remember John Piper saying to me: “Jon, the rock of truth under your feet will not long feel like sand.” It was very hard to believe when he said it, but he proved right.

    After months of darkness, light pierced the clouds. My storm didn’t stop suddenly, but it gradually lost power and dissipated and I flew into clear skies. God’s promises again proved reliable instruments. I didn’t crash. In fact, the storm served me very well. I learned more than ever before how to “walk (or fly) by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). I thank God for every minute of that frightening storm.

    Jesus really understands what stormy darkness is like. His storms, from Gethsemane to Golgotha, were far worse than anything we will ever know. And he entered them willingly for us, so that we would be rescued from all of our storms, particularly the ultimate storm of God’s wrath against our sin. That’s why he came. His storm crushed him so that our storms would become redemptive for us. What a wonderful reason to celebrate Christmas!

    This Advent, remember that Jesus came “to give light to those who sit in darkness” (Luke 1:79). If you or a loved one is flying in a storm and despairing, remember your own perceptions, as real as they feel, are not reliable. As one who has tested them in a number of storms I can say with confidence: fly by the instruments God has provided you. They will not prove faulty.

    Related free resources:

    * Battling the Unbelief of Despondency
    * Job: Five Sermons on Suffering
    * Ruth: Sweet and Bitter Providence
    * Biographical messages on Charles Spurgeon, William Cowper, and David Brainerd

    Related books:

    * When the Darkness Does Not Lift
    * The Hidden Smile of God

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