Often when life is on the downside we follow our feelings. I feel sad, depressed, alone and the feeling that God has forgotten me overwhelms my soul.
Life is filled with ups and downs. Things go well and we are so happy; then, here comes a huge trial and we feel wiped out. It’s life! Often when life is on the downside we follow our feelings. I feel sad, depressed, alone and the feeling that God has forgotten me overwhelms my soul. It’s in times like these that we should be even more into God’s Word, but that’s not how it goes. We, often set aside our Bible, and try to get everything in order on our own. It’s what we naturally do. But the natural only takes us down another path that is on a declining slope.
My journey of depression went something like I’ve just described. My husband was in the most exciting years of his life. It was November 1, 1997; the first day that he was pastor of Beacon Baptist Church. We had been at our church since 1981 and now the Lord had led him to be the lead pastor. We had led several ministries in our church up until that time. My favorite and the closest to my heart was the youth ministry. Oh, how I loved my teens. They were and still are wonderful people, so much fun to be around, so teachable and so worth the investment.
Leaving the teen ministry was one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. So difficult that I didn’t know how to let go. How do you leave a ministry that is so worth your time and effort? How do you move on? I didn’t know and I didn’t want to know. This attitude was wrong and it led me to the beginning of a 3 year depression.
My journey of depression was my choice. I know that now; however, I didn’t realize it at the time. Disappointed that I couldn’t be in the teen ministry and discouraged by a prominent lady who made a statement to me about my strong personality was all it took for me to fall short of what my husband wanted and needed for me to be. I became quiet, stood in the background and tried to be unnoticed as my depression grew deeper. I wanted to do God’s will yet I was self-centered, thinking of only myself and what I thought was best for me.
A depressed person can’t see 2 feet in front of them and this was the case with me. I was reading my Bible and praying every day. In my opinion, I was doing everything needed for my walk with the Lord; yet in reality, I was doing it in a self-centered way. Doing the right thing in the wrong way gets you nowhere.
I began to journal my feelings to God. I knew God was there. I knew He would never leave me; yet, I couldn’t find my way. I wrote page after page in my journal to God. The pages were tear stained. Everyday I wrote the page addressed to God, put the date, time, and my signature. After a while, I began to answer my feelings with Bible verses, writing them out and giving myself a personal application of the verses.
I tried several times to talk to my husband about this but he just couldn’t hear me. I’m not sure why and it doesn’t really matter. Finally, one day, he heard my heart. This was a wonderful turning point in my depression. Also, a lady at church said to me, “I know you are depressed. I see it in your eyes.” I didn’t like anyone noticing so this was a wakeup call for me.
God began to work in my life and my eyes were opened to my depressed state. God’s Word began to penetrate my heart and life and I got victory over my depression. I’m so thankful for this step of faith and I’m forever grateful for the grace of God in my life during this time. I’m blessed to be the wife of a pastor and so thankful that God’s will is always best!
Psalm 19:14 has become such a precious verse to me, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Life is filled with ups and downs. It’s what we do with those ups and downs that makes all the difference!