Someone told me the other day that I was a prisoner of hope. It caught me off guard, because I had never heard those words used together. How could someone be trapped in hope, and let alone….me?
Depression gives an overwhelming feeling that life is hopeless. I took medication for it, and am in relationship with those who are still struggling. When I was depressed, it was the last place I wanted to be in, and yet the only place I feel I could go. It was sucky…. and because I’m a Christian, it was extra sucky. In certain faith circles, struggling with depression means you’re at fault and too lazy to renew your mind.
I see you friends. It’s not your fault.
Everyone is on their own journey, here was mine:
When I was pregnant with my 4th child, everything was ‘circumstantially’ great. So when I began experiencing minor panic attacks, I knew something wasn’t right. Life is good Ro, what’s your deal? Why are you snapping at those closest to you? Why can’t you drag yourself out of bed? Are you a monster?
My next doctors visit, I remember sitting on the exam table, scared to reveal anything. Thankfully, my doctor saw right through it, looked into my eyes, and calmly asked how I was truly feeling. Oddly enough, he had a box of tissues on hand as the waterworks came and I opened up about how hopeless I felt. Because I was pregnant, he told me I had to wait to get on medication until after birth. And so leading up to Natelie’s arrival, I had to intentionally decide every moment of every day to act the opposite of how I felt. I worshipped through tears, called out to my community, and got out of bed.
After Natelie was born, I was put on medication right away and after about a month, I started feeling normal again. I became medication’s biggest advocate on social media because I wanted to break the christian stigma off depression and encourage others who were struggling to get help.
About a year into taking Sertraline- the Lord gently spoke to my heart that it was time to “deal with my stuff” and wean off the Zoloft. I knew that if it was truly him, he would give me the grace to face my depression and become an overcomer. I was obedient…. but honestly, I was SO scared as to what laid ahead. My family was in support of what I believed I heard from Jesus, and so began the active part of faith spelled R-I-S-K.
Sure enough, everything flooded back full force and I found that the depression wasn’t going to let me off easy. But I had heard the word of the Lord…and I stood my ground. I began to deal with each crushing moment that surfaced, memories of loss, rejections, failed dreams, and dissapointments. The grief was overwhelming, but I believed that Jesus would take my heart that was in pieces, and replace it with his.
He did. The process was work and it was HARD…. BUT ultimately, Jesus delivered my need for medication. I have found that with him, anything is possible. Life didn’t get easier and the junk didn’t magically disappear, but I now view each hardship as an opportunity for the Lord to show himself strong and as one who brings redemption. I can’t help but see the hope around the dark corners, no matter where I look. His promises are abundant over my life, and when I know he’s fighting for me, nothing stays hopeless.
Nothing stays hopeless. Not with the Holy Spirit.
I can’t hide from his hope any longer, can you?