Friday, September 6, 2013

When I Ask For Help

this feels very vulnerable. #365days #365daysof31 (less than a week in + I've already missed two days. oops.)

I'm not sure how to write this.  Because I hate where I've been this summer, emotionally,  and fear that it makes me sound like a dramarama queen.  

But the plain truth is that I've been struggling with depression.  Like, a lot.  

I suppose you already knew this, sort of.  But the difference between now and the last time I wrote  about my recent depression struggles is that it's stopped being a good thing.  It's stopped being a wake-up call, a signpost, a message.  

It's just been hell.

You might know that I've been seeing my therapist again, this time at the recommendation of my regular doctor, for anxiety.  It's not that I've been without professional support.

But then she went away for a little while at the beginning of August.  Just for a few weeks.  The day after my last appointment with her pre-vacation, I found myself thinking, "I don't think I can make it to my next appointment in three weeks."

And that scared me.  Profoundly.  I didn't have a clearly formed idea of what not being able to make it might look like, but I knew that it wasn't good.  

Friends, this depression has been terrible.   I did make it to my next therapy appointment and beyond, but it's been so hard.  I've started taking an antidepressant for the first time in three years, but I don't know if drugs will help.  They didn't last time.  And now, with our sweet, not-so-babyish boy in the picture, the stakes feel vastly higher.  I don't want him to grow up with a broken-down mother who cries all the time and passes in and out of profoundly deep darkness with alarming unpredictability.  I can't afford to mess around with my mental health now that he's here.

I hate depression.  I hate how I have so much to be grateful for, so much that should (and does) bring me joy . . . and still this depression remains, and remains debilitating, excruciating, and inescapable.  It leaves me feeling constantly overwhelmed, and it shreds the tattered remains of my faith that I am trying so desperately to stitch back into wholeness. 

And yet, even though my relationship with God feels tenuous and prayer is near impossible for me when I fall yet again into the blackness of depression -- I believe in the power of prayer, in the hope of Heaven.  In the fiery intensity of God's love, even though all that I can feel is depression's cold pallor.

This week has been particularly bad.  I felt more and more isolated and despairing, until at the last I let a couple of women who I am inclined to see as amazonian prayer warrioresses in on things (this may have involved a bit of word vomit).  They said they would pray, and I sort of rolled my eyes, but said thank you regardless.  When had prayer ever broken my depression in the last (hint: never).

Today, I woke with the darkness within.  I muddled through as I usually do, until about midday.  It felt as if I blinked and then --  internal storm was gone.  Absolutely gone.  I have no explanation.  I like to think it's God throwing me a lifeline through my warrioress friends' prayers. 

This is why I am writing to you.  Would you pray, please?  Because it is not just me who is and has been enduring this same intense depression and doubt (not to mention other trials) this summer.  It's some of the other teachers of Made, and the students of Made.  I feel that there may be some kind of spiritual resistance to Made -- and I am usually the last one to point to spiritual warfare as a possibility, to please know that when I suggest this I do not do so lightly or easily.  

At the risk of sounding grandiose, I feel a bit like Moses, who needed to hold his hands high in the air to held the Israelites defeat the Amalek army in battle, but found that he could not do it alone: 

"Joshua did what Moses ordered in order to fight Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. But Moses’ hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands remained steady until the sun went down. Joshua defeated Amalek and its army in battle."

I need some help.  I need some kind folks who are willing to join with me in prayer for Made, and for all involved.  My own prayers and desperate stabs at keeping the faith are not cutting it.  My arms are tired, and I would very much love it if you could help me hold them up for a while.  

Would you pray, and keep praying, please?  And if you would like to have a place to come together as pray-ers, there is a space all set up for you at the new Epiphany Art Studio & School online community.  It is free and open to whoever might like to join, and has some fun things to explore.  You can find the dedicated prayer group here (it needs some action!).  

Regardless of if you join the community . . . I am so grateful for your prayers.  There is a lot of hurt and hardship and depression among the Made community, and we are in need of a prayer covering.  

And if you are in need of prayer, please do add your request either to the Epiphany Art community's prayer group, or share it in the comments below.  We all need help sometimes (or a lot of times), and it's okay to ask for and receive it.  

I am so grateful for you.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree that there is spiritual warfare afoot around this course as well as every time I have attempted an online course with a God/spiritual theme to it I have felt it. As for the depression, yes, I completely, 100% without a doubt understand. It is all consuming, dark, deep and without reason. And I battle it frequently. Luckily I am able to surface just long enough to function, for the most part. Prayers, lots of them, being added to your prayer covering. <3

    1. Thank you, sweet Andrea. I'm so glad we've met. And I'm sorry you know depression too well. Lifting you up, too. <3

  2. I have known you for such a short time and I already love you.
    You are bang on the money, but I think you knew that.
    I will be involved. I am involved. I joined the group (already had the t-shirt!)

  3. I also battle this and also agree about the warfare. I will share something with you. The day I discovered the Made course, was a day that I found myself curled up in bed crying because I couldn't just enjoy a beautiful day off with my family. I cried out that day for the Lord, actually begging him to lift the darkness. He actually did, and I could feel the change. Them within a couple of hours he placed this community before me and actually provided the funds to be able to be here. This is no coincidence that we are all here. I got up tonight feeling led to pray... anted I am doing so in agreement with all of you for healing in all if us in Jesus name. Love you guys.

  4. I just enrolled for the MADE e-course after a few days of debating and praying if I should or not... I discovered the ad on another creative community where I have signed up for online art classes. I have taken a few but always missed seeing something with a christian background. When I saw the add and read through the description, I knew it would be the right thing to sign up but nevertheless there was something holding me back. Now I know that it was a spiritual resistance trying to keep me back.
    I am praying for you. I know how it feels to suffer from depression, I have had it for years and can assure you that prayer always helps although when you are deep down you cannot see it or sense it.

  5. Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to share that with us all. You know that I needed to read this today

  6. Beth I've worked as a mental health chaplain for a long time: yes, I'll hold you in my prayers, meanwhile have a look at You might find some useful stuff on there fro some women service -users I have known

  7. I am praying. Really hope the drugs make a difference this time around. And that you get some SLEEP. Brave one.

  8. I'm praying for you, Beth,as well as other members in our community facing hard times. And for our community here. We have each been drawn to this art community because it is about art AND following Christ. Your post is an example of why this community is different from many of the other art communities most of us are a part of. Because we gather in Christ, we have the privilege to pray for one another, to lift up and encourage one another, and to receive the same when we are in need. We are Christ's community here in this art community. I'm excited and blessed to be a part of this. Thank you Beth for starting this community. I also do not go right to "spiritual warfare" whenever anything goes wrong, but I think as this community now starts coming together in His name we do face opposition, because this place is a good place. A place where we connect and grow and heal through the power of Christ and through the community, doing art together in His name. "Where two or three come together in MY name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20.

  9. Jesus, come, rallying Your wild ferocious angels to battle for the hearts of Your Beloveds. Spirit, You who hovered over chaos at creation, You who danced Your shaping beauty with Abba and Son, come and hover over the chaos of dark places and shatter them by the bright glory of Light. Jesus, we, this present day cloud of witnesses, join with Your saints, past, present, and future, to stand firm against the thief who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. We declare Your Life and Your truth that gives us Life to the full because the tomb is empty and the new is here. We bring heaven to earth by Your power and Your authority. We say NO to that wily enemy and his minions, on behalf of Beth and the Made teachers and participants, and we say YES to You. Pour multitudes of Your mercy over the landscape of these hearts, gallons of grace to bring hearts fully alive. We worship You, and You alone. You are our only Hope and we claim You as our Lord and King, our hearts' true Lover. Lift up the weary and embrace them with the glorious goodness of Yourself. We adore You. Yes and amen.

  10. Prayer DOES make all the difference. I'm also a firm believer in medication and counseling, but they can only take you so far. Like the servants filling the jugs perhaps? You are wrapped in love. I know some dramarama queens, and it has never occurred to me to place you among them! Some people are just plain going through hard things. Hugs and prayers.

  11. Yes, I will pray.

    Of note: This is my first time on drugs since 2006, and it's the first time drugs have worked in such a significant, life-altering way. They worked in 2006 in that they kept me back from the edge, but this time around, they returned ME to ME.

  12. I love you dear heart. I will stand beside you and hold up your arms as long as you need.
    You aren't alone in this, I'm walking right beside you. These words right here:
    And yet, even though my relationship with God feels tenuous and prayer is near impossible for me when I fall yet again into the blackness of depression -- I believe in the power of prayer, in the hope of Heaven. In the fiery intensity of God's love, even though all that I can feel is depression's cold pallor.
    This is what it seems like we've been talking about all week. Sitting in the messy but knowing He's there, He hasn't left, that hope isn't devoid in the darkness.
    I love you :)

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  14. Warrior With A Limp ...

    Having been recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia after years of exhaustion & pain I was just happy to have a name to something so invisible, so intangible. After years of feeling guilty for not being able to engage fully in my family and missions call and trying to explain to people about feeling so exhausted I couldn’t get up the stairs and saying “thank you” to peoples well meant but hurtful remarks and eye-rolling, I am now liberated in my diagnosis … Isn’t that strange!?

    Beth I found beauty in your vulnerability. Your article had my spirit rise against that which afflicts you and help me recognise that I know that my next stage is seeking Papa for His solution to this … After years of this and it’s “fuelling” effect of my depression I am ready to be healed … but I know there’s His perfect timing in all of this and in the midst of suffering there is much to learn … So … I wait …

    You have a new friend in me and I hope that as I add my thoughts and prayers with all the other saints that you too will see victory but in the meantime walk like you really are ... A Warrior ... with a limp.

  15. I'm so glad you're asking for help, Beth. That's a powerful thing, just to say, I know it can be better than this. And it really can be better than this. I believe that. And I'm glad you are calling up the armies of light. You're such a sensitive, pure channel. Be a channel for this, too.

  16. I am praying for you right now <3

  17. I am praying for you, and will continue to do so. <3

  18. Praying Beth and I will keep Praying!!!

  19. The darkness is light to Him. He is with you. You are loved. You know I am praying. So grateful you are trying the meds and going to talk to someone but yes, there is nothing like the power of prayer. Prayer moves the hand of God. It is mystery and we embrace the hope that the light will come again. I am believing it with you, for you. "Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light." Micah 7:8 Much love, always....Dea

  20. Sweet Beth...yes, I will pray for you, and for the rest of us! I've been up and down with my depression lately. Just wanting to curl up and sleep, be alone, not face the world. My only saviour is the Saviour. I find it hard to read His Word, pray, go to church, etc but I feel Him with me. Maybe that's what He wants. To just be near me so I can feel His presence instead of me seeking Him. I believe the same for you. He wants you to rest in Him. Have an internal conversation with Him. Nothing serious, just quiet yourself, say hi and let Him lead. xoxo

  21. Dear Beth,

    Artists are such beautiful, sensitive people. We feel life so much more deeply, both the joy and the grief. I love how you open your heart to love, like an ocean's tides... pouring in and gushing out.

    I'm praying for the Joy of Heaven to break the dam, to expose the darkness, to bring in a rainbow of joyous light to you. That you might only just barely remember this time of sorrow, known and unknown. That you might be overtaken my joy at the most unpredictable moments, far greater than these episodes of grief.

    I'm asking God to give you your heart's greatest desire, for such great intimacy with Him that it pushes back the darkness from within and without.

    Adding my love and prayers to all the other beautiful voices here... xxxoooxxx

  22. Goodness Beth. How I wish I couldn't relate, but i have. I'm on anti-depressants, which have helped lift some of the fog. I have shied away from writing too much on my own blog because I'm afraid of being seen as a crybaby--- or as you put it dramarama.

    I have read sheila walshes book about her depression, and it was a helpful read.

    I will pray as often as I think of you. And I'm so sorry you are going through this. (btw, i so relate to the fear of scarring your child through your depression.) very very big hugs to you sister.


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King