Are You Depressed?

Today, people think it is an abnormality to be depressed. If you are, you must take some medicine, or fix it in some way, because you are meant to be happy. But are we?
We live in a world bent on doing what they want. Shouldn’t that make us all happy?
A spoiled brat is one of the most unhappiest people in the world. Why? They can do anything they want. Shouldn’t that make them the happiest?
But they don’t know what they need.

Sometimes I feel like I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I carry each of my sons’ concerns in my heart and it weighs me down to the point that I don’t want to function. And as they have grown, so have their problems. I no longer must fix their bumps in their socks that bother them. They are bumps in their life that will cripple them if not handled well. 
Their concerns may not be world-shattering to others, but like the straw that broke the camel’s back, it adds to the load until I am depressed. 
I can’t do a thing for them.
I pray and give them one by one to God, then take back the load when the prayer is done as if I must carry them.

Or if I do allow God to keep them, another problem rises. I must fight to trust God for that issue as well.

What did you worry about last year? Do you even remember?
How many of those things came true?

I drive an excursion. It no longer holds the entire family, but we got it when we had eight. Every time I shopped, I would pray for a parking space. I would re-arrange my route so I would not have to do any U-turns. 
Now, twenty years later, I can do U-turns, even if I must go way out before I can turn to miss the curb, and I still pray for wide open parking spaces. (We walk a lot.)
But these are such temporary things. Every day things. That still trip me up.
Our God is so much bigger than a parking space and a U-turn.
And yet, I fret over whether He will help me with them.

Do you have a child who shows you every little paper cut on his finger? 
I feel like that with God.
How does He not ignore me and say, move on to more important things?
And yet, when I am looking at that paper cut, that IS the important thing.
We worry about so many things that aren’t important. 
Those worries hinder worship. 
We can’t worship and worry.

When my sons brought their cut fingers to me, we’d cover them with a band-aid, then move on to something else.
Distraction works well with a toddler.
It doesn’t work with their mom.

But these other issues ARE important. Some are character issues that hinder obedience to God.
But they are out of my control. I can do nothing to change them. 
It is worrying, not over the unimportant, but over what I cannot change.
It’s those mom things that bring worry.
I get depressed.

Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. He was told by God to tell his people of coming judgment, yet also told his people would not listen.
I don’t like being ignored. 
If they’d only listen, they’d avoid so many problems—
Recently one son gave me a card that read, “Thanks for all the advice you’ve given me over the years….The few things I actually listened to have come in quite handy.”

Do you have children who don’t listen?
They make me angry and depressed.
Jeremiah was. 

But God makes us moms, not to worry over our children, but to bring them to Him.
We can’t surrender our lives to Him by holding back our children from Him. 
We present our children to God as a living sacrifice. 
That concept brings images where baby sacrifices was real and common.
That seems easy to offer up the sacrifice for death. It’s over in a moment.

It is not easy to offer up a living sacrifice. Daily.
I must give God my children. And their problems. Every. Day.
So He can do what He must with them. 
And I stay out of the way. (I am, after all, not in control.)
(This becomes more evident as your children enter adolescence and adulthood.)
That sacrifice requires trust. Continual trust. Absolute trust.
We can’t worship without sacrifice.

In my parents’ era, they were taught that it was sin to be depressed.
Because it was a sin, my father denied any feelings of depression, because he wasn’t allowed.
Seeking medical help was discouraged, because then you must acknowledge that you were depressed and must really be sinning.
That stigma kept people from seeking the help they needed. 

Today, we expect to live a continuous happy life.
When depression comes, something is wrong. We must stop it.
Some look for a pill to alleviate it.
Although that has its place, and they do help, it does not bring a long term answer.

Jeremiah and even Charles Spurgeon was known for their long bouts of depression.
That brings comfort that I am not alone and in good company.

Elijah, in I Kings 19:10, mourned to God that he was the only one who still worshipped God.
Do you remember God’s response?
He said, I have 7,000 more in Israel who do not bend their knee to idols (I Kings 19:18). Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

This was more than a paper cut.
Did Elijah have concerns?
You bet. The queen’s men were searching for him to kill him.
Elijah couldn’t even get his own food.
Elijah’s depression brought him to worship.
When he found he wasn’t in control, he found that God was.
God could feed him with a raven.
God could protect him with His own hand.
God was in control.

I won't say if depression is sin.
But I do know that God uses my depression to help me see that I can’t do it, so that I will let Him.

What does worship have to do with depression?
When I am depressed, I cannot worship.
My focus is on the problem, on my inability to do anything.
At that point, I look up.
God is waiting (again).
I worship.
When I focus on God, His Worth, His control over everything,
I trust.
I submit.
I sacrifice.
I worship.

Depression flies.
That’s what God wanted from me all along.

Displaying all 4 comments

Excellent! Learning to trust is a lifelong journey, but perhaps it is the most important lesson God has for us. I also take pills, but it isn't the pills that have led me to trust. Only God Himself! (With the help and prayers also of friends and family.) Because of the very personal touches of my Lord and His gentleness, faithfulness, and beautiful patience, I know my God is trustworthy - all the way, all the time, in every circumstance, no matter what!

Actually, I fought depression for years, always living on the abyss, but most family and friends never knew it. Finally decided to try medication and now I feel like "me." I still get depressed over certain things happening (especially Katrina's boys when there are problems), but I am not living depressed. HUGE difference and I'm so grateful for that pill, wish I'd done it a lot sooner. You are right about when we are depressed over situations, it's not easy to give them to God and walk away, but I'm learning. Thanks, Sonya, always appreciate your words.

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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