Shield on the Battlefield

Raise up the blood-soaked shield of faith on the battlefield,
And do not yield to the enemy, for your destiny is sealed
By the God of heaven and earth, in whom you have trusted,
To whom the surety of victory belongs for which you long,
And this has become your battle song sung long and strong;
He is your Beloved, in whom you live and have your being,
Seeing all from small to grand and tall, every inch of ground,
Hearing every sound, even the pounding of your very heart;
And your Beloved has given you the better part of his own,
Even as he has sown seeds of love, joy, and peace . . .
Look to his banner and fight on in the light of his bright face!

Advertisements

Awakening to the New Day

Awakening to the new day with new possibilities and always hope
In your company, Beloved, as you give each moment greater scope,
Shot through with meaning, even if this man cannot see what it is;
Nevertheless, you love me with an everlasting love that never fails,
And so I rejoice in your presence, even in pain that seems to gain
An upper hand, but you have tied our band so that I am fully yours,
Now and forever, so this suffering, too, shall pass away in your day,
Which is dawning even now and promises no end . . . so let it be!

Monday Update

Thankfully I was able to sleep through most of the night, though I woke up earlier than I wanted or intended. The morning has been very rough, yet not as much as other mornings. I have put in a call to my psychiatrist concerning the akathisia from which I currently suffer. Hopefully, I pray, he will call me back. Of course, I will call again if he does not call me this morning … and I will keep calling until I get ahold of him.

Holding onto hope by faith is very difficult at times, but I keep trying to tell myself that “this, too, shall pass.” It is, as I’ve said before, an extremely tough row to hoe. The effects of akathisia (at its worst) practically paralyze me on the inside, but God has been very gracious and good. Generally speaking, the days and nights are getting better and, like now, I am able to write and read without feeling like I’m coming completely unglued.

Of course, there must be an answer – in other words, cure – for my plight or, at least, I keep telling myself. And naturally I keep praying for some cure and return to normalcy. This leads me to once again thank my family, friends, readers and fellow-bloggers for your thoughts, encouragement and continuing prayers for me. Words to adequately express my deep gratitude allude me. I can only offer my sincere, heartfelt thankfulness.

More later…

Let It Rain

Clouds full of promise, filled with blessing,
Rain down on this parched land so thirsty
With mercy born of angelic love and grace;
Speed your message to these lips of ours
So that we may drink and surely live again
As we continue on our journey here below,
Here below, plodding onward and upward
To heights hitherto unknown to pilgrims,
Pilgrims in search of a new Eden on earth
. . .
Lord, have mercy, and let it rain, let it rain

An Openly Honest Comment Upon My Condition

Dealing with depression and anxiety is no laughing matter, to be sure, especially when prescribed medications begin working against you. Not that medication alone is the answer, but when what has been prescribed no longer helps but, in fact, begins causing negative side-effects, then you are moved beyond frustration to the point of tears.

This has been, and continues to be, my own experience. Several weeks ago, it seems the antidepressant prescribed to me lost its effectiveness and then actually caused akathisia – that is, continual restlessness, agitation, sleeplessness and heightened anxiety. This has been enough to drive me to tears, as I am fighting on two fronts: depression and akathisia.

After numerous visits to the emergency room and three hospital stays, my psychiatrist wisely removed all antidepressants and even cut in half the dosage of the mood-stabilizer I have been taking. Alas, though, largely removing the culprits – that is, the psychotic medications – has only partially subdued my akathisia, for which I am now taking medication.

What am I to do? In many ways I believe I am actually taking too much medication, mostly to address side effects of other medication, but without the medication for akathisia I am caught up in a whirlwind of nervousness, agitation, restlessness, and high anxiety. Will I ever know freedom from all of the above? In other words, will I ever be free of depression, anxiety, and akathisia? Of course, this is my ongoing prayer.

But let me get to the point of sharing all of this: One who does not struggle with these internal problems, or ailments, should be very careful not to judge those who are experiencing this (or other physio-psychological difficulties.) Really, unless you have experienced this, or another condition, yourself then you really don’t know the awful reality of bearing this burden. You cannot understand just what devastating effect it all has on the victim.

However, you can show love and compassion, encourage and offer to help to the extent that you can help, and you certainly can pray for the person who suffers. This is a point well-worth stating, remembering, and putting into practice. Sufferers need kindness, sympathy, and help rather than suspicion and condemnation.

Moreover, it is really beneficial – potentially, at least – for family and friends to acquaint themselves with depression, anxiety, akathisia, and other conditions. Learning is the first step toward authentic sympathy as well as the ability to truly help the one suffering. As you begin to better understand the condition(s) then the better equipped you are to actually provide much-needed, genuine, and courteous benevolence.

Personally, as I suffer I realize that most people in my life just don’t have a clue. Depression and anxiety are largely “unseen” afflictions. The akathisia is more evident because it is more physiological, manifesting itself in constant, erratic motion – i.e. extremely jittery nerves, inability to concentrate or carry on a sustained conversation, etc. – but even still, people wonder why I just don’t settle myself down.

I feel a certain sense of hopelessness because I cannot adequately explain my depression, anxiety and akathisia, and I am worn to a frazzle anyway. As moment follows moment, and day slips into night, my whole person is seemingly at war with itself . . . and I seem to be losing! Thank the Lord God I have been able to hold on to hope born of faith that this too shall pass; otherwise, I would despair to the point of giving up altogether.

On the brighter side, though, there are those who do understand, either from personal experience or through a loved one (or close friend), and so they are able to relate. Of course, this only goes so far; after all, they are unable to alleviate my actual suffering. Still, it is an astounding blessing to know that I am not alone. Now if I could just find the cure for it all! (And I say this sincerely.)

Right now the war is thick and every battle has its own special aspect with which to deal. Right now I hardly know which end is up and which is down . . . but I do know the suffering and am well-acquainted with the wounds resulting from the fight. I also know how tremendously grateful I am to God, who has sustained me thus far and promises never to leave nor forsake me!

No, none of this is a laughing matter. It is serious and I would not wish any of this on my worst enemy. God help me! And God help those around me – those within my network of friends and family – to understand (to the greatest extent possible), and to be patient while encouraging and praying for me. Finally, may I learn to be even more empathetic toward those gripped by depression, anxiety, akathisia, and other difficult ailments while longing and waiting for my own redemption from this awful pit! Lord, have mercy!

Let Me Rise Above as I Lay Me Down

I lay my life down in your arms, O Beauty and Peace,
So be gracious to grant me rest and on life new lease

Crown me with your love in this forlorn town of humanity,
And drive away the insanity as I now lose all of my vanity,
And bold let me enter your fold for there is rest, I am told,
And there mold me and make me like you, ever so divine

And as I walk these paths and talk with pilgrims who balk
At the idea of any tranquility with hostility and no humility,
Let me not be ensnared in their claptrap, but rise above
Such fray to your love this very day along life’s terrible way

I lay my life down in your arms, O Beauty and Peace,
So be gracious to grant me rest and on life new lease

After such great turmoil graciously grant the best of rest
In your numinous nest, and to be gone with soul festering;
Let me find merciful safety in your hands and loving bands
While the sands of time slowly fall through the hourglass
Of heaven leavened with passion that shall not pass me by

I lay my life down in your arms, O Beauty and Peace,
So be gracious to grant me rest and on life new lease

Grace

Grace . . . she wears rags but clothes you in silk and gold;
She is the milk of heaven but earthbound and quite bold;
Grace . . . she has no discretion and is never in recession;
She makes the wild one mild but strong; meek, not weak;
Grace . . . she’s not cheap but is free to befriend everyone;
She takes the laughter and scorn but is never torn apart;
Grace . . . she came with blood for every vein, not in vain;
She acts like a mere child but her prize is becoming wise;
Grace . . . she is bound by divine duty to restoring beauty;
She wears no masks but basks in bright sunlight of glory,
And this is her story . . .
Grace


Note: First published in February of this year, now republished due to some renewed interest as well as for new reader-followers. Blessings to one and all!