I'm honored to welcome my writing friend, Julie Dibble, to the blog today. We were talking about church in a Facebook conversation, and she mentioned her experience battling depression as a child of God. She was kind enough to share more of her experience in today's post. You can read more of Julie's work here.
So many masks.
Each one a part of my depression. All hiding the truth.
That’s how the enemy devours. He corners us until we cower. With sweat on our brows and stomachs churning, we give in to the heated breath of fear.
Hope is long gone.
You will always be alone, nobody will ever understand.
Instead of fighting for our story, we startle at the sound of chains. With nowhere to turn, weare surrounded by a massive darkness.
Before I knew God, depression colored my whole life, but not many knew. I pretended to be put together, riding high on career successes. In the wake of sleepless nights, there were many times I wondered why continue? What could possibly ever work out for me?
Friends, I had them, but they were unaware of my taunts with death. Who would believe me? Who would care?
The question on the tightrope … one slip … the line between life and death is so thin you can’t see it with a naked eye … your soul knows and though it fears death, it can’t help but wonder about the sweet release of death outside of life.
After I became his child, drenched in His everlasting love that keeps no record of wrongs, that floods life with gifts like joy and kindness, I thought I was forever free from depression. It seemed logical to be supernaturally healed of a weight carried for many godless years.
Except there is nothing logical about his power.
The root of the nasty depression, the many years of despair followed by bitterness, had been buried. Before God told me to remove alcohol from my life, I numbed this old pain, the suffering without a name. Without wine and with every beat of my heart, I laid down my will to follow him.
As I matured to know the absolute necessity of abiding with Jesus, He then took me back to the hollow childhood loneliness without a sense of belonging. Years of tears shed. Hopelessness, fear, worry, despair now had a name: abandonment. Jesus led me to embrace me: broken yet whole in Him, sorrowful yet joyful because of Him, a holy work in progress.
Depression has not left completely. I take antidepressant medication as well as non-addictive sleep medication. I have taken both for almost a year and have no plans of stopping anytime soon.
Do I believe God can deliver me from depression? Yes, with my whole heart, if it is his will. Like Paul’s thorn, we all have something to carry, a reminder to lean intohHis unearned grace. Like Jesus carrying His own cross to Calvary, we all have a sacrifice to make, a death in this life to endure.
Because Jesus lives, we can step forward boldly in the hope that raises life from every painful memory, every difficult season, everything once dead.
If you or someone you know struggle with depression, ask Jesus into your heart. Ask Him to show you the root, the cause of the darkness swallowing you. For He knows all things, and He loves with a supernatural fierceness that surpasses all human thought.
Allow me to echo Paul’s words:
I pray that out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love surpasses all knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3: 16-19).
More about Julie: If we have not met, my family and I live in Central PA. I met Jesus just after I turned forty years old, and my life has been forever changed. My ministry begins with my family. Then, God has laid many situations on my heart. I grew up with many challenges, including the experience of my parents’ divorce and losing both parents before my age 35. Love did not come easily, for myself or from others. At this point in my life, I shudder to think where I would be without Jesus.