Is your depression messing with “the happiest season of all”?
If you’re dealing with depression, whether it’s caused by devastating circumstances or a chronic emotional struggle, this may be a sad holiday season for you.
But I want to assure you that you can find all the grace you need by going to your powerful and loving heavenly Father as often as you need to – just as I have – so many times.
Years ago, I suffered from chronic depression, so I understand some of what you’re experiencing. I can’t know everything you’re going through, but I know firsthand the darkness and hopelessness that depression brings. I’d like to share a few thoughts.
First, don’t believe the lie that no one cares, even though people say all the wrong things and lose patience with your timetable for overcoming depression. They don’t mean to be insensitive.
Second, if you’re clinically depressed, get professional help – biblically-based, if possible.
Third, I’d like to suggest something you’ve probably heard before, especially from your church friends: Pray.
If someone has already recommended prayer, you’ve probably felt frustrated. Maybe you’ve already been praying – and praying and praying. But since friends and family can’t provide what you need at this time (as much as they’d like to), consider going, once again, to Someone Who is bigger than your depression.
Cry out to your heavenly Father, even if you’ve tried it before, more times than you can count. Tell Him about your sadness, disappointments and fears. Tell Him you’re scared you’ll never get better, and that you’ve already worn out everyone around you.
Then remain in God’s presence as you meditate on the fact that He understands. And He loves you deeply.
One of my favorite verses, Hebrews 4:16 (ESV), offers a lot of encouragement: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Your heavenly Father is fully aware of your reality and will listen for as long as you need Him to. You can’t wear Him out. He longs to tell you and show you He loves you, even (especially) now.
Spend as much time as you need reading God’s Word, talking to Him and allowing His Word to speak to your heart. Focusing on Him will help displace some of the darkness. I pray God’s presence will become bigger than the pain you’re experiencing.
You can survive depression. You can experience true hope. May you find this hope this Christmas season and throughout the new year.
Sheryl (Hamilton) Boldt is a sales executive for Wave 94 and author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at SherylHBoldt.Wave94@gmail.com.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Is your depression messing with 'happiest season of all'?