I am so thankful at how God has carried me through this year. I have a few observations I want to make.
First, how boss J. went on a rampage against me at the end of 2009, making the beginning of 2010 pretty bad for quite some time. My depression was back, this time clearly situational in nature and nothing my medication could help with. A meeting with someone above him to try to resolve the issue only made him feel more powerful against me.
However, things were happening behind the scenes that I was not privy to, and I now see that what happened was that he was given enough rope to hang himself, and he did that quite well. I ended up vindicated and he was told to lay off on me. The punishments he levied were 95% undone, and I can live with the 5% remaining. So God saw me through that.
Second, I was able to get off my anti-depressant this summer. I was already on the highest allowed dose of Celexa because when I first started getting treatment for my thyroid a year or two ago, the medication made me very edgy and I would cry easily. The doctor raised my dose of Celexa and that took care of that problem.
So this summer I decide that I've long since adjusted to the medication so it's time to go back down to my regular dose. I wean myself off the 60mg back down to 40mg. I felt pretty good so I decided to see if I could go lower without the depression returning. I went down to 30mg and then the starting dose of 20mg and still felt good. Eventually I got myself off completely. I never thought that the depression I have had my whole life was a thyroid issue! Yet on thyroid meds, the depression has resolved along with all the other symptoms. I thank God for exposing the true cause of my depression and getting me on the right medication to combat it.
There was a little edginess I felt after getting off the meds and I am dealing with it through natural means - St. John's Wort and Omega 3 oil. I would like to think that I will be able to stop taking the St. John's Wort and then continue with the Omega 3 oil just because it's healthy. I will probably try that this coming year.
Third, and the pinnacle of joy and grace this year, God opened my eyes and heart to what is classically called Calvinism or Reformed theology. This evolution did not come out of nowhere (though I began talking about it at a very specific point in time). I listened for a long time before I said anything, and during that listening time God worked in my heart to make what used to be repugnant become something beautiful and desirable.
I wrote two notes about this - How this came to be, and It has to be said - so I will not repeat myself here except to say that I am so thankful for His grace. I certainly don't deserve the blessing of knowing Him better, yet He has chosen to reveal a little more of Himself to me. That is pure grace.
I certainly don't understand everything about these doctrines of grace, but I have made a start. Many thanks to the ministry of Dr. James White for introducing my to these topics and getting me to think Biblically. I can now embrace passages and chapters I used to avoid.
Fourth (and connected to point number three), I want to mention that as I searched for information on Reformed theology I came across the ministry of John Piper. More than a source for information, I found his message quite challenging, and he has made me think about God - and sin - in a new way.
It is evident from a handwritten note in my 10th Anniversary Edition of Desiring God that I completely missed the entire point Pastor John tried to make. I noticed the 25th Anniversary Edition is coming out next month, and I think I have grown a bit in the last 14 years of being a Christian. I now understand what he means by "Christian hedonism" and why this truth is both liberating and devastating.
God is calling me to more - to be so satisfied in Him that I will willingly lay aside the false and passing pleasures that compete for His place. I pray that He will help me in this journey. "God is most glorified in us when we are more satisfied in Him." This is the highest goal I - or anyone - can aspire to.
And that leads me to my last point. Some of you may know this and some may not, but I have been fighting Binge Eating Disorder for the last year. My weight has skyrocketed. I have been fighting this in my own strength - and losing. Perhaps God is using this to get me to turn to Him. I cannot overcome this on my own, but "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). And so I commend this eating disorder and myself to Him and pray He will help me through this.
Soli Deo gloria!