Depression is a real struggle for many people. For some it may be a season, and for others it may be a lifelong battle. I’m so thankful to have received emails from so many of you, sharing your heart in this area. Reading parts of your stories, I’ve felt burdened to do a blog series on this very topic. However, to be honest with you, I don’t feel adequate- there is so much I have yet to learn. So when I was thinking through how to put this series together, I asked my dear friend Morgann Burres to share her story and the truth that has given her joy and helped her to keep on keeping on. I’m so excited to have her join us this week. May you be encouraged~
To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin. I have typed, deleted and re-typed a hundred different ways to begin talking about this topic and none of them seem to suffice. I want to offer hope and I want to be real. I want to point you to Jesus and I want to cry with you in your pain. The conclusion I’ve come to is that we can do both. So here it is:
Depression is ugly and Jesus is beautiful.
To use the word depression and Jesus in the same sentence seems ridiculous. Some would say that they can’t coexist: If you love Jesus, you can’t be depressed. But that’s simply not true. The fact that they can and they do coexist is the hope that I hold onto every single day.
I grew up in a family that surrounded me with more love than I could have ever asked for. My mom tucked me into bed every night until I graduated high school. My dad was a huge support when it came to major life decisions. My brothers could make me laugh louder than anyone else. I was “the church girl”. On the outside, I had it all together.
And on the inside I was falling apart.
It all came to a head one week in the Fall of 2003. I was done. Done with life. I had it all planned. The pills were in their place, the letter written. I would slip away peacefully. I was ready but God wasn’t.
Instead, He surprised me with my mom forcing me to go to a junior high retreat with our new church. And on that Saturday night when I had planned to take my life, God breathed new life into my broken body. He revealed to me that my motives to take my life were only selfish, leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces. He reminded me that he promises to walk with me no matter what.But God wasn’t.
Depression didn’t go away. It didn’t really get better either. But it was that weekend that the Lord began to work on my heart and teach me what it means to live a life worthy of the Gospel in the midst of great darkness.
At the ripe age of 22, I can say that I’ve dealt with depression my whole life. For me, depression is not just feeling “down” and it’s not just being sad. Depression is feeling like all hope is lost. It’s not being able to pry myself out of bed in the morning. It’s crying. A lot. It’s not thinking rationally. It’s forgetting to take care of my basic needs – eating, sleeping, exercising. It’s not being able to communicate well. It’s the feeling that God is absent, that he has forgotten me and that life will never be “normal.” It’s thinking about death more than I think about life. It’s debilitating, ugly and messy. And there is no “easy” solution.
There may never be an easy solution.
I don’t know where you’re at. I don’t know the condition of your heart and mind. But I want to encourage you wherever you are, that God is there. With you. In you. For you. I want to remind you that I really do “get it”.
Mostly, I want you to know that there is great Hope found in the person of Jesus Christ. I’m inviting you on this journey with me this week. Let’s see what God’s word and God’s people have to say about this. Let’s learn to see Jesus among the brokenness. Because one thing I can promise you is that He is here.
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.