Going through depression as a christian: The story behind “A New Song”
For the past ten years depression has become the uninvited guest in my life who enjoys showing up once a year and makes himself comfortable. He puts on my favorite pair of slippers and goes around touching all my things.
Suffice to say, we are well acquainted with each other.
While I’m familiar with depression and have a system in place for managing my anxiety and depression, I encountered a new type of depression. Instead of the annoying uninvited guest that likes to go around touching all my things, this one was out for blood. I was experiencing 3 major life changes and was doing a lot of solo parenting; the perfect storm for the depression of the decade.
My normal self care methods were no longer working and I sunk further and further into sadness. Always the optimist, I thought I could power through, stick to the self-care plan and I’ll come back out on the other side. Except this depression wasn’t like the rest; this one came with anger. I was sensitive to absolutely everything ( You can guess how this affected communications on the home front).
Everyday was a struggle.
“ O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?”Psalm 6:1-6
I couldn’t feel GOD’s presence anymore and it challenged my faith as a believer. After all, aren’t there many promises in scripture of God being our refuge in times of trouble? How can he be my refuge if I can’t find him.
I didn’t know if the state of my spirit was a result of my own sin towards God, and I prayed that God would show me my offense so I can repent and turn towards him. Still silence. This was new territory for me and was terrifying. I Lean on God’s wisdom a lot in life, and now that I was cut off from his spirit, I felt like I was flying blind.
God’s word became my anchor, specifically the book of psalms. I related to the authors cries:
“ How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death…”psalm 13:1-3
I noticed a pattern of faith in the psalms that I haven’t seen before in my reading.
For example, the other half of psalm 13 is:
“ My enemy will say, “I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.”psalm 13:4-6
The writer chooses to trust and praise GOD even through his pain in sorrow.
The LORD has been good to me all my life, and I made the decision to praise him through the darkness. Because despite what I face in life, that doesn’t change HIS identity. He’s still God the creator and worthy of praise.
After many long weeks of being in this state; feeling overwhelming sadness and still praising God, I finally heard from Him one night. I was having a hard fight ( I was fighting all the time, this night was just more intense) While I was used to small daily thoughts of suicide this was a full on assault. I was seeing visions of suicide on repeat and I was tired-so very tired. I remembered the scripture “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” and with weak hope I prayed, and sought God for a hiding place. He put a covering around me, shielding me from my tormentors. I was still sad, but my spirit was no longer hounded.
The road to healing finally began when I met with a doctor at my husbands suggestion (thanks for looking out love 🙂 ) and was put on low dose antidepressants, which I still use today ( I talk about my decision to remain on them in my 12 Things I Do For My Anxiety And Depression post, I’ll put the link at the bottom of the page) While the road to healing seemed like a forever one, I did, in fact, heal.
Looking back, I’m reminded of what the LORD has done for me, and my faith is strengthened knowing the LORD saw me through my last depression, and he’ll see me through my next one.
I still remember the day I could feel God’s spirit again.
I rode in the passenger seat in the old green truck. The windows down and the smell of rain clung to the air. The clouds broke and the sun’s warmth shone down on my face. I could feel again. As I thanked God I was greeted by his spirit.
I think heaven will be like that. Coming from a place of pain and dulled senses and stepping into the warm embrace of God.
My encouragement to you dear reader during times of depression and anxiety is to talk to a doctor and a loved one. Tell them your not ok. You know its ok to NOT be ok right? It comes with the territory of being human.
Once you acknowledge your not ok you can begin the process of making changes for your overall mental and physical health.
- Talking with your family doctor
- Seeing a licensed therapist
- Making healthy changes to your diet
- Saying “no” to projects
- Taking a break from screens
- Spending more time outside
If you want a more extensive list of self care ideas I encourage you to read my 12 things I do for my anxiety and depression post. You can read it through the link here.
I hope this post was an encouraging read for those fighting sadness, my heart and prayers goes out to you. Keep the faith dear hearts.
The Strong Happy Artist
“ I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”Psalm 40:1-3
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