Navigating the Shadows: Battling Depression as a Christian Woman
Battling depression is never easy. I've had several fights with depression in my life. It has been veiled in silence for the majority of the experiences. Why is this the case? Christians are not expected to feel sad or depressed. Only positive emotions such as joy and happiness can be conveyed. I know it's incorrect, yet it seems that way to me. Well-meaning family and friends will almost certainly try to diminish or justify your feelings. Furthermore, they may become frustrated if they believe our battle with depression is affecting their lives as well, exacerbating your troubles because you are now attempting to balance your own and their emotional demands. This is an enormous responsibility!
Some may perceive depression as an undesirable habit motivated by selfishness. Is our faith in God insufficient? Perhaps a lack of gratitude? It would be so much simpler if despair and sadness were that straightforward. It is tough for me to examine your depression personally because there are numerous possible causes which can include everything from despair to fatigue to physical illness, fear to grief, and even sin. Symptoms of depression are frequent among women. Women are twice as likely as males to experience depression. This could be due to hormonal variations, which occur mainly during menstruation and menopause. We also have different reactions to stress. But that doesn't make us unique.
You Are Not Alone
People in the Bible who wrestled with depression, grief, and despair include Naomi, King David, and Elijah. Each of their battles was unique, just like ours. As a result, my motivations may differ from yours. But the emotions are startlingly similar. Battling Depression can make you assume you are alone, but you are not. Like Elijah, who, although frequently witnessing God provide and perform miracles, experienced moments of anxiety and depression. He flees because he feels defeated and alone. Despite his desperate situation, God provided for him by sending an angel.
1 Kings 19:4 (KJV) But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, it is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I [am] not better than my fathers.
There are others as well, including Job, who was the most well-known biblical example of depression. His intense affliction, property loss, and physical ailment caused him significant suffering.
Job 3:3-4 (KJV) 3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night [in which] it was said, There is a man child conceived. 4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
Consider Heman the Ezrahite from Psalm 88. Wow! When I read this Psalm, I thought to myself, "I could have written these precise words." I could go on and on about how depression has affected both them and myself, but I'd rather tell you that you're not alone and that there is hope.
Psalms 88:3 (KJV) For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
Can we get off the roller coaster of depression? Yes! Your life, body, and mind do not have to be controlled by depression.
Four Steps to Support You Through Tough Times.
- Call out to God. Even though it may appear simple, we usually feel as if God is far away. That is not the case. God is so close to us at these times. The LORD [is] near to all those who call upon him, to all who call upon him in sincerity, according to Psalms 34:15–17 and Psalm 145:18.
- Please be patient. Continue to pray, read, or hear the Bible. During my times of depression, God's word gave me hope and peace. Fortunately, there are many options available now, such as digital bibles, podcasts, and websites.
- Allow others to assist you. I realize how tough it can be to turn to people in times of need. At times, you may appear to be burdening others, or we may assume that we are strong enough to handle it on our own. Don't isolate yourself from others. Being present for one another is an essential component of being a member of Christ's body. Allow others to help and boost you up.
- Encourage yourself. I realize this may not sound like excellent advice, but it is sometimes necessary to reflect on all of God's wonderful works in order to remember how good he is. Place encouraging scriptures throughout the house with the sticky pad. Play music that is both inspirational and encouraging. Sing praise songs to the Lord. In Psalm 77, Asaph is feeling abandoned, yet here is his reaction.
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
Today, I'd like to reassure you that, like the saints of old, your journey does not have to stop with you being the depressed woman. God has been able to fulfill his will even in the face of discouragement and sorrow. In this broken world, we have grief, pain, and suffering, but we also have hope. Our faith is anchored on Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Our Hope!
I want to first distinguish between clinical depression and melancholy. Please seek the assistance of a doctor to treat you if you are suffering from severe persistent depression or depression brought on by medical conditions. Depression may be caused by a variety of illnesses or circumstances.