Depression Confession

I have been thinking a lot about depression lately and what causes it. I’ve often found myself blaming ME for feeling this way, thinking: maybe I’m just an ingrate, maybe I’m not walking closely enough with God, or maybe I’m partaking in some sin that has got me hog-tied to depression. Although all of these things may be true, I’ve also just realized that many very godly people in the Bible suffered from depression (David, Naomi, King Solomon, Job, Hannah, Jeremiah). Perhaps their depression was self-imposed, or perhaps it was the aftermath of a terrible circumstance. Maybe it was a chemical or hormonal imbalance much like what I suffer from. The important thing is that – regardless of the cause of the depression – The Lord stands firm and does not change his mind on this subject. He is WITH US through it all. Maybe we don’t feel it, and maybe we cannot perceive His closeness to us. But the Bible {God’s Word} tells me the TRUTH about God and His character. It says that “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV) Many times, I feel that the Lord is distant from me. But, much like a true friend with whom I have not reached out to in quite some time – if I just call to them, they will be close to me as if nothing has ever changed. We catch up from where we last left off, and it seems that they were never absent. However, if I withdraw from the friendship and do not reach out, I will be unable to feel the closeness that was once there. God’s position never changes. He is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow. We are the ones who have not reached out to Him. We try oh-so-hard to just “go it alone”. It has become so trendy to seem like we have got it all together.  Hollywood celebrities make it seem so easy to be famous with millions of fans, raising a family in the limelight, jet-setting from country to country, maintaining multiple million-dollar homes, all while looking spectacular in the newest fashions day in and day out.  But we cannot keep up with this façade.  It is a lie that the enemy is feeding us – because no one has it all together all of the time. Period.

The other thing I have realized is that maybe this is the thorn in my side (much like Paul’s in the Bible). While some people may struggle with fear, pride, or any other area of contention, perhaps my “thorn” is depression.  Perhaps one of the reasons God allows us to have a thorn is to allow us to reach others that have the same thorn. People who have not suffered from depression CANNOT understand the feelings of overwhelming sadness, self-defeat, and lack of motivation that stem from depression. There is no “just pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get on with life” antidote to clinical depression. Not only do we {depressed people} have to figure out how to navigate life as normal human beings, but we also have a stigma attached to us that we are lazy, negative, or lacking in faith. There are days when I feel just fine and can live life as a “normal” person. But there are days when I feel like my world is caving in, and it’s got nothing to do with my family, my husband, my kids, or my life. I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband that is my best friend, three healthy children that are a joy to be around, a decent paying job, a warm and cozy home that fits us perfectly and amazing family and friends who try to lift me up when I am down. But that is not enough some days. Most of the time, I cannot put my finger on the cause. But the cause is not as important as the Cure. And the Cure is Jesus. He may never take away my blues completely, but if I give it to Him then He can use it to His glory. He makes beauty from ashes. He can surely make something beautiful of my sad hours. He can surely point me towards the light at the end of the perpetual tunnel of life. And He can set my feet upon a rock. I refuse to give in to defeat, and I refuse to turn away from the life He has for me, depression or not.  My prayer is that you find hope in these words today, and know that you are not alone if depression is your personal battle.  Below are some more encouraging words from the Bible regarding depression:

~Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

~The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18, NIV)

~So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

~”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12, NIV)

~And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (John 14:16, KJV)

~(Jesus said) “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, NIV)

~My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:7-10)

One thought on “Depression Confession

  1. I love you even more for being vulnerable and allowing others to benefit from your walk. I needed these words and probably will again in the days to come. All my love ~ Jen Hess

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