Sometimes you don’t know how deep you are in until you are out. It’s like climbing out of a hole diagonally, you’re just moving toward some end, and then when you get out, you realize you’ve been six feet deep.
That’s how the past seven months have felt for me.
Beginning from December and leading up to last week, I’ve been in a depression. It’s not a surprise; my depression ebbs and flows. And I knew I was in one, but I didn’t realize its extent until now – now that I am out.
This depression has felt like walking under water. It’s like pushing your body toward the goal but having this force that is pushing back on you. It’s barely breathing at times. It’s falling over and slowly getting back up. And it’s dark.
Yet there were moments of peace. Moments in which the natural currents pushed me forward and the sun’s rays would break through …but I was still under water.
Well, I am finally above! I am not on land quite yet, and that’s okay! I am happy to ride these waves with God, taking the hits as they come, but I can finally breathe – I can finally feel like I am going somewhere.
This Week: A Microcosm
This week I had been getting up early to study Scripture, pray, exercise, and then you know, work. I found myself acting like Ms. Grumperson because I had to get up before the sun was out, but I continued on because I knew God was working on discipline with me.
Well, Thursday I slept through my alarm waking up at 8 am! I didn’t get to read, pray, or exercise. I just went to work. And even the app I’ve been using to record my food intake crashed on me. It was like Thursday was this weird blip and a reminder of where I was a month ago. I hated it. I kept saying to God all day, “Wow. I need you so much. I need to praise you, study, and practice disciplines. I am not fully me without you.”
I realized then that the last seven months I was truly experiencing a depression.
How to get out of a depression
You may be asking, Okay, so if I just pray, study, and exercise I won’t be depressed, right?
Wait, what? Why?
Because I did study, pray, and exercise in the last seven months and I was still depressed.
This is bogus!
(Do people still say bogus?) Anyways… I want to say that it’s not a formula. If it were, we would be in control of our sanctification and we wouldn’t need God. And I think that’s where we get confused as Christians. We think if we pray more, do more, then our hearts will change. They won’t. Not without the Holy Spirit. We are renewed, transformed, and sanctified by God and God only.
So why was I depressed?
I believe that God lets you experience hard things to reveal your heart and your need for Him.
God uses depression differently for people. If you are going through a depression, I don’t know why. It’s something to ask God. But I can share from my own experience that my depression was something necessary for me to grow deeper and stronger in my faith. I needed to be under the water, pushing forward. I needed to fight. I needed to realize how deeply I value my God.