“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” Psalm 34:17 (NIV)
Last time we were together, I shared how God has been talking to me in deeper ways throughout 2017. One of the things God invited me into conversation about was to remember, or fully acknowledge, that depression had been a part of my life since childhood. As I shared yesterday, I never wanted to acknowledge that I was “depressed” because I was afraid of being judged. However, it was something that had been with me off and on throughout childhood, my college days and into adulthood. I remember having a conversation with a good friend and she remarked how “whenever you get down, Cheri, it doesn’t last long.” I assumed that meant I was healthy, not that a statement like that was affirming the depression I wore.
It wasn’t until the past four years that I have been able to identify the feeling as a heavy blanket that settles onto my shoulders and stays there until… it lifts, only to come back when I least expect it. And it was after God revealed all that information to me that I realized I had a choice. I didn’t have to stay that way.
Throughout this journey in 2017, I have the privilege of praying with a sister in Christ (SIC) daily. We begin most mornings praying together and bringing our concerns before our Father. After this revelation from God, I felt led to ask my SIC to commit to helping me pray daily for 30 days for God to remove this blanket. I’m not sure why I felt God leading me in this direction since I had prayed multiple times in the past with no real relief, but I did and so I reached out and asked. She readily agreed and we began, praying along with our other requests for this blanket of depression to be taken away.
We began praying on Monday, May 22nd for God to remove the blanket. Tuesday, May 23rd we prayed again and this time, God told my SIC that the blanket I had been wearing had been burned. Not given away, not thrown away but burned. Ashes. It cannot come back. God answered a four year prayer one day after I committed to praying for 30 days straight.
From listening to my pastor’s testimony about his healing and hearing others’ testimonies about being healed, I expected to feel a warmth travel through my body or to feel joy or happiness or… whatever the opposite of depression is. I at least expected to feel the light sensations (feelings) I would feel when the blanket would be temporarily lifted before it would eventually settle back down again. I felt none of that. But what I did feel was… peace. The kind of peace that only God can give. And I knew exactly what that peace felt like because God took all of 2016 to teach me how to ask for and receive His peace.
Come back next time and I will share what happened next… now that I was living a life without the blanket He burned.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017