Forgive me, God, I’m depressed.

ImageI hate it. I really do. I am a positive and hopeful person most of the time, but then like a thief in the night it sneaks up on me, stealing whatever positive thoughts and hopeful expectations my heart had settled on but not fully embraced.

 I feel guilty. How could one so loved and so forgiven and so obviously favored feel so down? I can so easily speak to another about the Truths of God to help pull them out of their pits of self-abasement, but when I am lapping from the pool of self-pity, I simply forget there is Living Water dammed up inside. Do I forget? Or do I choose not to drink thinking in some twisted way this is my punishment for past sins and aggressions?

 That’s when the lies begin to surface and hover around my heart like a million bees stinging the vulnerable places. Every angry word spoken to me, every accusation made, every failure and misunderstanding find their voice and threaten to undo every Truth I have hidden there. It becomes too much, too loud, and I start to shut down, undone by the venom, needing an antidote but feeling too unworthy to drink from His cup.

 And in those moments, I am so homesick for His compassion and mercy I am literally ill. What is wrong with me? I tell myself, “You better pull yourself together! There are people depending on you! If you become so depressed and overwhelmed and you know the Truth and study it daily, what hope does that offer others that don’t have that foundation?” And I curl up, letting my Saviour cover me with His love and strengthen my frame while I weep over my failures yet again.

“The Lord has compassion on us for He remembers that we are but dust.” (Psalm 103:14-15)

I don’t have to look far to find other ancestors in the faith that had the same struggle. The Psalms read like the diary of a manic depressive; David was no stranger to depression. He went from the heights of favor and provision and praise to the depths of despair and anxiety and fearing for his life. And yet, he was still regarded as “A man after God’s own heart.” I once heard that wasn’t because he always said the right thing before God but that he spoke all that was on his heart – whether it was highest praise or confession of unthinkable sin. Nothing was hidden from God. In that, I suppose I am not so different from King David.

Those around me get frustrated with my emotions. My tears, not hidden, make others uncomfortable. The usual gleam in my eye is replaced with a glassy stare and those closest to me recognize it. “As Jesus is so are you. Jesus is not depressed, and neither are you.” I understand the meaning behind that, but the logic is unsound. No. Jesus is not depressed. Not now. But He had moments of such raw and overwhelming emotion that He was undone. Granted, I’m not in the Garden of Gethsemane about to take on the fullness of God’s wrath for the salvation of the world, but there are moments when ministry takes me to my knees and I cannot bear up under the weight any longer.

“Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

 And how do you do that exactly? The word for “cast” there is literally “throw, as if casting a net, far and wide,” and far too often I merely hand my cares over like I’m afraid they will be dismissed or worse, rejected. You see how the thoughts then are cyclical?

 But in those desperate moments, very much like the one that I am in today, this verse becomes my beckoning:

 “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)

 With that declaration, my focus changes. The “self” cesspool that I was drowning in now is revealed for what it is, the destructive, defeat of an enemy that longs to see me stopped and silenced! And I declare with shaking voice, “You will not win!

 And this childlike warrior finds her weapon, takes her position, and resumes the fight. It is long and it is hard and sometimes I need a moment to run home and cry, to pull the covers over my head and beg for tomorrow to hurry faster, but my Daddy reminds me, “A failure is one that refuses to get back up. You, My child, are more than a conqueror!” Like my forefather David, I take aim at the giant before me, the impeding darkness of depression, knowing my God is greater than even my emotions.

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13 responses to “Forgive me, God, I’m depressed.

  1. When we are depressed or anxious, those feelings are real for us whether or not anyone else can understand where we are. That you know you can run to the sheltering arms of the Lord and trust He will pull you out eventually, obviously is an amazing, healing comfort for you.
    Thanks for the inspiration and honesty.

  2. Depression, in many cases is a biochemical imbalance. It carries a different stigma than other imbalances, but it’s still the truth. One would never as forgiveness for being diabetic, but we feel the need to be forgiven for the chemical imbalances that render us depressed.

    Don’t “buy the lie” of our society. There’s no shame in depressiong. The Bible is RIFE with examples of God choosing to use “depressives”. We seem to have a special place in His heart and mind.

    • Thank you, Brian. And very true.. Depression is a struggle but it is also a journey, and for me His light has always been the way out. Even with medicine I have had dark times… There is no “magic pill” that takes it away.. But knowing I’m not alone and knowing that Daddy God is not disappointed in my “weakness” this is what I rely on to break through. He indeed does have a special place for us in His heart, engraved no less. 🙂

  3. I have suffered from depression since I was 16. I am now 61. For many many years I had no help and thought I was crazy. Finally when I was about 29, a very dear friend who also suffered from this, told me I could get help. And I did. For the past 30 years I have taken many different kinds of medication for depression. But, even when I was feeling “normal,” I wanted God to explain why I had this disease and why, if He were really God, didn’t he take it from me. My husband and I had devoted our lives to serving him. I was really PO’d at God. After many year of asking, and seeking in His word, I found Psalm 139(I had read it often, but I had never “found” it) which sustains me through the brief periods I experience depression. But, WHY was still bothering me.
    I believe God did lead me to the best explanation for me. I believe that God “blessed” me with depression so that I could not become the very successful career woman I had planned to be. I believe this blessing forced and continues to force me to rely totally and solely upon Him. I was a very independent person, and I feel fairly certain that I would have ended up successful according to the world’s standards and dead….
    So, when I get depressed (only for two or three days now), my husband and I wait for it to pass. We pray and then I wait upon the healing of the Lord.
    Do I wish I didn’t have depression? YES. But can I accept it as God’s wisdom to mold me and make me into the person he wants me to be to best serve Him? Yes, and with joy.

    • That’s beautiful. We have to learn to give ourselves grace.. And instead of seeing it as a curse look for the blessing as you did! Thank you for sharing your experience and insight. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Remember the Good and Let Go of the Bad | Prayers and Promises

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  6. Thank you so much for your insight. I have followed Jesus since I was four years old (I will be fifty six in three days) I am severely depressed and have been off and on for a couple of decades now. I have many Christians telling me I am being sinful and disrespectful to God because I’m in the depressed state I’m in. That is like saying I’m sinning if I get cancer to me. Others say to just snap out of it as if I wouldn’t if it was that easy. To me it’s like telling someone who is shot just to stop bleeding. I right now am in the worst state of depression I’ve ever been in. I have medicine but it’s not working. I try so hard to not sin so I will be blameless before God but I’ve cried out to him for years. Sometimes I think God hates me. I pray to him constantly to die. I can not see me being able to take it anymore but I still will praise Jesus regardless even though I’ve been praying for years for him to help me and he doesn’t. Every minute of my life is miserable and if I die yesterday it wouldn’t be soon enough.

    • Steve, my heart goes out to you. It truly does. I know the battle within that makes you question what is real and what is not, what is you and what is the enemy. Know this, if you must fight so hard it is not because God is mad at you. It is because you have an enemy that longs to destroy you and steal from you. It doesn’t make it easier.. I know this, but knowing that you are not alone in the struggle may help. I will pray for you.. And I encourage you to do do one act of kindness for another. It helps me.. To reach out of my fog and bless another. Maybe it will help you! Love and prayers!

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