Depression · God's Sovereignty

What the Church Looks Like (or at least should look like) God’s Instrument – Josie Barone

“It’s the hurting and wounded who are always the ones called to be medics – to administer lavish grace, to cast the messy in the best, merciful light. The best way to tend to your open wounds is to open your arms. Out-loving is the only ointment that healed anything.” Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience (thanks Alyssa for sharing this)

This is difficult to write because it brings me back to that disturbing morning, those disturbing months, the disturbing person I became; but it must be shared and brought to light because there just might be someone out there who is right where I was in December 2012.

She had to be at church that morning. She is the Children’s Minister and had to be at church that morning to perform a skit. Instead, she answered my call and came to my rescue…and saved my life.

I think I got maybe 2 hours of sleep that night and had been dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, depression and insomnia for several months already. I just couldn’t see going on like that, but I reached for help remembering all that God had brought me through in the past. She brought me hope, and enlisted an army. When she told me she had to tell “others” I didn’t like it but didn’t have the strength to question. Those others prayed for me, called me, sheltered me and Bri, encouraged us, advised me and simply loved. It is the type of “church” that Jesus and the disciples fought and died for. The church that heals the hurting, wounded, broken. It is the type of church that doesn’t judge when someone doesn’t have it all together and has nearly given up hope.

I won’t lie and say that everyone who crossed my path at church was loving and understanding. Some people were just plain tired of me and it showed all over their faces and in their words. They made me feel like my depression expiration date had come and gone and I was sour.

Josie Barone was my angel that morning, and continues to shine the light for me in the dark places. I’ve had the privilege of designing her blog and look forward to a life-long friendship with her. Please take a moment to check out her blog:

Yellow Brick Identity

I know I’ll probably miss someone (my apologies if I do but that time period is still kind of fuzzy),  but here is the team of people/organizations who helped me during that difficult time: My savior and Lord, my sweet girl, Briana, with her patience, perseverance and hope that I would get better (a post about her is coming soon), Irene and Andy White, my mom Gloria, Norma Hernandez, my brothers Jeff and David Hernandez and niece and nephews, Oak Hills Church/Counseling, Leon Springs Baptist Church/Counseling, Tullian Tchividjian, LIBERATE, and Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Alyssa De Los Santos, Inside Out, Dr. Maria Jirka, Maxine Nadeau, Zulema Lira, Karen Pyles, Julie Corbett, Ana Resendez and her uncle, Kathleen Kennemer, Marisa Duenas, Jennifer Marquardt, Sandra Flores-Surprise, Megan Sendejo, Julie Aguilar, OHC Women’s Wednesday Night Bible Study, Christyn Taylor, RaphaGod Ministries, Celebrate Recovery, Denalyn Lucado, Linda Olsen, my coworkers, TBN, Melody Ross and the Brave Girls Club, etc.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4

“The church is not a select circle of the immaculate, but a home where the outcast may come in. It is not a palace with gate attendants and challenging sentinels along the entrance-ways holding off at arm’s-length the stranger, but rather a hospital where the broken-hearted may be healed, and where all the weary and troubled may find rest and take counsel together.”  James H. Aughey

———————————————————————————————————————Special Note:

It was discovered in February of this year that I had a major Vitamin D Deficiency that was the underlying cause of my anxiety and depression issues. I now take 5000iu of Vitamin D everyday and God is healing me in amazing ways. I encourage anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety to please ask their doctor to perform the 25(OH)D blood test. Here is an article about the psychological consequences of Vitamin D Deficiency:

Psychological Consequences of Vitamin D Deficiency

I admire the work that Dr. Greenblatt is doing to draw attention to this issue. I have been on the depression roller coaster for much of my adult life, and it amazes me that something as simple as a nutritional deficiency could wreak such havoc on a person’s mind and body.

Christina

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3 thoughts on “What the Church Looks Like (or at least should look like) God’s Instrument – Josie Barone

  1. Wow! I am so humbled to read this today. I will never forget that day. My heart hurt for you and I had no clue on what to do to help you through. You are a dear friend. You give much more than you ever receive. I am so grateful to have helped you on the occasion you needed to receive His love and comfort in a tangible way through me. I love you my friend…and am excited to see the “life” of Jesus pouring out of you again!

  2. Oh Christina! Thank you for sharing your story. We felt so helpless in ourselves to do anything except to pray for you and ask others to pray! I was blessed and honored that you reached out for help during those dark days instead of just hiding away! What a thrill it has been to watch you bloom! Continue your healthy walk with our Lord because it is an incredible encouragement to so many! I love you!

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