Christianity and Depression.
You may be thinking these two words would never go hand in hand right? I mean Christians are supposedly happy, Christians never have problems, Christians are always acting like their lives are great, right? They can’t possibly be dealing with depression. Well, hate to break it you but that’s incredibly wrong.
I wish life was easy going all of the time. I wish everything was always great and I never ran into any type of stress or worry. Oh how I wish my life was perfect. Don’t we all? Look, that’s just not the case. And unfortunately for Christians, I think we have this idea in our heads that we are not supposed to have depression. We are not supposed to get down or have these really raw and painful emotions.
We have prayer and we have the most powerful God. That cures everything, yes? YES. He does cure everything, don’t get me wrong here. God can and will heal you in your situation. I am not saying you should doubt God can handle your problems. He created the entire universe, He can handle whatever you have going on. What I AM saying is that just because we have the Almighty God on our side, it doesn’t mean you won’t feel pain sometimes. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t feel hurt, or down, or sad, or even depressed.
Over the past year, I have gone through the most difficult and at the same time, very positive change in my life. I have battled with depression. Depression is something I never thought I’d have. It has a lot to do with guilt for me. There were mistakes made, people hurt, and friendships lost. It was a lot to take on all at once. It hit me hard to say the least.
For me, it created this thick, dark cloud that hovered above me and never seemed to go away. That dark cloud just loomed there reminding me of my past, my failures, and how everyone hates me. Or so I would convince myself. I always felt down. I always felt sad. Like I was not good enough, unloved, worthless, and unimportant. It is VERY difficult to get yourself back up again after having those thoughts and feelings for months and months.
You feel trapped. Every breath is hard to take. It’s hard to get out of bed. It’s hard to find something to smile about. You cry yourself to sleep. You cry when you’re alone. No one knows or seems to care. Depression smothers you. It takes away your soul. At least that’s how it makes me feel.
You fake smiles. You fake being “fine”. When people ask what’s wrong or how you’re doing all you can feel is more guilt because they are only trying to help, yet they have no clue what you’re dealing with internally.
Let’s just get this out in the open okay? Just because you are a Christian and a mom, does not mean you can’t be depressed and struggling. Feels good to say it out loud. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, depression can be real for anyone. And I think it’s time we acknowledge that Christians struggle with this too. We are not immune.
How to get back up again.
So now what? You’ve gone through maybe the most difficult period in your life. You feel stuck, alone, and depressed. What do you do? Where do you go?
When you are in the midst of the hurt and pain, you think to yourself ending it all would be better than having to keep going through this immeasurable amount of pain. I have been there. This part is hard for me t actually type out. But I have been there.
Let me tell you, self harm is not the answer. Stop right now, tell yourself you are worth more than anything in this world. You are worth being here.
Every time you look in the mirror, remember that God created you and that everything He creates is beautiful and good.” Joyce Meyer
God created you in His image. He looks past your mistakes, your flaws and sees the beautiful creation you are. No one will love you the way God does. He died for you! God made you, and He will carry you through this. Give it all up to God and trust that He’s got this.
- Seek help.
For those who are in a deep depression, I genuinely advise getting help. This could mean speaking to your doctor, a pastor, a loved one, telling someone what you’re going through means not having to go through it alone. And having that support system is a must. You need to have someone there telling you that you can do this!
- Focus on the joy in your life.
Everyone has something to be thankful for. Everyone. So find those things, get down on your knees and thank God for them. Bringing to light all the good things you have will bring about a more positive outlook. Guaranteed.
- Take it one day at a time.
No one beats depression quickly or in a day. That just doesn’t happen. It can be a very long process. And you have to take it one day at a time. Every day you’ve gotten through is another step towards being free from depression.
- Get involved.
Get involved in helping other people. This could mean volunteering at church, in a local rescue mission, something. Just get involved. I sometimes need a push when it comes to this area, but once you’re in, you feel community and love. It is worth it.
- Try to stay away from social media.
Here’s the thing, we are all glued to our phones, it’s just the way life is now. But what I’d like to point out here is that getting onto social media can bring you down quick. It only takes a second to start searching trigger words. And when you start reading pins about depression, all you’ll think about is how down and dark your life is. It’s very difficult to get out of that funk. So don’t put yourself there in the first place!
- Prayer and reading the Word.
These may be obvious, but it doesn’t help if you don’t do it. Get the Bible app on your phone and simply read the verse of the day everyday. That right there takes two seconds and makes a huge difference. God can speak to you right there and it might just completely change your day.
Here are a few right now that I know will uplift your spirits..
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 … It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Psalms 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”
Psalms 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I am not an expert on depression. I am not completely through it myself. There are some days that are immensely harder than others. But I am growing everyday through my experience with it. I hope that in some way this helps someone out there who just wanted to know they are cared about. Because you are.
If I could reach through this screen and give you a hug, I would. Okay that sounded kind of creepy but hear me out. You are loved. You are cared about. Don’t ever doubt that. Even if everyone around you has turned their backs on you, God hasn’t. He’s there with open arms waiting from his prodigal child to return.
Just talk to Him. It’s easier than you think.
If you feel so inclined, please leave me a comment below!