Hope for the Depressed Spirit

Some days, I cant get out of bed in the morning..or in the afternoon..or in the evening. Just getting up to get real food to eat is really freaking hard. I binge eat junk, I sometimes drink away my feelings, and I can go a couple days without a shower (gross, I know). Depression isn’t pretty. And it certainly isn’t easy. It can be completely debilitating when it gets its grasp on you and relentless when it comes to letting go. I walk for weeks or, more often, months in the dark. I pull away from the people close to me and lose interest in everything. I feel empty.

Fortunately, as Christians, we always have hope. Regardless of what demons are haunting us, we can rest knowing God knows our hearts, He sees our struggles, and He hears our cries for help. The Lord is with the brokenhearted and He hears you (Psalm 34:17-18). Even when you are silent and don’t have the words to pray, you can find comfort because Jesus is praying for you (Matthew 6:8, John 17:20-23). Your silence will not drive Jesus away, but rather he is drawn near to you in your brokenness. Don’t pull away from God because you can’t find the words. The times we need God’s comfort most are the times we deprive ourselves of time to nurture our souls (2 Corinthians 1:4).

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God is calling out to you. Don’t stay in the dark – let the light in! You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force him to drink. There are so many things to be happy about. For one, God loved you so much, He sent His only son to die on the cross and forgave every sin you will ever commit (John 3:16). That kind of love is immeasurable. You are loved and wanted, just as you are.

When you feel numb, invite Jesus into your world. Journal and reflect on how you are feeling. Reflect on His comforting words available to you through His word. Have an honest conversation with Him in prayer. Prayer can be therapeutic for you – it can serve as a way to let out your emotions and reflect on the good in your life. Have a conversation with God and let Him shine light into the darkest corners of your soul.

Struggling with finding the words to pray?  Check out my post Let Us Pray for some tips and tricks

Take care of yourself and your physical health first and foremost – rest and nourish your body when the journey becomes too great (1 Kings 19:7, Psalm 127:2, Matthew 11:28).  Now, if you’re like me, you may take this a wee bit too literally and spend the day in bed because “you need rest”.  You may want to stay in bed all day, but you have to find the strength to love yourself enough that you can give yourself a kick in the butt when you need it. Wallowing won’t make these feelings go away. Take a walk and find God’s little love notes He left for you – a rainbow in the sky, the flowers blooming in the garden, the sunset and rise.  Get outside, rain or shine, and embrace what the day has to offer.

You are so loved.  And you are not alone in the dark.  No one knows your needs better than Christ and…you.  Listen to your body.  Give yourself the compassion you need.  Reflect on your feelings and how you feel physically.  If you don’t want to get out of bed because you feel so tired but you need to in order to get out of this funk, get up.  Go out and do something and take a nap later if you need it.  Take it one step at a time and never forget to celebrate the little victories: a shower, a walk outside, a real home-cooked meal, etc.

Unfortunately, trying to find a quick fix for depression is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. If you slap it on real quick and run away, it might look okay for a hot second, but there are bigger problems beneath the surface and the Band-Aid can’t hold the blood for long before it starts to show. It will take time before you start to feel alright. It won’t be easy and it requires you to put in a lot of effort to get back on the right track. On the fortunate side, you are never alone in this journey. He is always watching over you and when you are too weak to utter the words, Jesus Christ is praying for you.

Never give up hope.  Because no matter how dark it gets, light is waiting to shine behind the clouds.  Have faith in the journey you are on.  Learn from every stumble and never forget to get back up when you fall.  Allow yourself to grow stronger with every obstacle put in your path.  Let God help pick you up, dust you off, and chase after your dreams.  You are already stronger than you know.

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