This is a bit hard to talk about, but here goes.
The last time I experienced depression was towards the end of 2018. At that time, I began to have a number of health issues and eventually found myself in a very dark place. I would walk around with a heavy cloud of sadness, having no interest in the things that used to bring me joy.
I remember crying every day, overwhelmed with self pity. At home, I cried so much I often couldn’t catch my breath. Loud sobs of desperation and hopelessness.
Why was I in such a state of despair?
It could have been a number of things. I was thirty-four at the time, single, never been married, with no kids. I never finished college, had no savings, and dealing with pain, sickness, insomnia and anxiety on a daily basis. And I was alone.
Being alone, I think, is what hit me the hardest.
I smiled, laughed at work, and encouraged and prayed with my co-workers. But sometimes when I got home, the sadness would come in waves. And I would often let it overwhelm me.
One morning as I was in my bathroom taking a shower:
That cloud of depression was hanging heavy over my head. I just stood there, letting the water run down my back. Crying. I knew I needed to pray but I couldn’t get the words out.
Something held my tongue. In that moment, however, all I could get out was a single word:
“Jesus!” I cried out into my bathroom.
That’s the prayer I prayed that day. The name Jesus. And it was probably the most powerful prayer I prayed in that season.
When I cried out the name Jesus, something happened. The cloud lifted. It was gone. It fled. The atmosphere in my bathroom completely changed.
All I could do was cry and praise God.
While I was going through that time with a heavy heart, I was spending very little time with God.
I wasn’t studying the Bible much and going to Him in prayer. The longer I went without that quality time, strengthening my faith, the more the depression was able to take root in my life. Little by little, my heart was growing farther away from God to the point where I even lost the desire to pray. And the few times that I did, I was so easily distracted.
As a believer, my main desire in life is to get closer to God. That’s number one on my list. And when I was robbed of my ability to do that, the depression grew like a snowball.
You know when we sing, there is power in the name of Jesus, it’s for real.
It is so true that there is power in His name. The name of Jesus. It’s much more than something we say in church or sing in a song, I’ve experienced this many times in life.
The Bible says:
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8 NLT
That’s why we’re encouraged to stay sober minded and to keep watch. Because the enemy is real, and knows your eternity is at stake.
To those who struggle with depression and anxiety, I get it. It took calling the name of Jesus to break the chain of bondage in that moment. I had gotten to a point where all I could do was call. And He answered.
I want to encourage you and remind you that Jesus is our Healer.
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for you are my praise.Jeremiah 17:4
He has not forgotten you.
And yes, He still heals today. It may not come right away, or it may, I don’t know. But what I do know is:
Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.Mark 6:56 NLT
You may say, but I have called on Him. I have prayed for healing, and I still struggle with this.
I understand. I’m still on my journey of faith too. But by faith, I decided to keep trusting Him. I continued to draw closer to God and not turn away from Him. Especially when I didn’t understand. Jesus said in the Bible, my peace I freely give, but where was this peace?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Proverbs 3:5
His peace was right there, the whole time. Just a prayer away.
While going through the trials I faced these past few years, I never let any of them stop me from knowing that I am loved by God.
Or keep me from a relationship with Him. I chose each time, to press in and lay it all at His feet. To go to Him when I was feeling anxious, unsettled, when I had a question, or to just weep before Him.
I clung to the scriptures during those times. Especially at night, reading and re-reading one of my favorite Bible chapters, Psalms 91, letting the words wash over me.
And now there is this sense of knowing that I have.
My faith is not where it used to be. I waver less. I take everything to Him in prayer, and when i do I know I’ve been heard. My faith is not rested in my own strength, or what’s going on around me, but in Him. God did that for me.
Now I know for certain that when I call, He will answer.