Someone to Listen...
NOTE: THIS IS AN OLD POST, BUT VERY RELEVANT. I FELT THE NEED TO POST IT AGAIN. BECAUSE DEPRESSION IS REAL.
Yesterday was the first Sunday of the year! Every Sunday evening, my youth group meets up to worship, read God's word, share a testimony and have a discussion. Being the fact that this was first Sunday, we decided to have the bulk of the service to be our youth coming up and sharing a testimony about what God has done for us in 2014.
Being an eager beaver that I am, I went up first. I thanked God for health, protection and provision - the usual. Then I spoke about the month of September.
September 2014 was probably one of the roughest periods in my life as a saved believer. The spirit of depression came over me like a ton of bricks. I hadnt been diagnosed and I don't want to claim it but there was definitely a darkness in my heart. I didn't want to be around anyone. I cried myself to sleep. I cried at work. Nothing got done. I even thought about how life would be if I weren't here. I knew these thoughts were not of God. I tried talking to people, but tears would choke me up before I could get the words out. So I prayed as much as I could. As much as I prayed, this dark cloud continued to plague my spirit. It wasn't until one of the youth leaders Andy delivered a word on the last Sunday of the month - three days before my birthday. He delivered a Word that touched me so deep I was standing by myself in the middle of the church because I was so desperate to be healed. During the altar call I wept and Andy prayed with me. By the benediction, I was made anew and celebrated my birthday with so much joy in my heart.
Fast forward to yesterday 1/4, I finished my testimony and sat down. About 5
people went up and shared a testimony and in each testimony they talked about feeling depressed in 2014. Feeling the same way I felt and for way longer than I had. Everyone dealt with their feelings first by going to God, which was great. What pained me was the fact that no one knew they were feeling this way. They simply put a mask on everyday and hoped no one could see the pain behind their smile.
The spirit of depression is such an evil force. It is physically, spiritually, and emotionally taxing. It's steals so much from a person to the point where once you're in it feels like there is no way out. Many of us believers are dealing with feelings that eat us up inside. There are many of us believers who think being angry or sad is the norm. You can be a firm believer in Christ and feel these feelings. In my church, mental illness isn't really addressed because "the joy of The Lord is our strength" or "joy comes in the morning" and while these are very, very true, the journey of overcoming depression is not easy and it breaks my heart to know people are going through this alone with no one to talk to.
There is ALWAYS someone to talk to. God is ALWAYS listening! Your cries do not fall upon deaf ears. Continue to pray and believe that our God is capable of any and everything and will heal your heart, and replenish your mind and spirit. Our God has placed people around you to listen to you when you need somebody to talk to. In this world of 8 billion people, you are never alone. "All things work for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."(Rom 8:28) Which means that the hotlines, groups, chat lines, and blogs were made for the good of those who love him. That means YOU!!! You have been called according to His purpose. You're here on purpose going through things that will help someone else one day. One day you'll be able to help or listen to someone who needs an ear.
Speak to someone! Be encouraged!