I have a close friend who struggles with depression (well, "the blues" is what she likes to call it.) When we get together on a good day the conversation never stops, and I think we may even scare other people we get so carried away. We laugh until my mouth actually hurts from smiling. But she also struggles with the blues, and with knowing God. She believes in God, but to paraphrase Beth Moore, there is a difference between believing in God, and believing God. I think at times we all struggle with that - - knowing that God has a plan for our hope and future (Jer. 29:11). She emailed me a wonderful email and with her permission, I'm sharing it with you all:
"I was feeling really awful the last few months. Not eating, hurting all over, no energy and just plain miserable. So very very unhappy. I went outside very early one morning (couldn't sleep). It was around 5 AM. I was sitting on the porch and just almost reciting (to myself) over and over and over again for God to show me a sign that he was there for me and would help me. I would not shut up in my thoughts though. It was almost as if I was frantic, just saying it over and over. I kept just asking and asking and not listening. All of the sudden it hit me that how could he answer if i didn't listen so I just all at once said "shut up and listen". After a moment or two I gently said "God, I didn't mean you shut up, I meant for me to shut up" I SWEAR I heard him chuckle---he knows me so well.
Anyway. I closed my eyes and tried to think of nothing (a very difficult feat for me). I could here the birds and there was a very slight very comfortable breeze blowing. The temp was perfect. I felt my feet start to relax and felt as almost they were floating. I felt me mind begin to start rushing again but quickly stopped it. Slowly that feeling in my feet worked it's way up my legs. Eventually it went up my body, down my arms, up my neck and then to the top of my head. I felt like my whole body was floating. I was afraid to move. I didn't want this feeling to go away. It felt SO good! I felt RELAXED! yes, that's right, ME! I FELT RELAXED. My brain wasn't buzzing with the millions of things that are always running around in there. I felt at peace. There is absolutely NO DOUBT at all that the Holy Spirit entered me and reminded me that he's there. I just need to shut up once in a while to hear/feel him. I must have sat there like that for 10 minutes.
Then I knew I had to get up and start breakfast and getting the kids up. I stood up slowly, hating to move but you know what? When I went inside, the feeling wasn't quite as peaceful as it had been but it was still there. I did the things I needed to do and I felt relaxed while doing them. I NEVER feel relaxed. It was such a wonderful thing. It was a miracle that I needed. I was at the end of my ropes. I was hurting SO badly mentally and physically. Yes, my back still hurt afterwards but I was able to stand up straight and not crouched over. I smiled at the kids and didn't yell HURRY UP HURRY UP. (I still had to say it but I didn't yell it).
Well, of course over time the thoughts came rushing back and I still don't feel great (but I do feel better). And every now and then when I remind myself to shut up and listen I can feel it. It hasn't been as completely consuming as it was that one time but now that I have been reassured that he is there. I can relax just a bit and every now and then even remember to "give it to God."" (End quote)
What a wonderful God we have! He wants to let us know he's there...if we'll just "shut up and listen." Pray for my friend, for not only her physical and mental health, but for her relationship with God to grow.
And while you're having your prayer time, be sure to "shut up and listen."