By April Dawn White
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.” (Psalm 18:16, NLT)
I have spent the past three months chronicling God as our anchor of hope in Hebrews 6:19. I have recorded what to do when the anchor moves, how to cling to hope and how to get a better grip.
This week God reminded me that while I am doing all I can to hold onto Him, God is holding on to me by His mighty right hand!
“My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:8, ESV)
April 2015 marks two very monumental moments in my life:
- Rachel’s 10th birthday!
- Delivery from depression!
“Save us and help us with your right hand that those you love may be delivered.” (Psalm 60:5, NIV)
After my first pregnancy, I fell into a deep depression. For over two years I struggled and pleaded with God. The pages of my Bible (especially Psalms and Isaiah) are crinkled from tears.
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
(Psalm 40:2, NIV)
Highlighted, underlined, and circled are the phrases: you hold me by my right hand. These inspired words from God written by Isaiah and David captured my hearts cry. I was falling to pieces and needed someone’s strong hand. I needed God’s hand.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” (Psalm 41:10, HCSB)
After my first pregnancy, a blanket of darkness covered me like fog. I faked smiles at work, but God knew better. My sweet first born had a broken mommy. My husband didn’t know what to do. I cried and prayed.
“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:9-10, ESV)
Falling into the abyss I cried out to God.
“I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation. Hear the shouts; hear the triumph songs in the camp of the saved? “The hand of God has turned the tide! The hand of God is raised in victory! The hand of God has turned the tide!”(Psalm 118:16, Message)
The shock of another pregnancy angered me. Tears of anger not joy filled my broken heart. I had not mentally recovered from the first pregnancy, eighteen months earlier. I was mad at God.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29, NIV)
“Lord, I cannot go through this again. You have to do it all!” I pleaded.
“Your arm is endowed with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.” (Psalm 89:13, NIV)
Every morning and night I cried out to the Lord, reading through Psalms, praying for deliverance and journaling my misery. Slowly, God began to restore my heart. Slowly He tenderly attended to me.
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.”(Psalm 119:147, NIV)
The fog began to lift.
“Put your hand out and steady me since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel.”(Psalm 119:175, Message)
Slowly God pulled me up from the abyss and place a smile on my heart.
“I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.” (Psalm 40:1-3, Message)
God and His word alone delivered me from depression!
“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.” (Psalm 44:3, NIV)
Our daughter was born two years and two months after our first child. I experienced no depression after this pregnancy!
“He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” (Psalm 16:19, NLT)
When I sense the dark fog rolling in, I run to these verses. I run to the warped and crinkled pages of my Bible. With one hand I grab hold of the anchor of hope found in God’s word. With the other hand, my right hand, I squeeze the mighty right hand of God.
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (Psalm 73:23, 28 NIV)
Now I can see that God allowed me to battle with depression for two years to see His hand move in a mighty way.
“Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!” (Psalm 118:15, NLT)
God allowed me to experience this to help others. I can see past the fake smiles and speak a word of encouragement to others.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11, NIV)
In April 2015, we will celebrate the goodness of the Lord. Not only did God deliver us a healthy baby girl, but He also delivered me from a long battle with depression. My nick name for Rachel is “Rae Rae.” She is my ray of sunshine. Through her, God reminded me that the sun is always shining even behind the densest fog.
“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8, ESV) *
*Psalm 16:8 was my verse for 2012.
P.S. As a Pharmacist, I understand the great benefits of counseling and medication in the treatment of depression. If you are struggling with feelings of depression, talk to your pastor, counselor, and/or physician. I sought God and God alone delivered me.