Psalm 38:6-9 – I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. 8 I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. 9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
The Lord likes to work in themes in my life, likely in all of our lives. One that keeps popping up is depression. I’m sure at some time or another, we all suffer from it but some of us will battle it more often than we’d like to say.
Why, if this is such a part of life, whether it be long term or for a short stint, no one wants to talk about it in the open? Sure, my girlfriends come to me when they start to feel it creeping in because they know it’s a battle for me but when pretty much every friend I’ve ever had has now come to me with their story, I have to wonder why we aren’t talking about this out in the open and especially in our churches.
The dangers of keeping our secret is that it becomes an easy foothold Satan uses to tell horrific lies to our hearts and minds. If there ever was a foothold for him, this is I think one of the bigger ones. We end up feeling alone and loneliness leads to more dangerous thoughts. Pretty soon if not put in it’s place, the suicidal thoughts start to creep in.
You’re not good enough for God to love you.
Everyone hates you anyway, you’ll be doing everyone a favor by ending it.
Do you really think anyone will care if you’re gone?
See? No one has called you to see if you are okay because no one cares if you are around.
Pretty scary huh? How many of you have had those thoughts? Will you admit it? Or is it so shameful that we all keep it a deep, dark secret because we know we’ll be looked at differently.
Some folks will look at you like you have a third eyeball. They’ll treat you as though you are a sick child and talk down to you. Some well meaning Christian friends may even tell you that you need to read your bible more, pray harder, and admit to some secret sin.
While those are good suggestions, for someone rolling around and wrestling with the devil down in the pit, it can be some of the worst things said. Those suggestions can often be seen as a confirmation in the mind of someone who is mentally battling very ugly, hurtful, dark thoughts.
See, even so-and-so knows you’re a loser. You’ll never get this Christian walk figured out because you’re a big fat useless loser.
If someone is open enough to actually share their secret thoughts with you, honor them. Don’t give out advice right then. What you can do is say, “I’m so sorry. What can I do to help you right now?” and follow through. If you don’t do what you say, the depressed mind will tell that person, “See, no one really cares about you. They won’t even help you when you ask for it.” Don’t feed the lies by flaking out. This need has to be met. It is essential to feel that there are people who want life for the depressed individual.
Don’t forget to pray fervently for the depressed. I will continue this series this week because it weighs heavy on my heart.
If you are suffering from depression and need prayer, please contact me through the contact form above. If you feel comfortable, go ahead and leave a comment so our community can pray for you. You can also post on our Facebook page and our lovely friends will pray over you as well. You are not alone. Depression isn’t new, in fact it is in the bible multiple times! You can’t fight this alone. Trust me.
Thank you for sharing this post! I have struggled for years off and on with depression, although not to the degree of needing medication. It is seasonal and with Vitamin D, exercise, much prayer and talking with family and friends I have learned ways to combat the thoughts that depression brings on. I have a friend who is just now realizing she struggles with this as well and it has been interesting trying to help her walk through this time in her life. You are correct in the action of following through with some one that has come to you about it… sometimes I let my life get so over consuming that I do forget about others and that has hurt them in the past. I am learning and working on getting better at the follow through with others!
Becky recently posted..I’ve been avoiding…
Becky, I am so thankful your friend has you! Vitamin D has helped me tremendously! There are so many things we can do to help ourselves but it can be so hard when you are in the mix of it, to care. I’m so glad that you are here to share! Praying for you and your friend!
Thank you for writing this, Melinda. I often come to time of “oh, yes, that’s what all these ugly thoughts and feeling are!” I try not to be “needy”, and that’s exactly what the enemy wants me to do; to hide these things first, from myself; and then from others. We have a monthly women’s meeting at our church called Mary’s Place. I’m going to speak with the leader this week about addressing this issue more often and openly, although we have in the past. There is an abundance of depression in the women of our church and we must come together to battle this demon, not only for us, but the win the battle for our daughters. I don’t always comment, sister, but I will try to do so more often, because I want YOU to know that the KING of KING’s loves you BEST!!!
As the wife of a husband who suffers from bipolar disorder, I can say for a fact that the Church absolutely does NOT know how to handle mental illnesses. In fact, I’m working on a book proposal to share our story, and some parts of it involve being misunderstood in the Church, and really in society as a whole. People don’t talk about mental illness because it affects behavior, causes a person to act out of character in ways that are puzzling or not pretty, and conventional means don’t “fix” it. In short, they are afraid of mental illness and the people who have them. In church, it is perceived as a spiritual problem, a sin problem, a character problem, a faith (or lack of) problem…anything but an ILLNESS. I know I misunderstood my hubby for a long time. He has not dealt a lot with the depressive side of the illness, but he has dealt with the manic side, which is every bit as bad if not worse. I can’t tell you how many times he has been looked at like he has two heads, and I have been treated like that because I’m married to him. And I can’t tell you how many women have shared with me in private their struggles with their husbands who have a mental illness and how isolating it is. Our story has a happy ending, and I want others to experience the hope we’ve found. I don’t think it’s all in trying to find the “cure”, but in how successful we manage it. God’s grace is sufficient.
Thank you for sharing.
Kimberly recently posted..I know- Godbut
Absolutely! I’ve had two friends in the past week share suicidal thoughts or times in their lives, in secret, to me. They don’t want to share these things with others because of how it is seen, especially in our Christian circles. It’s time to bring this out into the light and let God work in it! I’m so sorry for your struggle but I am thankful you are persevering and seeing God work!!!
I was glad to see this post. I have never been suicidal or even had thoughts of killing myself, but I do suffer from clinical depression. This time of the year is tough. I am working through Made to Crave, but it is so hard to focus on it when I am feeling so down. I’d love some prayer.
Done! Let me know if I can help in any other way! Come back for more on this series this week and maybe even next…
I was very interested in your writing about how you felt with your depression. My husband has it also and it is very hard to deal with sometimes. I know how hard it is for the person with depression to get along, but no one thinks about the people who love the person who is depressed.
Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and
i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks?
If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support
is very much appreciated.
I do use a plug-in, it’s called Akismet. I also do not allow comments to auto publish because some of the content on my site is very sensitive and my readers deserve to feel safe in posting w/o worrying about someone attacking them or saying something rude. So every comment is approved or deleted. I get a LOT of spam but it never hits my front page because I hit delete on them all. You’d think they’d give up 🙂 Good luck. I still have to go into the spam folder and look through it because lot of comments get sent there that aren’t spam. And I remove commentluv and links if someone posts a link to a site that is clearly not theirs (the owner of inpraiseofleftovers is Sarah btw).