Christine Duncan

Love, Laughter, Life Preservers

Just Stand Up

I had coffee with a good friend the other day.

I must confess, we were swapping stories of woe. She suffers from a depression similar to mine, but hers was brought on by a traumatic event in her past, and we were going back and forth, comparing the latest hard days and stresses we were dealing with.

Ever notice how your mood can lift just by understanding that someone else knows what it is you’re going through, or what it is you carry with you?

And you know, before long, our stories of woe turned into a bit of hilarity, and laughter, and wiping eyes from funny tears. And we heaved a sigh at the same time, and nodded to each other.

You can be going through the most awful situations, but just knowing someone else is fighting just as hard to grasp some joy and peace in the midst of the current storms can dwarf the fear and stress surrounding those same situations. And you nod because you acknowledge that you are both warriors and survivors and that you’re blessed, even in this small thing.

We stared at our coffee and tea. And then she said something that has clung to me all the rest of the week.

“Christine”, she said, “You know how you’re always saying that sometimes God can speak the simplest things into our souls at just the right time, and it’s like a surge of power from a source we hadn’t anticipated? Like when the depression is just too much, and I can’t even function or pray or rise above it at all, but suddenly, it’s like the Father leans in knowing full well I can’t find the energy to reach for Him, so He does it for me? And says something I desperately need?

I said, yes, I completely know that feeling.

“Well”, she looked at me knowingly, “That was me yesterday. It was so bad. The whole day. Felt myself drowning. And just when I was hunched over at the counter in the kitchen, this huge mess, me I mean, wondering if I’d be able to even finish the day, deal with it all, the weight of getting supper ready too large to consider, unable to cry even, and randomly saying to no one in particular ‘what do I do?’…. suddenly it was like He was right there in the kitchen, and I heard Him answer, “Just stand up.”

She got tears in her eyes. I got tears in my eyes.

“Just stand up. That’s all He wanted me to do. It was like He looked down and said, I would never let this beat you, so stop leaning against the counter all hunched over and afraid. Daughter, stand up!”

“So I did!”

And when she did, it was like there was a new power source holding her up, and even though things still felt a little hard for the rest of the night, they were dealable, her words. Like suddenly all the heaviness shrunk down to nothing. I got goosebumps and wanted to have church right there in the coffee shop but reined it in before I scared someone.

And we left shortly after, and the zing of those three words she shared stuck with me like a static charge.

“Just stand up!”

And the more I think them, the more I hear Christ issue these words over his daughters and sons. He’s said these words before.

“Stand up, and walk….” John 5:8

“Rise! And walk….” Matt. 9:5

“Stand! Your faith has made you well…” Luke 17:19

“Stand up straight, you are freed, woman.” Luke 13:10-17

Just stand up.

He sees you bent over, crippled, heavy circumstances weighing you down.

He sees how hard it was to get out of bed. Or to go to work. Or to deal with the kids. The bills. The doctor visits. The pills you have to take. The tasks you’re panicked about.

He sees how your brain is wired. How the chemicals are misfiring again. How the moods are shifting. How hopeless, restless, anxious, and grieved you are.

And He knows that sometimes, we just need to be allowed to stand up. To stand up under it all. To get our dignity back. Our peace back. Our strength replenished. Our hope recharged.

So He leans in and props us up in His grace. He leans in and the touch of the Master’s hand brings a new charge, and we can stand. Because of Him.

That fuel to stand?
Purest love for you. Purest peace abiding. Purest strength supplying.

So keep dwelling there. Where His Presence keeps speaking those things to you. So He can shepherd you through it. So the Life Preserver can lead you out of the stormy sea and into the shallows and say with authority, “My child, stand up!”

I don’t think my friend will be able to forget those words any time soon.

I pray none of us do.

Because they’re declared over each and every one of His children.

“I AM here. Just stand up.”

11 Comments

  1. Christine, I absolutely love this post. Depression truly can suck the life right out of you. My worst time was after the birth of my first son. There were times I didn’t know if I was going to make it through. During the winter months, it creeps back but I found some of the triggers and learned effective ways to cope with it. What God spoke to your friend is so powerful that I, too, am ready to have a church service right here at my kitchen table. Thank you for sharing this. So powerful. I’m ready to stand up today as a daughter of the One True King.

    • Christine Duncan

      January 16, 2015 at 12:14 PM

      Abby, your words are another reminder that depression touches so many believers… and that God doesn’t let that stop Him! He holds us up through it all. I too have learned which triggers are the worst for me, and how to cope, and I pray that others will take heart when they visit the blog and know that they’re not alone in this. Especially when it comes to God!
      Standing with you, Abby! Have a really great weekend! And thanks!

  2. Ahhh. Christine! I need to make it a standard thing to bring tissues when I read your posts. They always reach my heart. This takes me back to the first year my daughter was alive, because I became very sick and was unable to do a lot of the things I so desperately wanted to do with her. The depression at times can be just as debilitating as any physical symptom. Between the two I just felt so ‘heavy’ most days… at a loss for what to do, but the Great Physician brought me to my feet when I needed it most and continues to do so whenever I slip back into those feelings. “Stand up, your faith as made you well.” Very powerful post. Thank you for sharing her experience and your heart. <3

    • Christine Duncan

      January 16, 2015 at 12:57 PM

      Goodness, Kristi, that’s so sweet of you! 🙂
      And so grateful for this new kindred spirit I’ve found in you. Those kinds of memories can really overwhelm sometimes, don’t you find? One can look back and see God’s hand never left us though. It’s powerful to think on. It’s what I use to get through darker days for sure. All of His promises. They’re so key.
      Thanks for the gift of your words today, and have the most amazing weekend in Him!

  3. I really needed this today, Christine! My daughter is struggling with depression. The Holy Spirit used your post to give me ideas on how to minister to her. I will listen to her, I will pray over her, I will speak over her, “I AM here. Just stand up.”

    • Christine Duncan

      January 16, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      Cheryl, my heart goes out to you and your daughter, and I will be adding you both to my prayers, that you both cling to the Life Preserver found in Psalm 119:89-93, and that when even that is too much, that He simply clings to you, pressing you both into His safety and strength, and refuge. It’s such a debilitating thing, isn’t it? But He is more than enough, for even our darkest depression. How well I’ve learned. He is always made strong in our weakness. Always.
      Thanks so much for your visit to the blog, please stay in touch, okay?
      Standing together in Him!

  4. Ahhh, such a beautiful post. I struggle with depression on a daily basis so I know of what you speak. What a unique way of showing us that God is there with us through it all.

    • Christine Duncan

      January 18, 2015 at 12:07 AM

      We must continue lifting each other up then, Mary, it can be one of the most debilitating disorders can’t it? And we’re never alone. This one truth helps me more than anything on some days. I’d love to hear your story one day soon, if you’re able, so let’s stay in touch!

  5. Christine! Wow! Though I have never had to deal with depression, I do understand fear, as in fear of sickness. Even right now my husband has a cold and fever and my mind reels at the fearful questions that threaten my peace. I am going to just stand up and look and see how far the Lord has lead us and read in His word how He said He would never fail us and how His blood has been shed to heal us. Powerful post and my heart is touched because I could sense the anointing and power of God as I read your words. Thank you for making yourself available to Him.

    • Christine Duncan

      January 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM

      Jeannie, gosh, thanks so much. It’s always my prayer that He use the words He places on my heart, but it’s still so good to hear that He’s very present while people read along on this journey with me. Tremendously humbling. I will certainly pray, even now, for your husband and yourself, that the Lord’s peace cover you both completely, and that this illness not keep him down! Amen?

  6. I’m so glad you shared this post with me Christine. Powerful words of hope- and no wonder, they were spoken by Jesus Himself. Thank you!

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