Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Tag: life preserver (page 1 of 4)

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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The Normal That Eludes You

A post for anyone who wished for a new normal...


It alludes me.

And not just because I can only drink chocolate milk from a glass as opposed to plastic, or because I can’t stand the song Patio Lanterns, or because I grew up thinking musical pork chops was a real game.

And now you’re dying to hear about that last one, aren’t you?

But because when you learn to live with a mood disorder that wants to turn what’s considered normal upside down, or erase how you’ve always defined normal all together, you figure out pretty quickly how to shed all expectation and get down to the business of recognizing what your normal might have to look like from here on out.

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When It’s Better To Get Closer

God keeps pressing the word ‘closer’ into my heart. Can’t be shaken off. Can’t be put to rest.

It’s lodged itself there for a reason.

When it's better to get closer...

I know of a dear soul looking at life from too far away. Hating how every day feels but resisting the solution of getting closer to the very thing, the very One, who could transform it all for them if they’d only allow it.

And they battle overwhelming despair and miss out on the gift of being schooled in His absolute love, provision, and unlimited grace. They keep their distance, hesitating for reasons only they can know down inside, when if they’d just get closer, they’d become the subject of His focus, His joy unspeakable, the Life Preserver Himself.

I only know this so well because it’s a lesson I’ve had to learn many times. 

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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?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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!}

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