Christian, God, Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, Comfort, Grace, Worship

Walking With God Through Depression

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11

David always shared his emotions with others. There are very few times that we have to question how David is feeling, as he makes them crystal clear in his conversations with God. Whether it be pleading, crying, shouting or rejoicing, David embraced the meaning behind each word to express his deep anguish, joy, loneliness or passion for life’s circumstances.

What happens when you don’t have the words, though?

In 2011, I started a journey that has stretched and challenged me, causing me to have to step out of my comfort zone and rely on God for much more than I could have imagined. For seven years now, I have been dealing with depression, and for seven years I have asked God why I am unable to look at the world as others do. During this time I have toyed with the idea of suicide and self-harm, have separated myself from those who love me, have mourned the loss of friends who have taken their own lives and have changed medications and therapists too many times to count.

I have also remained silent about my depression because it was either too hard for friends and family to process, or I didn’t want to be thought of as weak and unpredictable. Even now, when my mind swirls into thoughts of darkness, hopelessness, and despair, very few people around me can identify the emotions and thought patterns that I am experiencing.

When a friend or a family member would ask how I was doing I didn’t have the words. I simply could not share what was going on in my head or my heart, and it scared me. Even though I found it hard to speak to others, I had to realize that my thoughts no longer belonged to me. They belonged to God too.

God is constantly working in our lives, even if we cannot see it. I thought God had given up on me, but He was working behind the scenes, helping me face each day with the faith that things would get better. When I did not care to know what He was up to, He was collecting every tear, listening to every word, and fighting on my behalf in the battles that were going on inside of me. I soon found that as I gave each and every day and each and every feeling to Him, I was carrying less and less of this burden on my shoulders.

Depression and anxiety are different for everyone who walks through it, but there are some steps that I have taken that have greatly helped me in my journey and have strengthened my faith in God’s plan for my life. They may be of help to you too.

1.) Father’s Love Letter

The Father’s Love Letter is a collection of Bible verses that proclaim God’s love over His children, rearranged to read as a love letter from your Heavenly Daddy. If you find it hard to believe that God is present in your life and that He loves you unconditionally, give this a listen.

2.) Write to God

Even if writing does not come naturally to you, take a few minutes to sit and write to God. You could scratch out a poem, or simply scribble down words that are swirling around in your head, but by writing a little bit each day, you can begin to process your thoughts and find ways to share them with God.

3.) Surround Yourself With People

Even though people may not understand how you are feeling or the thoughts you are struggling with, they do want to help. Help can come in many different forms, whether it is going for tea, sharing a meal, or even just watching T.V. together! When you let people in and share your story, it makes depression less of a personal battle and one that can be fought by an army of those who care deeply for you.

4.) Read the Bible

I never used to like the Bible … it feels strange just writing that, but it’s true! To me, it was a book filled with names I couldn’t pronounce, countries that were always changing in size and belief systems and people who were experiencing God in ways that were difficult to understand . That being said, I have found that it is also a book filled with love, faith, and a God who tells us He is always on our side. Reading the Bible can help you remember His love and goodness throughout the day, and speak truth into the lies that you may hear from others or even tell yourself. It is truly a great love story.

5.) Worship

They say that the best time to worship is when you don’t feel like worshipping at all. I will be honest and say that when I am not feeling myself, worshipping is the last thing I want to do! But… there is one song that I turn to time and time again when I feel this way; Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew. I stand in my apartment and belt out the lyrics to the point that my cats even begin to question what is going on, but I know it is for God and all of the incredible things that He has done in my life. David may have cried out to God in anguish, but he also worshipped Him passionately.

Depression is a journey that is filled with emotions and thoughts that you may never understand, but God does. Of course, if you are struggling with depression, please reach out to counselors and individuals who can help (we have included links below). Remember, God is for you and never against you. He is your greatest supporter and comforter. Find rest in Him!

If you are in crisis and need to talk to someone, please go to your local hospital or call 911 immediately.

For additional help, view the links below;

https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/get-help

https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/

https://suicideprevention.ca/ontario-crisis-centres/

http://www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca/

By: Heather From