“Snap out of it!”
“Just be happy...You have a good life!”
“What is wrong with you?”
These were just some of the phrases I heard throughout my life from well meaning people, but people that had no idea what it was like to battle with depression.
I remember feeling “different” when I was about 8 years old. I think my parents chalked it up to me just being moody or emotional. It was the 70’s and they had no knowledge or education on chemical imbalances or depression. They just prayed. But I knew even then, something just wasn’t right.
I cried a lot. I was often sad, and I was rarely happy.
Quite the burden for a little girl to walk around with.
Living with depression for me, was like walking around with a dark cloud. This fog never seemed to clear up and constantly hovered, regardless of the good things that may be happening in life.
Some of you have endured the long nights
of suffocating darkness.
You know well the dregs of depression...
the clutch of despair and frustration.
You fell on your faces in defeat...
Then in desperation you cried out
to God in your misery;
and He flooded your lives with light and hope
Thank God! It is by His eternal love
that you are delivered.
Psalm 107 (Psalms Now)
I was pretty good at masking it most of the time and could be the life of the party when I needed to be. But alone in my room...that was a very different story.
I battled on and off for years and years. Finally one day in my late 20‘s, while living in Los Angeles, I reached out for help. I continually suffered from severe headaches and decided to go see a doctor. I had an MRI done and all kinds of other tests. They could never find anything wrong with me. Finally they suggested I go see one more doctor. I’ll never forget it. After running more tests, he came in and sat next to me and said, “I’ve ran every test and they show nothing wrong with you, but I think you are clinically depressed.” I said, “Depressed? No, I’m not depressed. I just got back from Hawaii and had a great time. I’m not sad at all.” He said, “No, I think there is a chemical imbalance that just needs to be fixed. But that doesn’t mean you’re crazy.”
I’ll never forget walking out to my car in the parking garage and sitting there crying my eyes out. A huge load had just been lifted...I wasn’t crazy. I had always thought something was wrong with me and had felt “crazy” all of my life. It was a major reason why I had hated myself.
You offer Your strong hand to those who are oppressed,
Your loving concern to those who are troubled.
You never hide from those who seek You
or forsake those who cling to You.
Psalms 9 (Psalms Now)
I was prescribed a low dosage anti-depressant and immediately began to experience positive results from it. Shortly after I had started taking the medication, Kenneth Copeland prayed over me and said, “You begin to confess, I have heavenly DNA.” So, every morning when I took my pill, I would say, “Thank you Jesus, I have heavenly DNA.”
I never wanted to look at that pill as my fix-all, because I knew that Jesus had already taken all my sickness when He died on the cross for me and I was The Healed (Isaiah 53:4-5).
I realized this was not only a physical attack on my life, but a spiritual attack as well. The devil was trying to keep me down and defeated with depression and I had to fight it spiritually with weapons I had been given (Ephesians 6:11-18).
It’s been years and years of fighting this thing, but every year has become less and less a battle for me! I can tell you today that I’m free from depression. When things come up in my life, that in the past would have sent me to my bed, not wanting to get out for days...now I know to immediately get in the Word of God and let His Words handle the situation. Playing worship music also sends the enemy packing. He can’t stay when you begin to worship God in the middle of the trial!
The Lord cares for His own and delivers them
even in the midst of the conflicts
that plague them.
Psalm 91 (Psalms Now)
I have not been on medication for years, because I was not dependent on that healing me. I put my faith in Jesus, not the pill. I was and continue to stay dependent on God.
Now, I know there are a lot of people against medication, but I had to do what was right for me at the time. If you are battling with depression, then you pray and find out what is right for you. My dad always says, “Follow peace.” In prayer you will know what you need to do. There is freedom on the other side of this.
I encourage you not to suffer another day with this attack from the enemy! Get your life back and fight this imbalance. It’s a negative assignment on your life, but today can be the day you take the reins back and get freedom from this! Jesus came to give us an abundant life, not a life just barely getting by existing or debilitated because of a chemical imbalance. You deserve to lay down at night with peace. You deserve to get up each day and enjoy the journey, regardless of what’s going on. Only Jesus can give that kind of life.
When the pain is severe,
He is near to comfort.
When the burden is heavy,
He is there to lean upon.
When depression darkens my soul,
He touches me with eternal joy.
When I feel empty and alone,
He fills the aching vacuum with His power.
My security is in His promise
to be near me always
and in the knowledge
that He will never let me go.
Psalm 23 (Psalms Now)
Let me tell you something...you are not crazy. You are wonderful. You are special. You are one of a kind. The world needs you and all your amazing gifts and talents. It’s time to rise up and do what you need to do. I’m praying for you today and believe you will get the answers you need and find the freedom that is yours...I’m pulling for you, but more importantly, Jesus is on your side!
My heart is full today.
I am so grateful
for all that God has done for me.
As I crawl out of my corner
of depression and self-pity
and look around me, I see
how great my God is.
Psalm 111 (Psalms Now)