I wrote this in June of 2016 and have edited it a few times over the years, not sure when the right time to publish this would be. The past few weeks have been hard for me and I’ve found myself back in that depressive hole for a number of reasons, but each day, much like on the day I originally wrote this, I have been choosing to get up and do what I’m supposed to do, what I’m called to do.
Before we dive in, I would like to say that depression is a complex medical issue that I have no idea how to treat. This is just my personal story. If you’re struggling with depression I encourage you to reach out to someone, invite someone into that space with you, and seek healing.
Depression and I met again recently. I woke up feeling as if I was missing something, I was overwhelmed by my glaring lack of wholeness and completion. I had unwittingly returned to an all too familiar feeling. I was physically sick, mentally fatigued, and disgusted by everything I did.
What do you do when you revert back to how you used to be?
About halfway through the day I figured out what was wrong and made a choice: I changed my mind. Once I realized what was going on I forced myself out of bed and into society. I ran my errands and created a to-do list as if nothing was wrong, praying as I went. The more I prayed, the more I focused on everything other than how I felt, the more I noticed the depression disappearing. I went for a run and prayed for my neighborhood as I passed the houses and random people walking their dogs. I smiled and put on a brave face, wondering what they were going through, because we’re all dealing with something.
As I worked on my blog and books and websites all I could think of was the book of Ecclesiastes that describes much of life as a “vapor”. I wondered if all my toiling and effort, the things I do that I’m fairly certain are God ideas, are actually just vapor. As I went about my day I asked God for some feedback on what I was doing and if it’s worth it. I waited for my phone to ring or a notification to pop up with someone’s report of how God used something I’ve done or am working on to positively impact their life. But nothing came.
My answer came in the morning.
The next morning I talked to a few people who, without prompting, thanked me for what I’m doing and what I’ve written, saying that my words have inspired and encouraged them. They didn’t know I was struggling and wanted nothing to do but quit the day before. They had no clue that I was on the verge of hanging up my hat and giving up on my dream. They were unaware how dark the previous day had been for me. Their encouragement was an answer to prayer and a confirmation from God.
I’m not writing this to get praise or affirmation, but to encourage you. When things seem bad or you begin to revert back to old behaviors, know that you can make a different choice. Make the decision to change your mind and continue to pursue God. Pray and ask for his help even when that’s the last thing you want to do. It might take a while, but I believe that God will be faithful to answer you when you ask for help. Because he is with you and for you!
What are you waiting on God for? What are you begging God for? Or, have you reverted back to some old ways of living? No matter your situation, I encourage you to reach out to God and the community around you. Take one baby step toward God today and take one step closer to people who encourage and inspire you. You might only have the energy to move forward an inch, but that is still something worth celebrating.