If you’re dealing with depression, whether it’s caused by devastating circumstances or is a chronic emotional struggle, this may be a sad Thanksgiving for you.
Years ago, I suffered with chronic depression (resulting in multiple hospitalizations), so I understand some of what you’re experiencing. I can’t know everything you’re going through, because I’m not you, but I know firsthand the darkness and hopelessness depression brings. I’d like to share a few thoughts.
First, don’t believe the lie that no one cares, even though people say all the wrong things and lose patience with your timetable for overcoming depression. They don’t mean to be insensitive. Even with my background, I fall short when dealing with the length of someone else’s struggle.
Second, I’d like to suggest something you’ve probably heard before, especially from your church friends: Pray. If someone has said this, you probably felt frustrated because you’ve been praying – and praying and praying. But since friends and family aren’t able to provide what you need at this time (as much as they’d like to), consider going, once again, to Someone Who is bigger than your depression.
Cry out to your heavenly Father – even if you’ve tried it before, more times than you can count. Tell Him about your sadness, disappointments and fears. Tell Him you’re scared you’ll never get better, and that you’ve already worn out everyone around you.
Hebrews 4:16 (ESV), one of my favorite verses, offers a lot of encouragement:
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
You can find relief in the fact that God is fully aware of your reality and will listen for as long as you need Him to. You can’t wear Him out. He longs to tell you He loves you, even (especially) now.
Spend as much time as you need reading God’s Word, talking to Him and allowing His Word speak to your heart. Focusing on Him will help displace some of the darkness.
You can survive depression. You can experience true hope. I pray you find that hope this Thanksgiving season.
(Revised from my archives.)
What about you?
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- If you’re struggling with depression for whatever reason, would you let us pray with you?