Lessons Learned: working through depression.

After a really quick month long break from blogging, I am back to writing a few times a week as usual. I have spent the last month caring for my family and straightening out some personal attitudes and issues. As some who know me know, I have worked through minor, on and off depression since my teens and, recently, post-partum (PPD) decided to kick in on about Fletcher’s 5 month mark. It has not been the marked struggle of my life {pssh} I deal with way more than just one struggle, but I am not completely free of it either. Call it one of my many ongoing issues. lol.

The thing with depression is that your body feels tired and unmotivated when it starts, so then you begin to feel bad about your inability to function, which just makes you more unproductive, which can lead to further depression, self-hatred, extreme guilt and insecurity, and even suicidal thoughts. You begin to wonder why you are alive and why life seems to be going on with you. Outside. In the world you used to know. There are the body aches, the restlessness, the constant lies spun in your ear, the fearful, flashing thoughts, the terrifying dreams, and the hyper self-focus. It can drive a simple human to insanity. Let’s just say, depression is nasty. Whether it’s a hormone imbalance or a demonic influence or a selfish motivation {who knows} I am here to say that there is no shame in admitting our struggles and allowing ourselves the saving grace that only God provides.

I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.” Psalm 40:10

More people deal with depression than we think, and I might venture to say that almost everyone has or will have to fight through some form of it at some point. The scariest thing for me during my down times is the lack of God I feel. I will read scripture and try to pray but it seems keen to me beating my head against a six foot concrete wall while trying to hear a whisper on the other side. It is exhausting and frustrating, and leads to more insecurity because, well, it must be me who is the problem, right?

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33

Jesus said that. He promised we would struggle, but He promised that He would come through for us too. All of our struggles look different, full of intricacies and personality differences and compiled from experiences we have had, but Jesus says that he will conquer and cover it all.

The answer to depression (or any ongoing sin struggle) is not simply to pray more or read more bible. Giving that advice can actually cause more harm then good. When someone is sinning or struggling and knows it, they most likely already feel guilty about it. When Jesus Himself witnessed, He pointed out sin factually, but always, always followed up with forgiveness, grace, and peace. We are not to condemn one another. Ever. We are to rebuke, encourage, and uplift one another. We are to be one another’s support. Because we ALL STRUGGLE. Love covers. Grace covers. God has provided medical aids. Counseling works. Prayer works.

But those things are nothing, nothing at all without the God who backs them. They say prayer and study and counseling changes things. No, it doesn’t. Jesus changes things. Those things are simply, but not limited to being, our vehicles to access Him. Only He Himself can get inside of us and tweak every gear until a change occurs in our hearts. We can balm and soothe and hide as much as we want, but it is God who truly changes us.

If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, I encourage you to reach out to someone. Learning other people’s stories is an incredible way to zoom out from your own. Striving for relationships is worth it, even when you are in your jammies and you can’t eat and you are weighed down by the guilt of your very existence. Seek help, seek someone to zoom out on your life, evaluate it and help you discern the truths from the lies.

Take a walk and breathe fresh air.

Turn on some music and sing your heart out.

Journal.

List the things God has given you.

Speak the lies you hear aloud and denounce them as false, ALOUD.

Overcome through the power of Christ in you.

What are some practical ways that we can “work out our salvation” in Christ through our struggles?

Blessings,

sparrow sig

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