Depression is nothing new to Christianity. King David wrote the book of Psalms, and if you read them carefully you will see depression throughout his words. His son, Solomon, describes depression perfectly in the book of Proverbs, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. So true. Your heart is sick.
People that decide to take their lives are taking them for one reason. In their mind, they have no hope. They can’t see one chance in a bazillion that their situation will get better. They have run out of reasons to keep going. If you know someone who is depressed, remember this. They don’t need “cheering up”. You couldn’t if you wanted to. You might make them feel better for a time which is fine if it is your short term goal. But taking it upon yourself to change someone’s view of life when they are suffering with this horrible disease is right next to impossible. Instead, just be there for that person. That’s all. Be there. It sounds easy because what you really want to do is something monumental. Something that everybody will see as the defining moment of this person’s recovery. STOP. You are only making it worse. Really. Just be there. Get some groceries. Do their dishes. Take them out for a coffee. The ministry of being present.
If you have depression, I feel for you. I have dealt with it my whole life. I remember thinking in the third grade, “Why do I feel like this?” At times, my life has been hard. And while there has never been a time that I’ve wanted to end my life, there has been times I have not wanted to live this one I am currently living. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I can tell you there is relief, but not a total cure. It will take time and you will get discouraged but you can do it.
The reason for this post is to recognize that our lives are not cut and dry. Just because I am a Christian does not mean I am immune to any of the conditions of this world or society. There are many factors that come into play when addressing whether a life is good or bad. Love, friends, family are a few. What I can do to encourage you is to say, never give up, never give in. I need to believe in something greater than myself. For me, it’s the hope of heaven. I have to believe that whatever I experience here on earth cannot be compared to the joy of heaven. We each have our own cross to bear in this life. Jesus never said it would be easy. Depression is a condition/disease just like cancer, AIDS, or the flu. I cannot mesh what I live through with whether or not I’m going to heaven. That’s silly.
Has God helped me in my pursuit of freedom? Yes, He has. But it is still there. Does that mean He doesn’t love me? No, he is using it for something greater than anything that I can do with it. I’ve come to a place in life where I accept that depression will be there. And I have to make a choice as to whether I continue to battle or call it a day. With the hope of heaven and God’s daily help, I’m going to make it.