A few weeks ago I felt the Lord speak to me to write this post. I didn’t know what I was going to say, because depression is such a touchy subject for those who have struggled with it. I began to wonder just how many people have struggled with depression, and I felt a stirring to ask the question. So, I did what every other 19 year old would do… I took a twitter poll. The results of the poll are as follows:
The poll got a response from 98 people, and 23% of them are currently struggling with depression. You may be thinking, “okay well at least 77% of those who responded aren’t.” Not quite. As you can see, there were three options. There were those who are struggling now, those who have struggled in the past, and those who have never struggled. The percentage of those who have struggled with depression in the past was 43%. That means that approximately 65 of the 98 (66%) have previously or are currently struggling with depression.
I want you to get that. 65 people. Out of 98 people, 65 know what it feels like to wake up and wonder why.
“Madison why are you writing this depressing post on depression?” If the statistics depress you, I really can’t help you. It’s reality. People are hurting. BUT my real purpose behind giving you those poll results is to set you up for what I’m about to share with you:
I have struggled (to some degree) with depression, previously. I have been in a season or two of life where I just DID NOT GET IT. I knew God was real. I knew He loved me. I had heard time and time again that He had these amazing plans for me and for my life, and I truly wanted to believe that. But I was in a season of stuck-ness. I was unmotivated, and uninspired by life. It was like an internal battle, where one part of me was telling myself to just go do SOMETHING, and the other part would make me question what the point was to even do anything. It seemed as though I couldn’t really do anything right. My grades were below average (to say the least), I was tired of being single and needed the attention of practically any boy that would give it to me, my relationship with God was damaged because I didn’t spend hardly any time at all (outside of Sunday morning church) in the Word or in prayer; I was stuck.
However, one of the coolest things to me, is how God has spoken to me through the book of Job because of this season. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is now the story of Job. If you don’t know, Job was an incredibly faithful servant of God, and He lived so so well… up until one day. On this one day, Job had everything stripped from him. His livestock, his servants, his family — he lost it all. Shortly after that he also lost his health and developed incredibly painful sores all over his body. The craziest part about Job’s story to me though is this: Job’s wife went to Job and told him that at this point in time Job should just curse God and die. If we don’t put ourselves in the place of Job, we might think his wife is kind of insane and terrible for saying that, but if you really think about it, Job lost EVERYTHING and now even his physical body was suffering. If your family, friends, pets, and money were all taken from you and you got so so painfully sick, would you not even consider cursing God? This is what’s so amazing to me about Job… he doesn’t. He responded to the idea and said to his wife, “you are talking like a foolish woman” (Job 2:10).
Job had every right and reason to be depressed, to be stuck, and to be furious with God, but instead he still believed in God’s goodness, even in the midst of all his pain. Later on, after some conversation with the Lord in his time of feeling discouraged, Job realized really and truly how powerful and mighty God was. He was in awe of Him, and God blessed him 2x over because of his faithfulness. It’s such a cool story, and reminds me that there IS restoration, even when we feel like we are at our lowest of lows.
To those of you battling depression:
Here’s the thing — the enemy is trying to take you down, with every uninspired thought and every doubt implanted in your mind regarding your purpose and the purpose of life. Scripture tells us that He KNEW us. My favorite verse is Jeremiah 1:5 and it says this, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” IF THAT VERSE DOESN’T SCREAM PURPOSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT DOES! He appointed YOU. He appointed ME. He set us apart. There IS more to life. 🙂 Ecclesiastes 9:4 says that “anyone who is among the living has hope!” The last scripture I’ll throw at ya is Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Do not be discouraged. He was with Job always, even in the midst of his suffering. He is with you, and he will not forsake you. Find joy in that. 🙂
And to those of you who are not:
66% out of 98 people are or have struggled with depression. If you are one of the few who doesn’t, I have 3 pieces of advice for you:
- Thank God, be encouraged, and find joy in that!
- Still, be preparing yourself for stormy seasons ahead by rooting yourself in Him and in His Word.
- Be aware of those around you, and understand that your words can bring life or death. Job’s 3 friends that came to visit him in his time of need were not beneficial in helping him thrive or pushing him to keep his trust in God. Instead, they were disheartening and discouraging him. PLEASE. Do. Not. Be. That. Friend.
Okay. If you read this far, thank you.
Be encouraged, and be an encourager. Find joy in the circumstances. Trust Him in everything. Don’t give up the good fight.
Psalm 27:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Galatians 6:2.
All my love,