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Can Depression be Redeemed?

Last Friday, I mentioned that I’ve invited my friend (and the Web Administrator here) to share with you what God has been teaching her. Molly is a graduate of Moody Bible College and will be married in August. She is preparing to enter vocational ministry with her husband and also has the desire to be used as a writer. I’ve followed her blog for years and love her passion for God to be glorified. I think you’ll enjoy hearing her heart.

Here’s Molly ~

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The world around me was bright. The sun was shining, people in the hallway were laughing, and the plaza was buzzing with people enjoying the first few days of spring. I was sitting in my room with my door locked, trying desperately to shut out the world around me.

How can the world be bright when I am feeling so bleak? How can people be laughing like there are no cares in the world when I am overburdened by sadness? How can others be so focused on their studies when I can’t think of anything else except for the circumstances in my life that are weighing me down?

I spent the last year of my time at Moody Bible Institute in and out of a severe state of depression due to some life circumstances and also some medical reasons. I battled understanding whether my depression was a sin, whether I could still worship God in the midst of it, and whether my depression was the result of a weak faith. Sleepless nights, a loss in appetite, high anxiety, intense feelings of worthlessness and insecurity, nightmares, and deep, often unexplained sadness pushed me to reach out.

I sought after God and listened to those around me who directed me straight to Scripture. It is not hard to find there many who suffered tremendously and, as a result, were in deep anguish and distress.

Asaph, who most likely served as an official to King David and King Solomon, expresses his great anguish when he states in Psalm 77 that he “was in distress” and “would not be comforted” (Psalm 77:2). The sons of Korah write that they are “overwhelmed with troubles” (Psalm 88:3) and that their “eyes are dim with grief” (Psalm 88:9).

Job experiences “churning” anguish (Job 30:27). Elijah suffers from bouts of depression and wishes that God would take his life (1 Kings 19:4). Even David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), experiences great anguish and is “worn out” from his groaning; he floods his bed with tears as a result of his weeping (Psalm 6:6). Certainly, this does not exhaust the list of those in the Bible who experienced anguish and depression.

Profoundly, it is not just these Biblical examples who experienced deep moments of anguish and suffering, but Jesus Himself is in deep distress in the Garden of Gethsemane before His death. It is here in the Garden that we see Jesus Himself experiencing a sort of despair. Jesus was in such “deep anguish” that “His sweat was like drops of blood, falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44).

It is obvious that Jesus was facing deep distress and anguish before His death. No God-fearing, truth-believing Christian would dare to say that Jesus succumbed to spiritual attacks or sin in the Garden; rather, in His coming death He would bear the weight of “the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6) and have the Father turn His face from Him (Matthew 27:46).

None of us will ever know a suffering or anguish so deep.

With suffering, then, there is solidarity with Christ.

With healing, there is redemption.

The depression that I faced created within me a humility to see others’ suffering and pain. It created within me a holy dissatisfaction for the way that things are and, as a result, a longing for my future glory with Jesus Christ. One day, the Lord will make all things new and He will right all wrongs. Infidelity, broken relationships, wayward children, job loss, loneliness, pain—all of these can be roots of depression and yet none of them were meant to be experienced by us. We look forward to when Jesus will fully redeem these sufferings when He comes in His glory to take His children Home.

How, then, can we worship God in the midst of our darkest moments?

I will share more of my journey next week . . .

 

5 Comments

  • Marjorie

    I have this friend that has some major health problems. As I was visiting her yestering in her home she ask me. DO YOU EVER GET DRPRESSED? Well I told her I think all of us at some time or another. I told her I called it my PITY PARTY and that I didn’t let it consume me for very long periods of time. I told her to call me and I would schedule mine at the same time.. We laughed and agreed that would be fun to have our pity parties together. It’s very normal to get down when your health begins to fail and keeps you from doing your normal every day things. She is a wonderful lady she knows God is with her every day and she gives him all the praise and glory for a good day.. If you have some tips on fighting depression would sure be helpful. Thank You .

  • Julie Musil

    Molly, thank you for sharing your story. I’m in the midst of something dark right now, and the heaviness of it weighs me down. He is my solace and my strength.

    I look forward to sharing Mondays with you 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Marjorie ~

    I hope you’ll check out next Tuesday’s post: “Practical Help for the ‘M’ Season.” You might find some things in that post that will be helpful in battling depression.

  • admin

    Hi Marjorie!

    It is good to hear from you. Thank you for your comment and also for your honesty. I know that in my own times of depression, it is really easy to let it consume me and fall into a “pity party” of my own. Though it is definitely normal to get down when you face various health issues and just the many hard aspects of life (see my next post on this called “Hope in the ‘And Yets'”), I believe that when we allow it to consume us it can often become selfish. Pity parties happen when we allow our circumstances to overwhelm us and when we look inward to ourselves rather than outward to others and upward to Jesus. In my own times of depression, it has been so helpful to look OUTWARD and reach out to others around me who are in need and also to look UPWARD and pour out my heart to Jesus. This has helped me in my own fight with depression as my focus is turned from myself and my own circumstances to that of others (and my Savior).

    I’d love to continue this conversation with you sometime. I am stopping to pray for you now and also for your friend. I know the realities of the darkness of depression and I am thankful you are reaching out.

    Blessings!

    Molly Sipling

  • admin

    Thank you for your comment, Julie! I am glad that my story can be an encouragement to you in your own. I am stopping to pray for you now as you are in the midst of something dark. Know that Jesus sees you where you are, knows you as you are, and cares for you right there in the midst of it.

    Blessings!

    Molly Sipling