From a very young age I can remember crying myself to sleep, homesick at heart, “I want to go home.” The problem with this memory is that I was home. In the home I shared with my Mother and younger sister and brother.
These feelings and this refrain stuck with me as I grew up and still, I would find myself homesick, heartbroken over a loss I couldn’t name. “I want to go home.”
Like many, I was pretty wild and enraptured with the whole being grown up now and legal for anything side of life. I was pretty careless and depression and manic mood swings patterned my life. “I want to go home.” was the cave inside my mind where I could curl in a ball and hide from everything I didn’t understand and couldn’t seem to make myself fit into like it appeared everyone else could and did so easily. When I wasn’t hiding, I was full-bore-ahead, manic, and ready to take on anything and all. Bulletproof.
Right until I wasn’t. I wasn’t bulletproof. And as the world tilted, and I knew I was already dead, I heard His voice. God spoke to me. Just one word, but I knew and to this day have known and recognized that voice. God spoke to me one word, and I knew in that instant, He was giving me a choice. He said, “Really?”
No. Oh, yes, but no. I felt so much, thought and understood so much in that fraction of a moment in which I heard Him say “Really?”
It took three long years after that day for which I was to become even remotely human again; I share with people, looking back. But it wasn’t all only the pain and learning to walk again. It was a deep and ugly anger. How was this the better choice? So time continued and I breathed, ate, cried and learned not to limp.
Living our lives, one day a very old friend of Terry’s happened to cross our path at a nearby airport. As they rejoiced at seeing each other after so many years, Terry’s friend turned to greet a lady coming from the office when the whole world stopped inside me. I could see and hear introductions, I could see people hugging and smiling. I couldn’t move, I could barely draw a breath. Couldn’t they see?
She was an angel. I knew with no hesitation that she was an angel sent from God our Father to wake me up, shake me up, allow me to see her, to see God in my life as she stood in front of me with her hand stretched out waiting for me to meet her.
An angel, sent from God. It was time for me to crawl out of that hidden cave and into His light.
Confusion and frustration can grow from the chaos of people who claim to understand depression. Neuroscience and psychology offer many theories, but not all are based on facts and most are void of faith.
Depression is not simply a medical problem or a mental problem, depression is often a being human problem.
Those suffering from depression can experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, fatigue and a host of other symptoms. They may begin to feel useless and even suicidal.
Depression is a very real condition, and while it may be situational and can be remedied through and with God’s help with prayer, support groups, fellowship, confession, forgiveness and counseling, clinical depression is a physical condition and the symptoms cannot be alleviated by will alone.
Depression can sometimes be caused by a physical disorder that needs to be treated with medication and/or counseling. Of course God is able to cure any disease or disorder, but in many cases, seeing a doctor for depression is no different than seeing a doctor for an injury.
Emotions can lead us astray when the depression has hold, so be sure to immerse into the Word, as God’s Word stands firm and unchanging. Remember when these terrible trials and temptations to hold even tighter to Him.
Even when those who are suffering, there are things to help and alleviate the pain, Stay inside the Word. Emotions may lead you differently, but hold always onto God’s love. Always.
Almost everyone at some point experience a period of sadness. Most, pass with time but sometimes the sadness continues.
When caught in this prolonged period of sadness, you may recognize one or more of the signs of depression: a growing mistrust of God, resentment of others, difficulty making decisions, guilt, inactivity, sleeplessness or oversleeping, not eating or overeating, doubting, complaining, worrying, and hopelessness, as though you’re in an inescapable pit.
The Bible was not created for us to read and feel good about, but to speak truth into our lives. One of these important truths is the strength and support God will give to you when you feel like your own strength and support have vanished.
The Scriptures wont heal your depression, but they will help you ground yourself in truth, so when the wave of sadness rises, you can remember who you are rooted in.
Some days you might feel like you’ve lost all your strength. That the world could go on perfectly fine without you. Remember: You are loved and wanted by a God bigger than the entire universe.
When you are feeling lonely, anxious, or depressed look to our Heavenly Father, for He will give you the strength to keep going.
We have nothing to fear in life because God walks beside us. When you feel lonely remember that even if no one else is there, He is. When you experience feelings of fear remember that He will never leave you. Other people will come and go but God will never leave you.
When you are weak, hopeless, or lost look to God. He is a shield around us, protecting us from harm. Even when we feel completely broken by the feelings of depression, He is still there to lift us up and shield us; we have only to ask.
When you are feeling depressed, remember He is there. He will lift you out of your sorrows and place you on solid ground!
God hears your cries and will rescue you from whatever pit you are in. He will steady you, and put a song in your heart, that you have never experienced before.
When others ignore your cry for help or your tears from pain, God will be there. Not only is He there, but also He is waiting to lift you up out of the pit and place you in a place where you can stand firm.
When you are facing depression it may feel like your spirit is entirely crushed, like there is no life left in you. When you are experiencing this pain remember that He is near to you.
When you are feeling sad and upset, look to the God who created you and remember that He wants you, and He is near you.
When you feel like you can’t go on, and there is nothing left of your strength, remember that He is there to give you rest and hope. When you feel like you have nothing left to give, look to Jesus. He is the light for you at the end of that dark cave.
God’s love and strength are faithful. They aren’t dependent on us. He loves us faithfully and waits for us to call on Him.
Depression can make you feel like you have nothing left. It may seem like you’ve reached the point of no return, but in reality, there is no pit too deep for God. He will renew your strength, despite how helpless you may feel.
Remember, there is nothing in this world that can separate you from the love of God. There is no sin too bad, no failure too deep, and no insecurity too large to ward off the love of God. While everything else in the world will fail you, He is the one constant that never will.
Take only one step at a time. Very carefully, just focus on that one step. Most other people won’t notice the awkwardness just take that one step. They have no concept of the heroism involved with this one step.
As you take this step, remember to use every resource you have ever learned about persevering through hardship. It will involve a lot of moment-to-moment choices. Like that one step, take one moment at a time. Read one short Bible passage. Try to care about someone else.
As you take one step at a time, don’t forget that depression doesn’t exempt you from the other problems that batter us human beings. Sometimes when we are hurting we have a hard time seeing other things that creep in – things like anger, fear, and an unforgiving spirit.
Do you have negative, critical, or complaining thoughts? These can point to anger. Are you holding onto anger against someone?
Do you want to stay in bed all day? Are there parts of your life you want to avoid?
Do you find that things you once did easily now strike terror in your heart? What is at the root of your fear?
Do you feel like you have committed a sin that is beyond the scope of God’s forgiveness? God is not like others people – He doesn’t give us the cold shoulder when we ask for forgiveness.
Do you struggle with shame? Shame is different than guilt. When you feel guilty you feel dirty because of what you did; but with shame you feel dirty because of something done to you.
Forgiveness for your sins is not the answer here because you are not the one who was wrong. But the cross of Christ is still the answer. Jesus’ blood not only washes us clean from the guilt of our own sins, but also washes away the shame we experience when others sin against us.
Do you experience low self-worth? Instead of trying to raise your view and thoughts of yourself, come at it from a completely different angle. Start with Jesus and His love for you. Let that define you, as only that defines you. Then share that love with others.
Something to remember is that no matter what is happening, God has a plan and you and your trials are a part of that plan. My life and trials are part of that plan. Trust God to use this experience to bring you closer to Him; to bring others closer to Him.
Depression is not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And most of all, it is not a choice.
Depression is not a sin. Past sins can contribute to the pain, and sufferers may cope with sinful actions, but depression is not a sin.
The Bible is certainly our guide for life, but the answer is not a verse or two taken out of context. What these Scriptures are is truth, love, hope and comfort.
Know this about depression: It doesn’t tell the whole truth. It says that you are alone, that no one loves you, that God doesn’t care, that you will never feel any different, and you cannot go on another day.
Your mind says, “Everyone would be better off without me.” This is a lie. They will not be better off without you.
Because you are not working with all the facts, keep it simple. Death is not your call to make; God is the giver and taker of life. As long as He gives you life, He has a purpose for you.
Depression says that you are alone and that you should act that way. But that is not true. God is with you.
The most important thing I have learned is that 90% of the time in the midst of depression, my feelings have zero connection to reality.
Depression feels bad, because something is seriously wrong. It is because your brain is rebelling, not because everything is really going to pieces. Reality is outside the depression.
God’s Word defines reality. It’s solid. Objective. Unchangeable.
Trying to process life or circumstances through the dark lens of depression is terrifying. It can be dangerous to evaluate anything in your life amidst depression. It is almost guaranteed reality will be misinterpreted.
God is good. He is faithful. He loves you even though you don’t (can’t) feel it right now. He can handle your life even when you can’t. Trust Him to handle it while you work to get well.
Faith isn’t a feeling. Faith simply believes that God will do what He said, even if it doesn’t feel like it. And depression will make you doubt even that.
Here is your anchor: This is what is true. I know it doesn’t feel true, but it is true. Right now, you may feel like you are doomed. But God is with you. He loves you and wont let you go.