learning from depression




We walk to the park, her and I, my boisterous kids running ahead of us and hers still too young to leave the stroller.  Her face is pensive and she's had a rough morning.  I love that she called and told me so.  I wish I had the guts to do the same on my rough mornings.  She's struggling with postpartum depression, her second baby just months old.  And I'm no stranger to depression.  I've watched my mother painfully battle it, and I lost myself to it for a time after my first miscarriage.  Even now, in this past year, I've recognized depression leaking into my mind like a slow leak that could flood this vessel if ignored. 

We follow our young ones around, talking in between rescue missions and emergency interruptions, every sentence crucially important because time won't allow us trivial conversation.  She misses herself.  She feels like someone she barely knows anymore.  We discover we both are by nature joyful people and maybe that's why depression is so loathsome to us.  It steals our joy and makes us feel like frauds. 

And it breeds guilt.  So much guilt.

Because we should be strong enough to snap out of it, shouldn't we? 

We know Scripture.  We know Truth.  We know we are to take our thoughts captive and obedient to Christ Jesus.  We know to speak only the Word of God and not the lies of the enemy.  We know to give thanks continually in all circumstances and to be joyful always.  Most importantly, we know Jesus Himself.

And I've asked Him many times why we aren't delivered immediately from the suffocating presence of depression, why it's a struggle daily, almost hourly for some of us.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

The answer isn't simple, but grace is.  It's a wonderful grace that God doesn't hold our weaknesses against us.  He looks at them as an opportunity for us to grow closer to Him.

And I agree with Paul, anything that causes me to rely more on Jesus and less on myself, is really something to be thankful for.  Self reliance kills faith.  And without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)  Our failures don't cause God's displeasure, only lack of faith does.

I'm not perfect.  I struggle.  I get depressed.  I fail.

And that's what makes the victory Jesus brings me all the more sweeter.
That's what makes His grace all the more treasured, his acceptance of me so amazing.
His love becomes my lifeline.
His Word becomes as necessary as breathing.
He is my encouragement, my comfort, my hope.

"But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head."  Psalms 3:3


"I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD."  Psalms 40:1-3


If walking through depression and learning to lean all the more heavily on Jesus will bring Him glory, than I will do it.  


If it will teach me to sing an even sweeter song of praise, than I won't despise it. 



13 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I don't have kids and am nowhere near this season of life, but I was just reading this passage of scripture this morning - and I love seeing how the Lord appropriates the same scripture to different people in their different situations!

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  2. Yes and AMEN! I SOOOOOO needed this today as well as the days to come. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

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  3. I struggle with depression and it always helps knowing you're not alone.

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  4. It is crucial that we have someone to talk to. You and your friend are an awesome example for others. GREAT post!

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  5. I've been in that place. So thankful I walk in freedom (most days) today!

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  6. thank you, joye.
    this was wonderful.
    xo

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  7. Joye, thank you for being honest and sharing your hardship, it's not easy to share or let alone go through. The Lord holds us in our depression, anxiety, worries, all of it, and because this twisted world tells us to be so "happy" and smiling all the time, we put pressure on ourselves and think if we go through this, at least I do anyway, that I am not good enough because I am having a hard time, and I "should" be joyful and happy all the time. So much freedom here and redemption!

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  8. So encouraged by this Joye! I am struggling with miscarriage//infertility battle and I needed to hear this. Thank you so much. Those verses are going on my bathroom mirror! :)

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  9. I meant to say this earlier, but thank you so much for this post. It really touched me. It actually prompted me to write a post of my own and direct people here to read what you wrote. Thanks for letting us know we're not alone.

    http://www.just1step.com/2012/06/new-thoughts-on-my-depression.html

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  10. @ kara same here, i love this post!

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