When I suddenly find myself in another battle against sadness, I want to hide when those hard days of melancholy hit. When I think about how many times I have claimed victory over depression only to get knocked down and begin suffering once again, I feel embarrassed and ashamed. I actually feel bad, for feeling bad.
Some people who do not understand what this is like think we who deal with bouts of depression need to just snap out of it. Believe me, if I could, I would. My mind starts to wonder why God does not fix me when I have cried out asking Him to. I start to wonder too many things. Eventually, I pick myself up the best I can and try to pretend all is well although I feel like my heart is being crushed. I go to work, I go to school, and I go to church like normal. Even though deep down I do believe all is well, I still seem to always choose to suffer alone at first because I am too embarrassed to let those around me know that it is happening again.
Please do not do what I do. Do not choose to suffer alone, it can be dangerous. When my mind starts to go to old thought patterns, I start to become a bit concerned. That is when I know that I need to reach out to a trusted source. For me, that is my pastor. She never judges and always points me to God for direction and guidance and she encourages me and prays for me. I am grateful for her. Recently, she helped me to see through the dark clouds that I really am victorious in this fight! I needed to hear that. I can see clearly now that I am still a strong woman of God. I have not given in to the depression. I am not empty or hopeless like I was before I came to know Christ. I am still alive. I still believe and hope in Jesus. I continue to walk the walk. I continue to show up in church and Bible Study. I continue to sing my heart out to the Lord even through the pain. I continue to intercede for others. In addition to all of that, I am still sober! I am celebrating 7 years of this incredible miracle of God in just about a week. Wow. If that alone is not a sign of Victory, I don’t know what is. THANK YOU, JESUS.
So, it is okay to cry. It is not okay to give up. Do not feel bad for feeling bad, we are human. Let’s stop being hard on ourselves. You are not alone. My suffering returns more than I care to admit and I know that I am not alone. There is no shame. Let’s pray for and encourage one another in the Lord. Thanks to Jesus, we fight from victory, not for it! Remember that God is bigger than all of this and it has been my experience that as I wait on the Lord’s hand to move through the suffering, I grow even stronger and even more important, I grow closer to Him. So, I want to encourage you to seek and “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (~Psalm 27:14) He will not let you down.
Heavenly Father, I pray that You fill us with Your peace that goes beyond our understanding. May we feel it fall like rain in the middle of our hurting. Let us feel Your arms surrounding us. Let us know that it is okay. May we choose to rest in Your peace that only comes in the waiting. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Never give up. Choose Jesus, choose life – even when it hurts. ♥