Updated: Jun 16, 2020
"Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8
As much as possible, I want to be an encouragement and a positive influence, which is why I have been quite hesitant to share my (unfinished) story in a devotional. I’m honestly not sure how sharing my personal struggles and my story can inspire, but here it goes...
Anxiety is something that I have dealt with for most of my life, but depression is totally new to me. Born out of the grief & the brokenness that has heavily been weighing on my heart since my mom passed away last September from Leukemia, it has been a constant battle that I have fought on an almost daily basis. There were days when I didn’t get out of bed and didn’t answer phone calls, texts, or e-mails. I also stopped reading the Bible and the prayers I uttered (if any) were just a few words, which sometimes seemed even empty. We would do our evening devotions as a family and it was like I was just hearing words but wasn’t processing anything. I was basically just existing, but not living.
Exactly three months after my mom died, my grandmother passed away, and it was like someone pressed the reset button and the cycle of depression started all over again. I always knew that it was okay to grieve and that no one would blame me for feeling so depressed, but I also knew that I could not go on like this forever. Thinking I could “fix” the issue all on my own, I began filling my days with whatever distractions I could think of - new recipes, new hobbies, and new ways to serve others. I’m a 2w1 on the enneagram, so it’s in my personality to put on a smile and help others before helping myself. This went on for three months.
In mid-March, when the Coronavirus became a global pandemic that brought the world to a screeching halt, my anxiety levels went through the roof. Years ago, I decided that I never wanted to take another Xanax pill for my anxiety ever again, so I told myself that whenever I felt anxious I would pray and read scriptures or things from devotionals that I had written down in a journal. For the first time in six months, I prayed, really prayed, and then opened my Bible and read scriptures that I had highlighted. The peace that fell over me is indescribable. To this day, I can’t seem to find the words and ways to explain it – and that’s how I know it had to be God. Only He can do things like that.
Depression and anxiety are still challenges that I face, but I’m glad that I have a way of dealing with them when they surface. One thing I have learned from all of this is that when we try to fill our lives with other things to avoid dealing with the hard things that God is calling us to, He will eventually find a way to bring you to it. FEAR can do one of two things to us; it can make us “Forget Everything And Run” or “Face Everything And Rise.”
I don’t know what your story is, what you’re struggling with right now, and what challenges you are facing, but what if telling your story would be a lifeline to someone who needed to hear God’s hope and truth?
What if sharing your trials encourages others who are going through their own trials?
What if seeing how you have turned to God helps someone else get to know him?