Depressed and Christian
Updated: Dec 1, 2017
I am a person who deals with depression. I am a Christian who deals with depression.
There are days when, for no apparent reason, the beast strikes and, under its weight, I can barely haul myself out of bed to take care of my children. There are moments, like this morning, when some minor or major disappointment elicits a disproportionate response from the stress mechanisms in my brain causing them to generate some smoky haze that befuddles my brain, clouds my thinking, slows my reaction, numbs my desire to do anything and makes me want to hide under my covers.
I am a Christian person who deals with depression. I am a Christian person who deals with depression who is often embarrassed by my inability to battle the beast with scripture and prayer and discussion and sheer willpower.
This morning, after the gloomy fog had already taken up residence in the grooved recesses of my gray matter, I came across this scripture in Rick Warren's "The Daniel Plan Journal": "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. I read the scripture and thought to myself, "you have to be stinking kidding me." Of all the scriptures to be confronted with this morning? Why couldn't I have come across Jesus' gentle admonition in Matthew 11:28 to "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened..." Instead I was faced with the daunting prospect of rejoicing, praying and giving thanks; any one of which might cause me to pull a muscle in my present state of mind. Honestly, asking me to run a marathon seemed just about as likely to get done. And, if that wasn't difficult enough, Warren then writes, "Write a line of gratitude about a few of the challenges you are facing." By that time, I wanted to cuss.
But instead of cussing and shaking my fists at the heavens, I decided to try and approach this command to rejoice, pray and give thanks from a strictly clinical stance. I would say personal, but to be personal I have to inject emotion and self and right now that would be about as helpful as asking my seven year old to take over my duties as mom for the day, my feelings might just lead us all down the rabbit hole. As a matter of fact, I won't even get very far dissecting the scripture today, what I have written is already a Herculean effort in my present state of mind. I'm going to take this week and meditate on this scripture and try to write about where it takes me between now and Friday.
And that is my response to Warren's challenge to write a line of gratitude about a challenge I am facing. My more concise response is, "God I am grateful for the challenge of dealing with depression because I have the chance to reach out to someone else and let them know that they aren't alone. I can tell others that maybe together we can navigate the dense fog of this mental funk and figure out what it means to live out the mandate, "rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances..."