A few months ago I was cleaning out our closet and stumbled upon a gift bag with tissue that had never been opened. Curiously, I moved the tissue around to see what was in the bag. What I found brought tears to my eyes and a heartache of emotions as I gently placed the present back on the shelf unwrapped. I paused and prayed as I have done for twenty plus years that God would bring healing and restoration. This prayer has been uttered from my mouth so many times that I truly felt that it would never be answered, but something inside of me continued to ask and seek.

Two weeks ago, this prayer was answered in the most amazing way. I asked my husband’s permission in telling you this story, and I am grateful that he said yes because it will leave you in AWE of our FAITHFUL and SOVEREIGN God. I hope it encourages you to never give up hope and belief that our God does hear and answers our prayers in His perfect timing. He loves us all and He never gives up on us.

My mother-in-law fought depression since the day Ryan was born. It started as Postpartum depression and developed into Bi-polar disorder. She battled her entire life from a pit of despair.  She also struggled with alcoholism. These two combinations were a recipe that no one enjoyed facing. The struggle was real for everyone in the family. There were many apologies and broken promises along the way… so many that Ryan stopped listening to them hence why the gift on top of the closet shelf had never been opened.

photo (74)The day after my mother-in-law’s passing the Lord reminded me of the present. When I was alone with my husband I told him I had something I wanted him to open. I brought it out to him. The next few minutes were absolutely beautiful. My husband opened the perfect gift from his mom. It was a book written by Max Lucado entitled, You’ll Get Through This, a sweet whisper of truth from Heaven in the title alone but there was more. When he opened the book there was an inscribing from six months to the day before her passing and a letter that she left behind. Lynda always had the most beautiful penmanship, and she always wrote letters. Not all of her letters were like this one. This was one different…this one was REAL!

photo (73)My mother-in-law had started looking UP from the pit and seeking God’s help in getting out in her last year of her life. She had joined a bible study with women who surrounded her in love and support. She was faithful in her attendance and faithful in contributing to the group. She was transformed into a beautiful servant for Christ. When Ryan and his sister were at her apartment people came over from all ages to express their condolences. There was a twenty year old man that came over with tears streaming down his face to tell them how sorry he was and that she was the greatest lady he had ever met. She would sit with him daily and help him with his own struggles. She did have the mind of Christ. Her letter was lovely as she told Ryan how much she loved him, his sister and his father. She had made peace with her past and was very much moving forward to her bright future. It truly was the perfect gift.

Max Lucado was not only the author of this book but was Lynda’s pastor at Oak Hills Church. She attended his church where the last sermon she heard on Sunday, September 27th was “JESUS IS ENOUGH.” Ryan and Shar found her notes from that day’s message and those are the words she wrote, “Christ is enough for ME.” He certainly is! She found Him there in the pit and he was faithful to pull her out. Her story is much like Joseph’s who found himself thrown into a pit by his own brothers, sold and left for dead. As Max writes, “Joseph’s life offers this lesson: In God’s hands, intended for evil becomes ultimate good. Joseph would be the first to tell you, life in the pit stinks. Yet, for all its rottenness, doesn’t the pit do this much? It forces you to look upward. Someone from up there must come down here and give you a hand. God did for Joseph. And at the right time, in the right way, he will do the same for you.” 

photo (57)Oh sweet friends, how sweet He is to pull us out. Depression is a real battle intended for evil but when we look UPWARD our God can turn it around for GOOD! If you are in the pit right now, LOOK UP! Seek HIM FIRST and His righteousness and ALL these things will be given to YOU. Matthew 6:33 

If you are a family member or a friend to a loved one in the pit, don’t lose hope! Keep praying for the miracle and be on the look out for Him. He is FAITHFUL!