My dog, Ginger, has been expressing some symptoms
to the likeness of SAD (seasonal affective disorder or seasonal blues). It's pretty sad (couldn't resist the pun) when you can identify sadness in an already melancholy dog.
Our dogs generally stay outside most of the day and sleep in the garage at night. However, the rigid cold temperatures this winter have brought our mutts inside pretty much 24/7. So maybe Ginger is missing her time outside in the fresh air.
I must admit that I too experience a bit of seasonal blues. I don't experience severe symptoms of depression as others unfortunately suffer with, but I have noticed patterns very similar to SAD in recent years. As Jeff and I call it, I can get in a real "funk" at times.
It tends to show up at similar times such as the end of vacation or when the stress of Christmas season first starts rolling in and then again with January’s never ceasing dreary, cloudy days. I believe that's why I love the snow so much. Snow has a way of brightening and cheering up. At least to me - as long as the power doesn't go out!
I also have a tendency after spiritual high's to then get stuck or crash head first into a wall. This is what happened last fall after my church's women's retreat.
God gave me an opportunity to join in on the dream of some wonderful ladies to create what turned out to be an awesome weekend. Following God's lead to also be the speaker for the retreat, He nudged me out of my comfort zone and rocked my world. I surrendered with obedience to His call to be an influence & encouragement to those 60+ women who attended and He blew me away! We all left that retreat encouraged and hopeful.
I also left the retreat overwhelmed, in a good way, but overwhelmed by God & rocked by His power that worked in me and through me.
Several of us ladies left Watermarks Camp and joined our Scottsville Campus for Sunday service. While waiting for the service to begin and background music played, the tears flowed... overwhelmed with God's goodness, His power and full of joy, gratefulness and praise... only to Him was, and is, glory owed for the blessings of that weekend.
Little did I know that this would soon turn into a several months of a confusing struggle.
We all experience seasons of struggle. None of us live on the mountain top forever. We have to learn and remember how to live in perspective of truth so we can experience God while living in the valley, or rather in the reality of day to day life.
Although my Ginger enjoys being indoors with us, I believe she also enjoys and needs being outdoors. Don't worry; I'm keeping an eye on her, watching for any further symptoms that warrant a trip to the vet. After spending a little time outside this morning though, I was grateful to see a little pep in her step...
As for me, I will continue focusing my mind back on Christ. As I do, I'm noticing pep in my spirit and a whispering that I never want lose like that again...
In the next few blog posts I’ll reveal a little more of the whirlwind of doubt, fear, confusion and depression I fell into as well as what God is doing in me today as He guides me... out of the blue.
In the meantime, ponder this eye opening truth from Psalm 73
Have you struggled to find God's presence again after a spiritual high or even in living the day to day? Do you have a favorite scripture that keeps your perspective on God's truth?