Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I think Depression can absolutely be spiritually related. The farther we are away from the Lord the less at peace we become. I believe with all my heart that absense from the Lord in any way can make us depressed-for sure. BUT, I do not think depression is 100% spiritually related all the time. There are medical concerns and imbalances and life stresses that make some personality types more prone to depression than others. Circumstantial depression is almost unavoidable in the typical human life. Lately it has been on my heart and in my conversations to say to those of you who read this who struggle with depression - DEPRESSION IS NOT A SIN! DEPRESSION IS A SYMPTOM! Being depressed or going through a period of depression is so not a sin. And I don't think it can even be classified as a sin to stay in depression. However, I do think God wants better for you.
From the bottom of the core of my very soul I hope by now you trust me when I say I understand. I've had the seemingly endless nights of agony and despair. I've cried until I was absolutely convinced that there could not be any more liquid left in my body-and then cried for hours more. I've thought very seriously at times that the only way through this is out. And when I say out, I mean out like for real. I've wondered if it was worth it. I still do sometimes. But what I know now that I didn't know then is that God cares.
Depression is a symptom that something is wrong. When you have a fever your body is fighting off an infection somewhere. When you have pain there is something wrong to the tissues and/or muscles surrounding the pain site. And when you are depressed something is wrong. Sometimes it is physical like a chemical imbalance or medication interaction. Other times it's hereditary. And more often than not it's a combination of biochemical factors and life related stressors.
And if I can just be not very spiritual for a moment - I don't always think Jesus alone is the answer. I think Jesus can work in our midst and with our technology to heal. I think it's important to listen to Him. The first bad day you have doesn't necessarily mean you need a prescription for Prozac. Certain situations in life (grief, etc.) take awhile to run their course. We have to give our minds and bodies and souls sufficient time to recover through the losses and heartaches of life.
But I think there comes a time when you know all the outside stuff isn't working. Good diet, exercise and sufficient sunshine can do a lot to eliviate depression, but not for everyone. Talk therapy is extremely beneficial, but not always the answer. There comes a point when medication is a really great option. I'm not promoting or discouraging it, I'm just saying for some people (a lot of people) medication gives the best chance of returning to a normal feeling life. Psychotropic meds historically people totally emotionless - that's not the case anymore. Medications are available to treat mild depression all the way up to very depressed almost comatose people.
I've heard from enough people lately that medication for mental illness is not spiritual. I'll have to insert what I heard Chonda Pierce say the other day. "Tell those people to take their glasses off and drive home." :) Sometimes we just need a little help to make it! And I think God understands that. I so love the thought of a line of healing where people get hands laid on them and they leave totally healed and restored. I totally believe in the power of God to do just that. However, I think most of the time we grow in Him in the process. We gain spiritual strength and endurance by what we learn THROUGH the valley. And you may not be there today, but one day with God's help I believe you will be thankful for the journey. I am.
People always think that when they break a bone the point where it was broken is weaker than the rest of the body. Not true. The place where the bone heals is STRONGER than the average pieces of bone surrounding the break. I think it's the same with God. When we are healed of our brokenness people want to think of us as weaker, but Beloved we are Not. We are stronger. When God injects his healing power into the broken places in our lives, we are STRONG in Him.
Take courage today those who are struggling. God, even now, is loving you, holding you, and carrying you. He sees your heart, motives and intentions and he knows who you are.....His.

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