I woke up early this morning with a sense of anticipation. It's a brand new year - a clean slate. As I lay in bed I began to ponder all the struggles and losses of 2007 - having my children and grand kids living with me for several months, then they moved away to be on their own again; moving to a new pastorate - losing all the relationships we had built and starting over again to build new ones; and losing my mom.
It hit me that I had been suffering from a natural depression these last few months - the kind resulting from grief due to losses. Oh, I could still function to take care of normal day to day things. I could even put words together and do some writing. But there was a large lump of sadness inside that kept me from being fruitful for the Lord and my heart wasn't in my life. Unless I had a strong motivation to do something, I let it go undone.
From my lay counseling studies I knew that this type of grief is a natural result of loss; a part of the healing process that can last from just a few months to several years. Everyone experiences it as a result of loss.
I also knew my current depression was different from the angry depression I felt 15 years ago - a heavy black cloud that caused me to want to flee from my family responsibilities and from God's presence. I needed extra help at that time from God, my family, friends and Christian counselors to expose those ugly roots and uproot that darkness from my life.
As I considered all these things, I began to weep. I wanted my joy back. I wanted my purpose back. Joy had gone to seed during the dormancy of grief. Now it was beginning to sprout again. I felt the light of the Son on my face as I studied my morning devotions, warming and encouraging that joy to grow again.
In my e-mail inbox, a writing friend had sent me an exercise to come up with a mission statement for my writing ministry in 10 words or less. Last week, I would have laid it aside, sighed deeply and promised to get at it soon. Today, I accepted its challenge and wrestled with it until I had it on paper.
His light burst on my heart. I found my purpose again in that writing exercise. Like the Proverbs 31 woman of today's quote, God has given me tools to use in accomplishing my purpose in life - tools that can help stave off spiritual hunger as well as provide comfort and warmth.
While I still may have down days as I continue to work through the losses, I'm on the upside of it now. I thank God for giving my life purpose and meaning and especially for His warmth and Light.
If you'd like to join us today, simply blog about the quote on your blog site, then visit Nina at Mama's Little Treasures. to leave your URL along with the other participants. Oh, and don't forget check out some of the other blogs and leave a comment!