Keeping The Faith During Depression
Isn’t this a peculiar season? I spent half of last week with the windows open, curled up under a blanket, enjoying the fresh Fall air. This morning, my makeup melted off my face and I’m watching a summer storm come across.
The unpredictability of the weather in Michigan this time of year means that I can count on nothing. I’m daily asking if I need to bundle and prepare for the winter ahead or enjoy little lingering bit of summer on my hammock with a book.
Fall isn’t the only season causes me to fail reevaluate where I stand and what sort of day I’ve been handed.
I haven’t been quiet about my struggle with depression, I haven’t written about it in awhile. For the most part, it is managed well but some days, some seasons, I still wake up wondering what today will bring.
Will this be a day when I feel alive or where I struggle to fight through the fog?Battling through depression has taught me many lessons but, perhaps most importantly, it has taught me to confront my existential crises with reality and truth. #depression Click To Tweet
Battling through depression has taught me many lessons but, perhaps most importantly, it has taught me to confront my existential crises with reality and truth.
It’s hard to wake up, again and again, feeling like the psalmist whose closest companion is darkness. And it’s hard to wake up wondering who the companion will be today.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces – Isaiah 53:3, ESV
It is easy to become overwhelmed, but it’s crucial that I used these times of despair to take my mind captive to the truths of Scripture. When when I face my depression against the Word of God, I see the lies it tells me and replant in my heart the truth that withstands the storms of life.
Depression makes me feel alone, but I am not alone.
Sorrow is an isolating thing to endure. It deceives me into believing I am not alone or that depression means I am less faithful. But the most faithful Man who ever walked the earth was called the Man of Sorrows. If this was one of the names He was given, surely He knows my sorrow intimately.
Depression makes me feel abandoned, but I am not abandoned.
God has promised that all who call upon His Name shall be saved. Although this life may be hard, I can trust that God has not abandoned me and that, in the fullness of time, these trials will become clear as I trade the weight of this sorrow for the weight of glory He has ordained.Although this life may be hard, I can trust that God has not abandoned me and that, in the fullness of time, these trials will become clear as I trade the weight of this sorrow for the weight of glory He has ordained. #depression Click To Tweet
Depression makes me feel out of control, but I can always trust the One who is in control.
I desperately want control of my life. Depression reminds me again and again that I don’t have the control I desire of my life. I cannot control the death nor can I control how depression will affect me.
Depression sinks into my heart and mind, it pops up at unexpected times. It tries to make me believe that nothing matters, that my life is pointless, and that the state of this world will have the final say.
But none of that is true.
The suffering of depression calls me to Christ’s work on Calvary. While He hung from pierced hands, covered in blood, bearing the weight of a world full of sin, He cried out that He had been forsaken by God.
But it was in that mournful time, in the act that made Him cry out forsaken, that He was fulfilling the Father’s purpose for Him.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:8-11, ESV
Christ’s words on the cross, His identity as the Man of Sorrow Isaiah foretold, it gives me hope in the midst of seasons of despair.
And when I look at Him, I wonder how my struggles and pain today will look in light of eternity.
I might not know what today, or tomorrow, or that day after that will bring. And living with the day to day burden of depression can be hard.I might not know what today, or tomorrow, or that day after that will bring. And living with the day to day burden of depression can be hard. So I have to remind myselves of the truth I know. Click To Tweet
Day by day, sometimes moment by moment, I can walk through my day reminding myself of the truths I cannot see. Like the saints Hebrews 11 who greeted the promises of God from afar, I can draw my attention away from myself and turn my eyes upon the Lamb of God.
Depression forces me to confront daily the brokenness of the world and the temporal nature of my life here. While it is a burden, it is one that has drawn me closer to the heart of the Man of Sorrows and reminds me daily that He has worked and is working on my behalf.
Daily, I rely on Him to help me hold those truths close to my heart when I am discouraged and downtrodden. And He does. Because even when I don’t feel it, I trust His promise that He is near to the brokenhearted.