Depression is a heaviness of the soul. When I feel depressed, my entire body feels its weight plus more. My arms dangle because if I try to lift them, it takes all my energy. My core feels like a dull rod has been staked through it. I muster my strength to do what […]
I want to tell you about my experience with depression. I think God allows some of us to experience it in our lives. But we can have hope in the midst of it, and we can go up from depression.
As a young mother, I fell into a deep post-partum depression. Attacks of depression continued over seven years. They would vary in length with the longest period lasting for nine months. I lived in a very isolated area and rarely visited a doctor or talked with other people. One thing I continued to do though, was talk to God and cry out in my despair.
Up From Depression
I’m a Christian. I recognized at a very early age my need for God and His deep love for me. Years later, I was in the pit of despair, crying out to a God that I felt had abandoned me.
I thought Christians shouldn’t be depressed. My husband and friends couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. Their comments pushed me to a place of deeper despair. Again, I called out to God for help. Where was He? Had I so disappointed Him that He would not hear me? When I felt most tormented I would read my Bible looking for relief and comfort.
In the following Bible passages God spoke to me:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
“Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in – behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me;
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is a light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, 0 God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would out number the grains of sand.
When I awake I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked, 0 God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, 0 Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, 0 God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting”
Slowly, these truths began to touch my heart. God began to show me the steps I needed to take in order to begin my journey up from depression. As I stepped out in faith, believing the truths and principles that He had shown me, I began to realize God’s plan for my life.
How do You Gain Victory Over Depression?
I can only speak to you from my own experience. I’ve found the following helpful in dealing with depression and releasing me from its hold:
- Recognize that God is with you and has always been with you.
- Realize that He has a plan for your life.
- Relinquish control of your life to God.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive and truthful thoughts.
- Rely on God because He is at work in your life.
In order to take these steps, you will need the power that only the Holy Spirit can give. God wants to be our leverage in living, empowering us to feel better about ourselves, more excited about our future, more grateful for those we love and more enthusiastic about our faith.
* Special thanks to Barbara Epp for her story
Here’s a question and a call to action: What can you do now to help support someone with a mental illness? Please leave a comment. Also please consider subscribing to my blog and feel free to follow me on Twitter, or “like” my Facebook page. Thanks!