.....when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight" -Mumford and Sons
I know a lot of people struggle with depression. It has sort of become an 'unmentionable'. A problem that comes up time and time again, but many people continue to shove it down and ignore it.
Prepare yourself for a long post. I apologize for the lengthiness of it. This is a subject I feel very passionate about and feel led to share my thoughts on.
It's a moment where one can feel completely overwhelmed with sadness. And by moment, I mean awful period of time. A moment where you feel you are kicked into a deep, dark pit and no matter how much you try to climb your way out, you always fall back down. Eventually you lose strength to even try to climb out. So you just lay there. Giving up on one thing at a time.
But God says:
Anyone who is among the living has hope. -Ecclesiastes 9:4
Depression isn't something to be ashamed of. Those who struggle with it are just that. They aren't depressed people. They are merely people who struggle with depression. It's the same as people who struggle with anything else.
She dried her tears and they did smile
To see her cheeks' returning glow
How little dreaming all the while
That full heart throbbed to overflow
With that sweet look and lively tone
And bright eye shining all the day
They could not guess at midnight lone
How she would weep the time away -Emily Bronte
Hiding it and shoving it down never solves a thing. It only allows it to build up until it explodes over everything and everyone. Which is always a mess. Instead, we should be encouraging one another to get to the root. To know exactly who we are in Christ. To be comfortable to go to each other for help and encouragement. I know for myself, having friends who are just there for me means the world and helps more than they probably know.
But ultimately, knowing who I am in Him and His view of me has been the most healing.
He reminds me often that I can only see a small portion of the real picture. I get so bogged down with the 'now', that I forget there's more going on. I have certain motivational lines stuck around my car to remind me. One of which includes:
"from this one place I can't see very far. In this one moment I'm square in the dark. These are the things I will trust in my heart, You can see something else" -From This One Place by Sara Groves
The reminder that God is sovereign and that He is crazy about me makes any day better.
"For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." -Zephaniah 3:17
I've struggled with depression for the last 2 or 3 years. I don't feel that it makes me a weak person. In fact, it's made me a stronger person than I was before. Sometimes, I believe, a person has to sink to their very lowest to even begin to grasp His love. I'm not sure I've sunken to my very lowest, but I've come close, and He's helping me grasp His love more and more each day.
This past year I've had a harder time with depression than any other time. At one point, I just sat and cried to the Lord asking Him to give me a reason to keep going. A reason to hope.
He answered. Just like He always does.
He gave me a glimpse of the world in a new set of eyes. A new love for the people here. Instead of allowing me to keep looking in the mirror, which only showed me my own woes, He took hold of my shoulders and lovingly turned me around to face a new direction.
Do I still get down? Without a doubt. But, just as with any experience in life, He's deepening my understanding of what it means to daily die to myself and allow Him to live my life for me. So the times that I get down are coming around less and less. Sadness isn't quite so comfortable anymore, and not quite so common.
I'm not writing this post to dump and share like it's my diary. I'm writing this so you know you're not alone. There are people all around you who get it. Who have been there. Who care. For those who struggle with depression, remember, you're just that. You're not a depressed person. You're a person who struggles with it. Your identity in Christ overpowers the clasp of the sadness. It's your victory. He's your victory.
That moment when you give up on yourself, remember, He never will. He'll always fight for you.