Now that is a word that will bring an uncomfortable pause into a conversation. It is a word I think most of us would like not to talk about but I have a feeling most of us have felt it on some level at least once in our lives. Our Sunday School teacher (Hi Jason) taught a lesson on this subject a few weeks ago and since then my head has been spinning with realizations about depression. One of the biggest being the realization that I have fought depression most of my life, not the need medical help extreme…..but still depression. I am quick to isolate myself and guard my heart to keep from dealing with life.
Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. 1 kings 19:3-5
Have you ever felt like Elijah? I know I have.
- I have been afraid
- I have ran from my problems
- I have hid from everything and everyone
- I have cried out for it to all be over
I have wallowed in these, tried to cover the pain with the next trill and believed the entire cycle was sin and then started over with even more guilt added to the mix. This has proven to be a self-destructive recipe for disaster in my life.
What I am slowly starting to understand is that the depression has not been a sin in my life but how I have handled it has been. Running from my problems and the people around me does not solve anything. Spending money, starting a project or over eating, although momentarily providing an “excitement high”, does not solve anything. Those three are my defense mechanism, they are how my sinful self tries to fill the gaping hole in my heart. Unfortunately they propel the cycle further in the end. Last but not least crying out for it to end does not solve anything.
If the ways I have been mishandling things have been a sin but not the depression then that tells me I have to change the way I am handling the depression.
- First I am going to cry out to my Abba Father for help not to end it.
He knows how big my mountain is and exactly how each piece should be moved.
- Stop hiding – for me this means letting down my guard and letting people see the real me showing my junk as well as my pretty.
- Do not isolate myself – surround myself with godly people and trust them with my heart.
- Stop running from my problems. Face them head on, one step at a time with my eyes on the will of God and not the problem.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
- Do not live in fear.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This verse is one I have been meditating on often in the last few weeks and the Lord is using it to transform my life.
I have been living out each of these steps and it is amazing how old “habits” are changing and through perseverance my overwhelming mountain has turned into just taking the next step.
I am not sure why I have felt the need to write this out (I do NOT want to hit the publish button) maybe just for myself so I will remember but maybe God has a plan for it beyond me and it will touch one of you. I am praying now that this will be for His glory.