Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Overcoming Depression Sarah K.

Overcoming Depression

By Sarah K.

We’ve all felt sad at some point in our lives. As a teen girl, my emotions go all over the place...and sadness comes around a lot. But depression? That’s a whole different level. Often, we throw around the word, as if it meant the same as being sad, or disappointed. It’s not like that, however. Depression is a deep seated sadness or stress that follows you around like a bad mood. It’s hard, sometimes almost impossible to shake, and can’t be solved by a nice card or a hug. Depression leads people to believe that they’re worthless. That they don’t mean anything. That nothing they do, or say, ultimately matters. That’s when thoughts like, “So why am I even alive?” set in. Scary thoughts.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never officially been ‘diagnosed’ with depression. But I know what it feels like. There were many mornings when I simply didn’t want to get out of bed. Like I literally couldn’t find the will to face another day. I stopped seeing the beauty around me, and started focusing on all the disappointments, the pain, the anger, and all the other hurtful things around – and in – me. My story is not dramatic, or even very inspiring. It begins with the day I realized I needed healing; the day I thought I could end it. Forever and ever. It was either that, or find some way to release the pain. Maybe just a little cut would give me another pain to focus on. Before the pain in my heart ate me up from the inside out. That was the day when I ran into God. Literally. I was going to do it – just one little cut. But suddenly, my hand couldn’t move. I tried, but it was like something was holding me back. I growled in frustration...but I just couldn’t do it. At first, I thought that I was just too afraid to do it...and that would be true, but I also believe that God intervened that day. Because otherwise, I would be lost today. Once you go down that path, it’s a long way back. And it all starts with depression.

My pastor once told us at church that depression is, at its roots, unbelief in God. When we take our eyes off Him, and let all the doubt and guilt creep in, soon enough, all our sins, past and present, coming roaring in to be seen by us. While our sins parade past, we let our gaze slip even further from Him. Soon, all the hurts and disappointments that we have ever suffered, all the mean comments, snide remarks, and times we just didn’t meet the requirements wash over us, drowning us in the assurance that we just aren’t good enough, so why is there any reason to live with joy? That response leads to depression. The only thing to do if you’re depressed is to go straight to God’s Word. No side stops. No excuses. No delays. Go. God has given us His greatest promises and assurances right there in His Word. Almost every verse is brimming with the hope of what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do...for US. So read. Drink in the absolute promises He guarantees for us. The only way to combat hopelessness is by hoping. My favorite verse was, “Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet...The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks by to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 51-57)

If you are depressed, don’t let it go, or write it off. Go to the Savior for comfort and strength and help. Go to His Word to find hope and be reminded of His GREAT love. It is also important you go to an adult: don’t let it slide by. Find someone you trust, who loves God, to talk to about what you’re going through. They have years of wisdom to give us! Also, if you’re having thoughts of suicide or cutting, don’t wait . Get help now. Keeping our eyes on Him, let us live in hope, joy, assurance of who we are, and with the wonderful promise, “’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.)


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