Category Archives: depression

The Struggle is Real

I’ve never made a secret in this blog of suffering from depression. I’ve even written a few times about it. Today, I thought I’d give you a fuller picture of what it’s like for me–not for sympathy, but for knowledge, for education, and to fulfill my “no longer faking fine” promise.

So, depression–what is it like to suffer from it? First, it can’t be prayed away like some Christians seems to think. It’s an illness just like cancer or heart disease–something is wrong with the biochemistry of my brain. Many people function well with depression. I take medication, and most of the time, I do function well. But, that doesn’t discount that there is something wrong with me and that there are areas where I do struggle. Essentially, it is an invisible illness which people are afraid to talk about. I think that might be one reason that people think it can be prayed away. They can’t see it so they can’t see the pain and hurt that results.

There are symptoms though that can be seen several of which I’ve experienced lately. They have brought depression back into full focus for me and helped me to know how crippling it can be. Wanting to sleep all of the time, not wanting to eat, not caring about anything. In fact, I spent part of Thursday and most of Friday in the bed with all of these feelings, and it’s been a slow road back since then. I was overwhelmed with despair, in fact, still am overwhelmed, and that seems to be when the symptoms of depression hit me the hardest. It’s hard to function when I’m hurting that badly, and I felt like I was an awful person because I couldn’t. I kept hearing the words “give yourself grace, give yourself grace” though. Words from God, I think, and they were a comfort.

I struggled and prayed (Yes, people with depression do pray.) through these symptoms and feelings and came out the other side, well, mostly. Depression makes life hard for me to manage, sometimes harder than I’d like. For some people though, the struggle is harder or even impossible, and I don’t want to minimize their pain. Depression affects everyone who struggles with it in different ways because we are all different people.

We need to become more comfortable with talking about depression and not shy away from someone who says they have it. We, especially in the church, need to be careful about telling sufferers to just pray about it, put it in Jesus’ hands, or worst of all, imply that someone who hasn’t been “cured” of their depression isn’t as good of a Christian as they are. Those have all happened to me, and Satan has used them to draw me away from God. Trust me, isolation is not a good thing.

People who suffer from depression are normal people. We are not scary. We smile. We lift our hands and sing praises to God. We live our lives just as those who are broken in some other way. We just struggle in different ways than other people do. In other words, for people who suffer from depression, the struggle is real. Feel free to share your struggle in the comments section. I will pray for all of you.

God’s blessings on all of you today!

 

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Light in the Midst of Darkness

I spoke of my depression on Monday and how I felt like I had been walking through darkness and having to put one foot in front of the other without knowing where I was going. Today, I want to talk about how there has been light in the midst of my darkness.

Sometimes, the light has come in tiny wisps, and other times, a bright spotlight has shined at one place along the road to show that God has not forgotten me or my pain. One of those wisps has been at my favorite writing place. We live in an apartment complex near a lake, and one of the many walking trails leads down to the edge of the lake where there is a stone bench. I have spent many hours gazing at the lake as I’ve poured out my heart on paper. It’s an up close and personal view of God’s creation. It’s peaceful there, a feeling I haven’t been able to feel anywhere else recently. I’m not sure if it’s because of the lack of people or just the stillness in the midst of chaos. Maybe both.

The light I see in the sky reminds me of the light spoken of in Scripture. There are so many examples which have encouraged me, but I will only quote a few.

Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

Another example comes from 2 Corinthians 4:6. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

Revelation 22:5 was a great encouragement to me. “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

And finally, from 2 Samuel 22:29. “You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.”

The last verse brought it all into focus. God is my lamp. Without Him in my life, all I have is complete darkness without the possibility of any light. I don’t want that. Not by a long shot. So, I hold onto God with all of my might and have faith that He will put light in my path just when I need it. It doesn’t mean I won’t have darkness or pain. It means He will walk with me through it.

That brings me to the spotlight God gave me at the beginning of this week. My son turned in an essay assignment for our homeschool. It was his testimony. I read it and started to cry. Even with the mess we have gone through for the last five years and are still continuing to go through, we have made an impact on his life and brought him to a saving knowledge of God. His writing was very deep and personal so I’m not going to share it anywhere, but it was something God knew I needed to read. A spotlight, so to speak, and something to bolster my faith.

I’m grateful for the wisps of light and the spotlights in the midst of my darkness, and I pray that we will all see the light God puts in our paths today as evidence of His presence.

God’s blessings on all of you today!