Confession of a Mom: Who Wrestles With Depression

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I have struggled with depression my whole life. This is my story about how I came out of the pit and into the light of Jesus. Be warned that I am going to be real and honest. I know “depression” is the buzz word lately since the passing of Robin Williams. I think this is a topic that needs to be talked about in churches, schools, and homes. It is real and it is scary.

 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

-John 16:33

Looking back on my life I realize that my depression started at a very young age. I was always a little “pudgy-er” than the other kids. My mom called it “baby fat”. Well, I was going into my teenage years with “baby fat”. I never had any close friends even in my elementary years. I was always lonely and felt different. Going into middle school it only got worse. That’s when your peers start to notice just how different you really are. When I started high school it put me over the edge with anxiety. There was so much pressure to get good grades, fit in, and look a certain way. Not to mention the bullying. I was teased and made fun of quite often (even by those close to me).

I had many suicidal thoughts. It started with a whisper, “No one cares about me”. Then, a conversation in my head began to form. “Why are people so mean to me? Why can’t I just be skinny? I am not smart enough to do anything with my life!” Finally, a plan was made and a letter was written. Yes…a suicide letter. During this time I was around 15 years old and did not know the Lord. I knew of Him, but didn’t know about a relationship with Jesus.

Thank God I could not go through with “the plan”. God had other plans for me. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11, my life verse) At age 16 I was invited to a youth group meeting with a girl I knew from school. I started attending regularly and things started to make since. I became close with the youth pastor and his wife. They were the kindest couple I had ever known. One Wednesday evening, at a youth group meeting, I surrendered my life to the Lord. I got on my knees and accepted His sacrifice and forgiveness. My life changed so much. I want to tell you that I have never battled with depression since that day. I still have moments of weakness where I let the negative thoughts take over. I am a work in progress, constantly refining my attitude and asking God to give me peace.

This has been my secret for a long time. One that I have carried with me and pray that no one finds out. I feel that it is time to let the cat out of the bag. It’s time to move forward with courage and strength. I feel compelled to share my story in hopes that it may help even one person.

Depression is the feeling of hopelessness. It’s a dark place to be. It’s like a cloud that follows you everywhere you go. My husband has been through the storms with me. He has seen me weep for days, lash out, and feel sorry for myself. When I start to have these feelings of despair I am very honest with him. I tell him and he understands. He is my shoulder to lean on.

But, I have realized that I need God more than anything. I choose to get up every single morning and read my Bible. I pray and write down my thoughts and feelings. This has helped me to truly connect with God. If I start to hear those whispers of doubt and hopelessness I turn to God’s promises.

“But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”

-Psalm 3:3

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

-1 Peter 5:6-7

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

-Isaiah 41:10

I may still have bad days. Days of doubt and insecurity. Depression is something that I will battle my whole life. It is Satan’s way of stealing the joy from my life. But, I find great joy in knowing that God will be with me.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted

beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

-1 Corinthians 10:13

If you or anyone you know are struggling with depression I pray that you seek help. Look to God and godly counselors to guide you through the darkness. I am constantly reminding myself to lean on God and His truth. Satan tells lies. He is the whisper you hear of helplessness. Don’t believe the lies. Believe what God’s word says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).

This is my confession: I am a Christian and I wrestle with depression. I am not perfect but with God’s help I can lead a joyous life. By His grace, mercy, and love alone can I choose joy over sorrow and light over darkness.

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