Keeping yourself clean

Focus: Doing things you don’t want to do

Romans 7:15 (NIV) I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do–I do not do, but what I hate, I do.

“Normal” is getting up once in a while and not feeling like facing the day. “Depressed” is getting up everyday and never feeling like facing the day. It’s not being able to think of any reason why your life makes a difference. It’s often the act of going through the motions for the sake of ‘other people’, but certainly not yourself–because nothing motivates you and nothing really matters. The hardest part is the feeling you have that nothing is ever going to be any different than it is today. And, if it wasn’t for those ‘other people’–it all could just ‘be over’ and it would be fine with you.

Several years ago, a book was written by Pastor Rick Warren, called “The Purpose Driven Life. I would suggest you look for it. Millions of copies were distributed. You can find it at many retail stores, online, or at a library.

The reason I am suggesting it–is because I know when you are depressed, it’s hard to absorb anything unless it’s easy to read and simple to follow. This book will give you a 40 day plan. It will help you toward finding purpose for your life–even if you’re at “zero” when you start. Some people who aren’t going through the difficulties you are, might think at first glance that the book is pretty basic and that they don’t need it. However, if you’re struggling to put one foot in front of the other–it might be just the treasure map that will help you.

You might have already read it–but, maybe when you did–things weren’t the way they are right now. It might speak to you in a whole new way if you try it again.

If you’re waking up in the morning more than half of the time–overwhelmed by discouragement, it’s time to take desperate measures whether you feel like it, or not. At the mention of words like I just wrote–you may have instantly reacted with the thought, “Why should I?” Well, there is a very good reason why, actually. A person like you–who has kept going for no other reason than ‘for others’, has proved an amazing point. You have proved your life is not about ‘you’–it’s about ‘others’. The enemy of your soul is out to destroy you and believe it or not–you aren’t his only target.

(read more below)

Now, you can listen and/or read!

God can use my pain and experience as building materials to make something beautiful of my life. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
Link to New Strength Devotional, Audio Version
God can use my pain and experience as building materials to make something beautiful of my life. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
New Strength Devotional Inspirational Statement of the Day


So, if you’re going to keep on living for others, why not put some purpose into it and use that huge bank account of experience in dealing with disappointment, rejection, anger, bitterness, and all the rest–and turn it into something that could help make a difference ‘for others’ like yourself. That’s what I’m trying to do right now.

Two weeks before the end of last year–someone very dear to me who struggled desperately with depression and addiction was rescued by our Heavenly Father. Her struggle was finally over but a new struggle began for those of us who were still here. The loss was devastating. I felt myself faced with two issues. Issue number one: I deeply wanted to honor her memory and write some practical encouragement like I wish I could have put into her hands when she was alive. I sent many things–always feeling like what I was sending wasn’t exactly what she needed–but, it was the best thing I could find at the time.

Losing her made me realize–somebody needed to write a Bible based source of new strength for people in recovery–for everyday of the year. When you are battling like she was–the enemy never takes a day off from trying to annihilate you.

My other issue was myself and my own pain. I hurt so much I didn’t want to even put on high heels. The loss was so extreme–I couldn’t bear any more pain. I normally love wearing high heels and just endure the discomfort they cause. But, it’s not normal for the daughter of your younger sister to die. And it’s not normal to see the life of someone so beautiful, funny, and bright–cut short at only 40 years old. I knew if I didn’t commit myself to a long-term self-given assignment–I might not make it, either.

So, for this year of my life–I am completely purpose driven. I am focused on honoring someone I lost, focused on keeping my own sanity–and focused on writing something to help others who are going through an intense battle like she was.

All day everyday–I am seeking God for hope and encouragement to put into words ‘for others’. Do I always feel like it? No, but like I said–when you’ve stayed in the game ‘for others’–you might as well turn your losses into something that might make a difference.

Declaration: I will find new strength by turning what the enemy meant for evil into something good. I will keep facing forward with the optimism that God can use my pain and experience as building materials to make something beautiful of my life.

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For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:

All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.


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