Monday, July 11, 2016

Light breaks the dawn

You are the light of my life
Without you, the whole world lies in darkness
Save us from our blindess
Righteous Sun with wisdom and grace
Save us from our wicked ways
Fill our mouths with love and mercy
Let our lips repeat your praise
Give our souls compassion and your transcendent peace
They shall be known by their love for one another, let them be one as we are one
This was your prayer for us
Oh, how far have we fallen?
How lost have we become?
Rescue me, Father
I don't know how to find my way
I need your love to breathe, to live
Give me another chance to be what I was born to be
A shining light in the darkest places
A fire of love in the coldest hatred
A reflection of you, the one I was made for
Show me the way to be
I want to show the world your wonderful face
Shine through me
I will be a carrier of your grace
I will choose to love, despite my hurt, my offense, my fear
I will choose to stand firm
The way you showed me
You were silent when accused
Brilliant when questioned
Gracious when tested
And when the time came
The greatest trial of all
The greatest persecution, more than I have ever faced
You accepted it with grace
A penalty that I deserved
You took without complaint
You chose to lay everything down, so that I could shine
So that I could be born again, made brand new, a new creation
Let me be that everyday, in every situation
Let me be a shining Son
Bringing the kingdom to earth
For all to see
Let them see you in me

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Transition...

Sometimes the hardest thing you can do is nothing.

Doing nothing -just waiting, just trusting is, to the human mind, utterly terrifying. Every fiber in our being fights against it. Our minds conspire against us, trying to solve the problem, to find a way out.

"Be still and know that I am God."
-Psalms 46:10

Sometimes we are meant to just wait. Sometimes there is nothing we can do.

I can't imagine how Joseph felt sitting in that prison, alone and forgotten. What could he do to change his situation? Nothing. Just wait. Trust. It says that it took two years before Pharoh's cupbearer remembered Joseph and his gift (Genesis 41:1). Joseph sat there for two more years after his interpretation of the cupbearer's dream came to pass and he was released! (Genesis 40)

I'm sure I can't imagine, Idaho isn't exactly prison, but I can relate. Being somewhere I'd never thought I'd be, somewhere that wasn't part of the plan. Feeling stuck with no way out. Feeling hopeless that the dream God has given you could ever come to pass. Watching other people's dreams being revealed, watching other people go on, while you're left behind. Stuck.

What can you do but wait on the Lord? Trust in the Word He has spoken? Heavens if I know. There is nothing else. Only keeping our eyes on the prize -HIM! He's the prize! And He's so worth any amount of agony, disappointment, and waiting. That's where the children of Israel got in trouble. Moses went up on the mountain to commune with God, but they were too inpatient! They couldn't wait! They sinned against God (Exodus 32). They hardened their hearts. I don't want to be found by God in a load of sin and immaturity!

I want to be the faithful servant waiting. (Luke 12:35-40)

And so I wait...

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31

Saturday, December 5, 2015

How do you like them... potatoes?

*****edit: this definitely should have been posted on our couple's blog, I don't know what I was thinking. Update: since January, Gabriel and I no longer work for ctc. A very long story. Transition is here yet again, keep us in your prayers.

Well, folks, if you had told me a year ago, maybe even 6 months ago that I'd be in Idaho right now I would not have believed you.

Actually... I probably would have. I'd be liable to believe any crazy thing at this point. And you probably think we have commitment issues with the amount of job flipping and moving around we do, not to mention trying out new schools and ministries. [Only a little ;)]

The truth is, we are still young, still trying to figure out this complicated thing called life, and still trying to find our place in the midst of this crazy world. God has led us to some strange places, and asked us to do some even stranger things, but hey, "I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes..." (1 Samuel 6:22) if that's what it takes to be obedient to the Lord, it's all for His glory and not my own.

We are young, and we have dreams. And we are bold enough to believe those dreams can come true. We just don't want to settle for less. It's an adventure, for sure! Trying out different places and things whether it's to learn something for the future, to figure out what we need/don't need or like/don't like, or just biding our time until our next opportunity has been both interesting and kind of exhilarating. We have a lot of great stories, that's for sure.

I'd rather live my life having tried out a lot of different things, seen different places, met different people, and experienced a wide variety of life than to work some boring 9-5 job I don't care about every day of my life until I'm old and gray.

I will say I'm getting the point in my life where I'm starting to feel a longing for my own home. A place to call my own, something that is ours where we can live and make memories and enjoy life. This is very interesting, because until recently, that had never mattered to me. I never cared about consistency. In fact, moving into a new place was always exciting, with the options being open and trying something new. I guess it's because I moved around so much as a kid, but actually, after a while in one place I'd start to get antsy, and desire to move on. But now, it's just starting to feel like, I could actually settle down somewhere and enjoy it. Really having our own house. How exciting! It's not time yet, and I can wait. But it's an interesting development, and let the record show I'm taking note.

So, all that jibber jabber aside Gabriel is working as the art assistant in a real comic studio! And getting paid! To make art! Granted, he's not being paid much and it's very, very part-time, but it's still awesome. For that I'm thankful. He's learning a lot and enjoying it.

We were originally planning for me to come and be the office manager, but plans changed and I've taken on the role of Sales and Marketing manager, which mostly consists of running the online store for commission on orders filled, and some online marketing that I do on a volunteer basis. I'm currently contacting different comic stores around the country to try and get our books carried, so if you guys have a favorite store or know of one in your area please let me know! I'm currently on the look out for good leads.

We are also working on a big proposal to hopefully start selling at Conventions. My hope is that starting in February Gabriel will turn in his notice at his other part-time job and we'll be full-time Coffee Table Comic-ers! Scary, and also exciting! The plan would be to do 1-2 shows per month and on the weeks when we aren't traveling work in the office here in Idaho. If any of you know of any Comic Conventions, book fairs, or other events where exhibitors are allowed and you think our books would sell I would love to hear about it. It's always helpful to have local information. My plan is to try some of the smaller more local shows as well as the big ones, to see how sales are. My thought is, since the smaller shows are so much cheaper to get into, we still might be able to walk away with close to the same amount of profit even if there are less sales due to fewer attendees.

Please, keep us in your prayers! We are having a blast but have been really tight on money, especially with the holidays and everything, and that has been a major area of testing for us. We are striving day in and day out to trust God to provide for us.

There is a new and updated Coffee Table comics website that looks pretty sweet if I do say so, so please check that out. There will be a blog happening there that will have posts from both Gabriel and myself at some points in regards to what we're doing, learning, etc and how things are going at ctc, so for those of you who are interested in being updated, check that out.

I will try to get some regular updates on our couples blog, the endless frontier, so follow that if you like. My personal blog I'm going to try to use for my writing: some poems, Bible/theology essays, fiction (for fun) including but not limited to allegories, and maybe some non fiction articles about things that interest me -fitness, eating healthy, organizing, diy projects, etc. If you are interested in reading those feel free to follow me here.

I hope you all are doing well. Feel free to send me your updates and prayer requests. God bless!

-Nikki

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Come back tomorrow...


In a small Wisconsin town in the 1930s the bitter cold bit at a young girl's nose. Her clothes were wearing thin and her coat now had holes throughout. But there were no new winter coats in this town. There was no food, either. There was no work. And no money. They were calling it "The Great Depression". I guess there were hardly any new winter coats in any town. This young 8-year-old girl was wondering why she couldn't have grown up somewhere warmer when she finally arrived home. She almost missed it due to the snow blowing around her now numb face. She had to pull hard to open the door against the force of the blustering wind. 

"Amber, thank goodness, you're home." Her mothers weak voice met her at the door. Their home was small, only two rooms. One for cooking and eating and sitting by the fire, and one for sleeping. Everyone slept in there. All seven of them. Mother was sitting in their only chair -a rocking chair, mending some clothes. The baby whined in her cradle, while mother rocked it with her foot. The two next smallest ones were curled up at her feet, wrapped up in one blanket the two of them, napping. Sleeping to ignore their hunger, it was all they could do until supper. Amber was the second oldest, and was usually proud of that fact, but not today. "John is out searching for firewood, my dear, I know it's very cold but I need you to go out again." Amber barely made it home from school without freezing, how could she go back out again? "Your father waited in the breadlines all day, but we just don't have enough. My dear girl, I've heard that the grocer on 7th street sometimes has pity on those of us with too many mouths to feed, I need you to go and ask him for food, please, dear. I know it's cold. But your father and brother are getting weak from not eating, they've been leaving their share for the little ones, we have to find them something..." She trailed off not bothering to explain what would happen if they didn't, Amber was old enough to understand. That's what the depression had done to her. What it had done to a lot of little girls. 

She just nodded, working up her courage, trying to be strong and gave her mother a hug to reassure her. As she pulled away her mother placed something in her hand, something heavy. An old pocket watch. Amber recognized it, it was grandfather's. Mother had saved it all these years after he had passed away. She couldn't mean for Amber to pay the grocer with this? It was too valuable...and too not valuable? The pocket watch wasn't anything special to anyone but grandfather and mother. It was really old, and wasn't even made of a nice metal like gold or silver, it was just your basic pocket watch. Would the grocer really want this old thing? Tick. tick tick. It did still work...amazing. Amber wondered at it for a long time, until mother closed her hand around it firmly, "You'd better go." Amber's eyes met mothers, all mother did was nod, she couldn't utter the words, but this was all they had left of any value. She had to convince the grocer to take it.  She took a deep breath before opening that stubborn door again, as if it was warning her not to go out, she only hoped she could make it back at all, much less with food in hand. 

She had put on a brave face for mother but once outside in that freezing gust her fear cut at her worse than the chill. She fought back tears, knowing they would freeze on her face and make matters worse. Tick tick tick. The pocket watch encouraged her to go on, she shoved the hand gripping it into her coat pocket, and forced herself to move forward. She pushed on for what seemed like miles but was really only a few blocks, and just when she felt like giving up -curling up in a sad frozen ball in the gutter, a wooden sign clanked against a wall. The wind kept blowing the sign but she made it out with ease, mostly from memory, "Grocer". 

She pushed inside past the wind and collapsed against it, once it closed. "My, my, who is this? I'm closed for the day." The room felt noticeably warm and the familiar grocer walked toward her from behind his counter, he wasn't a tall man, but he had very kind eyes. They reminded her of honey, warm and sweet. His smooth hair and mustache were dark brown, like chocolate. Everything in here reminded her of food! Her stomach growled loudly and she immediately blushed. "My child, you poor thing, have you eaten anything today?" She stared at the floor ashamed, "I had some milk this morning." He shook his head sadly and extended her a hand, she willingly took it and he hoisted her up on her feet. 

"Please, sir," she said, "I know you're closed, but don't send me away with nothing. I've walked all this way in the freezing cold, I barely made it here against that awful wind, and I'm exhausted from trudging through all the snow. Please, you can't send me away empty handed. What will mother say?" The man looked at her with compassion in his honey eyes, "Mother? Did your mother send you?" She sniffed, in the warmth her nose was starting to run, and nodded. "Father waited all day in the bread lines, you see, but there are seven of us, and well, we just don't have enough. The little ones don't know it but father and John, that's my older brother, they keep giving their portion to them. So they haven't eaten in days. They are getting too weak to chop firewood, or wait in lines for food or work. They can't go on this way. They will get ill. Or worse..." He quietly, patiently listened to her rambling explanation, nodding ever so often to reassure her. But she couldn't finish that last sentence. She didn't want to. He had to understand. Surely. Instead she just stuck out her frozen hand, still clutching the old pocket watch, and opened it to reveal her offer. Surely he would understand. "My, my, what is this you've got here?" He examined the watch carefully. "This is very old. Probably an antique. I can't believe it's still ticking." Believe it, the watch prided with it's tick tick tick. "This is a special little watch, where did you get it?" She was encouraged that he took such an interest in the watch, "It was my grandfather's. Please, it's all I have. Couldn't I trade it for some food? Anything will do." He stared at the watch carefully. "I see." He hesitated, and Amber understood, it wasn't very valuable at all. She hung her head, she had failed, what would mother say? "I'll take a look back here and see what I have left." She couldn't believe her ears, her head shot up, "You will?" He laughed and it seemed that even his eyes were smiling, "I certainly will." 

He sent her home with a bag of food, but not without having a warm cup of tea with her by the fire. He wanted her to warm up before going back out into the cold. And maybe he was lonely. He did live and work here all alone. The bag had a few potatoes, a piece of bread, and a handful of nuts still in their shell. Small enough for her to carry, and plenty for them to eat tonight. He walked her to the door but before opening it he took her hand and placed in it grandfather's watch, he closed her hand around it and whispered with a smile and a twinkle in his kind eyes, "Come back tomorrow."


This phrase is what inspired me to write this story. Come back tomorrow... just like the grocer only gave Amber what she could easily carry, enough for one day, and yet, invited her to return again for more when she needed it -the next day, God has been so drawing on my heart. I pray for wisdom, I pray for peace, I pray for strength, He gives me what I need and says, "Come back tomorrow." Scripture says his mercies are new every morning! [Lamentations 3:22-23] If they are new then why should we hoard it today? We know we can come back for more, fresh tomorrow. He knows exactly what we will need in order to face each and every day, and all we need to do is ask...each and every day. He wants us to come back because He loves us, He loves spending time with us. We shouldn't be asking for God to make us wise or strong, but instead that He would give us the wisdom for today, the strength we need to get through the day. 

Solomon asked God for wisdom, and he got it. And yet, he did some really stupid things in his lifetime. What happened to his wisdom? God was faithful to give it, Solomon definitely had access to it, but maybe he got cocky and thought he was wise enough, and that he didn't need God anymore. Solomon himself says in Ecclesiates 12:11 "The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. " This, I believe, is why Jesus taught us to pray for "our daily bread". He wasn't literally talking about bread, or even physical provision, but spiritual bread! What is bread if not nourishment? What you need to make it through the day! This is how we should pray, that God would give us what we need to get through this day, and then come back tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2015

6/1/13

Written 6/1/13 (Because I hate loose ends...aka unpublished drafts!)
It's also an interesting back story to why we ended up in Idaho which is why I went ahead and posted it so late and why I'm keeping it up now.

Hello friends, it's been a while but I'm finally blogging again. May was the craziest month for me! I started a new job and did two trips two weekends in a row! That wasn't on purpose. Gabriel mentioned to me that an artist he follows and really likes wasn't coming to the Denver convention this year but the nearest one to Colorado he was going to was Phoenix. I thought it sounded fun seeing as I've never been to Phoenix so I told Gabriel to look up costs for tickets and travel expenses and maybe we could manage it for his birthday! (Even though it was a month later). We ended up budgeting it out of our tax returns, so it worked out. Later we realized a family event -my grandparent's 50th anniversary party, happened to be the weekend before! I only realized this about a month before the trip :P 
The first trip (to Texas) we flew Southwest. That was an adventure! For one, Gabriel and I have a bad habit of waiting until the last second to pack or get even remotely ready for our trips, which results in an extremely stressful night before, especially when have to get up early the next morning, usually accompanying some sort of emotional breakdown on my part! This time wasn't completely my fault, though, because I was planning on spending the day of (Friday) getting ready because I got our flight in the evening, around 6 pm. However, Thursday I got a last minute interview with Gabriel's boss and she was desperately understaffed so she hired me on the spot and asked me to come in the next day.  So, Gabriel and I only had a few hours to get ready for our trip before we needed to go to bed so we could get up for work at 5:30 am. Needless to say we squandered what time we did have and were up late getting ready. 
















































Monday, September 23, 2013

Depression hurts

 Many of us, at some time or another, will go through depression. Some paths may be darker, and harder, than others, but in varying levels -it still hurts.

This is a message for those who have been there, are still trudging through it, are close to someone who is struggling, or just doesn't understand people who do. This is a message for everyone. As the body, we should encourage one another, and we should strive to understand, so we can help, and be the light of God in a dark situation.

There is an old Cymbalta commercial that sometimes comes to mind. Cymbalta is an anti depressant medication. The commercial said:

"Where does depression hurt?

Everywhere.

Who does depression hurt?

Everyone."

I don't really remember the rest of the commercial but those words sometimes haunt me. 

If you have ever experienced in intense depression these words may ring true to you. Where does it hurt? Everywhere. I felt tired all the time. I could never bring myself to get out of bed, and when I did I could never convince myself to do anything productive. I had no motivation. I had no energy. I had nothing. Nothing but pain...everywhere. It feels as though your heart is breaking, and sometimes you don't even know why. Your tears sting your eyes. Your breathing burns your chest. Nothing is okay. And it feels as though nothing ever will be again. 

If you are going through depression, this is for you. It sounds cliche to say that I know what you are going through, so I won't. I can't possible know what your dark places are like. All I know is what mine were, and that I never want to go there again. You should know that, as much as it doesn't feel like it right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope. God has not abandoned you. He is still faithful. He is still good. He is still love.

If you can hold on to nothing, hold on to this:

Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  

Believe that someday, somewhere on the other side of this hell, you will see that something good, something beautiful has come out of that dark time. Hold tight to your love of God, it is your victory.

My name, Nicole, is the female derivative of Nicholas, which means Victory. In my darkest hour, feeling so broken, so alone, so lifeless, like there was no point to go on anymore... I did not feel like Victory. The very label I have been given since birth, it held no meaning to me. What is victory in the midst of the pain? These ashes, that I once called my life? This betrayal by everyone I ever trusted or loved? What does victory even look like?

It looked like me.

Romans 8:14-17
"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Me! A son of the most high God? [Note: "son" being used in cultural context is a great honor that Paul did not differentiate between men and women, he is saying that both men and women can become 'sons' or 'heirs,' because in this day women could not inherit anything. You should embrace your sonship as woman's true gift of equality, not resent it! God was way ahead of women's rights movement on that. More about this in a future post.] Adopted and accepted as co-heirs with Christ! If I share in His suffering, then I may also share in His glory?! I won't claim to fully understand this. But what I do know is, even Jesus felt depressed. The Garden of Gethsemane is the perfect picture of a fully surrendered heart that is burdened by the trails of this life. Jesus knew what He had to do and embraced His cross, we should also strive to surrender our so-called broken and meaningless lives to Father and see what He can do with it. I challenge you, in the midst of your darkest hour, look yourself in the mirror and say (it doesn't have to be out loud) I am the victory. Why? Because it is true. Because you need to be reminded. Since the before you were born God has equipped you with everything you need to overcome any trial you face. Jesus died to give you life, and a new heart -a stronger one, you can do this. You can make it through.

I highly recommend finding out what your name means. God has really used this as an avenue of speaking to me. Because He knew my name even before I was conceived, He called out my name and prophesied what I would be. My parents had no idea that they were giving me a name Father had already chosen.

My middle name is Danielle, the female derivative of Daniel, which means "God is my judge." HAHA! This one literally made me laugh out loud (I'll admit, it was mostly in bitterness). So many people had beaten me down with judgment, if only I had known all along that God had sent me a little reminder, there in the echoes of time- my ID, my birth certificate, people calling me... all throughout my life there has been the one thing I needed to hear today. "God is my judge." No one else. Who can judge me?

Romans 8:31-39
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
   “For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.[Emphasis added, mine].

A dear, sweet friend recently shared with me something she learned in ministry school. Who can put a label on you? In a retail sense, no one can legally put (or remove) a label on anything unless they are a) the person who made it [the creator], b) the person who purchased it, or c) the person to whom it was given [the owner]. The reality is, in your life, Christ represents all three positions. He made you, he purchased you, and he owns you. 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." [Emphasis added, mine].

Therefore, even you do not have the right to label yourself! Stop calling yourself a loser, a failure, or worthless! You are spitting in the face of the one who made you, and paid the highest price for you. He loves you, and has plans for you. You should be willing to hear what He says. And most of all, stop listening to people who don't know what they are talking about. So many people, especially Christians, love to label others with what they think they see. They will try to tell you what you are, what you can and can't do, and what you have done. If you need to, tell them to shut up! God will forgive you for your rudeness. You don't need to hear Satan's lies. Even Jesus told Peter, "Get thee behind me Satan." When Peter spoke Satan's agenda rather than words that came from God. If you can just ignore it, do so, if you need to just stay away from people who aren't speaking God's truth, then for goodness sake, do it! 
Pray that your ears would be closed to both the voice of the enemy, and the voice of others, and only open to hear the voice of God. In our darkest times, this is all we need. His voice, His word, is like a rain falling in the desert, it keeps you alive.

Matthew 16:23
"Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

The enemy views depression as an invitation to come in and torment us. He tells us we screwed up, it's all our fault, we are failures and we can never repair what we've done. A lot of times people tell us the same things, unaware that they are being mouthpieces for the kingdom of darkness. 

If you have never experienced depression, or have forgotten what it was like, if you have ever gotten impatient or frustated with someone who is going through it, please remember this:

Ephesians 4:29
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

As the body of Christ, we are called to encourage each other in love, pray for each other, build each other up... not to hurt each other and cause one another to stumble! It is heartbreaking to see, and feel, what the church has become. A hornet's nest of gossip, lies, judgements, and labels. I am reminded of the book "You are special" by Max Lucado. It's a story about toys who grade each other based on behavior and looks. The toys who are viewed as "good" get gold stars stuck on them by others, the toys who are viewed as "bad" get ugly gray dots. However, one toy visits the toy maker, who gives him a gift. The result is no stickers will stick to him. Good or bad, they just fall right off. The other toys' opinion of him no longer matters. 

The sad part is, even worse than the world, the church has become an infestation of judgmental toys who go around sticking labels on everyone they can find. Are you famous? Are you talented? Are you 'important'? No? Well, then we don't have time for you. Until you do something they don't like. Then they suddenly have all the time in the world. "What is wrong with you??" They will do one of two things. Tell you to your face they love and support you, then take part in the spread of gossip and lies about you throughout the church. Or, they will tell you to your face you are a disappointment and a failure, then also take part in the spreading of the lies and gossip. 

There are a precious few who still choose to be like Jesus. To love and encourage, support, and build up. If you are reading this today and you are realizing that you are not one of that precious few, I beseech you, pray. Ask God to change your heart. Ask Him to teach you how to love, how to be like Him, how to be His disciple. I beg of you, one person at a time we can rebuild the body into the church it was meant to be. Powerful and united, and full of love. 

Only God can make this change in you. I know, He did it for me. And I'm still in that process. Find someone who really looks like Jesus, someone who treats people like Jesus, who talks like Him, someone who behaves how He behaved. Then follow that person around. Sit at their feet so to speak, and listen to what they have to say. 

John 13:34-35
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I know this is very long, if you are still with me, thank you for reading. I hope these words have spoken to you and blessed you. I have one more group of people I want to speak to. If you are living with, or very close relationally with, someone who is depressed, I know it is a struggle.

Who does depression hurt? 

Everyone. 

Especially those closest to you. When my husband has gone through some very deep, dark places, even deeper and darker than I thought he was capable of going, I had to be there and just watch. There was nothing I could do or say to help him. I tried counseling, prayer meetings, new jobs, new hobbies, taking him out to get his mind off of it, loving him the best I knew how -giving him gifts, making him special dinners and treats, giving him back rubs, or feet rubs, or head rubs, writing him notes or making him a card... anything I could do to make him feel loved. I got to a place, several times, where I just couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to leave. I wanted to stop trying. I felt as though I had poured out all my love and was left bone dry. I had noting left to offer. Nothing had really helped, not long term, anyway. It hurts. It hurts to see someone you love so down, so broken, so sad. It hurts to not feel loved by them, because they are too lost in sadness to love on you. It hurts that there is nothing you can do, and nothing you try makes much difference. It hurts to fail them, when you start out trying to encourage them and you end up in a fight. It hurts. It all hurts. 

But...there is hope. There is something you can do. It's going to be hard, it's going to hurt, I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't, but you can do something. It may take a very long time, but it is very worth it. You can pray. Pray for them. Love them as much as you can. Encourage them. Make them feel special (I used every love language I could!). Help them forget, even if it's only for one afternoon. When you feel dry and empty like you can't take it anymore, turn to Jesus, He will give you all the love you need, He will give you strength to go on. You can do this! God has equipped you with everything you need to love this person, especially if it is your spouse.  Remember it is not your job to "cure" them, it does not reflect on you how bad it gets, or how long it goes. It is not your place to bear this burden. Daily cast your burdens onto Jesus, and He will get you through this. You will get through this... together.

Ephesians 5:22-33
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—  for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."  [Emphasis added, mine].


Wives, submit yourselves to your husband as you do to the Lord. We will do whatever it takes to love and support him, for we are one. Husbands, love your wife as you love yourself, and as Christ loves the church [Christ died for the church!].  This is the only way we will survive. A man needs to be supported, respected. A woman needs to be loved, and defended. This is the fruit of a godly and lasting marriage. And this is how we do warfare as man and wife!

Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.*


1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.*


1 John 3:16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.*

* [Emphasis added, mine].

In supporting someone struggling with depression who is not a spouse, the Bible is clear that as brothers and sisters in Christ we are to love, encourage, and support each other, even through hard times. As this 1 John reference says, we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers, and let me tell you, supporting someone going through depression sometimes feels like laying down your life -sacrificing what you want, how you feel, and even your own needs, to care for and support that person. It is a very hard and challenging thing but I believe it is worth it all and God is pleased by our obedience to His Word, and our love for one another. 

1 Peter 5:6-7
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

No matter what your place is in the spiritual battle against depression, whether you are in it, you are outside it looking in, or you are alongside someone in it... let Jesus take care of you. Don't try to bear the burden alone. It will overtake you. We are not made to take on these things. Jesus is right here with you, waiting for you to turn it over to Him. Just trust Him, no matter how long it takes, keep loving Him...keep leaning on Him. He is the only one who can get your through this, He is the only one who can give you strength.