The pilgrim has returned from his 6-week stay in Dallas, TX and the Ozarks in Arkansas. I was there getting treatment for my depression and other issues I've been struggling with. I am feeling much better but there is still a long journey ahead of me.
My writing juices which had pretty well dried up have started to gurgle beneath the surface and I'm grateful to God for that.
This evening I went back and read all of my entries on my Pilgrim Song web site. As I read the posts, prose and poems I was reminded of where I once was...before the deep depression began to strangle and choke me. The last year has been horrendous. I haven't posted on Pilgrim Song for over 1 year. I was dry. I'm still dry but at least I'm thirsty.
Please pray for the pilgrim as he re-adjusts to life in the real world.
Check out the posts on Pilgrim Song where I have shared some of my poems written in some of the darkest hours over the past five years.
SPECIAL NOTE TO ALL THE PILGRIM PALS:
Thank you so much for your prayers for the ol' pilgrim over the last few months. It has been a scary journey and I'm not "out of the woods" yet. Thank you Terry for keeping the Pals blog going. Special thanks are due to Felisol. Your encouraging comments over the past few months have been such a blessing. Thank you so much for standing with me.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Since arriving here at the Minrith Ranch in the Arkansas Ozarks, the Lord has been teaching me so much.
The pristine beauty of the hills and valleys, the rivers and creeks has helped to speed the recovery of this burnt out child of the King.
Depression when brought under control of a sovereign God, can be subdued and ultimately defeated as we submit to His Lordship and the wise godly counsel of men like Dr. Frank Minirth.
as we walked down to Big Creek the other day and skipped smooth stones across its clear surface, I was reminded of many things just by observing. As the great New York Yankee ballplayer Yogi Berra once stated, "You can observe a lot by just watching."
As I passed by a bonfire pit with the charred remains of a once-blazing fire, I thought of my own life and the experience of many other pastors and Christian leaders who have suddenly found themselves burnt out. Only a fresh encounter with the living Christ of God can re-ignite the flame which once burned unabated for the King of kings. This, plus wise, sound, biblical counsel can "get us back" as Dr. Minirth has repeatedly expressed to me. The good doctor and the God of heaven are determined to "get me back".
As I continued to walk leisurely along the banks of the creel , I noticed the massive root network under a "big old tree".
I was reminded that in order to get our lives under control we have to "get to the root" of the problem.With my depression it was a series or significant losses over the past five years plus some unresolved issues from my teen years and early 20's that had precipitated my defeatist state of mind.
As we got to the root of the problem I began to understand why I was in the midst of this gut-wrenching battle.
Much of our depression is caused by our failure to be kind to ourselves. I'm learning that many depressed people are very kind to others but they fail to be kind to themselves. This can lead to destructive behaviors and, then, inaccurate thinking. The downward spiral continues until we get help. The help I've been receiving has been life-changing.
Walking on, I saw some awesome vines creeping over a rocky ledge and dropping to the ground below. As I mused on these sights, I realized again that unless we are super-naturally connected to the true Vine, Jesus Christ Himself, we will never truly be healed and fulfilled. He alone is the source of life and wellness.
Where are you at, dear friend? Has the raging battle brought you down and robbed you of any hope? There is hope and a future for those who know the eternal God, through Christ Jesus. Take His hand and let Him lead your through. If He can do it for me, He can accomplish the same for you. Give Him a chance.