This is a hard subject. After the shocking news of Robin Williams’ suicide preceded by his struggle with it, suddenly depression was first above all other news. It was a hard thing for us to grasp. The funniest man alive was so sad he didn’t want to live anymore. Then the fighting over personal beliefs and the ‘expert’ opinions floating around only seemed to stir up more confusion about the subject, and left many who live with it still in the dark.
This is my story. And this is the hope that lit my path as I walked for a while with depression. It’s not meant to offend, only perhaps, God willing, it could encourage someone.
My first concern for the depressed is – do you know the love of God? Have you accepted the peace He gives through His Son? There is an under-stated, under-estimated strength you have when Jesus Christ is your Savior and love. He alone, literally, provides a peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:6-7) when you have confidence that He will never leave or forsake you, no matter what your circumstance. It can give you the courage to keep breathing, and the will to live for someone other than yourself.
Having stated that, Christians can be depressed. Absolutely, and it is not a weakness of theirs when they are.
In 2010, a part of my life that I believed for 24 years to be solid, true and unwavering, proved to be a lie. At that point, a series of events took place that caused some of the worst physical and emotional turmoil I can remember. As the transition began of getting to a safe place, God carried me. There was a numbness coating the pain, keeping me focused. The grief of what was happening didn’t hit hardest while I was in the situation, I believe because God was guarding my heart so that I could get out. That pain did hit tho, and it brought on the darkness part of my life.
I was getting married, and then was newly married to the love of my life – a man who would do anything for me, who loved me totally and completely before I was able to give him a thing. I had nothing earthly to my name and he didn’t care, he only wanted me. He willingly took on my life with his and wanted to support me as very best he could. I was desperately physically ill and all he cared about was taking care of me. He was the happiest part of my day and I loved to hear his laughter. It was the greatest thing if I could be the one making him happy enough to laugh.
But the darkness came. I didn’t want to eat, then I did want to eat, but nothing tasted good. I couldn’t sleep. Then I could sleep and it’s all I wanted to do. I was angry yet tearful, all the time. The slightest memory or scene of a happy, functioning family brought the feeling of a thousand knives in my chest. My throat was tight, my lungs wouldn’t expand to let air in. It was claustrophobic, and it was lonely. It was like standing in the middle of a desert before a huge storm rolled in. It was thunder and lightning and baking sun all at once. I forced cordiality through my husband’s family functions, all while inside wishing I could run. Just run away and hide somewhere alone. Yet I hated being alone. I didn’t deserve to have people care about me, to enjoy me, to like me, but I wished they did. Laughter was so hard. It was a lie. Fake smiles hurt and only stayed as long as needed to not disappoint who it was for. No one knew my pain and my understanding of that pushed those closest to me away. My husband struggled to connect with me. Finally he thought I just wasn’t close enough to God. His family thought medication might help, just until the pain of the past numbed.
And that was all true to a point.
But it didn’t even scratch the surface of the depth of what I felt.
I want you to understand there is always, always something to live for.
There are two points to depression: physical and spiritual. The medical field is accurate in stating that the brain shows ‘chemical imbalances’ when depressed. What they either don’t know or don’t share is that the brain needs minerals to function. When you go through something emotionally traumatizing you need tons more. So it uses up all it has, then it tries to find more through food. The modern American diet is severely deficient in minerals (and many other important things), but they can be found in real (unpasteurized) butter, fish, chia and flax seeds, sprouts and some nuts. Often the brain can’t get the minerals out of food fast enough, which leads to depression. When I was tested by my doctor, I needed a handful of Standard Process’s supplement ‘Orchex’. Finally it was very literally like a veil was taken off my eyes. The difference I felt once I started giving my brain what it needed was profound.
Minerals can help the body physically, but nothing can help the soul except the Creator of it. God said He made us in His image, He loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die for us, and that He works ALL things together for good to those who love Him. Each person on this earth is faced with the choice to either chose Him or to reject Him. Even depression can not take away our free will to decide to follow Him or not. In the depths of my despair, I cried out to Him and He heard me. He provided Christian women who guided me back to His Word and He opened my eyes to the vastness of His love for me.
1 John 3:1 (NASB)
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
So, to that person who understands and feels all that I’ve shared, I want you to take action for yourself. Find an NRT Doctor, or a naturopath who can help with the physical things your body needs to get past whatever happened to you. Get in the Bible. Cry out to God. Tell Him your heart is broken in a million pieces and it hurts. Tell Him He can fix it and you know He can fix it. Tell him you will do your part in hanging on to Him as He fixes it. Tell Him teach me quickly what You want me to learn from this and hold me. Hold me Father…
He held me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous spirit.
This is still very emotional to go over, and this was the hardest post I’ve written so far. The situation I came out of is not better. There was no reconciliation of my past. But God doesn’t require that to heal us. He only requires that we come to Him with our heartaches and that when we come to Him, we do it with faith and confidence that He is who He says He is and that He is the great physician.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
Read Psalm 23. Then read Psalm 139:1-6. Realize the greatness of our God and yet, how He loves each of us, deeply. I believe Jesus felt the pain of the whole world when He hung on the cross for our sin. Imagine the depth of that kind of love.
And finally I want to leave you again with my favorite memory verses. If you need to talk or share or vent, feel free to message me. I will gladly share more with you where the source of all hope comes from. <3
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.
It’s true, Friend. That peace is unexplainable.
Love you in Christ,