Tag Archives: God

Light Beyond the Darkness

Originally published in “The Unwarranted Bachelor” in 2016.


Darkness creeps in and no one sees it. Why should they? They’ve all turned a blind eye to us. Depression is not real they try to convince us. Not real? Now I know you are a cold-blooded reptile, one who can neither sympathize nor empathize with others.

We all react to our (and that of others) depression differently. And the world reacts in response to it in just as many different ways. This I can tell from experience. During various eras of my life I’ve experienced and responded to the darkness in different ways.

As a child I went through phases of sulking in the corning and exploding at others, sometimes verbally and other times physically. (I’m not giving any excuse for my behaviour, just stating facts.) My actions did hurt others and drove away many so-called friends. At the same time their rejection of me and misunderstanding of depression did hurt me.

Sulking in the corner or withdrawing deep into oneself is a sign of low self-esteem or simply shyness. But children and adults like these tend to be number one targets on bullies’ attack list. In turn, a bully tends to dominate due to their low self-esteem with the explicit need to feel better by causing pain to others.

When darkness is given a seat in our minds it’s never satisfied. Depression wants to rule our lives and beyond. Shedding this lie is not easy, and for most people it is impossible to do on their own. During my early adult years I had friends who helped my through two episodes. For this I thank God.

My advice to anyone who is suffering through any mental illness or as a loved one who is experiencing such darkness is this: friends, family, love, understanding.

The times we desperately feel like being alone are the times we desperately need a friend in our lives. I’m not saying we need to be surrounded my people twenty-four seven but we do need people who won’t always push us aside.

With friends in our lives we need love as well. This love is from God and works through others and also in us. This love can change our depression into joy. Like the song says, “Joy comes with the morning.” This morning is the light at the end of the tunnel of depression.

I want everyone who is depressed to know there is hope for you. May God bless you even in times when you don’t feel His presence.

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Bouts of Depression

Originally posted in “The Unwarranted Bachelor” in 2016.


Depression is one of those topics no one really wants to talk about. Many people go as far as to claim the psychological condition isn’t real, people only use it as an excuse or a crutch.

Most, if not all, people in the West go through moments of being depressed. These are times of sadness or regret. People need down time to recuperate from whatever is going in their lives.

How is this different from depression? Medically speaking, I can’t say for certain. I’m not an expert by any means. But from experience I can say a lot. Depressed moments require moments rest and rejuvenation. Depression needs a lot more than that.

As you know, I have suffered from depression most of my life (childhood and adulthood). It runs in my family. Some friends have speculated it may run in my people and culture. To be honest I believe depression is a result of the Western Civilization’s materialistic greed. (That’s a topic for another day.)

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, just ask any good family doctor. While meds can help in some cases, they don’t help in all. All some people need is understanding friends and family. For me it was a combination of both: meds and friends.

(Please remember: these are my thoughts and experiences on depression. Please refer to your doctor for advice.)

How can one tell if a friend is going through depression or is merely depressed? The best sign is their level of rational. How logical or illogical is their rambling? My closest friends can tell you that I have been illogical many times. I talked about people hating me, ending my life, the world is better without me… In essence I felt sorry for myself and that was all i could think about.

People who are suffering with depression speak as if the world revolves around them and only them. Whereas people who feel depressed have a moment of sadness without making things all about them.

Everyone has a different trigger. The bouts of depression I feel last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. I thank God, my Heavenly Father, that I don’t suffer too long any more. In the past my depression would last from a few weeks to a few months. In high school years had gone by and no one seemed to care I was suffering.

What were or are my triggers? In primary and secondary school my depression was linked to the amount of bullying I received from peers, older students and teachers. In adulthood it was the fact I was alone, and it hurts when everyone around me was in a relationship. I wasn’t happy or pleased with my lot in life back then. What about now?

Yesterday I felt depressed over what I’d call stupidity. Being alone in a world that puts too much emphasis on relationship was the catalyst. The cause was my desire to experience true, loving relationship.

While depression is a thing of my past, I will never say that I have totally triumphed over it. In fact, it is only by the grace of God that I can detect a wave of depression and true it into a moment of feeling depressed.

My journey in and through depression as been long and difficult, but it isn’t over yet. I pray that my experiences can help others overcome it or aid them in helping their loved ones.

 


Temperaments

This post was first published back in 2016 in my other blog site “The Unwarranted Bachelor”, under the title “Life-Long Temperaments”. This has been edited and renamed for “Writings of Seb”.


Life goes on. Mistakes are made. God forgives.

With my recent move and my struggle finding employment my past mistakes are floating up to the surface of my memory. Some are fresh, within the past year, while many are nearly two decades old.

Most of these mistakes are temperament related. As a child I had a bad temper, which has  morphed into new forms of reactions for the years, but in essence it hasn’t really disappeared entirely.

My entire life I’ve struggled with a negative temperament.

As an adult, I fear my past has finally caught-up with me.

For each one of us, whether Christian or not, there is always at least one thing (a pet peeve) that irritates us the most. How do we react when other folks act in a manner we don’t appreciate? Or if they speak in an unwholesome way?

The truth behind this is we are not “our brother’s keeper” when it comes to the general public, our co-workers, or anyone else who is our equal. The fact is there is someone else who is in charge of them.

I’m not speaking about ignoring accountability with our fellow humans, that’s an entire different story. What I am speak about is changing them. We cannot correct everyone. We need to choose our battles. This is where I’ve struggled with in the past and I find myself doing so more often than not.

Why do we tend to fight up hill battles? Why not fight those that are truly worth fighting?

We, as humans, have the innate need to be “right on everything”. This is true for the theologians, scientists and philosophers. Everyone has an opinions, and everyone has a temper.

My explosive temper is my “thorn in the flesh” (or personality). This doesn’t have to be true, but it has become a part of my mentality. How am I doing to try to mend this ingrained mindset?

The hard truth is: alone it is difficult to fix. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b, ESV). If this is what we believe, then why is change still not happening in our lives? I can’t answer for you, but I can answer for me. I’ve been separating my “Christian life” with the rest of my life. Why?

While this may be an infection within churches, this is no excuse for me.

(I guess this post is more of a confession than anything else.)

The reason why I keep finding myself in the pits of anger issues is a lack of relationship with God. What does God have to do with this? You may be asking yourself. In reality, God has everything to do with it, but not responsible for everything.

All the while, I’m striving for a positive temperament.

As a Bible believing Christian, my relationship with Jesus Christ should be first in my life. The lack of it, from my end, is I am not pursuing it as deliberately as I should be. Reading the Bible; praying to God; in essence communicating with the Most High is what I struggle with the most.

When I lived in Alberta, a good eight hour drive to my dearest friends, I tended to not regularly speak with them. We still had a relationship, but it wasn’t growing. My relationship with God fell into the same pattern.

If God feels far away, who moved? The answer is always I moved.

When I move away from God my old nature rears its ugly face. This has happened again and again, and I hope I have learnt from it by now.


God, my Heavenly Father,

You are Almighty, Creator of the universe. I am but part of Your creation. Forgive me, oh Lord, when I have acted contrary to this. Forgive my stubbornness, forgive my perfectionism, forgive me when I act like I know best. “Give me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence. Let my past misdeeds not affect my future forever. Give me a godly temperament, one that reflects You to those You’ve placed around me.

Amen.


Quote #10

“Never blame God for your choices or their consequences.”


Reformative Solas

The Scripture alone
Is the mightiest sword.

Our Faith alone
We make Him our Lord.

By Grace alone
He calls us His own.

In Christ alone
Salvation is now shown.

To God alone be all the glory,
All the honour and all the praise.

Inspired by the five solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Christus and Sola Deo Gloria.


Imagine

With heavenly glory
You call us Yours
By grace and mercy
Love you freely give

Divine joy and peace
You are God, not we
Long-suffering are You,
Yet judgments still true

Your thoughts are high,
Loftier than mine.
Your ways are far above,
Imagine them I cannot.

Back in February 2016 I started writing this poem. I had posted it as an unfinished poem and today I revisited it. Here is the final blog version.


Quote #8

In faith:
When we plan for more, we allow God to move!

In fear:
When we plan for few, we limit God in our midst!


Note: This quote is in regards to a church planning ministry, community events or “God’s work through us”. I’ve been part of a small church that plans for few attendees out of fear. And I’ve been part of a smaller church that plans for many out of faith that we are doing God’s will.