I laid on the floor of my small office in my home feeling hopeless and despondent. I screamed, cried, and pleaded with the Lord, desperate to feel His presence, but the heavens were silent.
I had been laid off from my job and I’d just had my third daughter after a difficult pregnancy. Depression came on gradually and before I knew it, apathy had settled in. There were many days I couldn’t even get dressed.
According to Wikipedia, “Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity or apathy that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. People with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, angry, ashamed, or restless.”
The second time I struggled was six years later. This time, every area of my life was touched: my marriage, my health, our finances, and my daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. Normally a confident career woman, I didn’t feel like I added any value to my family. I wondered, “How did I get here? How could a loving God do this to me?” I thought, “God loves everyone else, but not me.”
My husband and I attended a small church and we were involved in all aspects of ministry. I never missed a service, I ministered to others, I prayed, I read my Bible—and I smiled. I felt broken and no one knew.
The song “I Held On” by Shara McKee (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzA7LLGh3RY) ministered to me. I held on to the things I’d been taught. I didn’t have a secret formula, nor did I consider myself great, or even strong. I held on until the storm was over. Life is a journey. I put one foot in front of another, only worrying about that step, until eventually the landscape around me changed.
God is faithful. Even during those difficult times, God’s protection and blessings were apparent: my unemployment benefits were extended, we met our bills and house payments, I was able to be home with my baby, we moved to a better school district to help my daughter, got the help of a godly counselor, and my health slowly recovered.
Sometime later while in prayer, God reminded me of that moment in my office and reassured me that He had been there and that He loved me. I don’t know why this happened to me. I do know that God causes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). As the Bible says, He did love me, He does love me, and He does love you, regardless of any hopelessness you may feel.
Depression, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), are all things that many Christians do not talk about readily. According to medicine.net, “Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with depression cannot merely ‘pull themselves together’ and get better.” It is a medical condition.
As with any medical issue where healing is needed, “call for the elders of the church” and ask to be prayed for (James 5:14). If you are not healed instantly:
- Seek help of a godly counselor and your physician.
- Hold on—pray, read your Bible, memorize Scripture verses that minister to you, fast, and go to church, even when you don’t feel like it.
- Encourage yourself in the Lord by listening to godly music. My Hope Radio is an excellent resource: http://www.myhoperadio.com/. Watch or listen to UPCI preaching on YouTube or the Revival Radio app.
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18:2).
Written by: Carolyn Barcus. She grew up in Pennsylvania in a home mission church as a pastor’s daughter. She is a graduate of Apostolic Bible Institute. She attends Calvary Church in Savage, Minnesota, with her husband and three daughters.