Step five:  Ask for help.

I encourage anyone struggling with depression to get a complete physical since this disorder is often rooted in a chemical imbalance or undetected illness.  If there is no physical problem - pursue Christian counseling.  God gave counselors their gift to minister knowing that we would need them!  Proverbs 15: 22 "Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success."  (NLT)

Another vast source of help is other believers.  Ecclesiastes 4:12 "An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break." (NCV)  The strength of a cord doubles when two strands are woven together but when tripled, its strength increases by ten!  My family and the people of our church brought meals, cleaned my house, cared for my kids, called, wrote and prayed me out of the darkness into the Light.  God created us to need each other. A shared load is a lighter load.  Ask for help.

Step six:  Count on God.

God is drawn to broken people. Psalm 40:1 says,"He turned to me."  Notice that David didn't turn to God.  He couldn't.  David's strength was gone.  He had run out of answers and was totally helpless.  God saw the struggle of His child and turned to Him with love and healing in His hand. Just as God heard the cry of David, He will hear yours! 

A final thought:  Your path may seem endless and even cruel at times.  But when you cannot see His hand or understand His process, trust His heart.  Your deliverance begins and ends with one small step of desperate hope and absolute abandonment to God, the One who knows you best and loves you most.  Walk straight ahead through your fear and with each step, moment by moment the darkness will slowly but surely begin to lift.  One day soon you will look around to see that you are coming out of the dark!


 

Mary Southerland is a pastor's wife, mother of two, speaker and author. She has spoken to thousands of women all over the United States as well as Latin America, South Africa, Costa Rica, England and New Zealand. She is also the author of Coming Out of the Dark, the story of her personal struggle with clinical depression, as well as Sandpaper People due to be released July 1, 2005 by Harvest House Publishers. Mary writes a weekly column for Rick Warren's Tool Box on pastors.com and has an extensive tape ministry that speaks to the heart of women in every season of life. Mary and her family live in Waxhaw, NC. Email: journeyfriends@cs.com or visit her website at www.marysoutherland.com