How Can I NOT be Thankful?
I once was so buried in desperation of life that I could not see all that I had to be thankful for.
Life just plain sucked. The walls felt like they were crashing in. I couldn’t breathe from day to day with what I had to deal with. It was all caving in. Motherhood, wife, friendships, church duties, leading ministry, no finances available, people wanting help, kids needing homes, the world around me in disarray, and so much more. I felt like I was in a dark, dark pit; depression at it’s finest hour. It stole my light, my love, my compassion, and my thankfulness.
Because of depression, I could not see that God was moving mountains on my behalf.
Yes, depression sucked the life from me for a long time, but I am thankful for that time. What? How can I be thankful for such a life-sucking disease?
I can be thankful because through having to walk through moment after moment of depression and sadness and fake faces, I learned that I could trust in God with EVERYTHING.
I didn’t feel that I could talk to anyone. I was ashamed. I was hurting. I was so sad. I had everything I needed and more. I had no reason to be depressed and yet there I sat in a puddle of dark matter that sucked every bit of happiness from my being.
Because I am human, I am good at putting on a face. I can light up a room in the darkest part of my sadness with a smile and good words, but inside I can be in pieces. It’s like acting. It’s so fake though. I don’t want to be fake. I want to be real. I want to be able to share my struggle and not be ashamed that I am human and facing a place that I need help with.
Depression is a serious illness and it varies in severity. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men of the same age. 12% of women in the United States will experience depression at some point in their life. What is more alarming to me is that 50% of all adults who are experiencing symptoms of depression will not speak to a doctor or seek out any help for what they are going through.
How did I come out of it? Let me tell you that I still struggle with this. I didn’t think I could ever be a person who would struggle with such a disease. I still have moments and seasons of depression. I still need to be real and talk to people. So, when I realized that what I was feeling wasn’t how God wanted me to feel or view life, I spoke out. I talked to my mentor. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” I talked to the very woman who had promised to be there for me NO MATTER what I was walking through. She opened her heart and home to comfort me. She didn’t give me pamphlets or guide me to a counselor. She was just there to listen and pray. Philippians 4:6 was our mission verse, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This section goes on further with a promise from God, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” She prayed. We prayed. And in those moments where our hearts came together to meet with God, healing began.
Did you catch the promise in verse seven? It is a promise that will be fulfilled when you come to Him with thanksgiving. I had to be thankful that God brought me to and through depression so deep. I learned a lot about myself when I finally faced my darkness in a place of total surrender to God. I could not fix this on my own. I need God to take this and walk me through.
God, thank You! Thank You for walking me through a time that I just needed You to guide. I ask that You would do the same for my friend who is struggling with this same state of depression. Send her another woman who can pray with her, listen to her, comfort her as if You are the very one wrapping Your arms around her to come through this darkness. Shine the light for her. Amen.
Blessings my friends,
https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics#1 by Written by Stephanie Faris
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD on March 28, 2012
And many other medical studies