My New Year’s Resolution

I decided a long time ago that I’m not much of a New Year’s Resolution person. I’m also not much for setting goals. What I am is a person who is open to change. A person who is constantly trying to be a better me. Maybe. Sometimes.

A little over four years ago RPM and I took a couple of classes on how to be a Life Coach. In our first class, during our first practice session, our teacher said something that ended up having a major impact on my life. I was the one being coached and the person who was coaching me got stuck on what she should say next. The teacher, who happened to be standing close by at the time calmly said: “It sounds like maybe Glenda has some values that need to be examined.”

Those words went straight from her lips to the very core of my being. I knew she was right. I knew that I had things in my life that I needed to change. Thoughts that needed to be challenged. But I also knew that making those changes and challenging those thoughts would be messy, painful work. So I did nothing.

I thought if I just ignored the situation it would go away. The harder I worked at trying to bury my thoughts and feelings, the more depressed I became. Finally almost two years after that first class, I reached my breaking point. I was in the car driving home from a trip I’d taken with my sisters. I’d just dropped my older sister off at the airport and was headed towards the freeway when the tears began. Three and a half hours later I was still crying. Not soft gentle tears, but heart breaking sobs that caused me to, at one point, pull off the freeway and sit in a parking lot until I could get myself under control.

I loved my family. I loved my house. I had good friends. I was retired and had more free time than I’d ever had. For the first time in our lives we were in a pretty good place financially. And yet the thought of going back home and doing life the way I had done it for years seemed to overwhelm my soul. I wish I could say that in a moment of great insight and clarity I immediately sought out help. But it would take me three more months of tears and emptiness before I would reach out for the support that I so desperately needed.

Eventually I would end up seeing a therapist, going to Grief Share, and reading over 20 books during my road to recovery. Along the way I would end up tearing apart and rebuilding my value system and it would indeed be hard and painful work. But the depression is gone (at least most of the time). And I am happier and healthier than I’ve been in a long time.

Which leads me to my resolution/goal for the year. This year I want to continue on my road to self discovery by learning how to “hold every thought captive”. Another way of saying that is, “I want to learn how to rewire my brain.” I want to identify the lies that bound me to works rather than grace. I want to see myself as a unique and wonderfully made creation of a God who loved me enough to send His own Son to die for me, not as someone who has to perform to the standards of others. I want to be able to express my feelings and needs in a healthy way rather than trying to pretend that they don’t exist.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will be sharing with you more of my journey out of depression. It’s a scary, vulnerable thing to do. But somewhere I read that “God never wastes a hurt.” I pray that as I share my past pain, God will use it to help you break free of whatever is holding you back from becoming all He wants you to be. And that God will use that new found freedom to make 2014 one of your best years ever.

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