Sunday, January 5, 2014

to those hanging on by a thread... an invitation

What do you do when life becomes too hard?
Where do you go when there seems to be no place else to turn?
What do you do when death looks more attractive than life...
When the thought of leaving this cruel earth seems the easiest solution to escape your depression, hardship, sickness, rejection, hopelessness, failure, loneliness, emptiness, etc.?
What do you do?

Perhaps you have family/friends who claim to care about you? 
Perhaps you have no one at all.
Either way, you now stand at a crossroads.
You have reached depletion and nothing really matters anymore.
You are numb.
You have nothing left inside - no desire, no purpose, no point.
You are empty.
Stress is at an all time high and hope is at an all time low.
You heart is broken.
In fact, your whole life is broken.
So, why continue to maintain a place in this world and live with these overwhelming feelings of despair and disappointment?

Deep down, you wish someone would hear you, save you.
You wish someone would love you enough to intervene and carry you out of this tragic pit.
But really nobody cares. Do they?

So, what do you do when you can no longer rationalize a logical reason to continue forward to the next moment?
What do you do when you start to believe the nagging voice in your head that tells you that this world would be better off if you just stopped existing and disappeared forever?
Do you give in?
Do you pull the trigger?
Do you overdose?
Do you step off the ledge?
Do you drive off the cliff?
Do you do the unthinkable... the unspeakable... the irrevocable... the unchangeable?
And if you did, then what?
What would await you after this horrible, difficult life?
Isn't there something more to this life than sadness?
Isn't there???

Before you answer the above question... would you pause for a moment and allow me to introduce you to some valuable evidence?
Would you stop and take a deep, full breath, and permit me to present a real solution to your sorrow?

BREATHE. (Fill up your lungs and expand and retract your rib cage as you allow air in and out... in and out.)

As you continue to breathe... trust me when I tell you, there is indeed MORE to this life.
There is a solution for your despair.
There is a rational and logical reason to continue living and a real hope to find pure joy.
Most importantly, there is someone who cares for you exclusively.
There is someone who always hears you.
There is someone who wants nothing more than to save you.
Someone who loves you more than you can imagine.
Someone who is ready and able to change your depression to devotion... your hardship to blessing... your sickness to health... your rejection to acceptance... your hopelessness to promise... your failure to success... your loneliness to companionship... and your emptiness to complete satisfaction and fullness.

Would you be interested in knowing more?

If so, I invite you to join me first in breaking down and confirming a few unspoken truths about this physical world in which we live. (Warning: this conversation will get worse before it gets better - so be prepared, and keep breathing in and out.)

OK. It is undeniable that this earth is messed up. Sure, as a race, mankind can discover and invent some pretty amazing things... but regardless, you and I both know something just ain't right with us. Our underlying core is corrupt. Evil runs rampant everywhere and in everything. Politics, religion, corporations... even our homes, schools, and local communities are a mess. Of course, many folks do strive to make a difference... to make the world better. Many even contribute all sorts of time and money to charities, churches, and programs that are supposed to improve. But have we really improved? Is our world better?

The world media is peppered with horrifying news stories each day. It counterbalances these messages by bombarding us with commercials and information about the beautiful "it" people - the put together celebrities who promote the idea that a better life is out there. They encourage the mindset that more must always be attained to find true success and happiness. We are told to "acquire what we desire" and discard and reject what makes us uncomfortable. But what do we really desire? Money? Possessions? Status? Yes, those are all nice. But even people who have attained these things still are unsatisfied.

So, what do we REALLY want... true love, balance, peace, security, joy? To get these things, we are told by the "it" people to dig deep into our own spirituality and "find" ourselves. Here, we'll hear a lot of buzz words about self esteem and inner peace and are introduced to advocates who promote the power of positive thinking. But since there is not too much positive out there to think about, they will then go so far as to suggest ongoing psychoanalysis and perhaps the prescribing of antidepressant medications that we may or may not really need.

All these things still seem to leave us without answers. We now find ourselves clinging to anything that makes us feel good and builds up our ego, yet we are still hanging on by a thread. Are these self-help methods really the answer? If so, wouldn't we all be healthy by now? Wouldn't we have all found our "bliss"? Wouldn't we have evolved into the perfection we all seem to think is attainable by being the fittest and smartest?

(Keep breathing.)

The truth of the matter is that people (ALL people) are selfish, corrupt, unstable, unsettled, and destructive creatures struggling to survive on a dying planet. We have convinced one another that our best life is NOW. But clearly, it is not. Even those who have everything you could dream of are hard pressed to find satisfaction or peace on their own. Why? Because this world cannot promise peace. On our own, we can never be settled in this volatile environment. And when we try to pretend we are at peace, we set ourselves up for devastation. Our hearts ultimately break and we question "why bother at all." We realize that this life is indeed lacking... that we are hopeless on our own.

OK, now let me begin to share something with you that will refresh your soul!
Let me start to share with you the real plan... the real reason you are here on this earth.
You see, the Holy Bible says that mankind was originally created by God.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. (Genesis 1:1, 26-30)

In the beginning, our original and only purpose on this earth was to relate closely to our Creator while overseeing His creation. We were made to be refreshed by His good presence while enjoying the honor of supervising all He created on earth. Made in His image and offered the opportunity to have it all, mankind was fashioned with the purpose to live a blessed life worshipping a loving God. And being made in the image and likeness of God (according to Genesis 1:27), we each have the ability to know God and therefore love Him, serve Him, and fellowship with Him.

For by him (God) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)

It's important to note that God did not have to create human beings because He needed companionship. As God, He clearly needs nothing at all, for He is complete. Furthermore, in all eternity past, God never felt loneliness. So, He did not need to create us because he lacked a friend. All that said, God still chose to make mankind. Why? The answer is, because it pleased Him to create and love us. When God made the universe, He did what pleased Himself. And since God is perfect and good, His action was also perfect and good. As stated in Genesis 1:31, “It was very good."

Knowing all this... we can surmise that your life, specifically, was planned out by God in order for you to enjoy that same genuine and fulfilling relationship with the Almighty One who made you in order to love and relate to you. As such, the only way you can be refreshed and made whole is by seeking His good presence. To be fulfilled, you must be close to God. For God wants you to enjoy your life and embrace every blessing He has bestowed upon you. The Bible says that Jesus is the only Way to be close to God.

Have you ever really thought about this?
Have you ever considered that this world is not quite right because men have chosen to turn away from their original purpose... away from God's relationship and love?
How can we possibly know real peace if we continue to deny the One who created us and the life He originally intended for us? Whether men will admit it or not, it is impossible to live a healthy, happy life if we choose to walk outside of God's loving plan.
Can a fish live outside water? No, not for long.
Can we live without God? Clearly, no, not for long.
Without God, we are all gasping for breath here, aren't we?

With this news, will you continue to breathe in and out for just a while longer?
Will you make a commitment to join me here every day and deliberately seek His truth in order to restore your health... your heart, mind and soul... and begin to live according to His good Way?
Rather than simply give up with no hope, I invite you to take a joyful life journey with me here at The Devoted Woman website.  A journey of hope, peace, satisfaction, truth, and love!  Trust me when I tell you... I've been where you are, and God's Way is SO MUCH BETTER and SO WORTH IT!

To start immediately, take my advise: get a Bible of your own and begin praying to God for everything you are feeling, thinking, and desiring.  Then keep praying to Him all the time.  Talk with Him.  Share honestly with Him inside your heart and mind... He will hear you and really does want to give you everything good! And while you consider what you are praying for, perhaps write it down and compare how your prayers parallel to the prayers written in the book of Psalms.

Secondly, that Bible you just got yourself... read it... read it a lot!  (I recommend the King James or more modern English Standard Versions.)  Read a chapter or two both morning and night - no matter how difficult it may seem... just make time and read it every day!  Turn off the television, or radio, or computer, and read the Bible.  Get a Bible commentary to help you understand it better if necessary.  But don't give up or be discouraged if it is hard at first. Just keep reading it. Intake and do your best to comprehend God's Word as best you can!  You see, whether you know it or not yet... prayer and reading God's Word are more important to you than even food, water, or sleep!  Sure, you need those things too, but your eternal survival and nourishment can only come from the Lord who made you.  In fact, His Word actually spoke our whole world into existence!  His breath is what gave you LIFE!  Are you still breathing?  That's God's breath of LIFE you are breathing RIGHT NOW!!!

Lastly, I encourage you to get involved in a Christian, faith-based church.  Please don't forget or ignore this last step as God intends for each of us to live our days loving and serving alongside others - growing as a family and community according to His law.  Pray to God and ask Him to lead you to exactly the right church to attend.  And if it seems too overwhelming... feel free to email me personally at victoria@thedevotedwoman.com and I will do my best to pray for you and help find a church in your area.  (Please understand, I do receive a lot of emails, so I will respond as quickly as possible... but I will respond!)  OK, so now... here are some key statements that you need to look for in your new church.  Check out their website or talk with their pastor to insure their mission statement coincides with these truths:

God's Ultimate Authority
  • The Bible is the infallible Word of God.
  • The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal and co-eternal God.
  • Jesus Christ is the Son (God in human flesh) and our only Lord and Savior.
Sin & Death
  • Without God's forgiveness, sin insures mankind of eternal death and separation from God.
  • All people have sinned and need to be forgiven by God.  There is none righteous, no not one.
  • God is perfect and holy.
  • God loves people and longs to be with them, but God cannot tolerate man's sinfulness.
God's Loving Solution
  • Jesus Christ died on the cross after living a sinless life to take the punishment for man's burden of sin. 
  • Jesus Christ overcame death by rising from it, proving to the world that He is God - the Way, the Truth and the Life.
  • Jesus Christ is alive today in heaven, preparing a place for those who believe in Him.
  • Jesus Christ has the only authority to forgive us of our sin and transform our lives forever.
  • Salvation is a gift of God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
  • People who choose to accept and follow Jesus Christ will find new life in Him and never be separated from God and   His infinite love.
  • Christians are followers of Jesus Christ.  (Note: People who profess to be a Christian but do not accept and follow Jesus Christ according to His authority are not truly Christians.)
What a Redeemed Life in Christ Looks Like
  • Christians are responsible to love God with all their heart, soul and mind.
  • Christians are responsible to reflect the love of Jesus Christ to all the world.
  • Christians are responsible to disciple all nations by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Friend, I hope you will move forward as I suggest, because there really is a good plan for your life! God loves you!!! He has provided the solution of Jesus to save and restore you and make you whole again. With Jesus, you are promised a new, wonderful, fulfilling life forevermore!  So don't give up!  Instead seek Him!

Yes, we all know that this world has a big problem that nobody wants to admit. We also know that it's getting worse and worse. Yet still, people don't like to talk about the big "elephant" of sin sitting in the middle of the room. Instead, society would rather dance around the issue and make excuses while seeking false gods and fake fulfillment... which are clearly NOT solutions!

Isn't it time to give up the world's broken way?
Isn't it time to instead know the real joy of JESUS?
Isn't it time to embrace God's real solution for your life?
Isn't it time to stop trying to live your old way and instead live the healthy way your Creator intended for you?
I think so!  Don't you?

I invite you to join me here at DW each day and let's share what is happening in this walk together. This is a safe place with likeminded individuals who also are seeking after Jesus to rule their life. Really, let's grow together in Christ and take the necessary time to study, obey, and praise the One who is ready to hear every problem AND BRING US SALVATION.  Receive the One who is ready to lift you out of despair.  Relate to the One who loves you... yes YOU, enough to intervene and carry you out of this tragic pit.  He is able.  And He will make you whole and happy if you allow Him headship in your life.

Friend, God is the solution.
God alone can help you out of whatever you are burdened.
His Word is indeed Life.
His breath is what we are all gasping for - whether we know it or not.
So, keep breathing.
One breath at a time.  
And join me!
Let's seek His way together.
Let's receive His Son and be restored by our Creator!
I don't claim to have all the answers to everything..., but I do know God does!
He will answer anyone who seeks after Him sincerely and always!

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

This is promised truth you can rely on with no hidden agenda.
GOD LOVES YOU!
Yes, Jesus is the Way to peace!

I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.  O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. (Psalm 30)

Wouldn't you like to have an intimate, eternal relationship with the One who made you and loves you unconditionally? If so, I encourage you this very day to devote yourself to Him (either in your own words or use and believe this simple prayer below) to receive Him as your only God and King:

"Father in Heaven, until now I have been living life my own way, but I want to start living for You. I trust You. Through the working of Your Holy Spirit, I realize I’ve sinned before You and come to You in repentance. I believe that You loved me so much that You sent Jesus, Your Only Son, to fully pay the penalty for my sin by dying on the cross. I receive the sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf and trust Him as my Lord and Savior. Because Jesus rose from the dead, I will live eternally in Your perfect, glorious presence. Dear God, thank you for forgiving me, making me Your child, and preparing a place for me in Heaven. Amen.”

Until tomorrow... BREATHE!  Inhale.  Pray.  Exhale.  Seek and obey God's Word.
(Keep repeating and He will deliver, defend, and restore you!)

Many Blessings in Jesus Name!

~Victoria Anderson




4 comments:

  1. Victoria
    this ia awesome. This was me 5years ago- but God reached down and stopped me in the middle of taking an overdose. When it gets to that stage all reason goes out the window, I was a believer going through depression-but with no help as "Christians dont get depressed", and that we should always "be joyful". I trust your blog reaches out to so many who feel that life isnt worth living. Thank you for the reminder too

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  2. LOVE IT! You always have just the right words with which to express just about every concept and situation. I am one of your biggest fans. You are truelly annointed with the Holy Spirit. I thank our loving God for you! XOXO
    Jenn Branconi

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  3. P.S. I am with Hilary...........been depressed etc! and I am a believer!!! Jenn B again! I love you both! Our Lord Jesus held me a rocked me to my senses!

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