Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Category: Living With Depression (page 2 of 50)

Broken Open

Broken Open - The Staying Connected Blog Series

{Our third installment for our summer blog series “Staying Connected!”
Talking today about what happens when we feel we aren’t as connected to the Father as we need, or are too broken down to finally receive from Him,
and a promise we don’t want to miss.}

Broken Open - Stay Connected Summer Blog Series

Well isn’t that the question.

I’d been watching a family go through a long wounding. And as answers didn’t come, they started asking with every new low, “how much more broken are we supposed to be?”

“How long is He going to let this continue?”

Their posture, their words, their exhaustion said one thing. Broken down and drained.

It was hard, they said, to receive any uplifting words that were meant to comfort.

Instead it’d just remind them how broken they felt.

“Where is God in this?”

As we sat around the table, I nodded with complete understanding and a giant heap of empathy.

How often had I asked that very question in the middle of my own breaking down while navigating my chronic depression disorder.

31 years and counting.

And I had asked it and asked it, over and over,  and I would worry that the breaking would be the end of me.

And how do we stay so connected to Him when our brokenness threatens to isolate us in our need?

Until one night, wide awake with insomnia and anxiety and soul-crushing defeat, four words were poured into my broken night and He began to reveal that sometimes the broken is the best beginning He can work for our good.

And will we just be resigned to being broken by our circumstances piled onto us or will we decide to be broken open so that He can pour into us, unhindered?

...Or will we decide to be broken open so that He can pour into us, unhindered? Click To Tweet

Those four words that chimed over the top of all of the other words in the dark that night?

“We have this hope.”

They settled on me like a mantle of peace. Those words rang and reverberated around my weary broken spirit like the most beautiful song being sung.

We have this hope…

I surrendered to it, choosing to be broken open enough to receive.

“Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever….” Hebrews 6:19

Sometimes it takes, not being broken apart, but broken open, in order to fully comprehend the magnitude of God’s unbreakable promise to each of us.

Broken open so all the truth and help and love and grace and peace can come flooding in without a shell of our own making to keep it from us.

To understand there is supplied to us, every time, an unlimited supply of His strong and trustworthy anchor of a hope.

So in the breaking open, we’re never swept away, but only ever held.

While He works to orchestrate how to reveal the glorious victory promised.

At the very end of us is where we finally have the very most of only Him.

At the very end of us is where we finally have the very most of only Him. Click To Tweet

And I heard Him nudge my heart.

“What point is the anchor of hope, beloved, if you never have a reason to need it? To need Me?

I know you’re trapped in this fallen broken world.

I would never orchestrate such pain or need.

Instead, I have made sure to provide for when it comes at you mercilessly.

I made sure Hope hung on that cross, anchored by love, broken open to receive your defeat, and for you defeated and overcame the world.

For you then.

For you now.

It may feel like you’re broken by this season of need.

But wait a little while, let Me cover you and shelter you even now, and see what I will redeem so that what’s broken open will grow, reach, and reveal something precious, something fruitful, something ready to be so much more.”

We have this Hope.

We have this Unfailing Hope.

When He cried a broken “It is finished” He meant He was enough.

Let the Hope of the World trade your devastation and weariness so you’re able to receive something that will carry you through to the other side, okay?

For all the broken, we have this hope.

What I Learned This Spring

Joining up with Emily's community to write about what I learned this Spring!

It’s that time again! These posts are just a bit of fun and reflection. Here are a few things in no particular order that I learned this past spring:

  1. Sometimes the sweetest of people have been through the toughest of seasons.

    I met some dear ladies at an event I was helping a good friend out with, at a church I had never been to yet, and the blessing was all mine as I was intercepted over and over by women so in tune to building and connecting and wanting to know if my story echoed theirs.
    They were the sweetest gals with the most powerful stories of overcoming and persevering, tears emerging, showing battle scars, and offering friendship and solidarity… and I left feeling poured into and with their words of “Don’t give up, Sister!” rolling around in my heart and soul.
    And I was just the volunteer manning the book table that day!

  2.  It’s never all up to me to change or connect better with my family. It’s actually based on the sufficiency of Christ and a lot of grace.

    So I found myself on the launch team this spring of the most wonderful and heartfelt book by Gary Morland called “A Family Shaped By Grace“, which comes out today! And if there’s one book I would recommend every family read this summer, it’s this one. Filled with amazing tools and testimony from Gary that will shower grace and encouragement for everyone looking to belong and get a long with all the people we are family with, this could change how we see each other and ourselves in simple yet powerful ways!

    Gary Morland's new book A Family Shaped By Grace! How to get along with the people who matter most.

  3. You will always miss your family’s four-legged best friend.

    But also the lack of barking, dog hair, muddy paw prints, and grass returning to your small yard for the first time in thirteen years is actually a nice development. We said goodbye to our Rally girl a few months back now, and still have moments where we forget she’s not at the door or that’s not her groaning in her sleep, and she will be in our hearts forever. Just not in our kitchen leaving soggy tsunamis of drinking water/drool in a giant line from bowl to door. Amen.

    image by c.duncan

  4. That you can dip just about anything in Tzatziki and it will make your heart sing and {to quote a certain Ree Drummond } make your skirts fly up.

    I’m sure my family is wary of just how many things I will make all summer with this nectar of heaven, but listen people, I’m just getting started!
    I already stared making my gyros with chicken on the grill as soon as it was warm enough to do so, but now I just grab the carton of tzatziki and pretty much dip anything from fresh veggies, cheese, and leftover grilled meats, to pitas and crackers and toast-points (WHY are toast-points SO much fun?)
    Easy Gyros? Marinate chicken breasts in a ready-made greek seasoning combined with a cup of water, 1/3 cup of olive oil, a liberal squirt of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of vinegar for kick. Or if you get your feta cheese fresh in the container with it’s brine, add the brine instead of vinegar. Marinate 3 hours or overnight, and grill.
    Grill slightly warmed whole wheat naan bread or pitas, fill with chicken shredded or sliced, top with cucumber, radish, red onion, tzatziki and crumbly feta.
    Done like dinner.

  5. That when God says He’s about to do a new thing in you, He will always back it up with His own provision and equipping. Always.

    I’m literally in the beginning of three different projects He’s dropped in my life, and I’m watching as He is supplying every aspect in His timing, in the most amazing ways. And the equipping comes with stretching, and the supplying comes with blind faith, and in each instance, all He asked is that my yes to these three projects be based on total surrender, total trust, and that I’d simply remain the vessel He’d fill at His own will.
    Don’t misunderstand me. There are still hurdles and roadblocks and doubts that surface. But each time, He reveals His answer to all of the things that would try to threaten His plans. He’s just been looking for the right hearts to say yes, and accept His invitation to be used. He does the rest.
    And one day soon, I will get to reveal a little more, but for now, He’s at work.
    He's just been looking for the right hearts to say yes, and accept His invitation to be used. Click To Tweet

    Well, there you go. A few things I learned this spring, and so totally random at that! Now I’m looking forward to a summer of new things to learn, adventures to be had, and holy provisions to be made. How about you? What did you learn this past spring?

    If you would like to read along with the linkup community over at Emily. P. Freeman’s be sure to join us HERE! And if you’d like to become a subscriber and get all of these posts each week from the comfort of your own inbox, just sign up in the space below!

Three Things We Need To Know About Refuge

3 Things We Need to Know About Refuge

I’m about to live out in my gazebo.

A weird thing to say, I know, but hear me out.

I love being outside. When the warmer temps return, when the spring weather settles in for good, that gazebo goes up once again in our yard and I practically live out there, non-stop.

From the time the sun rises until long after I’ve lit all my twinkly lights and lanterns, outside in my little refuge is where I’ll be.

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Looking For Life

Looking for Life... the daily struggle to rise above poor mental health and Who will gives us life in return...

It was all I could do not to run back to bed that morning.

I was having a hard time starting my day. For no real reason except this is what the dysthymic brain does.

Instead of feeling alive, I felt this underlying current of agitation, thick brain fog, the need to hide out, knowing if I tried to get up I’d be completely off my game.

After three years now with my diagnosis, I know this is just my brain talking. But it’s also so much more. It’s a complete disabling of reason, it’s a kind of shutting-down that is chemicals and transmitters and broken mood not easily fixed.

I don’t type all this so you’ll feel pity. I type all this because I know there are others.

And I’ve learned that sometimes to get to a good place mentally, you have to get to a good place physically.

And vice versa.

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