Sunday, May 30, 2010

Update

I want to update you on how I'm doing with my depression. I feel like I am finally doing better. I still have down days but I am moving forward. I'm working VERY hard and am proud of all the strides I am making. I continue with therapy and medication. Thanks for the prayers and encouragement!

Monday, May 24, 2010

19 years!


Today Kevin and I are celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that when I met Kevin at the young age of 18 I had any wisdom at all, but somehow I was wise enough not to let a man like Kevin get away!

After 19 years of marriage, it can be easy to lose some of the excitement we had when we were newlyweds. Admittedly we have. We're not crazy in love. Today, it runs so much deeper than that. Our marriage has withstood the test of time. We have survived living in poverty, 4 floods, medical school, a move to 4 states, major depression, 2 major surgeries, the birth of 6 children, serious illness of 1 child, the adoption of infant twins at age 39, living apart for more than one month on 3 different occasions(2 medical rotations and 1 where Kevin moved to start a job and we followed later), and parenting toddlers and teenagers at the same time. All of these things were or are very stressful. We have tried very hard to make sure we drew closer during the stressful times rather than drifted apart. Sometimes it was harder than others. One of the best things for us as a couple was moving away after we got married. We learned to leave and cleave and it has resulted in a good marriage. Life is hard but it's made a little easier sharing it with your best friend. Marriage is hard too. It takes a lot of work and good communication. Communication has been something we have struggled and continue to struggle with.

On our wedding day, Pastor Bud Lynch spoke on Ecclesiastes 4:12 . "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." I will forever remember one of the things that he said "One Of Kevin, Gina and Jesus Christ". That sermon has resonated in my mind all these years and I do believe that without Jesus in our lives, our marriage would be so much different.

Kevin is incredible and amazing. Let me brag about him a bit. He loves the Lord and it shows through who he is. He loves me and it is obvious to anyone who knows us. He takes me out on dates regularly. He buys me "Happy Tuesday" gifts because he knows that gifts are one of my love languages. He is selfless in the true sense of the word. The other one of my love languages is acts of service. When my friends come to hang out at our house, he serves us and goes out of his way to make sure we're taken care of and having a good time. When he comes home from work, he takes over with the twins until bedtime. He's been known to make house calls to patients after hours because it's just the kind of person he is. He has very few hobbies because he feels it is his priority to be a husband and father. His famous saying is "It's not about me". His other saying is "Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry". That's a good one for this Italian girl to hear. He lives it too. He is VERY patient.

My biggest complaint is that we loved each other and got married to spend the rest of our lives together. We had children as a result of our love. Now that we have 6 children, we don't have a lot of time alone. I am always wanting more time. I appreciate the time we do have. We had a babysitter once who asked us what we did that night. We said we went out to dinner and grocery shopping. Her response was "That's not very romantic". Ironically, it was to us! I'm sure she'll understand one day.

It's every girls' dream to be loved by a man. When I dreamed about having a husband, I never would have imagined just how wonderful it would be to share my life with Kevin Lind. I love you Kev!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I wish...


Sometimes I wish I had cancer. Then people would understand that I am sick and in pain and fighting for my life with this disease. It would be more socially acceptable to have cancer.

Depression is so poorly understood, especially among the Christian community. It is seen as a “lack of faith” or a personal downfall, neither of which is true.

Depression is painful, debilitating and very lonely. People don’t know what to say to someone who has depression, so most of the time they say nothing, which adds to the loneliness.

Most illnesses lead to an outpouring of support from family, friends and even total strangers. There are care pages and in Indiana they put up signs in peoples yards saying ‘Pray for _____’ who is sick. It’s different with depression. WHY? I’ve now lost 9 weeks of my life to this terrible illness. My family is hurting. My kids are missing their mom. My husband is bearing the burden of being both dad and mom to the kids as he too is hurting.

Today I am feeling lonely. I know Jesus is always here with me and that comforts me.
I have the terrible disadvantage of having depression in a place where I know almost no one, further adding to my loneliness.

Early on, someone brought a meal and came to see me. She climbed into my bed next to me and said nothing and by doing so, spoke volumes. It’s not about having the right words to say but instead about the act of reaching out.

I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m asking you to be empathetic with the next person that you know who has depression. Try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you want to be treated?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Growth


One of the things I love about Spring is watching the flowers come up and the trees sprouting new buds. This year is especially exciting because we moved in late September and I don't really know what's in my landscaping. I'm watching as new growth appears.

There is also new growth happening in me. My experience of depression has been difficult to say the least, but out of this I am experiencing a spiritual growth. I have preferred to be alone much of the time, lost in my own thoughts. There are times when God has seemed very far away, but most of the time I know He is here with me.

I recently read another woman's blog post and she described sleeping on the floor near the bathroom with a sick child, wanting to be there to comfort her during her illness. She tried to stay awake all night but ended up falling asleep. She shared Psalm 121:4 "He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." She ended with "Have you felt God 'sleeping on the floor' near you lately?(Sarah Markley) I could visualize Him on the floor near my bed and I felt so much comfort knowing I am not alone and that he cares so much for me.

To expect anyone else to understand what I'm going through is ridiculous. I know that God knows and it is He I have leaned on solely. I don't have to come up with the right words to say what I'm feeling. HE KNOWS. My computer and my Bible have been my constant companions. I can even read my Bible on the computer!

Ephesians 3:15-21 are verses that I know, but feel like I have read them with new eyes. "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

It's really hard as a person with depression to at this moment grasp how wide and long and deep and wide God's love is for me. I want to understand that in a way I have not perviously. That's my prayer.

I am blown away by the knowledge that He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more that all we ask or imagine. I love adjectives and these are 2 great ones! I am asking God for many things; healing, joy, a deeper understanding of him, energy, peace and more. I am believing that he can do exceedingly and abundantly more than all I ask or can imagine!