Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Tag: Anniversary

1st Blogiversary! Giving It All To God

I remember the day I gave this blog to God, clear as anything.

One year and 28 days ago.

I hadn’t opened up my first WordPress editor yet. I hadn’t even typed out my first rough draft yet. After nearly a month of prep, on May 4th, Star Wars Day of all things, my first post ever would go live.

It was kinda scary, kinda cool, and slightly daunting.

But here we are! The blog’s first blogiversary. And you want to know something?

It’s kinda scary, kinda cool, and still slightly daunting.

But just over one year ago, as I hummed and hawed about tiptoeing out into the blogging waters, I asked God for confirmation. I didn’t want to dive in without solid indications that He was ordaining this new journey.

I had to be certain He would be in this.

Confirm it He did.
(imagine this in Yoda-speak, yes? kidding, but my daughter and son are laughing at this right now)

I had spent the whole week in Psalm 119… in verses 89-93 to be specific. A holy emphasis on verses 92, 93, “If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have preserved my life.

I could not shake it. I had been living with a type of depression that went on for decades, rolling in, rolling out, like waves. An ocean of a disorder that tried to sink you if you weren’t careful. And it was my clinging to Him that gave life where many have given up.

His precepts were my life-preserver. And a name for this site was born. A scriptural confirmation. But I still felt like I had to wait for something else God wanted to show me, impress upon me, before I could step out. And this was so big, all of this, that I was not going to rush it.

So I waited.

And one night, gathered with our Easter choir for a performance, one of our prayer warriors, who had no idea I was tossing around the idea of blogging about chronic depression as a believer, started out prayer with the words, ” I don’t know who this is for tonight…”

I’d looked around at all the faces gathered in the back room and thought, oh boy, what’s God up to?

And she said the words that would electrify me in my seat and would more than confirm that God was ready to do something new.

She shared how her husband, who is a quiet man, had been in prayer all that morning, and out of the blue, he saw a scene before him, in the spirit. He immediately shared it with her, he’d never had a vision before and distinctly felt it should be shared that night for some reason. Would she share it?

“There’s someone here who needs to know… my husband saw an ocean, vast, dark, and waves crashing…”

People, you know I sat up straight in my seat, all ears. I had spent all week giving God my ocean of symptoms that swamp and crash and roar.

“And God very clearly showed him a life boat in the middle of this ocean. Filled with rescued souls, all wearing life preservers.”

And my heart pounded. My eyes filled up.

“But what God really wanted him to see? Was that there were a few of the rescued leaning out over the side of the boat, stretching out a hand, and grasping the hands of someone else still in the water. And they were safe. And those safely held, also reached out a hand, and grasped the next… and the next… and the next.

And God wants you to know, now is the time to lean over and reach out, and start a chain reaction of safety from the ocean that would drown. Cling to what makes Him God, and watch Him preserve lives.”

Folks, you could have knocked me off my chair.

And I knew I’d been given my green light and the first directive.

To allow His precepts to save lives.

To present to others the ultimate Life Preserver.

And on May 4th, His words powered the first post.

And they power every single one since.

God does not waffle around. He sets a new plan in your path, and then equips every step of the way so you know it’s all Him, and none of you.

Being diagnosed as having Early Onset Dysthymic Disorder is no small thing. And with my diagnosis came a surprising freedom. And then a surprising urge to share what life looked like, what faith looked like, when you lived with this disorder day in, day out.

In fact, when you live with any hard thing.

Thoughts that usually lay in my journal started to jump to the screen. Some of you early readers responded in ways that blew me away.

And in the midst of it all, the indescribable current of the Holy God.

This anniversary isn’t possible without Him.

This blog isn’t possible without Him.

My navigation through these still sometimes choppy waters is not possible without the Life Preserver.

The Anchor.

The Rock on which we can stand.

Verse 94 of Psalm 119 quite simply declares “Save me, for I am Yours: I have sought out Your Precepts!”

When I think about the next year coming, all I can think is , “I have sought out Your Precepts, Lord. So come, and accomplish according to Your promise of preservation.”

What a journey this has been! And that I’ve travelled it with all of you? Even better! God has met us time and again, and it’s the fulfilling of a promise every time.

Your Precepts preserve my life, Lord.

Makes me hit my knees, gang. And give Him thanks. The way only one rescued from the sinking storms can.

Will you join me as God meets us here for another year?

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It’s time!!!

We have two winners from our 1st Blogiversary Giveaway!!! And I can’t hardly say how excited I am to announce them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lisa Bell! You are the winner of the copy of Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg, and the Anchor Pendant!!! YAY!

And Heather Marshall, from Recollected Design, you’ve won the signed copy of Jeannie Pallett’s book Beckoned By The King!!! Yes!

You will receive emails from me, contacting you and getting further details!
But hooray!

{You have my permission to find the nearest couch and jump around on it!}

This Anchor, This Life Preserver

I’m looking back over the last year, in anticipation for the coming one, I guess. I’m preparing the blog for its 1st anniversary and it seems slightly surreal to me.

A whole year? Can it be possible that by next Monday, there begins another new chapter of blogging about life and chronic depression and faith?

With an emphasis on faith.

An emphasis grown over time as a need in myself, as well as in others became more and more apparent. That faith would emerge as the one thing everything else written, and felt, and thought, would hinge on.

You know, that wasn’t always the intent at first. It’s so funny to think it now. This including my faith-journey bundled into my Dysthymia journey was first intentioned as a way to relate to others in the church who still had a hard time accepting depression as a disorder and not a result of a lack of faith. Mainly I thought I’d use each post to promote a healthier view of depression and to educate.

But it became clear very quickly that God wanted faith, indeed that He desired He himself, to be the pivotal point on which all other words and paragraphs, and days and weeks, would converge, each and every time. No matter how practical, or how informative, or how emotional, or revealing, or spiritual a post would be, He would be what anchored it all.

The Rock.

The Anchor.

The Life Preserver.

Everything.

He Is the Anchor!

I could never deny He is what anchors everything throughout the years, and each journey I’ve been on {especially this one} but from my first real foray into the blogosphere, as I asked Him for wisdom and direction concerning this virtual living room I would prepare each day, He began to make it abundantly clear that as He had done in my personal life, He would shape and mould this space, and do far more with it than I had ever expected.

It’s been the most nerve-wracking and the most beautiful unfolding.

As it always will be when the uncompleted imperfect us partner with the Everlasting Perfection that is God.

And the more I think about it, the more I can say without any doubt that this blog is very much His. My words belonging to Him, my agenda belonging to Him, my journey completely belonging to the Almighty Father.

As my friend Jeannie would tell you, this is all a part of being beckoned by the King.

Beckoned By the King by Jeannie Pallet

 

Sometimes to remember this takes my breath away.

And I pray I continue to remember it, and steer clear of trying to wrestle the journey away from His grasp. It’s always much safer to reside in the palm of His hand, isn’t it?

Sometimes it hasn’t been pretty or a walk in the park, but He’s teaching me one day at a time to make this a place of offering.

Where I offer Him control of what goes on the page, and where He offers up so much goodness and faithfulness in response to the offering.

And then the offering becomes something more.

It becomes the declaration of Him.

I think one of the best declarations of God’s power for our comings and goings is found in Psalm 19:7-11

I’m determined to memorize this one, its promises are solid and in your face and standing tall and saying it aloud is an inviting of Him into every facet of your journey and the belief that He’s got this.

“And Lord, You can have all this. Learning to hold nothing back today, I can boldly say;

The law of the Lord is perfect,
converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is cleansing,
enduring forever;
The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, more desired than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.”

Lord, as a new chapter opens, I want to be hungry for Your precepts, Your wisdom, Your Presence, Your statutes, and whatever You judge as necessary for this journey. No looking to the left and to the right.

Oh Heart, cling hard to the Life Preserver.

Something so sweet it keeps me on the only path You’ve planned for this entire quest into a more expansive, less self-filled, faith.

And hey, friends?

Will you think about coming with me?


1st Blogiversary Giveaway!

Hey!

Just Christine here. So did you happen to notice that very hip, very beautiful necklace with the Anchor pendant and Azure Blue Bead in the post earlier?

It was created by my beautifully talented and creative friend, Aimee Eisaman, and the minute I saw it I knew I would want one of my readers to be able to own this lovely reminder that our Anchor of Hope is never far away.

SO I’M ADDING IT TO OUR GIVEAWAY!

Yes. Yes I am.

Add to that the book “Beckoned by the King” that I was honored to feature yesterday on the blog by my generous friend and writer Jeannie Pallet and that means I have one gift left to reveal.

Whoo hoo!

But I’m leaving that till tomorrow. Because I know it’s driving you all crazy. But gosh, the last gift is wonderful too, so I hope you tune in tomorrow and be prepared for the contest TO GO LIVE!

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Today’s post is happily hooking up to some great linkups! Come on over and check out all the inspiring things happening on the #RaRaLinkup with Kelly Balarie, and later today with Jennifer Dukes Lee and #TellHisStory!

Our First Month

I’m glad to say that today marks a month since my very first post on the blog.

A month since I decided to take a huge chance on what is usually a very personal and private struggle, and allow God to embed it with a different significance. In front of you all. For as long as He lets me.

And it has been an incredible journey so far! You have joined me with your support, with your sharing, and with spreading the word! Yes, I’ve had the odd reader or friend who hasn’t felt the same and let me know in no uncertain terms which makes me chuckle a little bit, no one is forcing you to keep reading the posts day after day but what did I read yesterday from amazing author and blogger Jon Acuff? I think it uncanny that on the eve of our one month anniversary that he posted this sentence.

“Big dreams generate big resistance” This is how you know you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Doing exactly what you’re supposed to do.

So here we are beginning month two. And I’m so excited to see where we go. Haven’t even scratched the surface of all the facets of chronic depression, or even just the general mess life keeps throwing at us. Nor the grace and restoration still available to us.

Can I brag about how faithful the Father has been? Just for a moment? So faithful. So. Faithful. And I have to be real about this. Blogging every week day, for someone like me, is not a cake walk. I retreated and gave up my job as a photographer because I couldn’t function and it wasn’t fair to my clients. I’m not entirely convinced I was supposed to pursue it full-time to begin with, looking back. I was just doing my best to contribute, to have something that was mine. Everyone can relate with that, I know. And I have clubs and groups that I can’t dig up the focus or energy for too. And in the end, I end up watching them all from the sidelines. And I know it’s early yet BUT…

God doesn’t GIVE you a dream, and then leave you to hammer out the details for yourself. He doesn’t let you build on shaky ground. He doesn’t confirm the new adventure you need to be on and then leave you to figure out the how to get there. From the word GO I’ve watched Him place people in this journey that I never thought I’d need, resources I never knew existed, and words that won’t stop pouring out of me onto the keyboard. I haven’t missed a weekday. This is huge for me.  Know what this means?
He hasn’t missed a day either. That’s how He operates. And I’m so thankful and humbled. No words for how much.

And if I am being honest, can I admit something too? I have days where I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know it’s only natural, but I wait, thinking at some point it will happen, I’ll forget, I’ll be suffering, I’ll be exhausted, and suddenly… the blogging will take a hit, like everything else.

I’m learning to switch that perspective. Of course anyone with a disability or disorder needs to cut themselves some slack. And I promise I wouldn’t beat myself up if I did… but here’s what I’m learning today. About faith. About blogging. About dreams coming true.

He’s waiting for us to find out that He’s more than enough.

I believe that when that day comes that I can’t sit down to this keyboard for whatever reason Chronic D throws at me, that He’ll step up to the plate. That He’ll come through. That He’ll help me do exactly whatever it is I need to do. Why?

Cause He’s invested. Heavily invested. This blog was His idea after all. I know that for a fact because things happened that only He could orchestrate before I began. And things keep happening that could only be from His hand. It’s incredible. And hey… That’s what investors do. They oversee the growth and success of a plan, they pour things into it that ensure it continues, so that it has the least chance of failure and the optimal chance of completion! He’s invested. Faith says I can trust that!

2 Corinthians 9:8 

God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.

 

And He’s invested in me personally. Still. If I knock the walls of pretense and pride down, He comes in and starts pouring new things into my life. Changing my definition of strength. Of bravery. Of victory. Of Trust. Of depression. Of me. And mostly of Him.

I guess on this first month anniversary I just want to know, what are you keeping from Him today? What dream are you harboring and inadvertently keeping the investor of all investors from touching for the good, and proving it can fly? We’ve learned all month that He can see us through anything, He’s the Life Preserver after all. So what do you want Him to invest in?

The answer should be ALL. OF. IT.

But He knows we’ll need time to figure that out. Even a whole month. Or two.

I hope you keep reading, so we can all figure it out together.

Happy One Month Anniversary.

 

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