CliffNotes: October

3rd Thursday

Faith and Depression

Key thoughts:

You are not alone | It can happen to anyone | There is always hope

What is depression? (The opposite is joy and connection)

  • A feeling, not an identity (I am feeling depressed vs. I am depressed) 
  • Jesus felt all emotions. Emotions are not right or wrong
  • Emotions are teachers
  • Can be caused by many things
  • Often what many label as depression is actually unhealed grief

Common causes: Biological, lack of attending to your needs or lack of self-awareness, thoughts, anger turned inward, unforgiveness, not listening to your heart, incongruent, negative self-talk, isolation (we need God + safe others), boundary issues, unresolved trauma, numbing pain/joy

What do you do about it?

Manage daily mood and self-regulation (be present), get a physical exam, be gentle with yourself and get curious/no judgment, find one safe person, learn what triggers, connect – confess- slow down and let your feelings teach you, self-care – ask yourself what you need? What brings you joy? , Strive for 2% changes (things won’t get fixed overnight but how can you move towards a 2% improvement), be or become a calm non-anxious presence that doesn’t try to fix, pray (connect with love, truth, and grace), grieve, feel, let tears out, begin to learn how loved you are by God, learn to label feelings, stop drinking, rewrite negative self-talk, listen to your heart, spend time in nature, hugs, hydrate, do fun things, sleep, learn new skills. 

Thoughts on Shepherding

We don’t talk a lot about shepherds in our western culture. This ancient metaphor for leadership has lost some of its impacts as we have moved farther and farther away from any connection with a professional shepherd. Yet, shepherding is one of the oldest professions and was actually one of the oldest symbols for Christ prior to the cross. In the ancient catacombs, they found that the earliest pictures of Christ were that of the “Good Shepherd” several hundred years before the cross image gained in popularity. In the Old Testament and in Eastern culture, leaders were frequently described as shepherds of their people. There were both good and bad shepherds and people would look to the flock’s condition as a judgment on the true heart of the shepherd.

As we look at the rapid changing in our society and culture we see our “flocks” faced with challenges that many shepherds have never had to navigate before. There are wolves, although they may not be new, that are enhanced in some ways by technology. At times there seems to be more and more distance between the green pastures and still water that people are in such desperate need of receiving. 

Collegiate Abbey is currently developing a new resource for those that lead at our university called “Shepherd’s Abbey”. Shepherd’s Abbey is a resource to help sustain shepherds and cultivate the flourishing of our communities. 

We would love your prayers as we seek God in the development of this resource and how it may be an encouraging and developmental tool to those who lead.  

We look forward to sharing aspects of this training with you. 


How we are praying for you

May you learn to love learning, for the world is the Lord’s, and all the things in it speak of the Lord. They teach us of your mind, your designs, your artistry, your power, and your unfolding purpose.  All knowledge is the Lord’s. All wisdom is the Lord’s.  Therefore may you apply yourself to learning and be mindful that all created things are the Lord’s creative expression, that all stories are held within His greater story, and that all disciplines of order and design are a chasing after His thoughts – so that greater mastery of these subjects will yield ever greater knowledge of the symmetry and wonder of His ways.

How you can pray for us

  • Please pray for wisdom and discernment as we serve you and the campus community.
  • Please pray for God’s continued provision as the ministry of -Collegiate Abbey grows and develops.
  • Please pray for our families and spouses, for their safety and protection and flourishing.
  • Please pray for our November events and the details to come together.
  • Please pray for our new resource “Shepherd’s Abbey” which is currently in development.
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