Chain Breaker: Keys to breaking free from depression and anxiety (Part 1)

Broken chainsI suffer from depression and anxiety.  And ADD.  I was blessed with the trifecta of toilet bowl thinking.  It’s only been recently that I have put two and two together and allowed the cumulative history of my life to tell its story.  But now, at 51, I have more life behind me than in front of me, and I can see that I have wrestled with these debilitating brain shackles all my life.

I remember that when I was in elementary school, I would be physically sick every morning due to the anxiety of going to school.  My mother called the doctor who gave her some advice about giving me juice or something, but I vividly recall the nausea that would hit the moment I woke up and realized I had to go to school.  Anxiety affected how I made friends and how I handled day to day challenges.  For the most part, I was fairly popular, but inside I was wracked with self-doubt and fear.

I also remember periods of time where I felt really blue.  I thought everyone felt that way.  I didn’t know what depression was.

And I also struggled with ADD, which back in the 70’s and 80’s wasn’t even a recognized handicap.  All I knew is that I even though I managed to get decent grades, I studied 5 times harder for 80% of the good grades that my two best friends got with half their brains tied behind their backs.

In high-school, my depression & anxiety combo really bound me up and between those two emotional challenges and the inability to stay focused, my grades tanked.  My brain was so full of depression and self-loathing that I fell into really negative behaviors trying to escape my sadness and of course, as we all know, all that did was exacerbate the anxiety.  I was scared to live because every day I took a breath, I managed to make worse than the one before. I had many bouts of suicidal thinking – although I never attempted to take my life.  That’s the condition I was in when I met Jesus.

I was 18 years old when I became a Christian and I thought that all of my anxiety and depression would magically go away now that I was going to live a clean life. The logic was: No more sin = No more fear.  No more screw-ups = No more sadness. But it didn’t quite out work that way.

Over the years since my decision to follow Jesus, I have studied the Word like it’s my job.  I love the Bible and nothing gets me more excited than getting to know Jesus and studying the Word. And I love to worship the Lord. In that place of awe and reverence, things come into alignment. And I have been faithful in church since I was 18.  I’m not a flighty person. I’m loyal and dedicated and I love the Lord. But even with all of that going for me, it still hasn’t been enough to stop the tsunami of sadness that comes over me at times.  Or the anxiety that gives me chest pressure and heart palpitations at times.

In all fairness, my adult life has been marked by a lot of losses and some really intense crises that would make anyone sad and anxious. So I never thought that depression and anxiety were something I suffered from.

But recently, I have encountered the perfect storm.  As I said, I am 51 so I am entering that marvelous time of life when the youth factories start shutting down.  Not only can that wreak havoc with your hormones and your emotions, but being at this mid-life age causes a lot of retrospective thinking.  “Why hasn’t A, B, or C worked out yet? I thought I would be further along than this by this age.  When are my opportunities going to materialize? Did I miss God? Am I out of his will?”

And then come the crazy thoughts: “Am I even saved?”

If you don’t suffer from any form of depression, you cannot fathom how crazy toilet bowl thinking can hijack you and sideline you.  But take it from me, when you’re sliding down the slippery slope of negativity without crampons, it is way too easy to lose your grip on reality and on what the Word says.

Depression and anxiety are slave drivers.  But one thing I know: Because Jesus is my chain breaker, I am free. I am no longer a captive.  When Jesus burst up out of the grave and blew the door off his tomb, he displayed the finished work that brought us up out of captivity with Him. He put the keys of the Kingdom in our hands. Those keys carry the same authority that Jesus exerted when he walked the earth and brought freedom to every person bound by any sickness or torment. And today, I plan on taking the set of keys he gave to me and placing them in the lock of your prison door.  Because of what he is doing in me, I refuse to let you sit in depression alone. You are not alone. You are not forsaken. You are not shameful. He has not given up on you. You are precious to Him.  Jesus is attracted to brokenness and He has come to set every captive free. Because he is your chain-breaker, you are free. You are no longer a captive.

Continue reading

The Season of Breakthrough: It’s time to go to the next level

Galaxy.jpg

On Sunday, May 21st, the Lord impressed this word on my heart and I shared it with our congregation. (See note at bottom of post.)

I the Lord declare that this is a new season.  This is a season of Breakthrough – a season where you are rising to another level. This is a season where obstacles are being removed, shackles are being pulled off, and fetters are being shattered by My Spirit says the Lord. You as My children, and you as My Church, ascend up the steps to My Presence, says the Lord.  You are being drawn my My grace. Rivers of mercy, rivers of My lovingkindness are drawing you as a lover is drawn to the Bridegroom.  You hear My voice.  Your heart is being tenderized in this to love Me, to yearn for Me, to know that there is no other satisfaction; that this earth has nothing for you; that all that you long for and all that you are is found in Me and in Me alone.  You will no longer be satisfied by other lovers. You will no longer be satisfied by paltry things.  For it’s the richness of My presence that will draw your heart and satisfy your soul. You will yearn for Me in the night season.  You will yearn for Me when you wake in the morning.  Your heart will be so stirred by My voice.  Obedience will be easy.  You will walk in My ways.  You will run in the paths I lay out for you.  And you will show forth My Glory in a season where the darkness wants to roll in.  My Light is brighter. My light shines forth and drives back darkness.  You show forth My Power and My glory as My children and as the Church. And now I say, Children, turn your heart to Me. Turn your heart to Me. As you turn your heart to Me, you are drawn. And you will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart, says the Lord.

Now you:

  • Do you need to see breakthrough in certain areas of your life or in the lives of those you love?
  • Has there been a particular issue that has caused you to be in bondage or kept you contained?

Know this: It’s never God’s will for you to be bound or contained by anything.  If you are a child of God, your position has already been established in God’s Word in the book of Ephesians. According to Ephesians 2:6 you are seated with Christ in heavenly places. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”.

And according to Ephesians 1:21, Jesus Christ is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named.  So where does that put you? Far above everything that would try to push you down and place you in a prison of doubt, fear and lack – if you remain in Christ.

Ephesians 1:19B-21: “These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

God has declared that this is a season of Breakthrough.  I am not the only one who is hearing this from God.  Many ministries all over the world have declared the same thing. And when the Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, speaks that He is moving in a certain way, it is our responsibility to get on board with what He is doing and not tarry. The Lord creates the seasons and we align our faith to them.  That’s the part we play in response to the voice of the Lord.

This is really good news! In these last days, God is pouring out His Spirit to draw us closer, to hear Him more clearly, to obey Him more completely and to love Him passionately.

Be blessed!

Note: It may seem from my two recent posts regarding prophetic words from the Lord that I do this every Sunday, but I don’t.  Recently, however, the Lord has been drawing me into a season of fasting and prayer where He is speaking to me and pulling me closer than I have ever been. I sense His Presence and His leading so much more clearly right now. I know that He has a purpose for this and I am trying to be as yielded as I can.

If you like this blog, I would love to hear from you! You can leave a comment at the bottom of this page and sign up on the Home Page to receive all of my blog posts in your email inbox.  That way, you won’t miss a post and you can read them at a convenient time for you!