Battling the Darkness in the Tunnel: My journey with Depression

 

 

depressionEvery since I was 13 years old, I’ve battled with depression. I didn’t fully know or understand that I was depressed until my late teens but, looking back I know that I’ve been fighting feelings of worthless, unwanted, ugly, dumb, and misunderstood for well over 13 years. How can someone bubbly, goofy, sweet, and kind feel like she is a dark tunnel with no light or direction? How can a God fearing, faith filled woman of God, go to bed some nights wishing to never wake up? Well here we are, and here is part of my journey of fighting to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Depression makes me feel lonely. I am extravert. I love interacting with friends and people. I love making others happy and pouring my love out to people. Depression, however, makes me feels as if I am a burden and unwanted. It makes me feel as if I am being too needy. I know I have friends who love me. I know people care, but when I don’t receive a call or text, when I feel ignored, depression comes in and falsely reminds me that people are tired of me, don’t like or want me, and that its best that I just leave them alone and stop bothering them.

Depression makes me feel worthless and tired. Getting out of bed can be hard. I will mentally fight myself to get out of bed. My body feels like lead and bricks rubbing together, and being 270+ pounds don’t help. I put on a fake smile and say the day is going to go great but depression whispers in my ear otherwise. Let me be clear: I’m not depressed everyday, but I am depressed more than two times out of the week. I feel as if I’m too worthless to dream for the day and that my purpose will never come to pass so why bother?

Depression makes me want to give up on my purpose. I want to be a youth pastor and a counselor in predominantly a African American community. With my failure at graduate school the first time, and a low undergraduate GPA, I feel as if I will never reach my dreams. I know I have the wisdom, intelligence, and heart but depression present the lie that I’m not worthy of having dreams.

Sometime death seems like the best choice but…

 

I am afraid of death. I started seeing a therapist and during one of my session, we had a touchy conversation about suicide. I informed her that I thought about suicide but could never bring myself to do it. I am afraid of death in all forms. Literal death, spiritual death, and death of my dreams and purpose. Literal death means I get no more chances to try. I get no more chances to dream, or figure out my purpose. Spiritual death means I no longer have a desire to grow in Christ, I no longer am receptive to God’s spirit, and it’s hard to be used by Christ when you’re dead. Dead dream and purposes means that the people depending on me to make it, are not being served.

I am afraid to give up. I am NOT a quitter. I may slow down, I may take a break but, I don’t quit. Quitting means, I stop trying, I give up on me, I give up on people attached to me, and I give up on being used the way God intended for me to be used.

I know that depression is a strategy from the Devil. Satan is a hater. He loves to attack you when your closer to your purpose. He loves to suck the life out of you. He is like a dementor from Harry Potter. A soul sucking, happiness draining, enemy who becomes ruthless towards attacking your purpose. I’m learning to put my war clothes on and fight the Devil. I know I don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). I know that I the closer I am to victory, the closer I am to defeating the Devil and His strategy.

Depression should not be fought alone and in silence. So many people lose the battle because they were a general without an army. My advice to anyone struggling with depression is to seek healing through prayer, therapy, TRUSTED family and friends, and a support group. Don’t allow the Enemy to use you as his mental playground. Find people who can get you out the house, who can call and check in with you, who can be a helpful listening ear. Be HONEST about your struggles with your friends, therapist, and loved ones. Talk to a therapist! Get under a church covering and talk to the pastor and/or ministers at your church about your struggle. If your church is not able to support you through your journey with depression, then find a new church that can and will. Most importantly be honest with God and seek him. Pray, journal, cry out in worship, but let the Devil know that when He comes to attack, you will be ready to use your weapons.

Currently, depression is my torn in my side. It is my Goliath, and my cross. I have to face giants of struggles, failures, and lies constantly. I have to bear my cross of feeling worthless, less than, unintelligent, and ugly. Yet like Paul, I will walk with my torn to my purpose, I will kill my giants with my courage in Jesus, and I will die to myself, so that God’s glory can be seen in my pain. I never wanted to battle with depression, but I’m fighting through, so that my purpose can be birthed, and God’s Kingdom mission for my life can prevail. Pray for me, as I pray for you.

With love and grace,

Keyia B

*If you or someone is thinking about committing suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline*

Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday

 

What About Your Friends? Navigating Through Healthy Friendship

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“What about your friends, will they stand their ground,
Will they let you down again?
What about your friends, are they gonna be lowdown,
Will they ever be around,
Or will they turn their backs on you?
What about your friends, will they stand their ground,
Will they let you down again?” 

Ladies, it’s officially road trip season. Road trips are friendship goals set to include a group of your favorite girls, snacks, a dope playlist and some amazing stops planned along the way. I want to invite you on my road trip of navigating through friendships. This road trip will be stopping at some important places and going over some pretty important topics on friends, different types of friendships, and balancing all of it. Here are some of the stops we will be making:

  1. Everyone is NOT meant to be YOUR BEST FRIEND: This is the first stop on our friendship journey. We will learn how to differentiate between a good friend and a best friend, why having too many best friends can be unhealthy, and learning the expectations of a strong committed friendship.
  2. Certain Friendships Grow Old: Do friendships last forever? We like to hope that they do, but unfortunately that is not the case. Some friendships change, and people grow apart. We will go over letting go unnecessary friendships and how to recognize the signs of a solid friendship.
  3. Getting through loneliness as the unmarried, no kids, friend: Your friends are getting married with kids, while you are single and childless. This can be a hard journey to be on. You are equally excited and happy but maybe feel like the fifth wheel or a bit lonely. We are going to navigate through the journey together with tips on how to cope with loneliness, get through possible jealousy (Being real) and how to maintain a healthy friendship with married friends.
  4. The 10 Bridesmaids Syndrome: Getting married, or hoping to get married in the future? Then hop on in the car for this trip! Similar to the “everyone is not meant to be your best friend topic”, choosing who will be apart of your wedding party is an important choice, and will have you re-evaluating your friendships and support system. I will be giving some tips on who should be considered a bridesmaid and my revelation on why five – seven bridesmaids is more than enough to be apart of your big day.
  5. Finding Friends For Your Current Season: This journey connects with getting through loneliness as the unmarried and no kids friend. I will be sharing tips and ideas on how to find friends on the same or similar journey, and discovering new friendships and support groups.
  6. Jesus is the Ultimate BFF: This last stop in the journey is more personal, because it’s simply involves you and one other person. JESUS. Who can provide a better friendship than Jesus? No one, and if your relationship with Him have been on the struggle bus, I suggest you hop off that bus, and invite Him on a one on one road trip journey. He will listen, offer the best advice, won’t get bored, and will comfort you like no one else will. I will give some tips on what is currently helping me grow in my relationship with Jesus and what has been successful for others.

I’m excited to have you all on this journey, and I can’t wait to see how God will use it for His glory and purpose! There will be a video discussion on Facebook to follow each topic and will be posted twice a week for the month of June. There will also be a separate blog with a helpful professional idea that can help in the process of finding that dream job or at least getting your foot in the door.

Until Next Time,

Lakeyia B

 

Mother Who? Giving Mother Nature the Kanye Shrug.

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Who is “Mother Nature”?

To me, she is the woman who comes around every 28 days, and reminds me why chocolate was invented along with irritating cramps.

To some, she is the one who birthed the world and chooses to cause natural disasters whenever she fancies.

Algonquian legend believe that “beneath the clouds lives the Earth-Mother from whom is derived the Water of Life, who at her bosom feeds plants, animals and human”.

Truth is this: Mother Nature is mythical.

She is nether the creator of the universe nor does she derive the Water of Life.

The Bible clearly indicates who is the life giver. Check this out:

John 4: 14-15

but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 

Revelation 22:17 

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

My people, my people:

Don’t be decieved by the world’s dogma. Earth was not created by a woman. As much as I love my sistah’s and believe in the advancement of my fellow woman, I won’t sit back and let men be dragged through the mud by extreme feminist ideology. My thought on Mother Nature has me asking the question of who is the Father? Cleary there has to be masculinty somewhere. Even the woman at the well understood that Jesus is the true giver of life. We cannot start life without a man and woman coming together. This idea of a woman not needing a man to do “x, y, and z”, is foolery from the Devil.  Yes ladies, cherish and honor the blessing of being a woman but realize that we are still daughters of the true Creator, ABBA (Almighty Father). Yes we can learn how to fix a car, become doctors, lawyers, and yes we deserve equal paying wages (AMEN?), but don’t let the pride of being a woman create the illusion of us either becoming manly, or taking away God’s purpose of a woman.

Sorry Mother Nature, but you get a Kanye Shrug.

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It’s been real.

-Keyia

Kim Davis: The Law of the Land vs God’s Law

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If you have not heard, there is a woman who was thrown in prison for speaking out against gay rights and not issuing a marriage license to a same sex couple.

Kim Davis of Rowen County in Kentucky has been held in contentment this past week, for refusing to issue a marriage license to same sex couples. Davis argues that he refusal to approve same sex marriage license was her way of upholding God’s law. Davis, who is a Christian, stood her ground and was thrown in jail for what she believed in. But was her protest fair? Godly? and did her refusal to sign on a marriage license an act of imputable courage?

In June of 2015, the Supreme Court Justice of the United State ruled that people in same sex relationships have the same rights to marry as people in heterosexual relationships. What this plainly means is that Adam and Steve can be husband and husband in the eyes of our country. But what about God? Let’s see what he has to say about it.

Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. 

Now there are about 4 or 5 more scriptures that speak out against homosexuality, however I always like to go for the new testament for folks who argue that the old testament is not valid or should not be taken literal. With this being said, my christian friends are probably nodding their heads in agreement (as they read) and are saying to themselves:

“Yasss Kee, you let em know hunty”

“We need more Kim Davis type people”

“She did the right thing, stand for God’s truth”

“Yassss Jesus Yasss”

Let me stop you real quick: I don’t fully agree with Kim Davis’s choices. Let me tell you why.

1st: I agree with God’s Word 100%. So let’s clear the air. In God’s eyes, marriage is between Hubby and Wifey. Like it or leave it. I ain’t scared of nobody but Jesus.

2nd: Though I agree with the Word, I don’t agree with Kim Davis and the way she handle the situation. My reasoning is because, Kim Davis could have let the same sex couple know that she stands with God’s law by speaking her heart, stepping aside, and letting some other clerk sign off. If she was the only person who could do it, then quit. That couple would have to wait until they replace her or go somewhere else.

Now some of my fellow saints may think I am crazy or wrong but hear me out. I want to share some scripture.

Mark 12: 14-17

“Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay them, or shouldn’t we?”

Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin,c and I’ll tell you.”When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

“Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”His reply completely amazed them.

Now I know this is talking about taxes but hear a sistah out. Jesus told them to give what belongs to Caesar and God. I could be wrong, and you all can be sure to correct me, but this is where we separate church and state. Clearly taxes have to be paid rather I agree with the amount or with the government. Uncle Sams is not trying to hear me say it goes against my religion or I had to pay tithes and didn’t have enough to pay you. We either do it or face the penalty. This goes for other laws too. We who really follow Jesus, know what is at stake. Kim Davis knew in June what would happen to her today. I commend her for wanting to uphold God’s true Word but I don’t agree with her actions for it.

My future profession as a Marriage Family Therapist will allow me to have my own PRIVATE Practice. This mean that if I please to do so, I can turn away same sex couples. I can set my own price, hours, rules, etc. I have that freedom because it is my practice and dime at stake. Kim Davis works under the government and has the choice of either quitting, following the rules, or letting someone else sign on the dotted line. Either way, she made her choice and she is under the consequences. Simple as that. Lastly, I ask “What would you do?”

It’s been real.

Keyia

The Wedding, The Bride, The Groom, and God’s unconditional love.

As I sat in the church pew and I saw the groom come in, I could only imagine the feeling of Joy that he have in his heart as he waited for his bride. The bridesmaids and groomsmen walked in as of they were floating and finally the doors were closed and we all knew it was time for the bride to make her entrance. As my dear friend stood at the alter and my dear friend floated down to her groom, my heart swelled and I could not help but smiling so hard that my cheeks started hurting. The wedding was beautiful. It was intimate, simple, and most of all centered around Jesus. I mean we even took communion. Then the reception was an awesome affair of finger foods, dancing, and sweet tea. I even danced with the bride and groom. The bride and groom… 

Something popped into my head today. God’s love for us is like a Man’s love for his wife. the wedding is the celebration and invitation in sharing the joy of salvation and the groom marrying his bride, the church. God does not require us to come perfectly to him, he will provide the white dress of pure and righteousness . Just think of the vows that a man and wife give to each other on their wedding day. To have and to hold, for rich or poor, sick or healthy, forsaken all others.The same way a man makes a covenant with his wife is the same one we make with Jesus. Just think of when Jesus when to that cross for us. He was sick, he was poor and I know in His human form he wished he had some one to hold and he had forsaken the deal the Devil tried to give to him and still went to the cross for a world that did and was going to hate and mock him. Do you understand we are his brides? He is our groom? What does that look like? 

I’ll tell you. 1 Corin 13. Jesus Love helps us endure all things. people kill over love yet Christ died to give life for love. Everything we do should be made in love. I like to think of the reception as a celebration in Heaven that is soon to come. Once our groom comes to steal us away from the trappings of this world, we will celebrate, dance, eat with and embrace our Savior, Hero, king. 

Quick note. Ladies wait on the Lord. Today taught  me to embrace the Husband of my spirit first then my earthly husband will come. I know its hard, its difficult, but God is able, he is truth, and he is just that amazing to bless you with your spirit-mate.  In the meantime, Ill dance at the spiritual reception, taking in spiritual food, and loving the lover of my soul. I urge you to do so too. God bless

Contentment in God

All around me is romance. Movies, shows, conversations from the other people, display of affection and intimacy. Sometimes I sigh and think of being single. It can feel like being on of those kids in 2nd grade without the Lisa Frank folders and pencils. Everyone has one it seems, except you. I didn’t get Lisa Frank stuff till third grade and after a few months of having it, I was bored or didn’t really pay any attention to it. Now I know being in a relationship is different, and you really can’t “not pay attention” to the guy/girl you are with but the rush is the same. In the beginning, everything is lovely! Late night talks on the phone, dates, hanging on their every word and then months past and the same rush is no longer there. Your favorite restaurant becomes boring or the norm, conversation gets dull, etc. 

We have become consumed in the emotions and feelings of romance that it can become stressful. We ask ourselves questions like “Why haven’t he/she called?” “Where are they?” “What are they doing?” and we become consumed with them. We end up losing a piece of ourselves.We end up not in contentment, especially singles because we crave that feeling of a touch and rush. 

I have a solution, as a matter of fact, God has the solution. Contentment in Him brings peace and joy in ways that any man or woman can bring. This is why God wants us to seek Him 1st and his Kingdom and Righteousness and all other THINGS will be added to you. That part “Things” being added means God needs to be able to know that you trust and want HIM with all your heart, not just when it’s convenient .

Think about it this way. You spend your time consuming your self for the love, approval, and honor of someone. They only consume themselves half the time with even thought of you. Who is lacking here? You or them? What happens when they only give you 10% of what you have been craving? You become depressed, sad, feeling unwanted, and unloved. You are left  not content. 

Now think about putting that same energy in loving and serving God. What are your results? How does God make you FEEL? Trust me, You will feel in peace, wanted, loved and content because you never had to fight for God’s love. It’s been there all along. 

So stay content in God. Fall madly in love with Him for the purpose that Christ went to the Cross for you. As you fall deeper in love with Christ, watch as he transform you. Then in His timing, He will send you the one that has been content in Him and praying and waiting just for you. 

Going Back To That Hidden Place

Ever lived in a house with 15 other people? How about both guys and girls? One shower to share with 12 other girls can be nerve wrecking but even more than that can be finding a place to hide away. Now if you are a person who craves and seek attention, this would be the perfect place to throw a pity party, become the life of a party or simply live off of everyone look at you. I know the feeling of wanting people to notice you. From dating to just friendship, we crave to be appreciated by someone. Right now at this very moment I am living in Christian community with 15 other guys and girls. (I know what the Duggers must be feeling) One minute I craved attention, next I hated it. For the past two weeks God has been teaching me lesson after lesson of being hidden and for the past two days I finally have gotten the curriculum!

I believe God is calling a lot of people to go back to that “hidden” place. What hidden place am I talking about? The place where it’s just you and God, where He can mold you and shape you into you purpose. Our hidden place is where we hear God the most and crave Him the most. There are no distractions, no interruptions, and it’s where we can be most transparent with God about our fears, our struggles, our hopes and our dreams without anyone altering our minds.

When Christian expose themselves to much without God’s covering, we become open to the Worlds attacks, the Devil’s tricks, and our flesh start to grow like weeds in an un-kept garden!

It’s time for us to go back to that hidden place. God created Adam in a garden and when I think of that creation, I think of God crafting him in secret, waiting for the perfect time to expose Him to the beauty of this world. Think of Daniel! He fasted for 21 days. Fasting is suppose to be a hidden thing. Matthew 6:16 states “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.” In the hidden place we find the most joy, peace, and growth. The less interruption, the better

So ask yourself this week. “Have I went to that hidden place to worship God? Am I exposing myself to much? Who’s attention do I really crave? God or Peoples? What is God trying to tell me?”