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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Despair Part II: Inevitable Renewal

"Despair is the damp of hell,
as joy is the serenity of heaven."
~ John Donne

One definition of spiritual battle might be external and / or internal bombardment with lies, especially in the face of loss.

A particularly fierce spiritual battle entered my life in June 2009. The resulting despair is described in "Despair Part I: A Chronology" with these words:

Nearly incapacitating depression is a daily battle ... I am overwhelmed with belief in my failure of the past, having fallen out of God's favor in the present, and utter futility for the future.

Medication for depression is effective treatment for some people. A counselor suggested it last spring and I declined. By December my dark outlook moved me to reconsider. But I feared that numbing the depression might also numb my passion for God and for people. And I sensed that the Lord had an alternative treatment.

That alternative proved to be Truth immersion.

A well stocked home library, trusted friends, and Google offer plenty of information. But only one source contains Truth that leaves no room for question: the Holy Bible.

Though I spent time in Scripture for study, for wisdom, and for the pure pleasure of discovering God, intentional immersion in God's Word effected changes in me. The lies I'd swallowed were dissolved with healthy doses of God's Truth. I felt worthy to approach God with more consistency and boldness.

Renewal became inevitable.

"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
~ John 8:31-32 (NKJV)

By January 4, I felt increased spiritual strength. But I still suffered physical symptoms of stress, I had to concentrate on some sort of intellectual challenge to head off a PTSD attack, and profound sadness continued to bring on random crying episodes.

I went to sleep that night sorrowing over numerous personal attacks I'd experienced. The next morning, "groanings which cannot be uttered" pleaded for relief. As I prayed, I understood that I sought some sort of vindication or compensation for the injury I've suffered.

I also realized that I would have no hope of offering adequate vindication or compensation for all the injury I've caused. Sadness for myself was transformed into sadness for others.

My prayer became a poem, "Damages." As I finished composing the poem, I felt release. Release brought profound peace—profound peace as intense as the profound sadness which dogged me.

Now, a month later, the peace has prevailed. Despair has fled. What I have experienced is not a makeover, but a renewal which only the Lord of life could give.

You will keep in profound peace
The one whose mind is fixed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.
~ Isaiah 26:3-4

Prince of Peace, You only allow us to know affliction so we might more fully know Your peace. Thank You for renewal. Please make me Your channel of renewal to others. Please bless hundredfold every person who has supported me with their prayers to You and kind words to me.

~ : ~ : ~ : ~

This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. You're invited to visit his site and see what others are saying about today's theme: Renewal.

Comments, questions, and respectful disagreement are welcome. Reply to comments, or e-mail buildingHisbody [plus] Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Truth will evaporate the lie. I liked your statement: The lies I'd swallowed were dissolved with healthy doses of God's Truth. Also the groanings with unutterable words brought forth your poem which in turn carried with it renewal. How blessed.

  2. This reverberates in my own life Anne. These truths are a rare treasure only found after much despair. Although I would never volunteer for the polishing hand of God, I'm glad once I shine with His peace. it's so beautiful.

  3. "Renewal became inevitable." Those are God-words. Once we're in his hands, he won't let go, no matter how dark things may look. Good post, Anne.

  4. I love the opening question on your sidebar: don’t think you’re a body builder? We all are.

    I appreciate your honesty in telling this piece of your story. And I praise the Lord with you that you have been renewed through Truth. May you continue on!

  5. Peter ~

    WOW is right! Our God is

  6. Hazel ~

    So often, we really do know the Truth. But when we get mercilessly attacked with lies, it gets harder to live in the light of Truth. We have to find a way to delve even more deeply into Truth. And you are correct, therein lies blessing.

  7. T ~

    Going through the trial, I kept asking God "why"? I didn't realize it until after the despair ended, but I actually did pray for this trial. It came in answer to three of my prayers. I didn't enjoy this particular polishing, but I do still pray for His hand to refine me—if with a little more fear now!

  8. Glynn ~

    The lies all seem so silly now. How could I see the immediate future as filled with futility when I serve a God named Hope? His renewal is not only for eternity, but for every day. How right you are, that He doesn't let go, however dark the darkness.

  9. Lisa ~

    The transparency isn't as easy as I try to make it look. I'm grateful for your words of support and appreciation. : )

  10. Not a makeover, but a renewal. Yes ... this.

    And may I say, you resemble your Creator more and more each day?

    God bless you as you continue to grow in His grace, my friend.

  11. I feel the groans as I read your words ... and I am thankful for the renewal.

  12. Powerful testimony, Anne. God has done great things for you. I know exactly what you mean when you say "Renewal became inevitable." I have experienced this many times even though it didn't completely feel like it in those moments. He is such a gracious and good God--always! Thank you for sharing your journey and healing. Praising God with you.

  13. Jennifer ~

    Thanks, Jennifer. You're ALWAYS an encouragement! Becoming a reflection of His light is worth the breaking.

  14. Susan ~

    I pray that the renewal is manifest with as much grace as is in you.

  15. Jason ~

    If there is power in the testimony, I pray it will be used to renew others. Part of me wishes there had been nothing to share, nor God's urging to share it. I'd rather look strong ... pride, I know. But better that I look weak and His faithfulness be shared. Better that I be broken and His Truth be seen as necessary Light for others.

  16. I love the idea that renewal is inevitable, if only we open our hearts to God's work in us. Daily renewal, profound gut-wrenching renewal, life-changing renewal: its one source is a loving, Grace-filled God.

  17. Kirsten ~

    ... profound gut-wrenching renewal ...

    Like childbirth, I think our Grace-filled God gives us greater joy when new life emerges from such intensity.

  18. Praise Adonai!!!

    if this post isn't a Powerful statement of faith, i don't what is...

    quote: Better that I be broken and His Truth be seen as necessary Light for others.

    you've obviously gotten Sonburnt, Anne:)


  19. Bud ~

    I LIKE that! Sonburnt. I don't burn easily in the sun, so you know there was some serious time in the Son.

    And I LOVE this! First time I've seen it, but it for sure won't be the last.


  20. Only God can provide that deep-hearted renewal we need. That passage from Isaiah is one of my favorites. Bless you and your strength in Him, Anne.

  21. Powerful. Profound. Just like our awesome God! :D Continual blessings of renewal to you as you bless others!

  22. God's sweetest blessings to you sis, love you.

  23. Candy ~

    Even now, I'm anxious for the Lord to show me how to make more clearly known to others that JESUS MAKES ALL THINGS NEW! He's not just for salvation renewal, He's not just for Heaven renewal. Jesus is for every day renewal!

  24. Mari-Anna ~

    Indeed, our God is awesome in more ways that we'll comprehend this side of Heaven. May we ever praise Him for what we know of Him, and what is yet to be known of Him. :D

  25. Denise ~

    He blesses me for sure, and you're one of the blessings. ♥

  26. Anne, sorry I'm so late to comment, but I wanted to be sure to let you know that since you took your hiatus from blogging and hinted to what was going on, you've been in my prayers. Grateful to see you still battling and that God has been giving you one small victory at a time.

  27. Fatha Frank ~

    I do not cease to be amazed, humbled and grateful to learn of how many people have prayed for me. There have indeed been many small victories. The victory of January 5 feels like winning the war, though I know well that other battles lie ahead.

    I can identify with Mother Theresa, who said, "I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." Yet I know it is not His trust in me that gets me through, but my trust in Him. To God be all glory for every victory, however small or large!

  28. Thanks for sharing God's faithfulness to you. I am overjoyed to witness the work He is doing and continues to do in your life!

  29. Mary ~

    Yes, God is faithful. But believing that didn't prevent me asking a whole lot of why's in the meantime.

    (Incidently, comments on posts over a couple of weeks old don't appear til after I screen them, to prevent spam problems.)


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