When I think about Cathy Baker, the words that come to mind are “selfless love” … and funny! This girl really is funny. But “selfless love” comes to me first. It’s not like Cathy and I are besties — we don’t live near one another or exchange phone calls, but we are close friends through the Christian writing community. I’ve observed her interaction with others — the encouragement, wisdom, putting her needs second to assist someone else. Yep. Cathy exudes the love of Christ and I am honored to know her. I can’t wait to share her story with you.
Welcome to Faith Notes, Cathy!
When God Shows Depression Who’s Boss
The over-the-weekend kind of wait is one of the worst.
Has a doctor ever had to wait for a test result over a weekend? When this thought raced through my mind earlier this year I knew that even deeper emotions were racing through my heart. Depression was up to its old tricks again. Everything around me felt darker and dreadful.
My husband left for France on a business trip the Saturday of the weekend wait and for the first time in over twenty-five years of his travels, I felt alone. At the time, we had just moved to the country, almost an hour away from our church and long-time friends. Worry, anxiety and depression mingled, creating intense dismal days.
DURING THIS TIME, HOW WAS YOUR FAITH-WALK IMPACTED?
As a Bible teacher of twenty-five plus years, I knew God was there with me in the midst of the muck, whether I felt His presence or not. Still, the depression desired to swallow me whole. I clung to the book of Psalms hoping truth would buoy up my faith, forcing the depression and darkness to flee.
But nothing budged for almost two days.
That is until I prayed through my home.
I’d done this before in past homes but this time the need felt different, almost urgent. I woke up the following morning, cranked up the praise music, and walked through my home praying in every room. The oppression began lifting with every turn of the doorknob. This moment in time bolstered my faith in places long forgotten.
HOW DID GOD REVEAL HIMSELF TO YOU DURING THIS TIME?
During this time especially, He revealed Himself as my Conqueror. He showed depression Who was boss by putting it in its rightful place—at the foot of the cross.
WHAT SCRIPTURE BECAME A SURE PLACE FOR YOU?
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:28-30
DID PRAISE PLAY A PART OF YOUR RESTORATION? IS PRAISE A BIG PART OF YOUR FAITH-WALK NOW?
Quite frankly, the act of praising when you’re in the muck of depression is extremely difficult.
But that’s the thing about praising God. Sometimes the sweetest time of praise is when it is a pure act of obedience. Praying even when it feels like our prayers are barely leaving our lips, playing praise music when we’d rather drown in our own silence, or choosing to praise Him before we hear the test results are received. (Mine, by the way, came back normal, thank You, Lord.)
Today, praise plays a huge part in my faith-walk. My day begins by cranking up the praise music so that it flows through every room prior to my time with God. It’s a subtle yet powerful reminder of that day in January.
WHAT IS THE FIRST WORD YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU THINK OF THE LORD, AND WHY?
Faithful. Even when I’m not faithful, He is. His faithfulness doesn’t depend on the things I do right or thankfully, the things I do wrong. Nothing I do or say affects His love or faithfulness toward me.
COULD YOU OFFER SOME ENCOURAGING WORDS FOR THOSE WHO MAY BE SEEKING THE LORD, THOSE WANTING TO DRAW CLOSER TO HIM AND TRUST HIM MORE, ESPECIALLY DURING A PAINFUL SEASON?
Embrace truth, not feelings. If you don’t sense God’s presence when praying, I encourage you to speak truth aloud, like: “Lord, although I don’t feel that You are here with me or hearing a thing I say, I declare that Your Word that says when I seek You, I will find You. I thank You for not only being here, but also hearing me.”
Our heavenly Father desires to be known by His children. He is not distant; He is as close as your next breath. He hears you—so wake up each morning with an expectant heart—watching, praying and listening for His answers. They will come in His timing, which is never a second too soon or too late. He is moving on your behalf behind-the-scenes.
God is for you, never against you.
**A Bonus for Readers**
More About Cathy:
Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains.
As a twenty-five year veteran Bible instructor, she’s led hundreds of studies and workshops. She’s also contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. In addition, her poetry can be found in several popular anthologies. She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas where she one day hopes to have her very own Goldendoodle.
Subscribe to Cathy’s blog and receive a free e-book, Praying In Every Room of Your Home.
Visit Cathy’s website: www.CathyBaker.org