The following is the testimony of a young adult who found to play a significant role in overcoming depression.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heats and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7
Our God is great! Less than one year ago this thought was distant from my life. After experiencing several blows physically, mentally, and emotionally I was on the brink of disaster. My life felt worthless, empty, and without hope or meaning. I found myself trapped in a downward spiral of depression, loneliness, and despair. But praise the LORD, my story doesn’t end there.
It was in those dark trials that God’s love became real in my life. In my depression I realized that nothing I tried to do would ever break me free from the shadows that held me captive. Sure, I tried to do it on my own – over and over again – but always found myself further into the darkness than before. On my own strength I was powerless to change. It was only then that I truly understood my overwhelming need for God. If I was ever to break free of my discouragement and despair it would have to come from a Higher Source. I turned my life over completely, totally, 100% to God, telling Him that I couldn’t make it on my own. At the time I didn’t feel that God was there, but I told Him I knew He was, whether or not I felt so. I cannot describe the overall peace that flooded my soul, knowing that Someone cared, that Someone loved me, that Someone would see to it that I would make it through. Suddenly I knew that everything was going to be okay.
Since that moment my life has become a living testimony to the awesomeness of God. He has taken me - a poor, miserable sinner caught in the entrapment of depression and despair – and given me life in all its fullness and joy! Every day the first thought on my mind when I wake up in the morning is the thought of putting my hand into that of my Savior’s. “Nothing is going to happen today, LORD, that You can’t handle,” I say. Whether I feel it is true or not doesn’t matter to me anymore; I know it is true! God is looking out for me, and as long as I am walking with Him, everything is going to be okay! To make this belief become a reality in my life I began to thank God for everything and anything. Walking down the street I’d say “Thank you, LORD,” for the little bird that just flew into the tree, the sunlight illuminating the clouds, the chance I have to walk on my own two feet. I would thank God for my homework because it meant that I was privileged enough to attend school, the kitchen I had to clean every night because it meant I actually had dishes to eat off of and a table to sit at. Before I knew it, life took on a whole new meaning. It was virtually impossible to think about my own depressive thoughts and feelings when I was now praising our LORD for each thing I saw around me. By a simple act of saying “Thank you” my depression faded into the distance. The last few months of my life have been fuller and richer than my entire life to this point. I am seeing God lead me, guiding me, blessing me day after day after day. Sure, trials still come and some days are more discouraging than others, but all that matters is that God is in control. He has a plan, and everything is going to be okay! And there is always something around to me to thank Him for!
Looking back on that time of my life I am now even able to thank the LORD for those shadows of depression. If it hadn’t been for the realization of my utter helplessness during that period of despair, I don’t know where I would be today. God used that dark time of my life for His good, and for that I am eternally grateful! Not only that, but He is now using me to help others facing similar situations in their lives. Because of what I have faced I have had the opportunity to personally share with those around me the testimony of what God can do in our lives. And what a blessing it is to be able to share such a blessed hope with another child of God!
The most difficult part is remembering God’s greatness when experiencing the shadows in the deep valleys of life. So often the darkness surrounds us, making it nearly impossible to see the light of God’s goodness. And yet, all it takes is for us to say, “LORD, I’m putting my hand in Yours. I don’t feel that You are there right now, but I know that You are.” From that moment on, know that it is okay! God is in control! God will pull you through that valley, whatever it may be, and on the other side is life abundant – happy and free!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1: 3,4 NIV
Psalms 34:17 (NKJV) 17 "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles."
Isaiah 43:1-2 (NKJV) 1 "But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel:“Fear not, for I redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through rivers, they shall not overflow you.When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, shall the flame scorch you."
Psalms 30:5 (NKJV) 5 "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning."
Psalms 42:5 (NKJV) "Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance."
Psalms 34:6 (NKJV) 6 "This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles."
Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV) 3 "To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) 31 "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."