“For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. . .” (Ephesians 5:8a).
I write today after hearing of the tragic death of comedian Robin Williams by his own hand. He brought so much joy to so many and yet he died alone and deeply depressed. I too have suffered with depression for years. Only recently at the age of 75 have I been on a regimen of medication that brings great relief and moments of peace and joy such as I have not known for most of my adult life.
Living with depression is like living underground. The sun hardly ever reaches the dark corners. There is no point in going outside and participating in anything. Prayers seem to go unnoticed and no one can help you. Everything is colored gray.
I was very devout in high school and studied hard so that I might become a medical missionary and serve God wherever I was needed.
When I became severely depressed I lost sight of God. God was alien to me. I could not feel God’s presence. I searched for a sign that God had not abandoned me.
Twenty years later I again felt a strong calling from God. I was needed to serve as a writer and an editor for a denominational magazine. The opportunity to study theology, to learn scripture, to mix with theologians and religious of many faiths and many cultures was offered to me.
I accepted with trepidation and awe.
Today I am retired with a rich background in faith, in traveling, in caring for people, and in discerning to what God is calling me. God walked with me through depression and despair, and then opened the lines of communication so that I might know once again my Savior and Lord.
When depression comes upon me now I give myself to God and rest in the everlasting arms.
Prayer: When the darkness comes, Lord, be with me. Help me seek the light of your presence and to dwell in it. Amen.
About the author:
L. June Stevenson was editor of a denominational magazine for 24 years and now freelances. June suffered most of her life with chronic depression only recently relieved by the right cocktail of antidrepressants. She is plagued by arthritis, here, there and everywhere, she says (my mother left me her bones), and is a victim of sleep apnea.
When you are depressed, do you turn to God?
When we cope with depression and other doubts about our value to God, we must remember that His Word says we are His child, adopted into His family–and no emotion or feeling we have will ever change that fact. This is MercyMe singing “Greater.” In case you haven’t been reminded lately, you have the strength to get out of the pit of sadness because God is living in you and He is greater than any of it! Be hopeful! Cling to it! -Lis