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I pray every day — so why am I still depressed/anxious?

First off, I would like to begin the blog by reminding you that you are human, healing is a process, and that this is a personal blog from a woman who spends her time in prayer, meditation, and observing the world in her own way.

I’m going to clarify my beliefs based off my experience with depression and anxiety. Something which I am still working on till this day.

I was never diagnosed by a doctor with depression or anxiety… but I am super sure that if I ever walked into a doctor’s office and explained my thoughts and actions, they would have definitely diagnosed me and offered treatment. I was embarrassed to share my true thoughts and feelings with anyone, including doctors, because I figured I’d be called crazy, not a true Christian, and become more isolated than I already was.

I turned to God for therapy. I remember writing letters to Him regarding my thoughts and feelings, I remember asking Him “Why? Why not just end my life today or tomorrow?” I remember watching Joyce Meyer’s and Joel Osteen and hating how prideful they seemed yet loving the words they were saying. I remember forcing myself to listen to uplifting music, forcing myself to write down positive thoughts, refraining myself from music, movies, and people who made me feel sad in any way, and reading positive/uplifting books and quotes throughout the week. I also remember being sick and tired of uplifting and positive things. It felt fake, as if I was being lied to, and as if I was wasting my time.

“I’m sick of always having to think positive. I’m sick of always having to force myself to look on the bright side. I’m sick of always TRYING. I try, I lose, and then I have to start over again. I don’t want to TRY any more, I just want to BE.”

These were my fights with God starting back in 2014. 6 years later and all that “trying” has become my lifestyle. My life is not picture perfect, but it is absolutely beautiful, and I find myself absolutely beautiful (because of who God has created me to be). Of course, AS HUMAN, I forget it at times… but the truth always comes back to me.

Now that I look back at the years, I understand the process God had to play out for me.

First, rock bottom began my relationship with God. I was so shut down that I had absolutely no where to go. I had no choice but to actually reach out to God and depend on a response. I had friends and family but that didn’t mean I was brave enough to tell them “Hey, I’m legitimately thinking of killing myself in a few days if something doesn’t change in my life.” I knew 1 of 3 things would have happened.

  1. I wouldn’t have been taken seriously which would have caused more pain,
  2. They would have forced professional treatment on me which I hadn’t wanted, or
  3. They wouldn’t have had any answers to help me… so why would I have informed them if it would’ve been left at a dead end?

Second, Detox. He had to cut certain things from my life that were doing me no good. Did I cry over it because of the little faith I had and because I couldn’t see the big picture? Of course, I did. (Again, I’m human, one that has a lot to learn)

Third, Clarity. He had to get started on cleansing my heart, mind, and soul by overpowering the lies I had learned and taught me His truth.

My depression came from not truly believing God existed. He was more of a “lifestyle” to me or something that I was “used to” instead of really knowing He existed. Once I clearly understood that God was real, the words from the Bible came to life. Once I understood God loved me unconditionally, I realized that anything “terrible” that was happening to me wasn’t too terrible because God wouldn’t allow for my soul to be taken. I was financially unstable, single (which seemed like a horrible thing), uneducated, and viewed as less due to the worldly standards of “who is great and who is not great based off finances, education, marriage/family, and looks.” Which is something the enemy uses to distract us, causing pain to our hearts and minds, which drains the soul. The enemies target is not your circumstances or anything in this world… he only uses these things because he knows how consumed we are by them. The enemy uses these things to target our soul into depression and anger… it’s our soul that both God and the enemy are after. I realized that I could be living in a box with little to no food, and as long as I could give my soul to Christ, things would be okay.

I was very stubborn, though. Years ago, I would think words such as “So, I have to settle for a crappy life and choose to have a happy soul.” Words like that closed me out from Gods greatness.

God wants you to see and feel the true meaning of life, but you’d have to be willing to risk it all. By doing this, though, you are becoming free. Free of the lies that are taught to you, free of the standards the world places, free of the anger, free of anxiety, and free of the depression. And with that freedom comes success to living the life God has intended for you to live — which is not being alone, not living in a box with little to no food, and not having the urge to take your life away.

Gods truth (which is found in the Bible and through prayer) is that YOU were created for a purpose, and with God, you can seek out that purpose, you can put that purpose to work, and you can live every day joyfully because of this purpose.

Your focus needs to be shifted from the problems in life onto your capability, your passion, your contribution to the world, and allow God to be in control of all those things that have been hurting and damaging you. God’s truth tells us that His love is unconditional, that He is on our side, that we should not fear because He is with us, that we should not worry because he’s got it under control, and that worldly standards are nothing but distractions from the life God wants us to truly experience. A life of love and happiness is waiting for you as soon as you realize that God IS real, and His LOVE is real, and therefore nothing can harm your soul.

John 3:16 (For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.) (this verse goes even deeper than heaven and hell. It applies to our lives here on earth as well.)

Ephesians 2: 4-5 (But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.)

Begin the process, trust the process, enjoy the process.

1st Corinthians 7:7

1st Corinthians 12: 6-10

1st Corinthians 12: 27-31

1st Peter 4:11

Psalm 36:7

Psalm 109:21

Galatians 2:20

1 John 4: 9-10

Romans 5:5 (just read all of Romans)

Romans 5: 8

Romans 8:28

Romans 8: 31-32

Romans 8:35

Romans 8: 38-39

Romans 12: 6-8

Colossians 1:16

Jeremiah 29:11

Matthew 6:33

Proverbs 19:21

#Depression #Anxiety #Passion #Prayer #Pray #Connect #Grow #Faith #Believe #Life #Death #Love #Faith #Happiness #Joy #Sadness #Belief #Help #Scripture #Depth #Drive #Bible #Biblical #Christ #Purpose

The God-intended person you should be. Fearless and powerful.

(Years ago) I used to hear the word “sin” and think “dang, a betrayal against God. Going to have to deal with the punishment and work to get that forgiveness and salvation again.” Being a Christian was exhausting. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it anymore at times. Why work so hard for God when my life was always a mess?

Raising my daughter taught me a lot about God’s love and about His character. And till this day, I get consumed and distracted with life, forgetting what God has already taught me. But his love is so unconditional that he never gets tired of restoring my soul with His truth. I was stressing the other night about needing to connect and talk with someone about some stuff I was worrying about. I sat at my computer, ready to type, but nothing was coming out. My daughter came and sat at the table and said she had something to tell me.

“Mommy, I was watching scary stuff on the tablet today. I saw 5 scary videos… and now I am scared to go take a shower by myself and I don’t want to sleep in my bed alone. Are you mad at me?”

The words that God taught me a few years ago came straight out “Sin is its own punishment babe. I’m here FOR you… not to ever hurt you.” #ChristLike

I explained to her that I placed rules down to keep her from facing the consequences of these “sins.” Not to keep her from having any “fun” and then punishing her if she ever disobeyed me.

“So, let’s over-power the fear with courage.”

I asked her about the scary videos, we turned them into comedies, made fun of all the characters, and then reminded her of God’s truth: He’s always with us, God tells us to have NO FEAR, He has overcome evil with good, etc.…

All of this reminded me of the woman God has always intended for me to be. A fearless woman regardless of the experiences I’ve dealt with in life. It reminded me how the words and actions of others can easily sneak in and — in a way — overpower Gods truth and power. Someone will tell us “What’s the use?” “Are you sure you can do it?” “Maybe try another dream.” “Not sure if you’re capable.” And it completely drifts us away from the person God intends for us to be. The words of others quickly become the words we speak to ourselves. They become our beliefs and then they become our lifestyle.

He created us, He knows us better than we know ourselves, He gave us the abilities, passions, drive, and desires! If the world says “no,” but God says “Yes,” then it’s a yes!

Here I was, stressing about needing to talk to someone and God sent in my 7-year-old daughter to remind me of what He’s taught me before. Staying up till 10pm and talking with her was a simple and beautiful reminder that He is always with us and knows what’s in our hearts. Just as His word promises.

Look at the person you are when you worry, stress, try to control uncontrollable things, react out of anger, etc…. and look at the life it creates for you.

Look at the person you are when you smile, knowing God’s got you, knowing it’s His truth that is running your life instead of the words of others or the lies you tell yourself at times and then look at the lifestyle it creates.

Be who God created you to be and live the life God intended for you to live… don’t settle for less.

Joshua 1:9

Psalm 145: 18-19

Isaiah 43:1

John 14:27

Romans 12:21

#Passion #Drive #TheOpenLetter #Pray #Connect #Grow #Love #Faith #ChristLike #Scripture #Power #God #Fearless #Life #Truth #Happiness #Joy #Free #Freedom

Should I be with him/her?

Should I marry him/her? Should I stay with him/her?

They (numerous couples) remind me of an addiction more than a romance. The need each other. They need each other’s presence, they need each other’s affection, they need each other’s attention, they need each other to feel satisfied. They can-not simply be, because they are always in need. Just like any other addiction whether it be to drugs, drinking, television, eating, etc… it’s just not the way life should be lived. Little by little – it destroys you.

Two people should not be together because of an addiction. And it’s difficult to call it an addiction when you are blinded from what real love should be like. Love should be free. Free to be alone, free to be obsessive, free to be happy, free to be angry, free to be with friends, free to be together, free to give, free to receive, and it should be something that is wanted… not needed.

I always say – and strongly believe, that love is also a choice. But choosing to love an addiction will destroy your heart, mind, soul, body, and circumstances. That is when your eyes should be open to realizing that what you have is not love. Love is when your heart, mind, soul, body, and circumstances are healthy and free because of the love you feed each other, and then during the difficult times is when you choose to love — such as being patient when one is being stubborn, being kind when another is being mean, being the strong one when the other is in a weak state of mind, being brave when the other is fearful, and so on.

When you’re truly in love… you should be a team. What are you doing looking out for yourself and hurting each other? Why are you feeding your own needs and disregarding the pain you’ll cause the person that loves you? If you’re in a relationship where you have to look out for yourself… then maybe you’ve got the wrong teammate. And that’s OKAY… Because the right teammate is out there for you. One that will have your back while you have theirs. And therefore, you shouldn’t be wasting time in a relationship that is destroying your heart, mind, body, soul, and circumstances… you should be focused on building yourself up and preparing for the arrival of your actual teammate in life.

And this is why I’m crazy about my guy. I don’t need him – I just want him. I want him because he gives me life, he makes me feel free, he makes me feel everything I’ve been wanting to feel. I’ve been so comfortable being single but also fearful that a man would come into my life and take away who I am and how I live. My only choice was to be single forever so that I wouldn’t lose myself. But with him – with him I can still be free, I can still be myself, and I can still be happy. He adds so much goodness to my life.

Instead of needing him, I want him.

Instead of draining me, he gives me life.

Instead of losing myself, I’m bettering myself.

Instead of being fearful, I feel safe.

Instead of feeling alone, I know I have a teammate.

And instead of being afraid to share this because I might look like a fool down the road… I feel excited about my future with him.

Pray about it, connect with God, and allow Him to help you grow. No-one wants more for you than your creator. No Love is more unconditional than God’s. He WILL guide you in the right direction. Choose freedom.

#Pray #Connect #Grow #TheOpenLetter #Love #Faith #Trust #Soul #Passion #Happiness #Life #Relationships

I’ll tell you to run through the fire.

I’m a behavioral therapist. I work with kids that have “disabilities” such as autism. All sarcasm aside, these kids and families actually have superpowers. They run THROUGH fire.
As a behavioral therapist I help these children accomplish goals such as understanding what it means when I say “stand up”, to not be afraid of a book that plays music, or helping them focus on something when they have trouble looking at anything for longer than 3 seconds. Some of my amazing kids engage in behaviors such as running away, hitting themselves or others, or eating things they shouldn’t be eating. And believe it or not, these are the best people I’ve ever met in my life. These kids and these families have taught ME to run through the fire!
Typically, when a kid begins to tantrum, most people can-not stand the crying and yelling so they begin to bribe… naturally. “Want candy?” “Want a movie?” “Want this toy?” in which the tantrum ends and all honesty, the child wins. Who as a grown up gets to tantrum and receive what they want in life? I know for sure that I don’t. So, why teach it?
These families have to run through fire every-single-day until the problems are resolved. If a child has a problem behavior such as running away because he/she wants to play chase, is scared of something, is super excited, or is angry at something, and the parent instead chooses to lock them up each time they run away… it will only teach the child that they get punished for trying to communicate with us.
Yes, safety comes first. But, as RBT’s and families of these children, we have to think of the long-term effect. We stop what we are doing and figure out why this child chose to run away, and then teach them to communicate. Sounds easy right? (Keep in mind that teaching these kids is a repetitive and consistent thing until they full understand something that is a “simple instruction” to the Nero-typical) Imagine this kid running away while you’re trying to complete a term paper, or this child engaging in a loud and long tantrum because you didn’t allow them to run into the street meanwhile you are trying to figure out why he/she ran away this time, or all this happening while you’re at the parking lot of a grocery store. THIS is when you see these kids and families running through fire each and every time until the problem is resolved and they are both living safer lives. You won’t catch my families bribing these kids and walking around the fire… you’ll catch them observing the child and teaching them to communicate one way or another (some of these kids are non-verbal or echoic causing them to have harder times to communicate.) These families are thinking long-term solutions all the while being judged, stressing, worrying, and wondering if things will ever be okay. (Which things are okay because you all live a beautiful and powerful life AND things will keep getting better)
As grown-ups we learned that tantrums do not get us what we want. So, we’ve learned to run around the fire in other ways. I for one am guilty of the TV binge watching form of running away along with the kneeling by the bed and praying day after day. Don’t get me wrong, prayer is POWERFUL, (that’s how I went from binge watching television to having courage, wisdom, and all else needed to face my life’s problems.) But we have to learn to walk through the fire all the while knowing God will not allow us to get burned.
I’ll be honest, if you binge watch T.V, only pray but never make moves, smoke, drink, seek attention from boys/girls, or get lost in any other way continually (because I still binge watch television for mental breaks a night or two out of the month) then a few years down the road, you’re life will be exactly the same. Life is about walking THROUGH the valley of shadow and death like a CHAMP.
Observe yourself. What are you continually avoiding? Why are you always trying to escape real life? Look at your social media. What is it that you’re continually trying to show the world that your life is like? Find ways to make that real life. One step at a time. This way, you KNOW your life will progress in a positive way. One year from now your life will either be different… or the same. It all depends on whether you run through the fires.

God, I desperately pray that you water down the fires that my friends and families are going through so that they can begin the process of living the lives you’ve created for them. Give them the strength, the courage, and the wisdom to face the trials and even more of it after the trials are won. Help them to move forward without needing to escape or runaway. I want each and every one of them to be happier and live a life they are proud of. I can only imagine how much more you want it for them.
Thank you for this message, my friend!
Amen.

Psalm 23:4
John 16:33
Psalm 119:105
James 1:5
Proverbs 3:5

#Autism #Courage #Wisdom #Strength #Happiness #Love #Prayer #Life #AutismAwareness #Passion #Scripture #Faith

Tired of being patient!

“I’m tired of being patient.” I told my co-worker regarding my future. Cara’s response, “The thing is, Marysol, God is guiding you step by step into the future He sees for you. You only see the ‘now,’ He sees the whole picture.”
The following day I was texting my sister, Maria, about how excited I was about the future even though I wish it were now. She said “I can imagine God looking down at us excited because He knows what’s going to happen. The same way we look at our kids during Christmas because we know what they have coming.”
I then paused to thank God for sending this message to me two days in a row. I stopped to think about it because I knew God wanted me to understand something deeper. I was then reminded about my “close call” that happened this past Wednesday. I was at a red light on colonial waiting to make a left turn. I had my notecards and pencil, looking down, writing, and just enjoying my wait at the red light. When I looked up in the rearview mirror, a car going about 70-80mph was right behind me. It swerved into the grass just one second before hitting me. I watched this car dodge traffic as it tilted left and right. I’m guessing I held my breath for a good 10 seconds. I could have been dead and I wasn’t sure if this car and the people in it were going to make it.
If I’d been looking up and seen a car coming at me… I would have moved over to the left in the grass since cars were flying by at my right. And in my attempts to dodge the speeding car, it would have either hit the truck in front of me that was also at the light or it would have still swerved into the grass and hit me.
The point is God’s got me and God’s got you. He IS taking care of you and maneuvering things around on your behalf as you focus on His purpose for you (which is your passion). There is absolutely no need to live in fear, needing to be in constant control, or needing to rush life.
He knows the plans He has for you. No person’s opinion, no mistake, no worldly standards, no fear, no worry, and not a single bit of impatience can change that truth or overpower his authority. Focusing on the wrong stuff will only keep you from being joyful and keep you from engaging in the plans God is trying to guide you into. Let go and let God. #Happiness #Faith #Patience #Inspirational #Passions #Purpose #Prayer #Connect #Grow #ConnectionsAndDriveBringPassionsToLife

“How can I make my life end without killing myself?”

Years ago, the sadness I felt (which was created by the thoughts I was consumed with) created such a strong depression that I truly believed life was pointless. “Whether I do good or bad, nothing will matter once I am dead.” “What’s the point of trying to change anything in life? We all suffer, we all die, it all ends.”
Depression is no joke. It brings people into such a dark place and it is such a difficult place to get out of. Lies seem as if they are truth and truths seem as if they are lies. You reach a place where you can’t really tell the difference between reality and what’s “just in your head.” Everything becomes pointless and there is absolutely no desire to live. And there comes a point where you truly ask yourself “Why should I stay alive?”
I began the journey of “recovering from depression” over 4 years ago without even knowing it. (That’s how God works sometimes) It’s been a long yet WORTH IT process. Tiny little steps made the biggest difference in my life. They seem simple and as if they have the least impact… and yet, these little steps have the largest impact on healing.
The first time I found a solution to a problem by thinking outside of the box was when I told myself, “I want this life to end!“

I had – had it, so I asked, “how can I make my life end without killing myself?”

God answered it.
First things first, I turned to God for EVERYTHING and I LISTENED TO HIM. I heard from religion, but I listened to God. I heard from people, but I listened to God. I heard MYSELF, but I listened to God. God holds the truth we need to find ourselves, our passions, and our purpose. (I can-not stress this truth enough!)
Next thing is, I had family and friends who stuck by my side regardless of how difficult of a person I was. THEY understood my depression, they understood why I was the way I was, and THEY were patient and loving with me. BE THAT PERSON. It is a huge impact! If someone doesn’t have this support, it’s okay… you can STILL make it. God is all powerful and you are more than loved. But my process of healing was impacted greatly by the family and friends who pushed through till I made it.
And last but not least… know you are in control. Wake up and choose to be happy. It won’t happen right away, but it will happen. Practice it.

I remember thinking “So, I need to choose to be happy. Meaning I need to be fake, ignore my problems, and just pretend that life is good when it’s not?” It made me angry to hear the words “Choose to be happy.”

The thing is, when you make the decision to choose to be happy, it creates a ripple effect in your life and therefore it will not be fake, and problems will not be ignored. You become this person that tackles problems, this person that sees the beauty in everything, this person that creates success where success doesn’t even seem possible, and overall, you create this person and life that you are proud of to the point where you begin to forget the sadness you once held on to so deeply. But don’t, don’t ever forget it. Because others in this world will need you… the way they need you TODAY to fight for your life, so that you can be in theirs to love them and guide them in the future.
Stay focused, find your passion, and contribute it to the world in a positive way.

Matthew 6:33
Philippians 4:13
John 16:33
Isaiah 41:10
Matthew 11:28
Jeremiah 29:11

#Depression #Healing #Passion #Happiness #Truth #Love #Strength #Kindness #Faith #God #Scripture #Focus #Prayer #Contribution

Kindness

Every time I do something kind, people will either tilt their heads at me or ask “why?” Today I realized that I have been conditioned to always have an answer prepared as to why I have done something kind. But from now on I will answer myself and others by saying, “kindness does not need an explanation.”
Kindness, in my books, is a selfish act in a way. There is a kindness that people are when it benefits them in a way (such as a girl being kind to a boy if she thinks he will love her more.) There is a kindness that people are when it doesn’t create an interference (such as driving someone home after work because it is already on their way home.) And then there is a kindness that seems completely selfless such as being nice to someone when you know you will get nothing in return or driving someone home even though it will add an extra 20 minutes to your commute home. But still, there is a bit of selfishness in these acts of kindness because when it’s truly done from the heart, you find the purest form of joy.
I have a desire to help others decrease sadness and increase their joy. So here I want to take the time to say that being kind is the first step to finding your own happiness. And I mean being kind in a way that inconveniences you or won’t get you something in return. The next step is to find your passion. Because God has placed a passion in each one of us. This passion is the purpose in which he created us for. Think about it, so many people are passionate about singing and each person who pursues that passion ends up singing a song or songs that contribute to the world in a positive way. Whether it be in fame or at a church, their passions give them purpose after they use it for contribution.
Connect with yourself and connect with God. Stay focused on God’s truth and put the lies on extinction.

Matthew 6:33
Ephesians 2:10
1 Peter 4:10-11
Genesis 20:13
Ephesians 4:32
Proverbs 11:17
Proverbs 31:26

#Kindness #Joy #Happiness #Scripture #Love #Passionate #Wisdom #Inspirational #Life