striving and grace

I have been on a journey for roughly two years. Healing from a wound that was deeper and more widespread than I imagined. During this journey the Lord has met me, walked with me, and held me every step of the way. During this journey, He has healed me in so many ways. But one rock I continue to trip over is running ahead of Him.

I know my salvation is a gift of grace and mercy. This gift costs dearly, but nevertheless, Jesus willingly accepted His fate to free me from living a condemned life. I know there is NOTHING I can do to make Him love me or accept me more or less than He does RIGHT NOW!

But…

I keep trying. I don’t know how not too. It is as though it is completely hardwired into me. I want Him to be happy with me. I want to prove to the world how amazing He is. But, that isn’t my job.

Two and a half weeks ago I decided to lower my depression medication on my own. You see, God had already allowed for me to do this successfully two other times over the last 6 months. This time, I didn’t really ask Him. Oh, of course I prayed, God be with me in this. But not, God, is this what you want. Of course it is what He wanted. His goal is that I am no longer on any meds, right? Right?

Maybe not.

I don’t know the reason why it didn’t work. But it didn’t. After a week or so my family started to ask me if I was avoiding them. Was I angry with them? Did they do something to make me be so quiet and shut off?

This weekend I had to go back to my former dosage. And, I felt defeated. Failure was the word that swam over and over in my mind. I apologized to God for being a failure. Then, it hit me. Jesus doesn’t call me that. He calls me Beloved, Redeemed, His Child; never failure.

I wish I could tie this all up into a pretty bow. Lesson completely learned. I keep thinking back to something Sheila Walsh said years ago at a Women of Faith conference. Her words helped me then. I was ashamed the meds I was taking. And her words freed me.

She said that she decided to go off her meds. She thought in her mind, “everyone will see how well I am doing and ask me about it. Then I will say, I went off my meds. Look how well I am doing.” Instead a few days later, people who loved her came to her and asked her, what was wrong. She asked God, “why didn’t it work? why do I need this? isn’t it a terrible witness for me to proclaim how awesome and wonderful you are and then need medication to make it through each day?” She said God told her, “Who are you to decide what you need? I made you. Who are you to decide what does or does not bring me glory.” She said from that day on she thanked God when she took her little pill each morning.

I don’t know why depression is something I am to bear. I don’t know why it isn’t just removed. But, I do know that I can trust God. Whatever I am walking through, He allowed it to pass through His hands. I need grasp hold of the fact that instead of being ashamed, I can be thankful that He trusted me with this. Thankful that He does not leave me to walk this road alone.

Thank you Jesus.

About Teresa Neal

I am a Jesus girl. I have been redeemed by his blood and his love. I am also a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, sister, employee, friend, searcher, grace receiver, mercy needer and stumbler. I am fully in love with our God. I cannot do anything without him, although I try all too often.

I write about the things Jesus is doing in my life, about what the Holy Spirit whispers to my soul, my struggles with depression, anxiety and OCD, and sometimes my family.

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