My Hope Anchor

The dark cloud has touched down
Keeping my head up
Trying hard not to drown

Everything looks gray
The feeling of blah, 
smothering me each day

Needing some shining light,
The gloominess though,
hangs out night after night

Motivation lacking
and energy drained,
my outlook's been blackened

Color has washed away
Dullness sitting in,
despair I can't escape

Passion has disappeared
With joy long gone
depression's back, I fear

Thoughts, easily they spin
like a big vortex
don't want to get sucked in

So I'm hanging on tight
grabbing onto God
praying with all my might

He's my anchor of hope
and will lift the cloud
But not yet, so I cope

It may not happen soon
The weeks might drag on,
hopefully, not till June

Again, the sun will rise
In time, this will pass
and there will be blue skies

Smiles for another day
when the darkness leaves
and the cloud dissipates

Right now, nestling close,
in His wings I'll rest,
in the love that He shows

Copyright © 2021 Aimee Phillippi

Still, I Press On

So burned out and weary
this life looking dreary
Still, I press on.

Energy, it's lacking
the fatigue attacking
Still, I press on.

To-do's piling up
while emptying my cup
Still, I press on.

Day-to-day so routine
the season, in between
Still, I press on.

With my head in the race
continuing to pace
Still, I press on.

Endless tasks, there's no end
adulting, not my friend
Still, I press on.

Thoughts of getting a break
hoping, but a mistake
Still, I press on.

As the night settles in
day coming to an end
Still, I press on.

Time to sit and unwind
Nope! more needs done, I find
Still, I press on.

Then tomorrow, it dawns
and I wake with a yawn
Still, I press on.

Arising with the Son
this marathon to run
Still, I press on.

Remembering the prize
towards Him, I turn my eyes
Still, I press on.

Copyright © 2021 Aimee Phillippi

*This poem was inspired by the following verse I read last night: I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:14

Hanging onto Hope

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. -Psalm 23:4

How do we hang onto hope when we’re struggling with hopelessness? It’s an answer I’m trying to find myself. Having battled severe bouts of depression off and on for years, there are times when my lens on life becomes blurred and my thoughts so negative, hope feels out of reach. But it’s there, because God is our hope and He never changes. We remember that He is the anchor that we ground ourselves to when being tossed about in a sea of despair.

With depression, come feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, a lack of motivation and energy, a loss of interest in things once enjoyed, unbearable fatigue or insomnia, and a mind flooded with negative thoughts. Attempting daily tasks can be a real battle. Some days are a constant treading of water to survive and keep from drowning. Some of my worst episodes of depression were best described to friends, this way-if there was a pill ten feet from me that could make me feel 100% better, it was just too hard to get out of bed and grab it. It was just too hard. Everything feels too hard-facing the day, brushing your teeth, taking a shower. Simple everyday tasks become mountain climbers. Depression sucks everything from your being. There is a deadness, an emptiness, a void inside. It’s a deep, dark abyss.

So how do we hold onto that hope-to Him, during these times? Taking captive each negative thought that comes to mind, we give them to Jesus, then we direct our thoughts towards Him and fix our eyes on the One who can give us peace. While keeping our focus on Him, we make make ourselves do one activity we once enjoyed, for fifteen minutes, setting a timer if we need to. Then, we force ourselves to find things to be grateful for each day, writing them down if we must, and we remind ourselves that every good and perfect gift that we have to be thankful for is from Jesus. And we remember that when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us-always with us.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” -Psalm 62:5 So, we rest in Him. And we fill ourselves with His Word. When depression makes every little thing feel like it requires so much effort and even reading the Bible is hard, we can listen by turning on an audible Bible app, such as YouVersion, and listening to the Word. Psalms 130:5-6 says “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.” We wait. We pour out our hearts to Him. And we hope in his powerful Word. Then, reminding ourselves that this is temporary, we tell ourselves that this too, shall pass, because it will-even though it feels as though it will last forever. Having lived through too many bouts of depression to count, I am living proof. Grab that Anchor, hang on for dear life, ruminate on His Word and don’t let go. Let’s let Him be our light in the depths of our darkness.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. -Psalm 40:1-3

*This is not medical advice, nor is this meant to be a substitute for medical help. It is my personal experience I am sharing and what I am currently trying to do to help myself during a season of depression.

Illuminate Me, Lord

Here’s a not so pretty poem I wrote about chronic illness in July of this year. I was really struggling, y’all. Having persistent Lyme disease, I don’t always know what each day will bring. It’s the nature of this beast. Thankfully, the past few months have been significantly better than the day I wrote this. This last summer, I was hanging by a thread of hope.

Waves of hope ebb and flow
as thoughts of death come and go

Held hostage to weakness
Pushing to merely exist

Fatigue the enemy 
Sucking life from this body

Beaten-slammed to the ground
No energy to rebound

A system waging war
No fight left here anymore

Pain shoved so far deep down
No longer can I be found

This illness has battered
My life long gone and shattered

Broken pieces of me
Shards of who I used to be

Nothing left but a shell
from days lived in brutal hell

Black as dark as the night
Alone, in bed, out of sight

Too frail to stop these thoughts
Into the abyss I drop

Undertows drowning me
A hope-filled heart now empty

Illuminate me, Lord
Fill me with Truth from your Sword
Copyright © 2020 Aimee Phillippi