“I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth” (Isaiah 42:16b).
It is a soul-smothering, hope-destroyer, fearful tormentor that afflicts one third of us with chronic disease at any given time at different levels (Web MD). I know, for I’ve had experience with this dark, slimy monster at different levels since I was a teenager. In my 40’s, for 2 years, I suffered a crushing clinical depression.
But over time my way of life became totally transformed through the help of a superb psychiatrist that monitors medication, a Christian psychologist, a large support system, and a God who led me to all. I’ve had the doctors for 27 years–God is good!
Since then I have occasional mild depression, except for seven dark weeks in September and October 2014.
Unbeknownst to me, a medication that I started taking one week prior to that, caused the depression. It took a week to get it out of my system.
What I want to share with you is my experience with severe clinical depression for you may have experienced the same. There is no way to just snap out of it; nor is there any way to think positive thoughts no matter how hard you try.
Thoughts race with unimaginable fears.
Every task is overwhelming: balancing a bank statement, buying groceries, running errands. What a strain it is to try and hide your depression from loved ones. It’s hard to pray and God feels far away leaving such a heart-wrenching void in the pit of your stomach.
There is the great fear that this may never end.
If you have had any of these feelings, please get help. Take the first step–He’ll show you the rest of the way. The verse I’ve been given when I’m depressed is Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. . . ”
He does for me and will for you.
Dear Father, depression is so often misunderstood. Even those of us that experience it don’t understand. No one knows the depth of our pain as You do. Make our way smooth, Father. Show us the way to healing or at least control. . . lead us each step of the way. Give us the grace to persevere. Amen.
About the author:
Jackie Smith is from Knoxville, TN near the beautiful Smoky Mountains. She struggles with Sjogren’s Disease and migraine headaches. Jackie had a bilateral mastectomy over 25 years ago. A few years ago she had her colon removed, necessitating a permanent ileostomy. She has her master’s degree in Child and Family Studies. Between her and her husband of 35 years there are 5 children and 12 grandchildren who provide much joy. Jackie loves sharing the rich experiences God has lavished upon her.
If you are depressed, what steps can you take toward healing? If you know someone depressed, do you understand them any better? How can you help them? They may not be able to help themselves.
Depression is one of the things I wish God could truly explain to me. All I know is that He does not separate Himself from us–no matter what. Which means, He is walking along beside us through the darkness. This is Peter Furler singing, “I’m Alive”. If you are depressed and wondering if anyone really understands the depth of the darkness, I think you will like the lyrics. And may it give you hope. Hugs, -Lisa