Depression – it’s real for many people – even Christians

I’m a happy person. I seem to talk when I’m around people and laugh. Christians can’t be depressed can they?

I’ve never really thought I suffered from depression. I understand we all get sad and upset sometimes, but depression not me. But oh my yes it can and yes it was and yes it is.

But just because I am or was depressed, does that mean I’m not a Christian?

Society thinks that Christians are suppose to not be depressed and be the happiest people. But sometimes even Christians are faced with depression.

I’ve not worked since 2013. I’ve been a stay at home mom and I can say I was thankful for the opportunity while my son was in school. But now that he is at college, I’m home most days alone while my husband works. I try to stay busy. I try to help family and friends when I can or maybe when I want to or feel like it.

I could probably help more but there is that problem – depression.

In the past six months or so, I have been dealing with a bout of depression. I’m sure some of you may say, “And she has a blog titled ‘A Cheerfull Heart is Good Medicine'”? Well, it’s true. I do have a blog about being “cheerfull”, but I have been less than “cheerfull” in the last few months.

There are days all I want to do is sit in my recliner, play on my phone, watch television or just sleep. So what happened to the hyper Type A christian girl? I used to have to stay busy. I used to have to be in everything. I used to have to be doing everything. I used to be happy all the time.

So what happened to the hyper Type A christian girl?

I really want to do something. I really want to help people. It’s hard when your mind and body is saying no and your heart is saying yes.

I’m sure there are others that feel this same way.  I pray for them.

There may be others who do not understand this at all. I pray they never have to understand.

I’m a christian so why am I having these feelings and thoughts and problems? Should I be upset or ashamed about this? Why do so many people think christians can’t be depressed?

Just because I’m a christian doesn’t mean I’m not going to have problems. Being a christian does not keep me from feeling sad or depressed. Some of the great leaders of the Bible had problems and were sad.

Ruth 1:20-21 (NIV)   20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[b]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[c] because the Almighty[d]has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[e] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

Jobs 1:20-22  (NIV)

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[c]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”

22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Daniel 9:3 (NIV) So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

Jonah 2:1-2 (NIV) Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me.

Naomi had Ruth to help her get through her time of sadness. Job had his friends who even though they may have talked down to him, were there with him for 7 days during his sadness. Daniel turned to God in prayer and fasting. Jonah prayed to the Lord from inside the fish.

We all need people walking with us during all our times, happy or sad. We all need people to help us stay accountable. We all need a group of people who will keep us on the straight and narrow. We all need each other to live this life. We all need to turn to God in prayer.

The problem with being depressed is that we sometimes block people from our lives. Sometimes we do not share our feelings with the people. Sometimes we just push the people from our lives. Sometimes we think God will not help us.

With this being said there is something for both the suffering and the friend should do during these times.

For the person suffering, we have to never stop realizing God is with us during this season and all seasons.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Romans 5:3-5 (NIV) Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

We have to know that this suffering will not last forever. When we reach our eternal homes, the suffering will be gone.

Revelation 21:4-5 (NIV) ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

The suffering person must keep God in the center of your heart and believe, even on those days it’s so hard.

Now what do people do who are in the midst of people who are depressed and suffering. We are to comfort them. We are to be a friend to them. We are to just sit with them. We are to pray for them. We are to never judge them.

Job 2:11-13 (NIV) 11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

Ruth 1:16-18 (NIV) 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

I John 4:11 (NIV)11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Have you got a friend you can go out and help during their suffering and pain?

Do you have a friend you can turn to if you are suffering or in pain?

God is always with us, but we also need each other to walk through this life together!