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Depression vs. Trusting God

Psalm 42 : 5
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation...

 

Have you ever felt like your relationship with God wasn’t moving, wasn’t growing? I was there. My faith became unmoving water that had become stagnant and had begun to stink. I was stale; my heart was hard toward God, my family, and my friends. I was falling deeper and deeper into depression.

Some of life’s circumstances can lead to depression, but in my life, there was nothing to actually cause this deep agonizing bitterness in my heart. We were in a very loving church. I had great friends and a great job. Even more, I had a loving husband and two wonderful daughters.

What was wrong with me? Why did I not want to go to church? Why did I show no emotion when my husband and I went to Paris for the first time in my life? I had always wanted to go to France, and here I was in Paris, and I felt nothing. I never got excited about the trip before, during, or after it.

My feelings are not God. God is God. My feelings do not define truth. God’s word de-fines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives.
— John Piper

A few months after the trip, I decided to go to my doctor. It cut like a knife when he pre-scribed antidepressants. I know that for some antidepressants are needed for stability, and I would never tell someone to stop taking a medicine that is helping to give them the mental health that they need. However, I didn’t have anything in my life that point-ed to a mental health issue. I have no family history of depression, and I had never struggled with it before that two year period.

So, what was different for me? My life had become stale and stagnant because I left my first love. I had quit reading God’s Word. I had quit praying and seeking out God. I start-ed believing the lies that Satan whispered in my ear, so to say. I believed I was not wor-thy of the life that I had. I believed God couldn’t use me, and I believed that I could not get the relationship back with God that I had before.

John 8 : 44
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan is a liar, and the way to combat him is to remember that all these things that you hear in your mind are lies from him. God wants a relationship with us and when we earnestly seek Him, He will restore our relationship with Him.

What did I do? When the doctor prescribed the pills for the depression, God started stir-ring in my heart. I felt He was saying the depression is a symptom; it isn’t the underly-ing cause. I went straight home and confessed to my husband (the pastor) that I had quit reading my Bible and pursuing a relationship with God. I admitted that I had stopped wanting to go to church. I had stopped wanting to talk to God. 

I knew now that my lack of desire was because I stopped seeking God and was trying to please self. I had let sin and the lies of Satan to fill my life. I asked my husband to start holding me accountable to reading the Word. I sought out a female friend to hold me accountable as well. I set goals, but instead of setting big goals, I started small; I set the goal to read my Bible and pray 3 times a week.

Today, about 5 years later, I still struggle with selfishness and pride. However, I repent and read on in the Word. I can now read passages like Psalm 8, and echo the Words of David when he says, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the Earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

Tracy