I remember the dark cloud of depression all too well. I remember it well enough to recognize it approaching on the horizon. And I remember it well enough to fight it off with everything I have. The question is, what do I have to fight with?
The days and nights I spent in deep depression were endless. I was almost catatonic. Though my eyes were open, I could not see. When my friends and family spoke, I could not hear.
I had given up on God, decided He was a myth. There was no life. Death was all around me, in me, constantly looming over my head. But, sadly for me at the time, never closing in. Instead it pinned me down and breathed its poison over me all day and all night, relentlessly torturing and taunting every ounce of my being. I sat day, after day, after long miserable day, hoping it would finish its work in one fatal blow, doing for me what I could not do for myself. Thanks be to God.
When medication, hospitalization and counseling failed, I quit and literally laid down to die. I didn’t pray to die, but I certainly wished for death. I suppose this was my rock bottom. I had reached the point where I was so very dead on the inside, that the world to me was silent. Thinking back, I realize it was this silence that allowed me to hear God speak.
“…That’s enough. Get up. Come on, Get up. Why are you crying?”
“Get up. That’s enough. Don’t you know there are people out there who love you? What about your brothers? They love you, dearly. What about your father? He loves you, too.”
“No, I’m not talking about your earthly father. He will not always be there for you. Where will you be when he dies?”
“I’m talking about your heavenly Father. He has something better for you. Now get up, wipe your tears. You’ve punished yourself enough…”
I heard Him speak those words to me and as He spoke, I got up. I dusted myself off and listened to Him. Each word literally breathed the life back into me and I simply said, “Ok.”
I have been up ever since. I cannot say there was no struggle and depression wants to creep back in from time to time. But like I said above, I can see it coming. And I remember it was my response to God’s spoken word that got me out of the darkness the first time. The very same, sustains me.
You see, I have come to realize this response was the last chance for me. I see now that my simple yes was the equivalent to Mary’s “May it be done unto me according to thy word.” It was a choice that would make or break me. It would bring life or death. And it would not only bring it for me, but for those around me.
God Speaks Life to All
I believe God speaks to everyone. The book of Hebrews tell us He sustains all things with His word.
It is not a question of whether or not He speaks to all. It is a question of listening and responding. We have to tune the world out, silence it altogether and hear what He has to say.
And not just once, but every day of our lives. Listen for His spoken word, read His written word, and respond, “May it be done unto me according to thy word.”
Your mind will be renewed, your purpose will become clear and you will live to fulfill that purpose. Just look what Mary brought into the world with this very same response.
Perhaps God is speaking to you now through this article. Or maybe He has spoken to you through a minister’s encouragement, or maybe even The Upside Down Heart. However He speaks to you, listen, and respond well. You have two choices, life or death. Choose life.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Listen to podcast on healing from depression with me as host, Dr. Janiece C. Andrews and Margery Phelps. We will share tips on healing from depression as well as our own personal stories. Coming, September 18 at 7pm EST.
Why the Upside Down Heart?
I wrote about my healing journey in a book called The Life Cycle. In the book, I made the statement that depression is really a condition of the heart. I will republish the book as The Upside Down Heart in the near future, and explain how our hearts are really in control. Here is a hint:
When the heart is in love with the world, the eyes and ears are focused on the world. Therefore the mind is conformed to the world’s way of thinking.
Three Things to Do Today
When you are depressed, a long list of things to do doesn’t really work. Here are three simple things you can do today that will get you started on your healing journey:
- Tune the world out for a minimum of 15 minutes today and seek God’s presence. (Do not think about yourself, think about Him.)
- Choose NOT to believe hurtful things that have been said to you or about you, no matter who said them.
- Choose to believe God has a plan and purpose for your life. As He literally said to me, “I’ve got something better for you.”