This is the 5th post in my depression series. You can read the first post here.
Last week, I shared about how God worked in my heart to show me that I was giving into fear. I was letting my joy be stolen. Instead of looking at my children and finding joy in them, I was having flashbacks to my newborn’s traumatic diagnosis and emergency lung removal. Because of this trauma, I was enveloped in fear of the future, of more terrifying illnesses and things I could not control.
But once God showed this to me, I knew I didn’t have to live like that. Instead of giving into fear, I began fighting back against the dark thoughts and the emotions that I was drowning in.
Spiritual Disciplines Lead to Joy: Fellowship
I believe that God had already equipped me to go through this battle. I shared with you a few weeks ago how God used people around me to pull me out of this fog of depression. I didn’t want to neglect fellowship with believers because the body of Christ is a tangible way to feel God’s love and have truth spoken to me.
Staying in the Word
Even during the days that we spent in ICU when our son had his emergency lung surgery, the trauma that triggered my depression, I did not neglect time in the Word. It wasn’t out of a sense of legalism, because I knew God’s love for me was not dependent upon reading the Bible. But I knew that I needed God’s Word to be my spiritual food, my strength to get through each day. I think all believers need this, but a believer who is struggling with fear and giving into emotions needs it more than ever.
When we came home from the hospital and the depression started, I continued to spend time with God. I knew this would be the source of my hope.
I needed to read about God and focus on the truth of who He is, how He works, and what He promises.
I gave up my usual habit of reading through the Bible repeatedly and instead, I went swimming in the Psalms that spring and summer. I needed to be saturated in God’s word.
Here’s where it gets pretty cool.
As I was reading, I began writing down scripture that encouraged me in my dark time. I wrote them down on large index cards that had been collecting dust in our desk drawers.
I crammed as many verses as I could on each card, verses like these:
When I began feeling fearful, when I began crying uncontrollably, and when I would have terrible flashbacks to experiences in the ER or in ICU, I would grab hold of these verses.
And read them.
And meditate on them.
I would say them out loud sometimes, letting the truth of God overwhelm me completely.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid… –Psalm 56:3-4
And when I became so terrified of something so small, I would do this all over again, focusing on the truth instead of lies, until God’s peace overwhelmed me instead of my fears.
God is good.
Next week, I will share in even more detail how God’s Word pulled me out of this fog by taking my thoughts captive. It will be my final post in this series.
What are some of your favorite scriptures that you turn to in times of trouble?