How to overcome the “Funk”
I absolutely LOVE this quote, “Only GOD can turn a MESS into a MESSage, a TEST into a TESTimony, a TRIal into a TRIumph, a VICTim into a VICTory.” Can I get an Amen!
Let's face it if we are fogging a mirror we are going to have messes, tests, trials and be a victim. In the end its how we have reacted while going through these valleys that can be a testimony to others.
I have a confession! I don't go through valleys well. Even today when a curve-ball is thrown my way I want to cover up my head and go back to bed. Can you relate? Do you ever say to yourself, “Maybe if I just go back to bed I can wake-up and it will be different?” Many of us have similar thoughts. However, we also realize the situation is not going away. In fact if we don't face it most generally the situation will grow out of control.
I would like to talk to you about “triggers.” Through the years I've had my share of life events that cause depression. As a child we moved 7 times. I never really had a “best” friend or was involved in school activities. I married very young. To this union we had a child together. Going on our 9 years of marriage my husband at that time revealed on Thanksgiving Night that he wanted a divorce, his comment was “I Don't Love You Anymore.” Our son was a little over two at the time. I was unemployed. My mother became my biggest cheerleader! She motivated me to go back to college and be able to care for me and my son. I moved home and became a full-time college student. About a year later I met another gentleman that was very kind to me and my son. We married and again to this union a son was born. Again, our son was about two and he too fell out of love and wanted a divorce. Again, I moved home and my mother was there for me and my two boys. I took a job as a para-professional and went back to college and earned my teaching certificate. I would work one full-time job, another part-time job and took at least 15 college hours each semester. Being busy was my sanity. I met my current husband in church. He and I have been married FIFTEEN years and I love him so very much! We blended our family together, he having three children and my two. Today, my oldest son graduates college in May and my youngest graduates High School in May. Three years ago we gain guardianship our our grandson that is now 6. His parents were meth users. My step-son is currently serving prison time. Close to six years ago we learned that my mother has Alzheimer's. Today, my mother and father live with me so that I can assist in caring for my mother who is in the last stages of her life. The lady that has been my biggest fan in life now lies in bed and doesn't even know me as her daughter.
I've shared the highlights of my life so that perhaps you are able to pick out the life events that can cause depression. I only share this information with you so that you will find HOPE! The “triggers” in my life have been: moving, divorce, job loss, blending a family, a wayward child that is serving prison time, empty nest, raising a grandson and a mother with a horrific illness. As we grow together I will continue to share more about me so that we can get to know one another. As for today, I want to talk to you about being in a “Funk” and how to get out of the “Funk.”
With each situation I had a choice: To be better or bitter. Through each trial I've worked hard to come out on-top. To live better. The ONLY way I made it through each life event was my faith in Christ. He promised that HE would never leave us or forsake us. I believe in that promise.
Over the years I have learned to recognize when I am getting into a “Funk.” Yes, FUNK that is my Que word telling myself that I am treading on dangerous ground. Why do I say, dangerous ground? Our mind is a powerful weapon. I am a firm believer in what we focus on grows. If I stay focused on the “Funk,” “Curve-Ball,” “Test” or “Trial” I will stay in that mindset. My mind will not begin to formulate a solution so that I can move forward.
I have a little saying that I do when things are hard: “Valerie do you want this situation to make you “Bitter” or “Better?” Well of course Valerie you want to be “Better” so what do YOU need to do to make it “Better?” Then, I make an “Action List.” NOT a “to do” list. This list consist of items that I MUST take Action to improve the situation. If you notice I also use my name, Valerie. For me it wakes up my mind to say my name.
Here is a sample of an “Action List” I recently made:
*Valerie's Funk. Depression, I am loosing my mother to the dreaded disease, Alzheimer's. My mother lives with me. I am so torn. I raise my 6 year old grandson and own a business that offers four different product lines. My mother is my BEST friend. Today I feel that I have spread myself too thin. Nothing is going to get done well and if I don't get out of my “Funk” nothing will get done at all. So, I must take action.
Before my Action list is made. I spend time on my knees. Yes on my knees in prayer. I pray for God's wisdom, guidance and assistance. Then, I listen. I take pen and paper. I listen and write. Whatever comes to my mind I write. Here recently is an Action List I made:
Last I say an affirmation: Today, I will commit in doing something positive for Valerie, for my mother, for my family and for my business. I will eat the elephant one bite at a time! I will not live with regrets but with purpose.
I find when I take the focus off the”problem” and turn it into an “opportunity” and make a plan of action (not a to do list) I feel more accomplished. Something changes in my mind. I begin to make steps toward my goal and NOT covering up my head and staying in bed!
My friends, we are NOT going to exit this life without messes, tests, trials and being a victim. God “allows” trials in our life. HE knows that when we stand with HIM and overcome the situation we realize that HE was in control all the while! Why would God want us to go through trials? I feel it is to strengthen us spiritually and make us more like Jesus. As I ponder the thought of when Jesus walked this earth... I am reminded of how HE suffered for US! The pain, suffering and heartbreak Jesus must have felt while on the cross. He bore the pain for me and for you to die on that cross. He took the beating for us! When tests, trials and messes come your way be reminded that Jesus is in control...allow him to take the wheel. I bet there is someone else that is going through a similar if NOT worse situation than you. Be an over-comer and allow your Mess to have a MESSage ..this is how we show the love of Jesus....by loving and sharing with others!
Valerie Stanton2 Corinthians 1:4-7Living Bible (TLB)
3-4 What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.