For our final discussion on depression, Morgan wanted to give tools for those that know and walk life with people who struggle with depression. Sometimes it can be so hard to know how to help, or what to say. It may seem never ending, discouraging and hopeless to you even. We hope this small list will be an encouragement. Thank you so much Morgann for sharing your heart these past two weeks and giving us helpful tools.
In writing this post, I consulted my wonderful husband who has walked this journey with me. He has seen me at my best and worst and he has been the most incredible help in pointing me to Christ no matter what the circumstance.
As we brainstormed together, here’s what we have found to be true.
When you love someone who is depressed:
1. Pray. Pray fervently. Pray frequently. Pray honestly. There is no better wisdom than that which comes from the Lord (Prvbs. 3:7). Ask Him to guide you, to encourage your spirit and to make His presence known. Pray that He would remove depression. Praise him always (Psalm 150). Pray with the ones you love. Pray alone. Whatever you do, never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
2. Remind them of the Truth of Scripture. There is nothing that can encourage someone more than the truth of the Gospel (Hebrews 4:12). Frequently remind them of the One that saved them from sin and death in a loving, caring, and gentle way. Pray that these truths would take root in their heart and drive out the desperation.
3. Listen (Galatians 6:2). There were many times when I needed time to talk. Half the time, I knew I wasn’t making sense and I was overwhelmed by the littlest things. My husband did an amazing job of asking me, “I hear what you’re saying. Do you want me to just listen, or do you want me to offer advice?” This little question helped so much. It gave me the freedom to simply express to him the deepest parts of my heart without being scolded. And it allowed him to not feel pressured to come up with a solution. Most of the time, I wasn’t looking for a solution. I just needed to know that I wasn’t alone.
4. Never stop telling them you love them. Satan loves it when we believe His lies. He is the father of lies (John 8:44). When depression creeps in, we become so much more susceptible to believing His lies – that we are unloved, unwanted and useless for the Kingdom. As I think about the times when I was battling depression the most, there was never once a time that I honestly doubted that my husband and my family loved me. Why? Because they reminded me frequently. They told me they loved me whether or not I reciprocated it and whether or not I was lovable. What a blessing it is to know that not only are we loved by people but by God himself.
5. Talk to someone you trust. It took my husband and me a while to come to the realization that it was not healthy for him to be bearing this alone. We aren’t meant for that (Galatians 6:2). He was able to connect with a couple guys who we trusted for wise counsel and sound advice. For me, it actually relieved a burden, because I wanted my husband to be able to process through this and I knew that I would be of little help in offering perspective. If you find yourself as the primary person who is loving someone through depression, make sure that you have people pouring into you as you pour yourself out.
6. Be available. Often times, depression worsens in the dark of the night (literally) or in the most inconvenient times during the day. Sometimes it’s in the middle of a crowd of people, or just as you’re walking out the door. Depression is never convenient or welcome. Be willing to sacrifice. Sometimes you will be late, go without sleep, have to cancel plans. But people are more important than plans, preparations or sleep. If necessary, be willing to pick up the phone, send a text back or put down your keys and take a seat on the couch. Love in action. Love through sacrifice (John 15:13).
Piper: “You cannot persuade a depressed person that he has not been utterly rejected by God if he is persuaded that he has been. But you can stand by him. And you can keep soaking him in the benevolence, mercy, goodness, and sympathy of Jesus, and the sufficiency of the atonement, and the fullness and completeness of Christ’s justification.”
Though you may feel helpless, you are far from it.
Sometimes you will be mocked by the very person you are sacrificing for. Many times you will go without being thanked. Frequently, you will be tired. But you will never regret loving and loving well.
Morgann Burres is a 22 year old newly married who currently lives in Salem, OR. She graduated from Azusa Pacific University, works for Youth Missions International, and has a huge heart for mentoring younger girls.
Friday, March 14, 2014