Hello Beautiful People!
Our main scripture is taken from John 4:1-42. Please read it for further understanding. John 4 is about a Samaritan woman who had an encounter with Jesus at the well. Now this woman wasn’t just any woman, she was a woman with issues, she had been married five times and the man that she was with wasn’t even her husband. Now, we may not have five husbands but those five husbands can represent different issues that we battle with on a daily basis.Struggles are not wrong to have until we refuse to face it and deal with it.
Let Us Deal With The Husband of Depression
Being a Psychology undergraduate and having studied Psychology for A Level, I’ve learnt so much about depression in terms of its etiology, diagnosis and symptoms. Through the education system, I’ve seen depression as a medical problem, however coming from a Nigerian (African) background, I’ve also been taught that depression is due to spiritual imbalance (some more extreme like the nollywood examples) if I can call it that. Now, I was faced with the problem of marrying the two understandings to generate a new view on depression and also to get myself out of depressive states.
Depression can be experienced by ANYONE, at any age, of either gender, in any culture, and in any setting. I experienced depression at a young age, only at the time I didn’t know it was depression. I was always able to cover my weeping heart with a golden smile, but never really dealing with my issue which stemmed from my parents divorce, witnessing domestic violence and being the object of abuse.
We now know that depression is a medical problem, but we also know the following:
- Depression stems from an inability to love oneself.
- Depression always has a lack of self-esteem in the background.
- Depression is a result of irrational belief in self-defeating lies.
- Depression often results from spiritual activity that oppresses our spirit.
- Depression comes from unresolved anger, hurt, loss, rejection, or deprivation.
The last point was super relevant for me. It was only until I resolved my problem, my hurt, my anger by speaking out that I was able to confront and deal with everything leaving no stone unturned. I had to be real with God. I had to tell Him that I was angry, whether it was at Him or the world, or my family, I had to LAY everything down for Him to deal with. I was able to do all of this when I want to a church youth camp in 2008 that changed my life.
I came to understand that being a Christian does not make all of life’s problems disappear. In fact it is the time when the issues of life begin to rise to test and perfect our faith.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-3
I understood that Jesus has been through it all. The Son of God, God in the trinity, knows exactly what its like to be depressed, down, angry, upset. He understands and empathises with me. I am the apple of His eye and so are you! When you are crying, He weeps with you, but that is the time when we ought to seek Him and trust that He will lift us up from our lowest. Remember what Christ went through for you and I. He will never give us more than we can bear.
“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” -2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18
I needed to control my emotions. Realize that you can’t base your life on your emotions…they will lead you astray if they are not followed with caution. As Christians we base life on truth, not feelings. Philippians 4:1 commands us to rejoice (whether or not we feel like it). And James 1:2 asks us to “Consider it all joy when we fall into various trials.” Notice that James doesn’t tell us to feel joyful; he tells us to reckon, to choose to think about your situation as a place where you can have joy. This is a BOLD step into overcoming depression or any situation that you consider dire.
I have a CHOICE…I can either choose to follow my feelings and wallow in self-pity. Or can choose to go by God’s word and rejoice in everything, allowing my inner joy to change my my view on any situation.
- SPEAK to God! There is something about telling God how you feel, even though He already knows, by speaking out it is an act of surrender to Him. You’re letting God know that He needs to step in, that you cannot and will not get better on your own. You acknowledge His mighty power. You only have to Read Psalms to see how David was so open and REAL with God. Even when it came to his depression! “I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. …I groan because of the turmoil of my heart”- Psalm 38:6-8
- LISTEN TO GOD.
- THE WORD OF GOD! My goodness, in the beginning was the Word, the word was with God and the word was God. Please understand that your Bible is God-breathed, it is God! His word is a serious comforter, and it helps us to renounce every lie that depressive thoughts can bring into our minds. Lean heavily on the power of God’s word!
- PRAISE and WORSHIP. To worship God in your pain and suffering says a lot about your desire to stay connected with Him even in the tough times and God will reward you for that. He inhabits (lives in) our praises, so praise when it is tough so that God will live with you in those tough times. Praise when its all going good too, so that he can live with you in those great times. Praise Him ALWAYS! “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” –1 Thessalonians 5:18
- SEEK WISE COUNSEL. The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong’ , Psalms 37:30. I wanted to share this by reinforcing the fact that we should be careful of who we take advice from, whether it is related to family, health, your academics. Seek those who not only have your best interest at heart, but they should be rooted in Christ! Anyone can give you advice, but sound and effective advice comes from those who God uses as vessels to utter His wisdom! When you receive advice pray about it and more importantly when you give advice pray for direction!
Prayer: Daddy, I thank you for the power and might of your word. I praise you for the healing of the mind that is taking place in all those who are battling with depression right now. I ask that you will perfect the work that you have begun, so that our suffering, hurt and pain will not be in vain, but let it bring glory to your name as you heal us and put testimonies in our mouths. Give us the strength to carry on, let us always depend on you. Father lift up our spirits, renew our minds and teach us to rejoice ALWAYS. Amen!
If you think you are suffering from depression, please talk to someone you trust about it and if you don’t have anyone to talk to, there are many organisations that are willing to help you.
God bless you! He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds –Psalms 147:3