For the past 6 months, my life has included grief, pain and depression. In March I was diagnosed with major depression which robbed me of my energy, my joy and precious time with my family. In early June as I was recovering, my 16 year old son entered a drug treatment facility. Needless to say, my life felt out of control. I was taking a medication that gave me horrible withdrawal symptoms. I am officially 3 weeks off that medication completely. I can finally say I am almost 'me' again. There is a part of me that will never be the same. During my depression, I ended up on an unexpected spiritual journey that has changed me in ways I would have never expected. I am stronger and I understand God's love in a way I did not before. I also have a peace in Him that is new. I was looking up the word refined because that's what I feel God has been doing with me. I came across the following story and it hit me that I have been in the fire.
Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." One lady's opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.
She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. "But Sir" she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; "the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knows when the process of purifying is complete when he sees his own image reflected in the silver....
I have been in the fire. I think that bad things happen in this life because we live in a fallen world. Satan intends these bad things to make us bitter and bring us down. Jesus can use them to make me better in ways I would never have imagined.
I have always considered myself a strong person. When you are depressed, there is nothing strong about you. I was unable to control those things in my life that used to come so easily to me, this, in and of itself, added to my sense of doom during this time. From a theological standpoint, I have a warfare world view. This is the acknowledgment that there is a constant battle between Satan and God, and that we know God is ultimately in control, but we live in a fallen world and bad things happen due to original sin and natural occurrences. I believe that God, in His infinite wisdom and power, can use all things for good. As such, God did not cause my depression, but my experience in going through this trial can be used ultimately to reveal His love, grace and mercy to others.
I'm thankful that God loves me so much that he takes time with me to teach me the things he has been teaching me, thus refining me, so his image can be reflected in me.
About the Author: Gina and Kevin have been married for 19 years. Not only is she a social worker, Gina’s a mom to 6 great kids (3 teenagers, 1 preteen, and 2 toddlers) who keep her busy and on her knees. With the God-given gift of compassion, Gina has a heart for birth mothers and loves open adoption. She loves to see couples achieve their dream of becoming parents through adoption as well. Most of all, she loves watching God work through all of it. She shares her writing publicly and honestly because she’s learned that though we may look good on the outside, each one of us has our own struggles. Gina chooses to use each struggle to grow in her faith. Follow that growth on her personal blog here.