When Christians Admit their Struggle With Depression
Guest post by Kristen Terrette (First seen on WhollyLoved.com)
Many joke of 2020 was the worst.
But it was January 2021.
I lived through the nastiest month ever. No lie. No exaggeration. I’ve had bad months or seasons before, where a part of my life was in disarray or reeling from tragedy or loss. But January 2021 had tentacles that spread and infected all areas. Grief over my sister’s death. Surprising marriage problems. Brokenness over the loss of relationships. Severe financial strain. Parenting hardships magnified. Dealing with a no-win situation that left more pain and heartache in its wake. Career sorrow. Small business owner sufferings. Family members in hurting circumstances. Oh, and I had Covid-19.
I couldn’t eat, sleep, or even function in day-to-day tasks. I cried constantly. I lived in a state of sadness. If something good did happen, I wouldn’t have even noticed. I was participating in 21 days of prayer and fasting. I was on my knees relentlessly pleading to God for help. And yet, I was stuck in my gloom, not able to get out of the muck and mire of the world. I had certainly lost my joy, and I felt unseen by God.
And I finally called it what it was—depression.
It was almost as if admitting my struggle to God and others—my husband and dear, godly, safe friends—He opened the way for healing to begin. A few months since that dark time and every single prayer has been answered—in big and small ways. But when I tell you, miracles have happened, I mean it. I’m talking an unexpected doctor’s visit leading to physical healing I didn’t know I needed, surprise encounters leaving buds of reconciliation and restoration in relationships, and a personal connection that could catapult my career.
I knew in order to get out of the depression I was stuck in, I had to take steps of obedience, which meant being open to what He sent my way.
So, I prayed. Constantly. Fervently. Even when I felt like I couldn’t, I confessed my inability to God and sat quietly with Him. I listened to worship music and sang. I called upon Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
I said yes and sought therapy. My husband and I started and are still in Christian counseling, for growth and healing in our marriage, but also individually for our own spiritual and emotional health.
I said yes to a surprise doctor’s visit and sought advice and care for my physical depression symptoms.
I said yes to corporate prayer over me. I had three important women in my life offer to help break some enemy strongholds in certain areas. I said, “Yes, please!” This prayer time was life-giving and chain-breaking.
I’m not in a perfect state of health, but I’m so much better. My awful January winter season is turning into a beautiful spring. Looking back, I see it happened when I humbled myself before the Lord and others, exposed my fragility and vulnerability, and admitted I was sick. Confessing my sickness released the power the devil had over me. He loves secrecy and bringing my depression into the open exposed him. I even had someone flinch and say, “I heard you and your husband are in therapy.” It was said like she felt sorry for me, but it freed me to answer with, “Yes, we are. And it’s been awesome for us.”
I’m no counselor but these steps did wonders. God sees you just as He saw me. And He will send help. Are you stuck in a winter season? First, pray. Then be open to what and who God sends your way. God sees you just as He saw me. And He will send help.
Do you have an example of God meeting you in your vulnerable state?
Get to Know Kristen
Kristen's passionate about storytelling and helping people take their next steps in their relationship with Jesus. She lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. where she served as a Children's Ministry Director for many years. With the support of her husband and two children, she now stays home writing fiction and non-fiction. She also serves on the women’s leadership team at her local church and writes for Crosswalk, Sharing Our Stories Blog, and Wholly Loved Ministries. You can check out her latest articles as well as her latest Young Adult novel, See You Monday, at www.kristenterrette.com.
Find out about her latest release, See You Monday:
Senior year. The homestretch.
Honor student, Grace Warner, had it easy. Popularity, friends, attention from her crush, even a soccer scholarship offer—if only she can figure out her senior project to graduate on time. Getting approval to write about someone’s life-changing event, Grace recruits her sassy grandma as her mentor who can’t wait to tell the crazy story from her childhood.
Events in the early sixties are words in history books to Grace, but her grandma lived them. She witnessed the civil rights movement in full swing, desegregation becoming a reality in her southern town, Martin Luther King, Jr. moving the country with his iconic speech, and the country coming to a halt when President Kennedy was assassinated.
Grace loves finding out her family history but didn't know the project would have her noticing hardships and prejudices at her school she hadn’t before. When the homecoming court is announced and new kid, Jacob Horton, is nominated as a colossal prank, it brings Grace to a choice, much like her grandmother years before her. God is about to use her in a miracle if she chooses correctly. If she fails, a life could be lost.
Buy it HERE.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.
As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women experience Christ’s freedom in all areas of their lives. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.