Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night,
while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

These things I remember as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”

My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Driving home from the cancer center today I could hardly see through my tears. It took painful work, but they were able to get my port accessed and get good blood return. I wanted to feel happy about that. I wanted to be thankful. But all I could feel (other than the physical pain) was the overwhelming sense of fear and dread, the “what if?” of the results of bloodwork tomorrow. The scans and tests that loom in the future. The unknown lies heavy over me. The doubts that reign.

I know a large part of my emotion is an exhaustion that is all-encompassing. I am not sleeping well. I am wrestling the dark thoughts and fears that wash over me; chanting prayers all through the night. I am still hypo on my thyroid medication which causes a depression that refuses to lift. I am still in pain from treatment, even from chemo a year ago. I have no appetite and have to force myself to eat so I will have strength. I am emotionally weary from the overwhelming loneliness of days of separation. I long for companionship, for physical touch. I am spiritually weary from the battle… mentally, emotionally, physically.

Y’all these days are hard. I am a roller coaster of emotions. I am three days away from holding my babies again, and I feel guilty because I’m still struggling with depression. Satan wants to rob me of that joy. He doesn’t want me to see the beauty in each day, to be grateful, to grow. He wants the ugliness of cancer to impact me not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually and mentally. He doesn’t want me to live life. He wants me self-consumed and miserable.

Psalm 42 isn’t a happy psalm. He is in depression. He is struggling with questions. He is in agony. He is battling the enemy.

BUT

He is fighting for hope.

He still sings.

He preaches truth to himself.

And so I follow his example and I preach truth to myself. I may be isolated, but He will never abandon me. I may be exhausted, but He is my strength. I may feel like a failure, but He will never fail me. I may buckle under the weight of the blows of the enemy, but He is my shield. I may let go to steady myself, but He will never release His hold on me. I may not be able to sing the harmony, but He is singing over me. I may feel death in my body, but He has conquered death. I may feel as if life is against me, but He is FOR me.

And like the psalmist, I turn on my music and I sing my song of desperation asking God to “consume me from the inside out”.

And like the psalmist, I am fighting for hope.

Because that is one thing I know I have. A future and a hope.

17 responses to “Why Are You Downcast, O My Soul?”

  1. I am praying for you Angie.

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    1. Hello Angie keep hoping it is so very difficult in times such as this. The enemy is a liar. We have a hope. One that is so very difficult to grasp in our earthly bodies
      We need to keep on believing push throug the fears my heart goes out to you

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  2. Praying for your hope and your future Angie.

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  3. Oh, Angie, I am so sorry. I hate this for you. I hate the lies of evil. I hate the fear. I hate that you have to wrestle the darkness. I praise God, that He has planted in you, hope. May His Spirit do His work.

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  4. We are praying for you, and for your dear family.

    Our Sunday school lesson this week was “Never-tiring”. God is never, ever, ever tired — even as you battle the overwhelming exhaustion of body, mind, and spirit, God is actively watching over you and attentively listening to your cries for help.

    I wish I were there right now to give you a hug.

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  5. Oh my dear Angie,

    How I wish that I could take you up in my lap and “rock, rock” and hug and kiss you and make it all better taking away all of the pain and suffering, the depression and loneliness. But that is my mother’s heart of love for you. And I will pray for you and trust the ONE who loves you so much more than I could ever begin too.

    I’ll love you forever,
    Mom

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  6. All my petty problems seem so insignificant…

    Praying for you Angie.

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  7. “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord your God who has compassion on you.
    (Isaiah 54:10)

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  8. My dear Angie,

    There is no one or anybody who is acquainted with your afflictions like He is, and there is no one who is as close as He is. He will never leave you or forsake you. He holds you up in His right hand. Praise be to God that He indwells us by His Holy Spirit and His love will bear us up under anything and everything that comes our way. It believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things and will never fade away. May this love fill your inward most parts. May He flood you with Himself.

    Sharing with you in this victory of knowing Him.

    Blessings to you,
    Judie

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  9. Did you read ‘of First Importance’ yesterday?

    “Everything is necessary that he sends. Nothing can be necessary that he withholds.”

    – John Newton

    Do you believe this? Do I believe this? I soo want to…and yet sometimes I don’t.

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  10. When you don’t have the strength to fend off fear, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you need to borrow the faith of your friends and family for a while. It seems you have a whole lot of faithful people who love you like crazy. I’m sure they’re willing to lend you some of their hope and prayers. I am one of them 🙂

    I hope you don’t get too down on yourself on the depressed days. Go easy on you, knowing that you won’t stay feeling that way. You won’t. You can sometimes though because this is REALLY hard. Allow yourself that. Your faith is still there under it all. Even your joy, under it all.

    I’m preaching now. I just would hate it if you felt guilty. I get all depressed and funktified and my shoes are NOT nearly as uncomfortable as yours. God gets that. He’s grace IS sufficient, His mercies NEW every morning.

    OK, I’ll stop now. Fine.

    Peace,
    Heather

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  11. I meant HIS grace, not He’s grace. But I suppose both are true (;

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  12. That is one of my favorite parts of scripture. I am praying it will minister to the depths of your soul!

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  13. Angie, I needed this today so much. Really. Thank you. I love you and am continually praying for you. I can’t wait to give you a hug again soon when I come back for break.

    Much love,
    Sarah

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  14. Praying for you Angie… as the dawn breaks in this early Colorado morning, may His joy, peace and calm break forth for you as well. Keeping you close to our hearts this day…

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  15. Just listened to CJ Mahaney speak on this passage (via, CHBC’s podcast). He shared the same observation. This psalm is about those moments when we must preach the gospel to ourself.

    You and Brian are so freagin’ courageous. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing as frequently, gut-wrenchingly, and descriptively as you do.

    Press On !

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  16. I came across your website while doing a search for something and this is the page that came up. If you don’t have the book called Healed of Cancer by Dodie Osteen, please get it! It’s helped me through many a health battle. It’s short, but very valuable.
    I just had to pray for you and your family. For a long, healthy, prosperous life. That you would never get cancer again, and that God would heal your body. I pray for strength, persistance and tenacity of spirit. I pray for joyous days ahead.
    Amy

    Like

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