Depression IS A Thing

quote-everyone-has-inside-of-him-a-piece-of-good-news-the-good-news-is-that-you-don-t-know-how-great-you-anne-frank-65060

Did you know that King David dealt with Depression? In Psalms 42:5 he wrote: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” (NASV) He then wrote it again in Psalms 42:11, and again in Psalms 43:5. It was a recurring issue for him.

Everyone deals with Depression, at some point, in some way, for all kinds of reasons. It’s a dilemma we face caused by different circumstances.

It does not have to be a permanent part of who we are. There are ways to deal with it. There are ways to combat it, and even conquer it. I know, because I have conquered it. More than once in my life. From terrible circumstances in my childhood, to dealing with the rejection of divorce. From joining the military and never quite fitting in, to discovering my mom had cancer while I was stationed in another country. I’ve been temporarily homeless, jobless, and friendless. I suffered near-severe postpartum depression with my first child, before it was a recognized problem with available help. I developed PTSD while deployed in an area with bomb threats. I’ve had my life threatened, even nearly died more than once. I was depressed in my teens and almost died from alcohol poisoning when I was around 16.

I am no stranger to Depression.

I am also no stranger to the fight to overcome it. I have never taken medication for it, but I don’t think negative of those who need or choose to do that. It’s ok. Whatever helps, that is what is important. Take hold of that necessary help.

I have learned there are things that trigger it. Certain words, memories, even people. I have adjusted my life to include a group of those hand-picked by me that I know will stand by me no matter what so that I have that source of necessary encouragement. That is part of walking in freedom from Depression’s debilitating grip.

I have a personal relationship with the greatest Encourager mankind has known, or ever will: Jesus Christ.

I have learned tactics and techniques to pull myself out of the downward spiral. I also have learned not to focus inward so much, to get busy, find an outward focus, become the encourager for others that I often need others to be for me. At times I find out that as I encourage them, I also encourage myself as I remind others of all those positive things depression can tend to overshadow and hide.

Depression is a stealthy force that can render us overwhelmed, unable to cope or do much. But it doesn’t have to remain that way. I was inspired to write this for a couple of reasons.

The first is an important movement started by Jared Padalecki, #AlwaysKeepFighting. I cannot begin to tell you how relief has overcome me to see there is such an amazing place for people to reach out and become a part of!! I fought my battles mostly alone for so long, though when my battles were toughest there was always at least one person I could lean on. I’m inspired to see so many reaching out to one another, as well as to Jared Padalecki himself.

The second reason for this writing inspiration is because of a recent letter gone viral over Facebook. The writer is Bekah Miles. In her letter she asked, “…why aren’t we having a conversation about it?” It’s a good question, an important question. We should be having a conversation about it so we can move past it. So people know there are others who care, who understand, who identify, and even some who have moved past it into content and happy lives.

The thing I’ve learned that has stuck with me the most is: It’s only temporary. It does pass. Circumstances change. Things that caused me to feel depressed have lost their hold or have been forgotten over time.

So, let’s talk.

lifelinewebbutton_200x200

quote-everyone-has-inside-of-him-a-piece-of-good-news-the-good-news-is-that-you-don-t-know-how-great-you-anne-frank-65060

Comfortable In My Faith

Do you find yourself being a reactionary or responsive Christian?

I want to be responsive, but I have reactive tendencies far too often. My reflex at feeling attacked, questioned, put on the spot or called names like hypocrite used to be to jump into action and find Scripture to back up my actions, words and belief.

I fell into the false belief that my job as a Christian is to be on the defensive, to fight back with words, to defend my faith, my belief, my Savior from attacks. I thought that was what being a Christian looked like, what it meant.

I was wrong.

My job has never been to convert anyone to my beliefs.

My job is to live out my faith, while living at peace with others as much as is possible.

And, it’s not actually my job. It’s who I am.

Christian is what defines me.

Not my appearance.

Christ within me.

I am comfortable in my faith, because I am able to rest in God. I am able to trust God. Everything I am now, in this moment, is because of changes God made in me, because I am His. And He is mine.

He is Worthy to hand my complete trust to. He is Worthy to give over my plans and decisions to. He is Worthy to live for. He is Worthy to represent.

This past week I have been reminded where He has Saved me from. I remember who I was. Because of a nightmare and a school friend’s recent death, I’ve been taken back to where I’ve come from.

I needed to be reminded.

I have the loveliest peace resting in my heart, because I am comfortable in my faith.

I don’t pounce on those who say things to make me feel defensive. I don’t jump on people who mock us, hate us, and live in ways we don’t agree with. Because that doesn’t reach hearts or change minds.

I live to be a heart changer, to have God’s healing work through me. Defensive fighting doesn’t heal or help others see Who God really is.

I understand God expects me to reach up towards Him through prayer and demonstrate His higher ways. That is a tall order from God, but to whom much is given, much is expected. I have been given much experience, much forgiveness, many, many chances. Should I not give those to others, as well, where it’s appropriate?