My battle with depression isn’t something I talk a lot about. Why? I think there are several reasons for it. First, I’ve always wanted to have the appearance of a strong, confident woman. Second, I didn’t want people to go out of their way to see how I was doing when they wouldn’t normally do so. Thirdly, I just didn’t want to be “that” girl. And by that, I mean, I didn’t want to be the girl everyone thought was faking it for attention.
But, depression is a very real thing. And, I think it’s something that needs to be talked about more often in church circles.
I started battling with depression when I was in 7th grade. It started out with being very, very hurt by a boy I liked, and then having all 180 kids in school find out about the little candy gift bag I made up for him after Halloween.
The hardest part was this boy told me he really liked me too, and led me on for months before this took place. Then, something flipped, and he showed me his true colors (which, in hindsight, I should have seen before hand).
Then, all through junior and senior high school, I was severely bullied. My allergies made it super easy, as all the kids had to do was bring said allergens around me, and it would make me have severe reactions-in fact, I actually ended up in the hospital several times, and came pretty close to dying on one extremely severe occasion.
Because of this, I had to start homeschooling; something that was completely new to me.
Being a people person, I had a really hard time adjusting to things. I rarely got to see any of my friends, and I became very angry, bitter and depressed towards the people who had forced me to choose between life and public schooling. and even though I did get to go back to public school to graduate in the same school my dad and brother’s graduated in, I still struggled with this depression that would occasionally hang over me.
That summer, I went to my last year of summer camp as a camper, and I had a friend come up to me during chapel and she told me something that I knocked me off my socks. She said “This depression. This weariness. It’s gone. It’s done with. It’s no longer who or what you are,”
It may seem pretty mundane, but the thing is, I had never told her about my struggle with depression. Ever.
I believe that moment started me upon a path to healing. There have still been moments of severe depression-these last couple of weeks was one of them.
Then, last night, I just got so fed up with the heaviness that I cried out to God. I told him “Lord, please take the heaviness, the depression, the weariness, the anxiety, the fatigue and the hurt. I can’t handle it anymore. PLEASE BREAK THESE CHAINS OFF OF ME!”
That’s when I felt led to a chapter in the Psalms and my eyes fell on one particular verse:
“But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked”
In that moment, a wave of peace washed over me and a weight was lifted off of me and I felt lighter than I have in a very long time.
Ladies, I want you to know something; Depression isn’t something to be ashamed of. It’s not something to hold in-that only makes it worse (I’ve done it many, many times and it was probably the worst thing I could have done!) and if you need to talk to someone about it, find a good Christian confidant-whether it be a friend, pastor or maybe even a Christian counselor.
Maybe you’re in the spot I was where I thought I was going to have to go on antidepressants because of how bad it is. Sometimes, they’re necessary. Having to go on some kind of medicine for something, doesn’t make you “weak”. In act, in my books, if you’re strong enough to say “I need this” (with your doctor’s approval of course) then you are, in fact, quite strong as many have a hard time admitting they need help through medicine, as it’s often thought that, if you’re on medicine, then you mustn’t have enough faith that God will heal you. I say phooey! God gave the brains to the people who created the medicine for a reason. Sometimes there’s a miraculous, divine healing that takes place, and sometimes, the healing takes place through the medicine the doctor’s have given you.
And the best news of all is God can heal you of it! Sometimes, the healing isn’t all instantaneous. It’s been a two-year healing process for me-and I’m sure there’s still more healing to do before I’m fully healed of it.
But, when you are healed, leave it nailed to the cross. Don’t you dare pick it back up. When it creeps up on you whispering “remember me?” in your ear, you must say “No. I have been healed of this, through the blood of Jesus I have been cleansed and set free!”
There will always be memories. But those memories won’t define you. There may be scars, but let God use those scars as proof of his healing power! I call them ‘sacred scars’. Let them be a sign that you may have been knocked down, you may have struggled, but with God’s help, you got right back up and kept running the race!
Here are a few Bible Verses that have helped me during my battle with depression:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
““For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ”” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Lean on Jesus. Give all your anxiety, worry and hurts to him. Let him give you the strength you need. Seek his healing. Seek his face. and Praise him, no matter what the outcome may be!