What is about #winter that makes us wrap our children up in three to four layers, tights, socks, padded coat (a few sizes too big), a hat, a scarf, a bag full of spare clothes, a list of do's and don't for Granny and Grandad and give a short, sharp warning to anyone who loses their hat?
The obvious things are the drop in temperature, fewer hours of daylight, change in scenery, the beautiful blossom of the spring is decaying, leaves have fallen and we almost grieve about the year ending. The not so obvious things may be along the lines of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), overeating for comfort, under eating through fear and loneliness. Now all of these things are invisible but they are real. Aren't they?
I suffered from SAD for many years, without really knowing what it was, and actually it wasn't just during the winter months, it started to creep in earlier and earlier in the year. It was full blown depression- did I get help. No. Well, eventually.
Did I speak to anyone? Well, eventually.
I just didn't know how to. I was asked, how can you suffer from depression, or SAD and be a Christian?
I read my Bible everyday, I had loving people around me, I worked hard. But still felt this incredibly searing loneliness, that would not subside.
The problem wasn't other people, it wasn't my family, the church or my job- the problem was not my past or any trauma. Of course all of those things could be factors, but I had to take responsibility for what steps I would take to ensure that I was living the life, I had been given by God.
Here are a few things that I tried, that worked and I still do now, from time to time:
1) Say and think kind things about yourself. So less of this "I'm such an idiot, I never get that right," to "I am finding it really difficult to.... I'll ask ____ for help."
2) Keep a journal ( Not Just A Mother), record your cycle of thoughts along with your monthly cycle, a dip in hormones may cause a dip in your mood, a hormonal imbalance may cause an emotional imbalance.
3) Find time to get outside for a walk, get yourself a good (stretchy) pair of leggings and comfortable walking shoes or boots.
Walk slowly, think slowly and smile on the outside.
Now, I have to say this, if you or anyone you care for is in immediate danger, call for help, now.
"Whatever you're going through, you can call us any time, from any phone for FREE."
Get in touch with your GP, seek out safe childcare, where possible and speak out loud to a qualified health professional.
I know, all too well, how loneliness can encroach on a mum, during the day, nights, mid-feed, mid-pee-flow BUT there is a way out.
I offer you this, what if you could live in endless hope, it doesn't banish loneliness instantly, but you will always have Someone that you can talk to, at any point in the day?
I took this step 19 years ago, I still struggled in lots of way- please do not misunderstand me. I did also seek out counselling, guidance, adapted my pace of life and made a few other changes along the way. BUT ultimately the biggest WIN for me was knowing that no matter how I felt about myself, or what garbage was said to me, about me or by me- God still had a plan for me, I am incredibly valuable to Him, but not because of what I can give to God.
#Christianity is the life of God (the Creator) in human beings (that's us). What this means, practically, is that each day, you take steps to get to know this God, through His Word, the Bible (https://classic.biblegateway.com) ,by building a relationship with Him, through faith in Jesus Christ. In the same way, as soon as your baby is born, in fact from the moment you "know" that you are pregnant, you spend time getting to know the baby, letting them know that each day YOU CHOOSE TO LOVE THEM
I ask you, then, would you like to be in a relationship with #God, the God of the Bible, the God that made this beautiful earth, through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
The God that gave Jesus Christ to us:
This the WHAT
John 3:16-18 The Message (MSG)
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him."** And we (using #faith, a bit like electricity, we know it's there because the lights come on) accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and get to know Him each day, as we would our own dear friends, loved ones, a spouse. This is the WHY
"It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation? First of all, it was delivered in person by the Master, then accurately passed on to us by those who heard it from him. All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit."**
In exchange for following Jesus you will receive peace, freedom, joy (that's laughter whilst your awake, peace whilst you sleep), it will be hard, your friends may disown you because you've become "one of us" but guess what even if you have a tough day, you will never be alone again. Read this prayer along with me: This is your YES "Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for me and forgiving me of my sins so I can have a personal relationship with You. I am sincerely sorry for the mistakes I've made, and I know I need You to help me live right. Your Word says in Romans 10:9, "If you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His Power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." I believe You are the Son of God, and I confess You as my Saviour and Lord. Take me just as I am, and work in my heart, making me the person You want me to be. I want to live for You, Jesus, and I am so grateful to You for giving me a fresh start in my new life with You today. I love you, Jesus!"**