Category Archives: Depression

Disabled yet Abled

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As I wait for the answer from filing for disability our financial reigns get tighter and tighter. I called my attorney and was told that there was a small amount I could bring in and it wouldn’t affect the case. There was a restaurant that was thinking about hiring me to fix the carry out bags. Once they realized that Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night was out of the question due to my commitment to the church choir I was not what they needed. Anywhere I went I was not able to lift certain amounts and stuck to my guns about the time I have set aside for worshipping God. It didn’t bother me at all that things didn’t work out because of me sticking to my guns about my prior commitments to the choir; although, having to admit what I am not able to do has yet torn me apart again.

Having limitations after being independent my whole life has been, and still is, quite a daily struggle. I have always been able to do whatever it took to make ends meet and get the bills paid. Now, my whole life is twisted 180 degrees. Accepting that I have to file for disability was hard enough; much less to continue to have to try to explain to others about invisible disabilities. I don’t mind explaining; what I do mind is people judging what they don’t understand. My qualifications are off the chart between college degrees and previous job experiences. For financial stresses to be as they are and not being able to take the jobs offered to me because of my qualifications, I truly look in the mirror and wonder ‘why.’

So ~ the question boils down to what can I do? Well, yes I am disabled. As the title also reads “yet abled.” I am able to continue to put my faith in Jesus. I am able to worship His name and call on Him for the comfort I need through these emotional dark moments. I am able to witness to others how great our God is with the disabilities as a part of my life. I am able to share my experiences with you praying that it may touch at least one of you. Yes, I am disabled but definitely abled as well! Remember Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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In The Midst of The Storm

It has been approximately six weeks since I have written. I am happy to be back. Ever notice how much life is planned out and looks great on a piece of paper ~ that is, until life happens. I have been staying in Florida to take care of my mother since January of 2011 and visiting my husband once every 3 months for a week or so. A week before I planned to travel home for 3 weeks this time, my mother fell and fractured her pelvis bones. I camped in the hospital for 5 days and nights with her and was able to rest and pack once she was moved to rehab. She was doing better so I continued my trip as planned to make my own doctor appointments. Within the time frame she went home and almost fell again ~ the results were her being so dependent on someone physically that my next visit would be to pack up all of my belongings and move back home. At the same time I got back from Florida with everything to finally unpack, the exact same day my son, his wife and two children moved in as well. He had gotten laid off and things had gotten bad quickly. At this point there are 4 adults, 2 kids and 3 dogs under the same roof. The mere fact that I haven’t gone to jail within the last 3 weeks has been proof that God truly exists and how wonderful His grace is! 🙂

I am facing many storms right now as you are too. We had not had the chance to start saving for whenever I came home for good so how we are going to make ends meet is all in God’s hands. The haunting sadness that I had to leave my mother in someone else’s hands due to my own limitations and that she is slowly drifting away; being the ‘strong’ mother for my son and his family while they face their trials ~ yes, we all have our storms we are facing every day.

Am I afraid? Sometimes, yes. The good part is that it’s ok to be afraid. In the Bible, and I’m paraphrasing here, we are told that when we are afraid to trust in Him; not if but when. Peter was walking on water with Jesus in the storm and was fine until he became afraid and it was then he started sinking. The reason was he took his eyes off of Jesus. He is our beacon in the darkest of storms that will guide our paths.

I want to urge you all, along with myself, to keep your eyes on Jesus throughout all of your storms. He is the Lighthouse!

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home…

When Tears Fall

Last night I was blessed by chatting with some Facebook friends I have made in the Philippines. One of them being a young girl whose parents’ home was destroyed in the typhoon. It now appears that her college will have to wait and this saddens her. She is truly devoted to her family and is trying to find a job to help. As she put it ~ a lot for a 17 year old.

We chatted for a couple of hours, which for me turned into wee hours of the morning due to time difference. My fatigue today and pain in my hands (arthritis) from typing so much was well worth it. Everyone wants to be strong and doesn’t want to let others see them cry. Crying is seen by most as a weakness but not in my book. It actually takes courage to cry and admit to yourself that you’re sad and/or emotionally exhausted. I also can never see crying as a weakness for in the Bible is the shortest verse ~ “Jesus wept.” Jesus was not weak in any way and yet even he cried.

The physical aspect of when someone cries is an emotional release which is healthier than keeping things bottled in. Stress builds up when negative emotions keep piling up which will harm the body. So yes ~ cry, scream, go take a walk, get into a cleaning frenzy ~ whatever works for you to release everything. It’s only after you do that your mind clears and you can start taking positive actions.

Life is full of it’s ups and downs. It is boot camp for heaven for it’s through these trials we learn to walk in faith. We always want to ‘fix’ things and this frustration comes when we find we’re not succeeding. The problem here lies we aren’t turning it over to God. My point of view is to turn it over to Him, he’s up all night! If He can create this whole universe I’m sure my issues are a walk in the park.

In closing ~ it’s when we feel we’re reaching the end of our limits when tears begin to fall. That is also the point at which God can start doing something because you finally are letting go of it.

God Bless you all ~ and may you let Him wipe away your tears.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Signs of Life

God has blessed me with His grace but left me out with grace walking in high heels. OK, so not just high heels, more like walking itself. My parents even found out it would be cheaper to buy me a pair of crutches when I was young. Unfortunately, sprained and broken ankles followed me into my adulthood as well. If nothing else I learned the one fact about pain ~ it reminds you that you are alive! Even emotional pain reminds you of this. Many times we get our heart broken and don’t feel we can go forward. When we take a moment to look back in time though we realize we obviously found a way. There’s always good that comes from pain. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? If someone hurts your feelings at least it shows you have a heart that is caring and loving. That in itself is a sign of life.

Remember when our children started walking and got many bumps and bruises, and it was up to us to ‘kiss and make better’ and yet we encourage them not to give up and keep trying. That lesson we teach them is the hardest to apply in life. The bruises will go away. The one saying we’re used to hearing is to take life one day at a time, one step at a time. Again, go back to an infant learning to walk. Part of walking is falling. Take that concept and bring it into your adult life. You’re going to fall, you’re going to get hurt, and that is life. There will be pain in your life and tears. These are all signs of life.

The wonderful part is that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. When we become saved, we are born again ~ once again learning to walk. As Christians we will fall, we will hurt, we will be hurt, we will have tears ~ we also have Jesus to turn to for our healing just like our parents were there for us, and we are there for our children. Remember, this is God the Father. As long as we keep getting up each time we fall, there’s always a sign of life.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Comparisons

How many times do we continuously, whether conscious or subconscious, compare ourselves to others? It is so human to do especially in this competitive world we live in today. The sad part is when our self esteem is affected by this. Being a woman I can so relate to this!!! Peter is always getting onto me about comparing myself to someone else when I see their figure, smile, and the list goes on. Once again I am reminded that God has made each of us the way we are for a reason and we need to be happy with ourselves. That doesn’t mean not to do the best you can to improve but it does mean don’t compare yourself to someone else.

Now since we’ve touched comparing on the outside and how that can affect your self esteem let’s bring it a little deeper, shall we? How about how we think of whether we are successful or not? Once again, another comparison. Usually people will consider themselves successful by the amount of money and/or assets they have. Even in that sense how do you compare your success? For example, do you compare where you are this year compared to last year, last month, last week, etc.? We need to be careful with how we compare our success but especially by what standards as well. Compare yourself to Will Smith and his success – yeah, well – you see where I’m going with that. As long as you know at the end of the day you have done your best that is success no matter what ‘category’ you think you’re in.

As always there are layers so now we’ll touch real deep ~ thrashing deep. How many people are glorifying themselves as Christians by comparing themselves to others and talking about how they aren’t “stand-up” Christians? There are many that proclaim to be a Christian because they say they believe in God and know the Scriptures. OK, my turn to compare. Satan believes in God AND knows the Scriptures so now, compare yourself to that thought and what makes you stand out differently? Oh, I get it, you go to church. My friends, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian or open the doors to Heaven. Does it help? Of course! It always helps to surround yourself with like-minded people. Also, we are instructed to be around other Christians worshipping. Just always remember though, we are instructed NOT to judge others and where they stand.

You want a real comparison? Compare yourself as a Christian to Jesus. Are you forgiving? Do you love others unconditionally? That list definitely goes on. Being more Christ-like is a goal but also unattainable for we are human and have many flaws. For improvements we compare ourselves to Him but never get discouraged when you do. You can also compare where you are now in your Spiritual walk to where you used to be for a closer look at yourself. Just make sure you’re honest when you do because He already knows the truth.

In closing, I urge you to only compare yourself to you, where you were and who you were to now. Don’t make the constant mistake of comparing yourselves to those of the world or even those you consider Christians. Focus on you for you are the one who will answer to Jesus about your life. One last thought ~ if you truly want to feel and be successful, make a difference in another’s life. Then you have succeeded.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

You Wouldn’t Understand!!!

“You just don’t understand!” How many times have you said or heard this? If I had a dollar for each time I’d be retired instead of tired. 🙂 Then again, there are those who say “I understand…” and have no clue because they have never experienced what you’re going through. I know after living with ‘invisible’ disabilities I have found myself in positions that I have to attempt to explain a lot and still others just can’t understand.

You see, we can all understand what it’s like to have a headache, the loss of a loved one, etc. but there are a lot of things we can ‘think’ we understand and truly don’t. Talk to a former war veteran and say you understand what they’re feeling and look at the expression they have then. If you’ve never been to war you couldn’t grasp the slightest clue to what it’s like and the nightmares they will live with. Rape, abuse, neglect ~ these are other categories that unless you’ve been there don’t say you understand. With that being said we all need to remember that everything is said in context. For example, there are those who think they have been neglected vs. those who truly have been.

Throughout the Holidays many people feel alone and get truly depressed. They are by themselves or possibly family issues from the past so holidays are hard. For some it’s going through another holiday season without someone they love. Many times we try to be encouraging to others when we see their pain and then go to enjoy a feast with our own loved ones. I know I can relate to this when my son was in Iraq, my family in Florida and me on top of a mountain in western North Carolina and I was single. I finally found that if I went ahead and put up a Christmas tree and played my Christmas music I felt better even though I was alone.

There is one person who does understand the feeling of being alone ~ Jesus. Yes, the Son of God truly understands that feeling. Think about it. Even though He had many followers He had only a few close friends, and even one of those betrayed Him and gave Him to the Roman soldiers for money. His ‘friends’ were nowhere to be found through His worst time and his closest friend denied even knowing him. So when you feel like no one understands ~ Jesus does. He understands feeling alone, being abandoned and mocked and ridiculed as well!

If you are someone who can help someone feel less alone, take that step. Trust me, the Holidays can be hard and I know what it’s like to wish someone would ask you over just so you wouldn’t have to be alone again. If you are someone who is alone ~ I do understand. Not that that helps you feel any better but I can tell you what will. Talk with Jesus. Spend your alone time with Him and getting to know Him better ~ for not only is He listening to you and will help you through ~ but He does understand.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Feeling Alone?

There’s not one person who hasn’t gone through times that they didn’t feel totally alone, even in the most crowded of rooms. When life starts getting rough it is too easy to fall into depression and most people stay to themselves more then resulting in an increase of aloneness. Others handle this feeling at the total opposite end of the spectrum and will stay out and keep themselves busy until they can no longer go anymore and then sleep. Any of this sound familiar? It does to me. None of us are strangers to feeling alone or depressed.

One thing to remember is that feelings are temporary and not to let them control your life. You can have multiple feelings at the same time in fact. Also, think about right after you get married and that cloud nine you’re on. Ah yes, the honeymoon stage. At some point you think something’s wrong with your marriage because you don’t “feel” the same as you used to. The cloud nine’s in life are wonderful but also temporary. In a marriage love is a commitment, not a feeling. Surprised? Well, be glad because being angry is a feeling too and you don’t want to stay angry your whole life either!!

There are a few things you can do to help bring yourself out of this funk. I have found that going for a drive, a walk, sitting by the river or waterfall, anything that surrounded me with beauty and God’s presence. Also, embrace these feelings and recognize them for what they are, temporary and then the next day make a commitment to yourself to do something that makes YOU happy and feel good. There have been many times when I was single and living on top of a mountain that I experienced feeling alone. When I finally realized what was going on I would make a tray of veggies, deviled eggs, cheese (you get the picture) and put in the frig. Then I would fill the bathroom with candlelight and soak in a hot bubble bath with smooth jazz music playing. After the bath I would bring out the tray of goodies, put in a movie “I” liked and would end up having a nice evening. After a good night’s rest and feeling at peace I would set out once again to conquer the world until the next time.

During all of this I continuously reminded myself that not only was this a temporary feeling but I was never alone for God is always with me. There were other times I just started cleaning with some great Gaither tunes playing and felt better because not only was I productive, but singing along with Gospel tunes lifted my spirits as well.

There’s no particular set thing (such as bubble baths, driving, walks)  for anyone to do to just make this feeling go “poof.” The one thing we can all do is pray and count on the fact that God is listening and He will help you through this time if you ask Him to. Also, remember you are not alone ~ we’ve all been there ~ it will get better. May God bless you all!

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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