I have walked through some very dark times personally and emotionally. Millions suffer from depression and there are several degrees of depression. There is no one set experience. Families have been impacted by suicide, murder of a loved one, an addictions as a result of depression not being addressed. Many have gotten comfortable wearing that mask because this is how they have conditioned themselves to survive. Though I still suffer from time to time, I am much more aware of the signs and have a better handle on swinging that thing back over to a position of peace. No anxiety. No conversations about how bad this or that is. No pealing scabs from the many scars for them to bleed all over again, taking longer to heal. Can you relate?
As I get older and lean towards that senior discount, I have learned many valuable lessons that have helped me grow, heal, and rejoice while in the storm of depression. And in my growing, I have had the pleasure of ministering to those who desire to have a conversation and share dialogue. Remember, our experiences as God’s children are not about us. I am not so hard on myself or others. I have learned that the best thing to do when I see others going through something that I have experienced is to let them go through it, just as I had to. Honestly, I just want to shake the daylights out of some folks screaming, NOOOOOO! DON’T DO THAT! Run for the hills and don’t look back. Sound the sirens. Bang the gong. But nope, I have to let people experience things even though I know it may cause great pain and hardship. Some things will have a minor impact and some will have a life-long impact. Our duty is to love them and pray for them. Sometimes it is best to say nothing at all. We also must know when to speak up especially if we see and know if a person is causing harm to themselves or others, and this takes discernment.
You may be reading this wondering why I am writing about depression. The reason is, depression is real, and many who suffer with depression are ignored because they either don’t understand its impact or they truly don’t care about the person to begin with. We are in the second month of 2016, I want to encourage you and myself to be more present in the lives of others. Love is other centered. Love is not selfish. With all of the horrible events that have taken place around the world, we must be more willing do just what we are told to do and that is, love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Sometimes we just need to make the phone call, stop by for a quick minute, send a beautiful card or even flowers. I love me some yellow roses. I will even accept some chocolate peanut clusters. Laughing! Do you suffer with depression? Have you sought help or are you just walking around smelling like smoke, being burned up by the fires of life? Where is your faith? Pick it up.
1 Peter 1:7 NLT says this, These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold, and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Let me say this. As I mentioned there are many degrees of depression and with that, you must know whether or not you need professional help. There is nothing wrong with seeking help. Don’t we go to a doctor for check-ups or something specific? Mental health is no different. It is only the foolish one who refuses to seek the help needed to assist them in a crisis they have had no ability to handle on their own. So, I encourage you to seek medical attention if you find yourself in a dark place that you have had no ability to climb out of. The brain is a living organ with natural chemicals that can become imbalanced. Do not take a serious issue lightly, it can save your life or the life of another.
My brothers and sisters, swing that thing that has you by the neck like a vice grip. Swing that thing that has peeled off layers from your heart. Swing that thing that has not only hurt you and others by your actions. None of God’s children will ever escape the journey God has laid out. Though God does not cause pain, He will use the pain for His purpose. What do I mean by swing that thing? It simply means that you have to make an active decision to not rest in the pain and darkness of depression. Though you may need to take some time to rest, I encourage you to add prayer or increase your prayer life while you are resting.
Remember, we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, we wrestle with evil spirits that walk and fly around us. Those spirits sit at our dinner tables, in our cars, in our living rooms, and they even lay down with us at night. You have to replace those dark thoughts with light thoughts. You have to watch what you read, view on television, and even the music you listen to because the enemy can draw us in by our thoughts and ideas. Information is information, but we have to discern what information we will allow to penetrate our hearts, minds and souls. Swing that thing. Because we are Gods children, we will be tested the more. So take action and swing that thing like the batter at the ready. Out of the park, home run. WINNER! Are you ready to win strong? Swing that thing and lay aside the weight.