Some depressions can be handled with mind over matter, but there are others that can’t. Everything is dark and difficult. Before I experienced that kind, I thought people who complained of depression were lazy pessimists – “Eeyores”! After I had my daughter, I got the baby blues. I cried all the time. One day felt like three — joyless, hopeless, boring days. I would try to talk myself out of them by creating things to do. Nothing worked! I only got more annoyed by failed attempts of climbing out of it on my own.
My husband suggested seeing a doctor. The doctor suggested prescription drugs, which, after a battle with pride, I surrendered. However, while pregnant, I read so many articles about babies and the one thing I wanted to do for sure, was nurse! The doctor told me that the dose was low enough to still nurse. But after two days, I could see a difference in my daughter. I could not take medicine and nurse at the same time.
Right after my husband left for work, I got down on my knees in the living room and prayed: “Lord, You saved me from my sins. You saved me from hell. Surely, this depression is nothing for You – Help!” And I wept for a long time, punching the floor, letting it all out before the throne of God.
I was not healed of my depression immediately, nor did I receive any promises or get words that I would be. That tiny mustard seed of faith began to start a root. That root came in the form of a radio show. A speaker spoke about when you go to work, you don’t just roll out of bed and start working. You get up, get dressed, eat, etc. Stay at home moms should do the same, one step ahead of the demanding baby. I knew I had to do this, as painful as it was to get up at 6:00, I did.
Combined with this advice was the pleading of a Pastor from the pulpit to read the Bible in its entirety. Get to know God yourself. I combined those two – 6 a.m. and the Bible. Again, no magical time, no immediate gratification. But, I noticed, I was thinking of things I read in the morning. Like Leah, how unloved she was. I had a new admiration for God in looking at her with concern, blessing her with sons. Leah named her first three sons the names that represent her not being loved and wanting her husband’s love. Then she had Judah … which means … This time I will praise the Lord. I would think about that throughout the day and then realized that is the lineage of Jesus – the Lion of the tribe of Judah. “This time I will praise the Lord” … a surrender, and through that surrender is Jesus Christ.
As I was doing my laundry, I would think about the Israelites having animal blood sprinkled on their clothes. What was it like for them to not have oxyclean and have blood stains on their clothes? Especially from an innocent animal that died for their sins. What a soberness they must have had. My soberness came to …. thinking about Jesus. That blood I sing about, talk about, is needed – really needed!
I read about Jephthah. It took my breath away. I grieved and cried with his daughter and her friends. While reading Proverbs 14:23, I had a jumper, one that just jumps out and comes to live with you: “In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” And so, while doing monotonous chores, I would quote this. Sometimes gritting my teeth, other times with a smile knowing that none of it was in vain. The Word was traveling from my brain to my heart and changing me.
I noticed two themes that were mentioned over and over. “Fear not … Wait … Fear not, I am with you.” Did I believe that? Was He with me when I was feeding mushy orange stuff to my baby in the high chair? Was He with me as I made piles of clothes on my couch and while changing diapers? I had to believe ‘yes’ – I chose to believe ‘yes’.
One day I was in my car ready to drive away and a beautiful leaf was on my windshield. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” came to mind. “Leaf” you – I smiled. Since then, God has continued to give me organic love notes reminding me that He will never “leaf” me. : ) “Wait on the Lord” Psalm 27:14. You know what I do when I wait? I doubt. I want to change the plans. Like Saul, I saw that if I did not wait the way I am supposed to, I am Saul and not David. I also saw that although I could quote: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 – but did I do that? My own understanding was that I was doing meaningless work with no rewards. My own understanding was that I was not doing anything for the Kingdom. My own understanding was that I was invisible, that everyone else had importance and I was forgotten. I had to ignore that. I had to trust God. Trust in a God that is asking me to wait. Asking me to not fear. Asking me to acknowledge Him … then came the paths. And I really began to love Him. Because I saw that the Lord was good for myself.
When I finished the Bible, I closed it and prayed this: “Lord forgive me, I did not know You. I knew bits and pieces and I made up the rest. Forgive me. Although I still have unanswered questions, You are clearly defined.” Not only did I have a new love for the Lord. I had a healthy fear. And He is here! And fresh from Revelation, He is coming again!
Hosea 7:14 (NIV) says,
“They do not cry out to Me from their hearts but wail on their beds.”
Could it be that we are crying into our pillows and not into the God who loves us? He is a Father to us. He tells us in Matthew 23 to not call anyone else Father, because that is His role to us … not to call anyone else Teacher, because again, He is to be that to us. I was not letting God be my Father, nor my Teacher, but when I did, it made all the difference. I am His daughter – His apprentice.
I can’t tell you a day when the depression left, but I know that the Holy Spirit walked me out of it by my walking with God, following Jesus. I had to take “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” out of my framed artwork and turn it into my daily practice.
“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3 NIV
May the Lord bless you and may you dare to draw close to Him and receive bountiful blessings of His Excellent Grace!
Shared by Laura Ogrodnik