Thursday, November 6, 2008

Life in the Basement

Depression is chasing me again. I was ahead of it for a while, but it continues to rear its dreary head. I think back to not that long ago, and wonder what happened to "that" me. She seems a stranger to me now.

I call it basement dwelling. It's dark, and cluttered, and cold. There's nowhere to be that is comfortable. Well, maybe an old bed in the corner, where you would just love to hide under a blanket while the world above carries on. You can hear them, the rest of the world. It's amazing; they all seem so cheerful, full of energy and hope. I remember what that was like, and want to be there again.

God seems to have stepped away. Like He moved, and left no forwarding address. He has a new phone number, but it's unlisted. Of course, I know that how I feel doesn't indicate truth. And that IS my hope. That He doesn't change. He is still for me, and will never leave me nor forsake me. He gives me the grace to believe, so I wait till I get to go up the stairs to "life above ground".

This was this morning's devotional from Charles Spurgeon. I really appreciated it. I'm sure we can all relate.


"I will pour water upon him that is thirsty."
-- Isaiah 44:3

When a believer has fallen into a low, sad state of feeling, he often
tries to lift himself out of it by chastening himself with dark and
doleful fears. Such is not the way to rise from the dust, but to
continue in it. As well chain the eagle's wing to make it mount, as
doubt in order to increase our grace. It is not the law, but the gospel
which saves the seeking soul at first; and it is not a legal bondage,
but gospel liberty which can restore the fainting believer afterwards.
Slavish fear brings not back the backslider to God, but the sweet
wooings of love allure him to Jesus' bosom. Are you this morning
thirsting for the living God, and unhappy because you cannot find him
to the delight of your heart? Have you lost the joy of religion, and is
this your prayer, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation"? Are you
conscious also that you are barren, like the dry ground; that you are
not bringing forth the fruit unto God which he has a right to expect of
you; that you are not so useful in the Church, or in the world, as your
heart desires to be? Then here is exactly the promise which you need,
"I will pour water upon him that is thirsty." You shall receive the
grace you so much require, and you shall have it to the utmost reach of
your needs. Water refreshes the thirsty: you shall be refreshed; your
desires shall be gratified. Water quickens sleeping vegetable life:
your life shall be quickened by fresh grace. Water swells the buds and
makes the fruits ripen; you shall have fructifying grace: you shall be
made fruitful in the ways of God. Whatever good quality there is in
divine grace, you shall enjoy it to the full. All the riches of divine
grace you shall receive in plenty; you shall be as it were drenched
with it: and as sometimes the meadows become flooded by the bursting
rivers, and the fields are turned into pools, so shall you be-the
thirsty land shall be springs of water.


Walking Church said...

I think all believers go through bouts of this...looks like you have a handle on the head part.

As a buddy of mine says: We go through stuff like this...but we don't have to like it.

It seems a time of being forsaken.

I have come to the belief that Abba gives us these bouts of silence for seasoning...growth.

A couple of thoughts:

1) He permits this so we realize our love for Him is so deep...we miss Him when He 'appears' (note the quote marks, not the reality) to be absent.

2)He looks for our reaction. Do we recall the times He has been so faithful...Do we BELIEVE that He is He promises. Do we run to another Idol or god...or are we resolute in our faith in Him.

Remember when we get boastful...though He slay me..yet I will trust Him....are you up for this one? (L0L)...we say it with such bravodo...but when we break a fingernail...we squeel so loudly.

I am not there...but I do know...He is faithful...this season will pass...we press into Him and His abilities deeper.

Ruth said...

HI Maureen
I love and care for you : )

Anonymous said...

Feelings come and go, and most of the time they do not relate to reality at all, because they are subject to so many influences-changing circumstances, our own changing perspective, and even the hormomal and chemical changes that take place within the human body and human brain.
This is not you, but I feel bad for the people who have been sucked into the WOF where they believe that true worship, true faith, true joy consists of constant emotionalism. These Christians must have a regular dose of handclapping, shouting, dancing, falling down, and an array of seemingly miraculous manifestations. If they don't experience these extreme emotional experiences, they feel that they are no longer experiencing the Christian life, they no longer "feel the Spirit." This can lead to a zig-zag, up-down emotionalismism where the Christian alternates between feelings of religious ecstasy and feelings of abject defeat and depression. God never intended for us to live that way. He intended us to live lives of balance and equilibrium, not trusting in momentary surges of emotion, but in His rock-steady, unchanging promises and truths. (Just threw that in for any WOF visitor's).

William said...

I am sorry to read you are battling depression again. My best advice this time is to remind you that Christ warned us that we are strangers in this world. We are in it, not of it. If you don't seem to be clicking with the world, if you don't seem to fit in, not to worry - you're not supposed to. Recognize that this world is not something you need to conform to, that you are just perfect - as God sees you - as you are. His Kingdom is not of this earth

Amy said...

Know that I am praying for you my friend. You can sincerely count that I mean this.

I have been in that boat, so I can truly understand (as you shall soon read). Father will get you through.

May He spill out His love, hope, peace and joy into your life. May He comfort you in the midst of your paint, drawing you into His embrace and whisper that He loves you, accepts you, that you are just perfect in His eyes.

~Amy :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Maureen, I did not know you were a painter? But in the midst of your paint I hope your "blues" mixes with a lot of red and green! Don't anybody get upset I'm just trying to lighten things up!!

Leonard said...

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it."

The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My daughter Maureen? For there is no one like her on the earth, unique as a snow flake and blameless by the blood of my Son."

Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Maureen fear God for nothing?"

"Have You not made a hedge about her and given her your righteousness for her righteousness."

"But put forth Your hand now and touch her countenance ; she will surely curse You to Your face."

Then the LORD said to Satan, "Paid for that too, but go ahead and take your best shot." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD

Deb said...

Dear Maureen:

We have not met as of yet. I am a friend of sweet Ruth. I live on the Central Shore area of New Jersey, in the USA.

Depression is a not-so-welcome companion of mine a couple of times a year. I love your title "Life in the Basement". Oh how I can relate, dear sister! Because Jesus is so faithful and will never leave us, and because what we FEEL, as you say, is not TRUTH...we can be sure that this episode will also soon pass. But, it's no fun being there while you are in it, I know. I just came through a period of a month of depression.

In my readings, I discovered that Charles Spurgeon suffered with bouts of depression through his entire life & ministry. Maybe that's why you, as well as I, can relate so well to his writings. He touches our hearts in places others can't begin to understand. But, look how mightily God used that man...and STILL uses him, though he is home with Jesus now!

God has a purpose for our depressive periods. Though they are so painful while we live there, the light is so very bright when we come through to the other side again, is it not? Our character has been changed we find, our compassion for others increased, our sense of need for God and our dependence upon Him seems to shift into such clear focus. Though they seem like wasted days to us, God never wastes one moment of those times. He uses them to mature us, and to deepen our love for Him and for others, I believe.

You are in my prayers, Maureen. I feel the struggle with you. But, when you come out into the light again, up from the basement...He will be there as always. (Not that He ever left, but once again you will feel Him). You will move through this 'bout' too. And I, and all that love you, will be there to smile with you... as the light hits your eyes, and the joy once again fills your heart!

Your sis in Christ...Deb

RJW said...


My heart breaks for your pain; the basement is a hard place to be.

I'm sorry to intrude but I think I would be remiss if I didn't mention this. Have you seen a doctor? Don't live with the debilitating effects of something that meds could help with. I don't know your history or your feelings on this but if you need some help please consider medical advice as well as spiritual. My bout with depression was due to a thyroid problem. Who knew? I thought I was losing my mind and I wasn't even 40!( I DID lose it then!!) And I didn't feel that God was one bit disappointed in me.

Please don't be offended by my frankness; depression is a dangerous place.

GOD IS FAITHFUL!!! He is with you. We'll be praying.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine has what they call seasonal depression. When summer ends and we turn the clocks back it sets in. Her doctor told her husband to install flourescent lights in the house and it helps?

Maureen said...

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. I know this is temporary (sure hope so), and am trying to be patient. Am taking meds, which don't seem to be helping. Also looking into light therapy and acupuncture.

It is encouraging to know all of you, even if it isn't "face to face."


Leonard said...

Back at ya...

Walking Church said...

Like Leonard...Back at you as well...not fun being sick...but you are not alone!

Ike said...

Adversity is difficult even when we know God is in control of our circumstances. In fact, that knowledge sometimes tends to aggravate the pain. "If God is in control," we ask, "why did He allow this to happen?"

*sorry Maureen I"m addicted to commenting???????

P.S. "Trusting God"/Jerry Bridges is a very good read.

Maureen said...

Hello Ike, glad you dropped by. I know what you mean; it is more difficult somehow. The comfort is mixed with some degree of confusion, but overall, knowing God is in control is the anchor that holds.

(Never apologize for commenting! :-)