Lesley Ann Barklay: Guest Post & Giveaway

Hi guys! To wrap up May and Mental Health Awareness Month, I have one last writer friend from Australia with a message of hope. Also, today is the last chance to enter to win Cece Winans cd Believe for it. Make sure to enter! Hugs- Jessy http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fa80744f2/?

Hope in the Darkness
Hi all! My name’s Lesley Barklay. I’m a Christian, a wife, a mother of two, a teacher, an author, and a sufferer of anxiety and depression.

I was first diagnosed in 2009 with depression after some tough experiences teaching in a small school in the Australian outback. This, combined with four years of unsuccessful attempts to fall pregnant, and everything fell to pieces in a fairly spectacular way. I ended up spending a week hospital in my hometown before being transferred to a mental hospital in another town. I was discharged the very next day after a spectacular meltdown in which I screamed at the nurse, my mother-in-law, and my loving husband.

I think telling him it was all his fault was probably when I hit rock bottom.

I woke up the next day and something had changed. I was discharged, and while the road wasn’t smooth, things got better, slowly and surely.

These days, I still struggle with anxiety.

Some days are harder than others.
Some days, I wake up and tell God, “You have to do it today, Lord, I’ve got nothing.”
Some days, I try to keep things together, but I break before I get out the door.

I’m going through a rough patch at the moment, to be honest. My brain keeps telling me I’m not good enough. I’m letting people down. Everyone hates me. I’m a fraud: a bad wife, a bad mother, a bad teacher, a bad friend.

Through the whole experience, though, the ups and downs, God is always there. Even when I don’t feel him, even when I can’t see Him, He walks beside me. He reminds me that in the darkest valleys, there is hope.

In my favourite quote from C.s. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters (and if you haven’t read it, you should check it out; it’s amazing!) Screwtape advises his nephew Wormwood: “Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”

I have asked, “Why have you forsaken me?” many times.

I wrote the following poem in the valley of despair, looking out and seeing all hope vanished. I pray it will encouragement to you to remember God’s promises, even when you are in the darkness.

I will fear no evil
Oh God, oh God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from the groaning of my lips?

When enemies surround me and I have nowhere to turn
I look to the heavens and I see but clouds.
When I flee from the pursuer and feel his breath on my shoulder
I cry out to You, but the heavens are silent.
When my soul wages civil war, my mind and heart torn apart by pain
I seek Your face, but the heavens mock me.

Oh Lord, my God, creator and sustainer.
I am drowning in my sorrow;
I am buffeted by the waves of this storm;
I can hear no comfort over the crash of thunder.

Where are You?

And yet, You are the Mighty One.
You too waged war in your soul:
‘If this cup could be taken from me…
Yet not my will, but Yours.’
You felt the pain of betrayal;
You felt the grief of loss;
You felt the sting of tears;
You felt the prick of thorns.
You walked the path of Calvary.

Your death was the ransom for my betrayal;
Your heart knew the grief of my loss.
Your sacrifice bought a future without tears;
Your wounds were inflicted for my redemption.
You walked the path of Calvary
that You might set us free from sin and fear and death.

Oh Jesus, my Jesus, take me home.
Be my rock and my stronghold, my God in whom I trust.

I will wait on the Lord, for he is mighty to save.
I will sing to the Lord, for he bottles my tears.
I will praise the Lord, for he stills my fears.
I will glorify the Lord, for he refines me in the furnace


Email: authorlesleybarklay@hotmail.com

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