Lately I’ve been thinking back to years ago when I felt really depressed. Back in those days I went to work as a nurse, but then I’d come home, go to bed and stay there. I withdrew from associating with people and let negative thoughts wrap around me and choke what little joy I had left from me.
My depression was due to overwhelming circumstances in my life. I felt I was in a trap from which there was no escape. It seemed my only choice was to feel depressed. If others had the situations in their lives that I had to deal with, they would choose despair too, I convinced myself.
Some of my depression came from hurtful memories from my past that haunted me. No matter how hard I tried, it seemed I couldn’t stop thinking about how cruelly I had been treated by certain individuals. At times I believed the lie that surely God must hate me to have allowed such atrocities.
Then my wrong thinking collided with God’s Word. I read Isaiah 60:1:
Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!
That verse showed me I had a choice. Either I could stay in my bed of despair or I could get up and shine for the Lord and become all He wanted me to be.
In the midst of my darkness, He was shining His light. The question was: Would I be willing to walk toward the light, or would I continue to retreat into darkness?
I made the choice to allow God’s light to shine into every dark corner of my life. Through surrendering to Him, going to counseling, diving deep into a study of the Scriptures and clinging to God through prayer, He healed me of painful memories. He gave me the grace to forgive those who had hurt me.
As I received the gift of His perspective toward my circumstances, He made His radiance shine through me via poems and articles He called me to write and send out to magazines. He used these pieces of writing to bring light into other people’s darkness which brought me great joy.
Then He called me to work with the mentally ill—with others who battled depression, so I could bring them hope. At times I hear my words of hope as I’m speaking them to patients, and I’m reminded to continue to apply them to my own life—especially when new difficulties come.
Lately as I continue to walk through the valley of suicide grief, I think how easy it would be for me to succumb to the pull of depression again. At times the bed looks inviting, and I want to stay there rather than going out into the world day after day to shine for the Lord.
Tomorrow when the alarm goes off signaling time to get up and get ready to go to work and reach out to the mentally ill, a part of me will insist, “I’d much rather stay in bed. “ But these words will once again come to mind, “Arise… and shine… for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”
I thank God for showing me how much He loves me and for delivering me from depression. I celebrate the calling He has put on my life to help others out of its pit. To God be the glory for all He has done and for all He will continue to do in and through me. He is so good.
Do you agree?