It seems physically impossible.
Ha! Nothing seems to comfort me when I am sulking in my own self-pity.
Being a new mom is flippin’ hard. By far the hardest thing I have ever been through. I keep thinking it’s going to get easier, but it doesn’t. When we have laundry, dishes, sweeping, full-time job, side job, ministry work, baths, breakfast, lunch, supper, grocery shopping, daycare drop-off & pick-up, and all the other needs our children and husband ask from us piled to the ceiling on our back we can only expect to be overwhelmed with depression.
It’s the worst when I am alone. I become swarmed with all kinds of negative thoughts. Sometimes life doesn’t even seem real to me. (I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced that, but it’s not fun) It seems like I am living on another planet sometimes, but then I finally come back to reality and everything will seem fine…. until I am alone with my thoughts again the next day.
Most of you probably find this post to be surprising because a lot of people view me as “religious”. Even Christians can be depressed. Especially overwhelmed Christian mamas like myself who barely have 3 seconds to talk to Jesus much less read His Word.
I decided today that I was going to stop making excuses and attempt to make a habit of getting up every morning (that I can) and talk to Jesus. Regardless if my baby is already up or not. She can play in her room while I get some much-needed Jesus time. It’s crazy how much of a difference it makes when you do that first thing in the morning.
I was stumped on what I should read, as usual. I decided to go with 2 Corinthians. I knew I had read all of 1 Corinthians before but not 2 Corinthians. I started in chapter one not expecting to get much out of it because…well it’s been awhile.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
I’m not sure if you noticed but the word comfort is mentioned TEN times in these five verses. Paul knew the One who provides genuine comfort. He goes on to say:
2 Corinthians 1:8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
He was so utterly burdened beyond his strength that he despaired life. Wow. Who would have thought that one of the greatest apostles to ever live was so overwhelmed beyond his ability to the point where he wanted to die.
But why? Why does God allow us to be so overwhelmed beyond our strength that we despair life?
3[the] God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
God allows us to go through hard times because He wants us reach out to Him alone for comfort. He is The Comforter. True comfort is not gonna come from a drink, your kids, your husband, etc. True comfort comes from the God of all comfort. Then when we witness someone else going through the same trial we will be able to comfort them with the same comfort that God extended to us. As verse 9 says “that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”, God wants us to rely on Him and not ourselves to pull us through our difficult seasons. He wants to comfort us, we just have to let Him.
I know this all seems cliché’ to you but I can prove to you that He comforts us.
I went to my local hobby lobby today and by the cash register they have books and devotionals. I have been eyeing one in particular for months (New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp) so I picked it up as I usually do and y’all might think I’m crazy but I thought to myself “Okay if the devotional for today speaks to me I am gonna finally give in and by this book”. So I turn to July 19…. Under the date is a quote:
God puts you in hard moments when you cry out for his comfort so that your heart becomes tender to those near you who need the same comfort. -PDT
I glance at the bottom of the page and it says “2 Corinthians 1:3-11”
I kid you not…
The God of ALL COMFORT orchestrated this JUST FOR ME today, guys. He is a personal, loving, mighty God. Needless to say, I bought the dang book!
Paul David Tripp goes on to say in todays devotional:
In difficulty, God is softening your heart and sharpening your edges so that you may be ready to make the comfort of the invisible Father visible in the life of the weary pilgrim he has placed in your pathway. God intends for you to give away comfort you’ve been given. The grace that has given you hope is meant to spill over into hope for the person next to you.
I am thankful that with proper medication and the power of the Holy Spirit, I can live free of depression. God is continuously softening my heart. I know that some day I will be able to share my struggles with depression with someone else (maybe someone reading this) and extend to them the comfort that God has shown me today.