DEPTHS OF DESPAIR

“Anne Shirley: Can’t you even imagine you’re in the depths of despair?
Marilla Cuthbert: No I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, movie 1985
FALLING

I’m falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Someone catch me.
Please.
Anyone.
Is there an end?
Falling.
I.Can’t.Breathe.
If I try
I will cry.
And if I cry –
there are too many people –
here
around me.
If I cry
then there is pain.
Pain.
Deep.
Dark.
Way. Down.
There.
Flailing.
Sinking.
Despair.
Desire.
Where.Are.You.God?
I’ve hit bottom.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©28 August 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014   (Maui, Hawaii)
I’ve been thinking about the quote above from Anne of Green Gables and I wondered what it really means to be in despair. Is it the same as just depression? Or is it something deeper? So I did a little research. According to Merriam-Webster the definition for despair is this: “to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change”.

Have you ever felt that way? That no matter what you do, where you go, who you are with, etc… your situation is never going to get better?  

Let’s read the words of the Psalmist as he laments his despair:

Psalm 42
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,
 “Where is your God?”4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?

The anguish King David feels is so palpable here. Can you feel it? Does it resonate within you? Oh it sure does me! King David didn’t have anti-depressants to take though, did he? So what DID he do to overcome his despair?

Keep reading (beginning at the second half of verse 5):

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, 
my Savior and my God.


8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long,“Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,  for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (taken from the NIV)

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
(Kauai, Hawaii)
King David went to the only source He knew would and could help Him. GOD! He went to God to find his hope and His strength.

Don’t be afraid to go to God and to ask Him what it is that is troubling you. To make it clear to you and to give you a way out of it. You may need to confess sin that you have been living in and turn away from it before He can make a way for you to come up out of this pit of depression. In Psalm 32 (a Psalm of forgiveness) King David talks about how his bones grew old because he groaned so much through the agony of the sin he had been in. If you are in despair, consider first your position with God and make sure your heart is right with God before asking Him to show you what is putting you in your current state of despair.

Earlier we saw that despair says we no longer have hope that our situation will improve or can be changed. I think Marilla Cuthbert is right. When we don’t allow God to help us see how to get out of our situation that is causing the despair, then we are turning our backs to Him telling Him our problems are bigger than He is.

Whatever your struggle is today, would you go to the Truest Friend you can ever have and let Him take care of it? He understands. He forgives. He forgets. He changes lives and He cares more than anyone else! 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.”

©Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

THE TRUEST FRIEND

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
HOLDING HANDS ACROSS THE MILES

Hands clasped across the table
Tears falling through smiles and pain
Food forgotten in the moment
Whispers of love displayed.
Two hearts equally broken
By circumstances not of our own
Mended by the sweetest Spirit
His presence filling the space around.
Hugs fiercely, tightly given
Good-bye a solemn spoken phrase
Yet the hands that had clasped together
Would always stay that way.
Because miles driven between
Will never severe that grace
Hands clasped across the table
Whispers of love will forever remain.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©24 August 2014
 

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

I drove up the mountain with an ache in my heart as wide as the Grand Canyon. I couldn’t wait to see my dear friend. I stood by the car waiting for her arrival with anticipation as massive as Texas. The hug we shared was the best I’ve ever had. We found a table and I’ll never forget holding hands and praying with her. A little later the tears we knew would come, came, while we held hands once again trying to say things we couldn’t say. It was one of the sweetest moments.  As we shared stories (can you believe we talked about snakes?!) my heart felt lighter and I knew that going back down the mountain I’d feel better than I had in a long while.

Did you know this is what it is like with God? He never leaves us nor forsakes us but sometimes the miles between earth and Heaven seem so far away we can’t feel His presence. But then one day, we open His Word, He fills the space around us with His presence and it is the sweetest time we’ve ever had. He engulfs us with His peace and we come away feeling better than we have in forever. Jesus is the best friend you can have. He loves us with an unconditional love that NO ONE can love us with. He is there for us anytime, anywhere, every time and everywhere.  Proverbs 18:24, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Here on earth even those dearest, sweetest, best-est friends cannot compare to the friend we have in Jesus. 

We hugged one last time (I can still feel her arms around me now) tears once again brimming in our eyes, not sure when we’d see each other face to face again but we left each other knowing that the 2 ½ hour trip between our houses is only a whisper away.  



Michael W. Smith’s song “I Will Be Here For You” reminds me that God will always be here for me no matter what. 


© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

SET YOUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV)
A RAVAGED MIND
A mind ravaged by unimaginable circumstance
Overwhelmed, overworked, overwrought
Time stands still amid the destruction
Pain has become the norm instead of exception.

How can I escape these thoughts?
How can I believe my Lord?
Where do I go from here?
Who will help me contend?

My head lays down tears soaking my pillow
Sleep will not come amidst the agony
Then love floats down in a soft, soft whisper
My heart settles in a new, sweet peace.

A mind tormented by unimaginable circumstance
Enters into Heavens open glorious gates
Breathing Jesus through thanksgiving
Believing, taking Jesus at His Word.

Sweet, sweet peace descends upon me
I no longer struggle now
Leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus
I rest my burdens down.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©17 August 2014

© Tee-Tee’s Photos 2014
The past few weeks have been wrought with heartache and turmoil. It has felt like living through a hurricane. There have been days when you could have knocked me over with a feather. To say it has been rough is the understatement of the year.

Sleepless nights have been a constant, my thoughts consumed with doubts and worry, days filled with migraines and vertigo attacks. Extremely hard decisions have had to be made that have cost me dearly. 


~ BUT GOD ~

God has also been my constant companion. Leaning into Him, nestled in His arms have become my comfort. My strength lies in reading His Word and prayers abundant flowing from my lips. Breathing Jesus has become a must. It should always be the thing I do, but in times of need I’ve learned it is my peace. Verses such as John 14:27 and Isaiah 26:3 echo through the turmoil in my brain to finally release tension and fill me with God’s presence. His peace. Knowing God is with me and will never forsake me, I trust in His grace to pull me through and strengthen me for the day ahead and the days to come.

Are you in a situation where your thoughts are consumed with indecision and the problems you are facing? Are you struggling through a painful situation that causes you worry, wearing you down and causing you to have sleepless nights?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look fully into His face. And the things of this world will grow ever so dim.  Turn your thoughts to Jesus. Listen to His Words of love, peace and goodness. The things you are struggling through won’t be quite as hard. Jesus loves you this I know. Let Him love you through it all. 


© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges 2014

NEW EVERY MORNING

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness
 Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
 
NEW EVERY MORNING

Though mountains around me shake
the earth beneath me quakes
my foundations crack and crumble,
You, O LORD, keep me from stumbling
directing my paths unfailingly
You keep me from troubles consuming
even when emotions are overwhelming.
In the night You hold me tight
In the morning Your mercies unfold
Never forsaking, never moving
Your faithfulness is new every morning.
When the rain pours and the winds blow
I don’t know which fork to take in the road
You, O LORD, bring healing to my parched soul
Mercies tears unceasingly overflow
As Your faithfulness immerses steadfastly
Thoroughly, completely making me whole.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©10 August 2014

 
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
 
Dear Father God, Thank You for Your faithfulness to us. When we are not faithful You continue to draw us toward You. And in our times of need, You stay right beside us, holding us, comforting us, cradling us to keep us from drowning. Thank You for the mercies with which You steadfastly keep us and give us a new way each and every day to walk with You. Father, forgive us when we stray. May we seek to honor You with our lives in every word and deed.  Thank You Lord, for being our safe place. Our hiding place. May we rest in You and praise You even in our times of trouble. Father, thank You that with and through You we will never be consumed by anything but that You are faithful to bring new mercies upon us each morning. Lord, we glorify You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen. 
 
WILL YOU SING ALONG AND WORSHIP WITH ME TODAY? LET’S GATHER TOGETHER AND PRAISE GOD FOR HIS STEADFAST LOVE, UNENDING MERCY AND HIS GREAT FAITHFULNESS TO US! I LOVE THIS SONG!
 
  
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

WALKING WITH MY SAVIOR

The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
WALKING WITH MY SAVIOR

There are times in life when we must make the hard decisions
The ones we knew were coming but tried to forget them
These decisions don’t come easily but their outcome
is born from silence
Not the distraction of the world, not talking, not shouting
Just walking quietly hand – in – hand with the Savior
Through the garden, through the sand
Through the rain, through the pain
Listening as He speaks only the wisdom He can give
Silent
No words necessary but the words from His lips.
And when the final choice has resolutely been made
There in the silence – tears on our face –
Glorious peace descends in the rough place.

© BridgesCreations, 2014
 
Savior, our Shepherd, lead me today
Guide me, move me, speak to me I pray.
Whisper Your love in the secret-est place
Draw me to You and Your grace I embrace.
There is a way that seems so right
Take hold of my every thought, every care
I trust You Lord, in Your shadow I stand.
May what I find in Your Word this day
Be the answer I seek from this fetal place.
Thank You for not ever abandoning me
Thank You, Lord, for setting me free.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©31, July 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
Psalm 23 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Lord the Shepherd of His People
A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.
 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014  

JOY THROUGH TRIALS

© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
 
JOY THROUGH PAIN
(James 1)

There is joy in the making
and joy in the taking
when trials come and go,
There is joy in the burden
and joy in the uncertain
when faith sits at its lowest.
There is joy in the heart ache
and joy in the heart break
when there’s no where else to turn,
There is joy in the loss
and joy in the cost
when we lay it all at His feet.

Because faith brings patience when we endure the trials
when we suffer the depth of the pit,
God will be our Provider, Sustainer and Helper
when in wisdom we ask of Him.
Don’t lose heart-though you may at the start-
let your faith be renewed in the Lord,
You will receive the joy only He can provide
and strength when at your weakest to stand firm.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©23 July 2014
Revised ©27 July 2014
All Rights Reserved

© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
 
James 1:2-8 (NKJV):  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to himBut let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV):   And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseveranceand perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 

 
 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges 2014  

A JOURNEY’S PRAYER

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” 
 Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

24 Years ago this week my family (dad, mom, brother, sister and I) moved from San Diego, California to a little town called Hickory, North Carolina. I was 18 years young at the time. I had just graduated from high school with  no drivers license, no job, no car….basically, I had no choice. I had to come. It was a huge change! I left all of my friends behind and the life I knew. It was a very sad time in my life. 
Here is a picture of our U-Haul truck towing one of our many vehicles. My Uncle C.J.  and Aunt Betty came to help us move. It was a lonnnngggg trip! 

 We made it safely to North Carolina a week later. I cannot say I’ve ever fallen in love with this state but it can be a nice place to live. I think my heart will always be in California. I lived there all of my growing up years.
The night before we left I wrote the following poem and I remember my mom reading it the next morning with tears in her eyes saying how much she loved it. She would hold onto it forever. 
A JOURNEY’S PRAYER

We are on our way
We’ve just begun
The trip is long
But the work is done.
Now we will rest
Our journey to begin
A world unknown
Awaits us in the end.
“Dear God,” we pray,
“Be with us today,
Guide our eyes and our hearts
Throughout each day.
Give us wisdom, and courage, too
To face each challenge as well as the new.
Be with us now,
Take our hands,
Lead us onward…
Amen.”

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©16, July 1990 All Rights Reserved

So here’s my prayer for you. No matter what journey you are on today or tomorrow, I pray that God will guide your eyes and your heart in wisdom with courage to face each challenge and each new thing that comes into your life. I know your journey may be a rough one right now, I pray God will use it to His glory and for the good that He promises it will be. For those who are enjoying the journey they are on now, I pray you will stay close to God even in the good times so that when the hard times come you will know He is there with you always. He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, and He’ll never let go of your hand. Amen. 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014