Friday, January 28, 2011

"Christian" Depression:

Psalm 30:5
...weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

This morning I woke up feeling really good.  I was filled with an unmistakable, overwhelming joy.  It had nothing to do with anything special that was going on...I was eating my oatmeal and banana for breakfast, just got finished feeding my baby, and watching the snowflakes falling- announcing the probability of another day snowed-in.  Like I said, nothing special.  But this morning, I was filled with an overwhelming joy and gratitude for the blessings in my life- little as they may be.

Recently a friend of mine said to me "I want whatever it is you're are always happy and thankful".  If you really want to know the truth, what I am drinking, is a strong, strong dose of pain.

You see, for me, mornings like this are filled with a huge amount of gratitude, because the reality is- they didn't always exist.  I remember a season in my life that was very dark.  I remember waking up to a terrible void, an aching in my soul, a worthlessness and meaningless that seemed to come out of nowhere.  Call it what you will, but for me, I was in a deep pit of depression.

If you've ever been through depression, you know it's one of the most terrible feelings on earth.  The burden of emotion seems unbearable.  The cloud of haze seems like it will never pass, never let up, and never give up.  The feelings of loneliness begin to set in, isolating you from the world around you.  The future doesn't seem appealing anymore, and the little things in life have no meaning.   It's a dark and dreary prison cell that eventually begins to feel like a miserable home.

I have seen the prison of depression.  In different seasons of my life.  I think it's hard for Christians to admit to this because "aren't we supposed to be filled with joy at all times?".  That would be nice wouldn't it.  And for some people, that very well may be the case.  But not for me.  And not for many of God's children in Scripture. 

Depression is not a's just a feeling.  A symptom of something else.  Therefore, standing a lone- it's not the bad guy.  It can make it's way into our lives through a number of avenues- and can point to a number of things:  malfunctioning brain chemistry, hormonal changes and imbalances, difficulties in life, stress, bad relationships, distance from God, and even unconfessed sins.

Whatever the cause, when it is resolved (and trust me...though it doesn't feel like it, it WILL pass)...the experience of depression can end up being a gift- because it strips you away from all the things that don't really matter, and finds you all alone at the feet of the only One who does.  My best explanation of this idea is wrapped up in the lyrics of one of my favorite songs:

I've watched my dreams all fade away
And blister in the sun
Everything I've ever had is unraveled and undone
I've set upon a worthless stack
Of my ambitious plans
And the people that I've loved the most
Have turned their backs and ran

This is the good life
I've lost everything
I could ever want
And ever dream of
This is the good life
I found everything
I could ever need
Here in Your arms

Loneliness has left me searching
For someone to love
Poverty has changed my view
Of what true riches are
Sorrow's opened up my eyes
To see what real joy is
Pain has been the catalyst
To my heart's happiness

What good would it be
If you had everything
But what you didn't have
Was the only thing you need

Thank you Lord for reminding me that sorrow only lasts for a night, and for being the source of my joy in the morning.  Thank you for allowing me to pass through the difficult times in my life, and bringing me out the other side even stronger than where I began.  Thank you for the fire, but most importantly...thank you for being with me through it. 

*If you feel that you are struggling with on-going clinical depression and can't seen to get yourself out of it: find some help.  Contact your local church, or get in touch with a professional counselor in your area.  Reach out for's out there.


  1. so grateful that the night is over for me and that it is morning... I struggled with depression for many years. And now I can feel joy!

    Medication and therapy were definitely a huge help to me. And so was cultivating a simpler life.

  2. Alida, so glad to hear God has ushered you into the morning as well!! Thanks for reading and for your continued support!!

  3. thanks for sharing, a good read!

  4. I so hesitate to comment's true depression is dark it's a hopeless place...and knowing God is walking with you doesn't seem to help...I wish it did....I want him to stop walking or stop watching be active to do something ... anything....My Christian friends who say pray...give it to Jesus and you are healed..anger me... it's not true..he walks with you but does nothing to stop it...he just watched....thanks for this post...As always..XOXOXO


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