Glorifying God in the Darkness of Depression

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The darkness of severe depression seems opposed to life in a God who is Light. Can God be glorified in and through the darkness of mental illness? Stigma Depression pulls us into ourselves. We lose our capacity to enjoy life, and meaningfully interact with others. Sadness gives way to apathy. Hopelessness seeps in, and can devolve into despair. How could anything make a difference? It’s difficult to admit needing help while struggling with mental illness. We feel weak and worthless enough, without saying it out loud. …

Psalms of Deliverance

Psalms of Deliverance

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“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.” Psalms 32:7 It had been a normal day in my household and everything was going smoothly. My husband and I sat down in the evening to watch a movie, and suddenly I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  It felt as if something were sitting on my chest and my ribs were unable to expand at all to get any air into …

Why I'm Free to Wear Shorts in the Light

Why I’m Free to Wear Shorts in the Light

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I put on shorts already this year. It’s back to being cold, because that’s what New England life looks like, but that’s not noteworthy. That happens almost every year; a few warmer days, a few colder days. God must get a kick out of the prayers of sun those in Massachusetts pray for. But the real shock here–I put on shorts. These shorts weren’t anything spectacular for anyone else. But for me, sliding into shorts is a miracle. Because for …

Praying Scripture: A Light unto My Path

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There is no question that life is full of mountain top highs and deep valley lows. It’s easy to trust God from the heights, but what about those valleys? Where do we turn to for hope when we find ourselves shrouded in the darkness of difficulty? I believe there is only one source of true Hope in this life – the God of the Bible. When the darkness closes in we must turn to His Word as a lamp to …

Treasures in the Darkness

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“I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” (Isaiah 45:3 NLT) Sitting in the quiet of the chapel in the school where I worked, I read these words for the first time, and I felt hope ignite within me. Although they had been written long ago, it felt like God was speaking …

Why I Need to Trust God When I Suffer

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As a small child, I was terrified of storms because I thought each one carried a tornado in it. When the storm warnings would come on the T.V., the atmosphere around me was one of fear and anxiousness, so by default, I picked up that energy. I would suffer through intense fear because no one reassured me it would be ok. What I’ve realized is that each storm prepared me for the next one. Through the experience, I was no longer fearful and …

3 Ways to Shine a Light into the Darkness

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The fear comes at night when the lights turn out. I can feel the darkness as a tangible sadness. It feels real, the darkness of depression. Sometimes it feels like a weight on my chest. Other times it feels like a heavy fog, clouding my thoughts. Most of the time I can’t breathe. Under the covers, I can feel my legs but can’t move them. The physical darkness of my bedroom suffocates me and I feel the air trapped in my …

God’s Perfect Plan

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I sat with tears streaming down my cheeks and buried my head in my hands. “God, I can’t do this anymore!” I cried. I had prayed, begged and pleaded with God to give my husband and I more children, and he answered that prayer by allowing us to adopt through the local foster care system. Several years later, I could no longer find the joy and gratitude that had overwhelmed my heart at our son’s adoption. It was lost in …

Codependency and Christ: A Reflection on a Reflection 

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In the cold, gray quiet of a January morning in 2015, I was sitting on my couch … weeping. I held a paperback book in one hand and wadded up corner of a blanket in my other that I was using to muffle my sobs so I didn’t wake anyone. It was a messy cry that left my face hot with an indistinguishable mix of substances from eyes, nose, and mouth. The reality had sunk in: I was codependent. Surprisingly, …

From Broken to Blessed

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I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 16, and struggled with my disease off and on for years. Things took a turn for the worse in February of 2016. My Crohn’s Disease symptoms worsened, and a large majority of my days were spent hospitalized or sick in bed.   A few months later in May, I met my colorectal surgeon. I will never, as long as I live forget the day I heard the words, “Amber I am going …