I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Depressed One.

This post is for anybody, young or old, single or married, with or without children.....any person who has or is dealing with depression. Whether it's been brought on by a death, loss of a job, divorce, loss of a friendship, loss of a relationship, tragedy, postpartum depression, or even if you have no idea why.......I want to share some things with you.

Someone I love very much told me just several weeks ago that she felt "stupid" for even being depressed. She feels stupid that she has to take medication for her depression. (Which, by the way, sometimes some people need medication for a while.) She feels that since she's a Christian, she shouldn't be depressed.....but in reality, it's other people......GOD'S CHILDREN.....who have made her feel stupid. They may have told her things like "well, if you know God, he wants you to be happy......well, just keep on the bright side, and you'll get over it........are you sure you even KNOW the Lord, because maybe if you did you wouldn't be depressed...". (Which makes me want to scream out loud, because those things aren't true!!!) She's done nothing wrong. She is hurting, she is very discouraged, she is sad, she is lonely. This has been heavy on my heart for sometime now. It has made me think about everyone else who may be feeling these same horrible feelings about themselves, on top of already being depressed, which is such a hard thing, itself. For my friend that I love dearly, and anyone else who is burdened with carrying this, these words are for you.

* You're not stupid. You're not useless. You're not alone. You're not "less of" a Christian. (what an oxymoron)

You're going through something that needs to be dealt with. It may be easy for a time to push depression aside, but it will be much harder to deal with later if it's not dealt with now. You may even feel like you're a "loser" if you even entertain the notion that you're depressed. But sometimes, it happens. You may be depressed for a long time, or for a short time.....but you are not alone.

I want you to know something, God is with you. Though He may even be the one you're angry with, He is with you. I do NOT think He thinks you are a failure for being depressed. I encourage you to read the book of Psalms. Lamentations. There are more verses than I could even list that would bring comfort and hope to you through these dark times. Jesus, himself, said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4) II Corinthians 7:6 reads, "But God, who comforts the depressed,.....". If we are told in His word that those who are mourning or depressed are comforted........are we really to assume that He sees those same people as failures? Are we really to assume that He's comforting those that need it, but thinking, "You know, you should really get over it, keep your head up, think about positive things, just smile...."??!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! One of the ladies in our Bible study said something that has stuck in my head for weeks now. She said when we're going through hard things in life, people may say, "Well, look at all the good things you have.".....but that doesn't fix the problem!!! She said that sometimes in life, there will be things happening that are so bad, the good probably won't outweigh the things that the person are depressed about. And I think she's onto something. Think about it. If I were to lose both of my legs and weren't able to walk, telling me, "Hey, Jess, you still have your arms!".......I'm not sure that'd make me that happy. And you'd better be glad I didn't have legs to run after you after telling me something that insensitive!!! :) I doubt that when Christ was carrying that cross a long time ago, that God was telling him "Pick your head up, things could be worse!". Isn't that what we do? Come on, I'll admit that there are times I've done that. Sometimes it's too hard to talk about the horrible things going on in someone's life, so we try to let them see the good. And yes, there's something to be said for that, but it hardly EVER brings lasting comfort or hope. A very wise lady here at my church, who now has great-grandchildren, told me a story that still sends chills down my spine. She and I were talking about grief, and how many people in the church are insensitive to other people's grief. She said she had a friend who had a miscarriage years ago. Her sweet child was no longer here anymore. MANY people told her things like, "Well, at least you have your other kids!......well, maybe something was wrong with the baby, so.........". I couldn't believe that!! I had a hard time even typing those words, let alone knowing they were told to a grieving Mother! And times like that, comments like that, told to people hurting for whatever reason, are where the loneliness begins, the depression sets in. To people who are hurting, they need comfort. They need hope, yes....but comfort. Jesus, himself wept. If THE LORD, the One who created everything and everyone, wept with those whom He loved, ....why don't His children do this more often? My friend, whatever it is that has you down, you are not alone. You are not worthless. You are loved. And Jesus, Himself, says you are comforted.

Sheila Walsh, one of my favorite authors and speakers, has a book titled, "The Heartache No One Sees". (It is a great read, I highly recommend it.) She talks about Job, and how his friends weren't really his friends during his time of grieving. We read in Job that his friends were there for him for a period of time....and then when he started speaking up about his pain, they immediately started pointing the finger of blame at him. They pretty much said things to him that insinuated maybe HE did something wrong.....SURELY God was punishing him, otherwise things would be going better. IN HIS PAIN. IN HIS MOURNING. IN HIS DEPRESSION....the very ones he hoped would comfort him only rubbed more salt into his wounds. I have been there before, many times. I am sure you have, too.....or you know someone who has.

Hurting one, alone one, mourning one, grieving one, angry one, hopeless one, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The book of Psalms tells us that He keeps our very tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8), that is how precious we are to Him always.....even in our hurting, yes, even in our depression. Talk about what you are feeling. Even if, like Job, nobody else will listen, HE WILL. We are to come before HIM in truth. All the time, even when things are dark and seem hopeless. If we don't START off in truth when we come to Him, when we gather with one another, how in the world do we expect to end up in truth?

People can be REALLY good about rejoicing with those who are rejoicing....but let's not forget the other part of that verse......."Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

If you are depressed, relish in His comfort. Hope in Him. Don't look for a quick fix, trying to ignore the reality, or some band-aid that temporarily "fixes" you. He is our Hope. No matter your situation, or how you got there, whether you did it to yourself, or life has simply happened around you.....HE is your hope. And depressed one, He says He comforts you.