Has depression touched your life? Or the life of someone that you love?
Last week, I began a series of blog posts about the power of our faith to fight this debilitating disease.
If you missed last week’s post, you can read it by clicking here.
If you are new to my viewpoint on depression, let me quickly remind you of a few key points that I shared last week.
If you are depressed – go see your medical doctor. Do whatever he or she tells you to do.
If you are depressed – find a Christian counselor and allow this trained professional to help you peel back the layers of your pain.
And, in addition to those two actions, never forget the power of your faith to help you battle the depression that is raging in your soul.
One more reminder before we move ahead … I am not a doctor nor am I a trained professional. I am just a girl who has overcome depression and now I live to help others overcome this epidemic emotional challenge.
When I was battling depression in my 30’s – I went to our family doctor and I spoke with a Christian counselor often. However, there was one more choice that truly helped me to live victoriously. Can you guess what it was?!
It was the power of my faith!
I learned during those days that it was a three-pronged attack that would help anyone – including me – to live in a place of joy and hope.
A medical professional … a trained counselor … and faith.
But the greatest of these is faith!
So now …let the faith prescription begin!
When I go to the doctor’s, I want him or her to tell me EXACTLY what to do to get better … and then I obey! I don’t argue … I don’t think that I know more than he does … I don’t try to “one-up” this medical professional. I just simply obey.
So … as a trained professional in the arena of faith … here is the first part of your prescription that will give you strength in your battle against depression.
Read your Bible every day … read it when you don’t feel like it.
Read your Bible when you don’t understand a word that you are reading.
Read your Bible when your emotions are roaring in pain.
“Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your law.” – Psalm 119:18
Read your Bible before you make your bed … before you check your e-mail … and before you turn on the TV.
When I was in the depths of despair, I read my Bible more than once a day.
I did the dishes with the Bible opened on the kitchen counter.
I folded laundry with my Bible opened on top of the dryer.
I played Legos with my little boys on the family room floor with the Bible propped open beside me.
I would write Bible verses on 3x5 cards, laminate them and take them in the shower with me so that I was never away from the power that is only found in the Word of God.
The Bible is a cleansing agent… it will wash away your emotional pain.
The Bible is a strengthening agent… it will give you emotional strength when you are weak.
“My soul weeps because of grief, strengthen me according to Your Word.” – Psalm 119:28
The Bible is wisdom… it will give you answers to your desperate questions.
“Your testimonies are also my delight; they are my counselors.” – Psalm 119:24
The Bible always ushers in the possibility of the miraculous… it will heal the deepest places of pain and hurt in your life.
“Remember the word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me.” – Psalm 119:49
If you don’t know where to read … start in the Psalms and then read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Read in those sections of the Bible over and over and over again.
If you have a hard time understanding what you are reading in the Word … that is o.k. … just keep reading. We don’t read the Bible primarily for information but for transformation!
The Bible is not a “flat” book. It is not just words on a page. The Bible is living and vibrant and is able to cut the emotions out of you that cause you to stumble and fall.
“For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
I often confess that during those years of deep, deep depression that not only was I living in that black hole of chronic emotional distress but that I also developed an addiction.
The addiction that I developed wasn’t to alcohol … or to over-the-counter meds … or to self-harm … but the addiction that I developed was to the Word of God.
“May your compassion come to me that I may live, for Your law is my delight.” – Psalm 119:77
And then I discovered the absolute joy of not only reading the Word … but of memorizing the Word. I memorized a Bible verse every week and declared that particular verse over my soul.
“I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” – Psalm 119:111
Oh! There is so much more that I want to say this week … but for today … let me just gently but powerfully remind you to read your Bible.
When you make a commitment to treasure the Word of God above your emotional challenges … it is then the healing will begin!
“If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.” – Psalm 119:92
Thanks for listening to my heart this week. As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me. And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!