They are easier to buy – the lies. Because the truth seems so far away.
We all get there a different way, but the darkness is the same. Deathly black.
If depression has come after you, you recognize this place. And you can probably still remember these statements ringing in your mind.
God has left you. Oh, you know He is everywhere. Just not here. Not now. Because of you. You messed up. Or you just don’t deserve His attention. Or all those times you thought He was quite fond of you…you were wrong. Everything is gray, and the quiet is too heavy upon your doubts.
God is punishing you. Because you are worse than everyone else realizes. But you know God knows. And all the fears seem to be confirmed in His silence. It’s just easier to believe He is not for you.
It will never get any better. This is all there is now. Forever. This season is hard and it will get harder. No relief.
I have no real purpose. That dream you’ve been carrying for so long can die now. Because your identity is found in a new title, and it will define you. The heavy weight of this cross you bear takes all you’ve got. You will not change the world. No one will know of you. -This is a tricky one. Because of pride. But that’s why Satan loves to use it.
Depression has a louder voice today. We are talking about it, but it is still widely misunderstood and underestimated. I watched this video about Thomas Bean and the horrific things he had to see because of the Sandy Hook shooting. But what struck me most was the numerous comments from complete strangers telling him to “man up.” When hurts go so deep you cannot describe them, the world does not offer the comfort we need. Because though some in the world may understand, the majority will only judge.
And when Sheila Walsh stepped out to say I need help, the Christian community came with a dagger via letters and public opinion. But her story helped me write mine. So, Christians….we are writing letters now? We don’t only judge – we are going out of our way to do so.
So, I’m going to tell my story. And address the lies. Because it’s time.
To look into the dark with you. To offer hope.
To the Mom who is more alone than she ever thought was possible. To the Christian who isn’t sure what Christianity really even means anymore. To the man who can’t get out of bed today. To the pastor who has to keep it all together, but would rather just quit. Because leaders? It’s a hard fall when you get too high up. And pastors are not excluded from hurt.
I know you are out there. And holidays….can be the hard to breath days.
My story is coming. But today….Some truth we all need to hear.
Believers are not exempt from the darkness. And they are not less spiritual when they enter. We cannot prescribe more bible reading and prayer as the answer to real depression.
You cannot fix yourself. I thought if I could make myself better, God would come sooner. To help me. To answer me. It only takes you deeper. Because your weaknesses start to shout at you. And your failure? You let it define you. The trap door is swinging on your self-hate. I’m going to address how we keep that door from shutting.
You cannot fix someone else. It’s not our job. Our job? Is to be there. Consistently. And listen. And love. But it takes time. Years. We have to give the Spirit some room to work.
Depression is not laziness. It is soul-weary work. And someone you know…has been at this job for sometime.
Some people will never understand. It’s okay. What’s not okay is allowing their comments or misunderstandings to determine the outcome. And we – the Christian community – need to offer real tools for healing to our family of faith. Because falsehood, judgement and discouragement should not be our offering at the table of grace.
The simple tasks are daunting. I know this. Which is why small steps can save you. Starting with getting outside. And opening your mouth to tell someone.
Numbness is normal. It’s one of the hardest parts. Not “feeling” ANY. THING. But heavy weight on the chest. It doesn’t mean you can’t love any more. It doesn’t mean you won’t feel again. And it’s okay to want to just feel something.
There is a healing balm coming out of the stories God is writing through our lives. Let us come to the table and offer it to one another. By looking into the darkness, the lies…and most importantly, the TRUTH. Let’s share our stories and let’s get practical. I’ll start. Tomorrow. Follow my blog to continue.