Many Christians, just like people without faith, have fallen into depression at some point. There are varying degrees of this state, that can have a debilitating affect on someones quality of life. Both naturally and spiritually. If you relate to this, I would like to share my story with you. I hope that it gives you encouragement. It is a long post, I know, but because of the importance of all of the content, I could not make it any shorter. By the Grace of God go I.
I would like you to picture a pit. It is deep. You cannot see the bottom when you look at it. It has a ladder so that you climb up and down to gain exit or entry.
I have walked with God for many years and have known many bouts of depression in the that time. Some of them worse than others and for varying reasons. This pattern of behavior however started when I was in my teens, about 30 years ago.In 2004, I was diagnosed with a mental health illness (another story for another day), and one of the leading symptoms is chronic depression.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Previously When I had Climbed into the Pit of Depression:
- I still had some (even if just a glimmer) hope – “This will pass””Just Ride it Out”
- I can get out of this, even if I just stay down here a while, I can start to climb back out. I just need to catch my breath for a while.
I had climbed in and out of the pit of depression regularly for years, but late 2014, I fell in head first. It was such a hard fall that it left me motionless and dazed for a very long time. I didnt know where I was, I couldnt communicate properly and my body was in physical agony. This time, was not like any other time. This fall caused some serious injuries. I didnt have the strength to start climbing out. Not one step could be made.
After a long while, I Thought This Was Now My New Home, So I Made Myself Comfortable. Comfort in Misery.
When I Fell into the Pit of Depression
LIVING IN DARKNESS – Dwelling in The Pit
My Emotional Symptoms Where
- Had no hope at all, not even a glimmer, No Light at The End of The Tunnel as My Vision Was Impaired From the Fall
- Gave up on life and people completely
- Truly didn’t care if I lived or died.
- Found No Joy in Anything, Not Even For a Moment
- Crying a lot
- Numb and Hazy in the Brain
My Physical Symptoms Where
- Weight Gain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Compromised Immune System, I Was Physically Sick a Lot
- Could No Longer Exercise At All, Standing Was Extremely Painful
- Chronic Bronchitis Bouts Like I Had Never Had Before
- Constant Infections In the Blood, Lymph Nodes etc
- Developed a Minor Heart Condition
- Alcohol Dependence
- Substantial Memory Loss
- My Speech Was Affected Drastically (Ps 77:4)
- Unable to Function in Daily Matters etc, bills, paperwork, household
- Total Isolation From The Outside World, Including Phone Calls
My Spiritual Symptoms Were
- I Felt No Connection With God
- I Could Not Be Inspired By His Word Or Even Read It Because It was Dark
- I Could Not Worship or Praise As It was Hard to Breathe.
- I Could Not Pray Because All I Could Hear Where My Own Thoughts of Woe
Those That Tried to Help – Some Would
- Call My Name From the Top of the Pit Yelling Out “I Will Pray For You”, “Snap Out Of It, This is Not of God””Hope You Feel Better Soon”. And Then Go On Their Way.
- Start climbing down the ladder to reach me, only to be affected by the darkness themselves. With no torch in hand, they were ill-equipped for the steep decent in the dark so had to retreat.
- Avoid the Pit Altogether, Because They Didn’t Know What To Say or Do That Could Make a Difference To Situation.
A PULLEY APPEARED AT THE TOP OF THE PIT
Equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
- I didn’t know it was happening.
- I couldn’t hear anything but my thoughts.
- I couldn’t see for it was too dark.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
The harness was there, but all it needed now was people to operate the equipment.
My Pastor (Helen) came to visit the pit and noticed that there was a pulley there. It wasn’t there before. She had visited the pit before, it was a new addition. She now had the tool required to transport supplies without being affected by the darkness. So she put some supplies in it. Gradually though, as I was unable to accept everything at once. I had been deprived from the essentials of life for so long that my body just couldn’t take too much at once. She told others about the pulley and they came and assisted as well.
The Essentials For Human Survival
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
These Supplies Were
- Oxygen – Encouragement – Gentle Fellowship
- Water – Love and Support – Holy Spirit
- Food – Bringing God’s Word Compassionately and Considerately – Word of God
- Shelter – Guarded From Bad Weather or Danger as It Arose – God’s Protection
- Sleep – Time To Recover -God’s Presence
Before too long, I had the strength to be able to start climbing out of this pit one step at time. It wasn’t long before the the light was visible. Gradually stepping out of the pit all together, with people around the pit applauding in relief and thanks to God. These people loved me through it and were excited when I was finally out of it.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Helen and the other members of my church who gave me the supplies I needed to strengthen and be finally released from this pit. You were the instruments/ vessels that God used to give me the essentials for my survival. God provided the tool and you used it.
God supplied the Pulley, He built it Himself. He Provided the Tool Needed. It Just Took People To Physically Make the Difference. God used that time in the pit to teach me a valuable lesson.
God has shown me a new pattern. When I feel the depression creeping back as it tries to, I do something about it early. I don’t want to fall in that pit ever again. It was awful. I focus daily on God and His Ways. By, Reading the Word, Music, Prayer, Fellowship. My purpose in life it now God. To serve God in Love Both Naturally and Spiritually In Every Occasion and Every Person That Crosses my Path.
1 Peter 5: 6-11
And here I am! Time Has Past!
I Have Changed, I have Strengthened. Thanks To God, I am now:
- More Passionate About the Lord Than Ever Before
- More Focused on God’s Plan and Purpose for The Lives of His People
- Able To Write Creatively, Something I Could Not Do Before
- Focused On God Word and Not Flapped About By The Things of the World Like Before
- Able to Worship God at the Deepest Level That I Have Ever Experienced
- Content with What I Have and Who I Am
- Trusting the Leading, Direction and Correction of the Holy Spirit deeper than before
God has used this Experience to Deepen my Relationship with Him.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
A Time for Everything, Including Depression For Many People
If You Know Someone Trapped In a Pit.
Ask God For The Tools You Need To Make A Real Difference.
If You are The One Who Fell Into the Pit
Seek Help! Sound Out The SOS Call Even If It Uses Up Every Ounce of Energy You Can Muster
There is Light and Life At The Top
You Just Cant See It From Down There
Be Encouraged. The Lord Thy God is With Us ALWAYS.