Not a question you like to be asked by your three year old but yet I am sorry to say this is the question Micah, my little guy who continually looks out for me, kept posing at breakfast yesterday morning. It was evident I was trying to keep my emotions in check as our morning devotions time with Rick became a downpour of all the things I needed prayer for as I have not been feeling very strong emotionally lately to say the least. (God gave me the most compassionate and understanding husband by the way!:) I’m just trying to get through the day. Survival mode.
I’m sure pregnancy hormones are coming into play as well as continual lack of sleep and recent hardships (sewage flood in our basement, stolen wallet, etc) but I also know I am stuck in a disease that may not kill me physically but could suck the life out of me emotionally if I do not learn how to cope with it head on…..depression. There, you have it.
This disease runs deep and is definitely a way in which Satan has bound many on the Challies side of the family especially. A few suicides due to severe depression, etc. I feel it is a hereditary condition which certainly passed on to me yet a sort of spiritual bondage too. As long as I can remember, I have struggled with this disease in all the different forms it takes on as one grows older, life gets more and more complex, etc. Even as a little girl, I often felt life was completely devoid of hope for absolutely no reason. I just saw gray. Just as a diabetic can not naturally remedy their blood sugar highs and lows, I can not simply turn on “happy” and remedy my emotional highs and lows. An internal force greater than myself is at work.
I don’t know what a public confession of this struggle may mean for my “reputation” but I figure…what’s there to lose. At the end of the day, I’ve always put reputation on the line for the sake of authenticity. Maybe my vulnerability about such a sensitive subject can help someone else who is struggling as well. Who knows…maybe there is even another stay-at-home- mom out there like myself who is inflicted with this disease and yet, before God, seeks earnestly to do the best by her family. I know many people likely believe this is one disease that should be kept hidden as they believe it is “shameful,” a disease brought on by self. I get ready in the morning and do my thing and take care of my family. I don’t lie in bed all day wearing sweats in a dark room. Yet I know this disease is starting to take its toll in greater ways than I like because once my kids start realizing when mommy isn’t “happy,” than I think the issue becomes one that can not be swept under the table anymore.
Many may wonder…”if you’re a Christian, how can you be depressed? Aren’t Christians always supposed to be happy? Isn’t it sinful to feel lack of hope and a total denial of your faith?” I suppose it is sinful to feel hopeless as it is denying the hope I have in Christ yet I also know that great Christians of the past, including Charles Spurgeon, struggled greatly with depression which tells me this disease is one which can attack even the strongest of believers.
Wrote Spurgeon is a beautiful sermon meant for fellow pastors struggling with depression called “When the Preacher is Downcast”:
And Micah…mommy is, no doubt, going to be sad sometimes but let it be said that from here on in, I believe God is going to do a work and you will be witness to it! You will be able to bear witness to the fact that God heals and God can break spiritual bondages. The chords of fairly regular bouts with depression can be broken. Why do I think now is the time for healing? Because, as I said before, I realize for the first time that this disease will truly have an affect on my whole little family if I do not whole heartily acknowledge the problem and seek healing. Though I pray none of my children will have the struggles with depression I have had, if they do, it will be something we can face together. I will understand!
Now for a game plan…a game plan built on solid Christian principles. Any suggestions?
~ Isaiah 43:2