Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

Depression. The word freaks out people. It makes them uncomfortable. Hearing about people with depression often makes Christians think that the afflicted people aren't praying enough or trusting God enough or choosing to be joyful or that it's just a mindset that they don't want to let go. It's a taboo topic that many churches don't want to talk about. Well, folks, depression is real and it's not going anywhere, so we better face up to it.

I've had clinical depression at least since puberty though it wasn't diagnosed until after I developed endometriosis. It took awhile, but medication has for the most part stabilized it. In an odd way, depression is a bit like an addiction in which it's never gone, although the symptoms can be masked and covered, allowing the patient to lead a normal life. Praise God! It took years for me to accept my diagnosis. I felt that there was something wrong with me to make me be depressed and that I needed to change. Oh how I hate the Evil One for feeding me those lies! I can't do anything to control my depression, aside from taking my meds, because there is a chemical imbalance in my body. That's not my fault and there's nothing I can do about how my brain functions. I can choose to take my medications and help make others aware of the condition and that help is so easily available! I can choose to love my Jesus and look for the positive in each day. I know that my walk with the Lord has grown deeper because of my acceptance of my depression and that the things the world wants to say about depressed people aren't true.

Mary Beth Chapman so openly discusses her life long battle with depression in her new book Choosing to See and she's doing a fabulous job opening up the topic for public discussion on her Women of Faith and Chapman Family Concert tours. I'm so grateful for this godly woman who passionately and deeply loves the Lord coming forward and taking away many of the misnomers about clinical depression.

Then, this week, someone else close to me has had to struggle greatly through the thick fog of a life long battle with depression. The doctors are working on figuring out, but I understand the helpless feeling that those darn chemicals produce and the helplessness that those on the outside feel. All one can do is pray the doctors know what is needed.

Folks, please open your arms to those you know who are walking this road. It's a result of the Fall that God did not intend for His Eden.

Monday, October 11, 2010

UBC's Newest Members

About 15 months ago, the pastor at our church accepted an opportunity to become a professor at Truitt Seminary at Baylor. It was very sad to see the Creech family leave as they were a part of our church family for 23 years. UBC has done a fabulous job of focusing on Christ and continuing to be His body while looking for a new pastor.

Sunday morning the congregation voted to have Steve Laufer become our new pastor. He and his wife Jana are so incredible! They have to little boys that are just adorable, Sam and Noah. While Isaac and I had been able to meet Steve previously, we were finally able to spend time with both Steve and Jana last night. We can't wait for the Laufers to move here in November as we know that not only will our church be blessed by them, but that we will have awesome new friends! It's super special to have wonderful godly people with whom to live life, and we see the Laufers being a special part of ours. :)
Thank you UBC website for the photo. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chapman Family Concert

Thursday, October 7, was a fabulous evening for Isaac and me. We were able to go to the Chapman Family concert at FBC Houston and spend hours in worship. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know about my family's connections to the extended Chapman family and how special this family is to me. I hadn't been to one of Steven's concerts since high school, so Thursday was quite special.

Before the concert

Isaac made sure we were able to attend the Q&A before the concert. It was refreshing to hear how far they've come and all the goodness God has worked in the 2 1/2 years since Maria died. I want to live life with transparency and honesty that they have!

Another one of my favorite recording artists growing up was Geoff Moore, who happens to be Steven's best friend. Geoff randomly decided to come to Houston with the Chapmans, and I enjoyed hearing updates on his family of natural and supernatural (how the Chapmans refer to their adopted kiddos) loveys.

Geoff, Mary Beth, and Steven

Caleb, which is composed of Caleb and Will Chapman and two of their buddies, opened the concert for Steven. Um, they're awesome! No offense Steven, but Caleb might just be able to out sing you!

Steven came out and sang the Caleb's closing song with the band. So fun!

Caleb and Will played with their dad during his part of the concert. They had spent the year before Maria died doing that, and I think it's awesome that they really are the "VonChaps". Caleb's wife Julia was running the Show Hope booth all evening and the little girls were there but not seen.

Geoff sang a couple of songs with Steven. Yay!

I've read Mary Beth's blog for probably 3 years or more now; I appreciate how she allows God to use her family. If you want to laugh and cry all at the same time, read her new book "Choosing to See". Mary Beth was a huge encouragement during her time on stage, and I'm so grateful for this woman who loves hard, laughs hard, mourns hard, and serves her Jesus hard!
Isaac and I were at FBC from 3:45-10:45 Thursday night, and we left exhausted but recharged all at once. Chapman Family, we love you for all you do to make our Daddy's name great!
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