During much of this time of depression, I had days where I felt completely swallowed up in fear and would take my children’s temperatures several times a day to make sure they were OK. I remember talking to one friend, our associate pastor’s wife, during a particular trying time. My kids were sick again and after all we’d been through, I was terrified. Debbie was so compassionate about our latest ordeal, but she also spoke truth into me that really opened my eyes.
She said it’s OK to grieve over the things we had been through. It’s a normal response to the trauma of nearly losing our newborn. But if my tears were based on lies and if I was living out of fear, then that was not OK. That was not where God wanted me to be.
I can honestly say that I think my tears were a combination of truly processing all that we’d been through, grieving and mourning that difficult time, and lie-based thinking.
She reminded me what scripture teaches about the Satan:
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy…” 1 John 10:10.
My friend said
He is stealing your joy right now. He’s using your kids to get to you.
And I was letting him.
I was letting him steal my joy in my children, including the child whose life God had just spared.
Where was my joy?
The joy of the LORD is my strength. -Nehemiah 8:10
But was His joy my strength? No, it most definitely wasn’t. I felt that I had no strength and no joy.
And that is enough.
The hope of a believer is what Christ did on the cross and the hope of an eternity spent worshiping Him, worship that begins here and has no end. I had worshiped in painful trials in the past and found those to be some of the sweetest times of healing. Even at this point in my depression, I would have private and public times of worship that were sweet, but left me full of tears, overwhelmed at God’s goodness in sparing my baby’s life. And then I would feel deep despair and fear again throughout the day.
No matter how tough each day would be as I worked through my obvious depression, I decided then that the joy of the LORD would be my strength. I would guard my emotions and my heart. I would keep my daughter from seeing her mommy crying so much. My children deserved a mommy who could be happy with them and grounded in joy that comes from Christ. Not in temporary things. My joy should never come from things that I can see.
I would let Him heal my heart.
I would trust Him with my issues with fear.
Through depression, I learned how to practically apply some foundational things that I had learned over the years as a Christian. I’m excited to share that with you next week so that you can see what God did in my heart, using His Word.
Do you know what the other half of the verse is that I quoted earlier?
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
The words of my Savior.
Have you dealt with depression? How did you come out of it? How has God worked in your heart in times of trial?
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