This is just a piece of my story, an important part of my story, that I feel it is time I share. Depression can happen even to a Christian. Funny thing was, I didn’t even know I was depressed, until I was almost at the point where I couldn’t get out of bed.
Just like the body can get sick, so can the mind, and yes, depression IS a mental illness. Satan has so many people afraid to call the names of things. We can cast out demons of this and that and call THEM by name, but we don’t want to call Depression by it’s name. Call that beast by its name and deal with it head on in the name of Jesus!
So, this is how the devil was able to get to me: I believed wholeheartedly in God, the Holy Bible, and MY strength and position as a Christian wife, so I believed I knew what to do to “fix” my marriage. I read and re-read what it said about being a wife, about being the Proverbs 31 woman. When I say I really worked on myself, I REALLY worked on myself!
I worked on my temperment, my attitude, my presentation, my mouth, knowing “my place,” being supportive, embodying and displaying the fruit of the Holy Spirit, etc. I had it down to an art AND a science! But still, I grew increasingly sad. So I began breaking my ungodly soulties AND his that I just knew MUST exist. I began praying for the tearing down of strongholds. I cast demons out—sometimes the same ones time and time again. I anointed everything in the house and did a spiritual house cleaning. I anointed myself and my husband (twice) and where we slept. And still, problems persisted. I was usually fine while I was working with my patients (I have a career in medical speech pathology). But afterwards, if I wasn’t doing mom stuff or wife stuff, I just wanted to go to bed.
I was determined that this marriage was going to work. Although we separated, we prayed together. We went to church together. We read the Bible together–but not often enough. And problems persisted. We ended up in counseling for a third time. My husband stopped going, but I stayed awhile longer because instinctively I must have known that I was cracking around the edges.
My counselor said to me one day, “Let me assess you for depression.” Depression? Okay. I figured by that time I was mildly depressed–no biggie. The results indicated that I was moderately depressed. Wow. He recommended medication. Anyone who knows me knows that I am deadset against my body ingesting medication. So I said thank you and left. I made plans to move to Jacksonville, FL. I talked to my employer and was going to transfer–just me and my youngest child (my oldest was in college). I talked to a friend who lived there and she was confident I could find a place. I made plans to pack. I had never wanted to move before, but everything was falling into place. I discussed the move with my closest friends and my mother. The words I said made perfect sense to them, but they just couldn’t believe that I was all of a sudden moving. I had to get away. I needed a change. I needed to breathe. Now I just had to wait for the right moment.
Less than three weeks later, it was EXTREMELY hard to get out of bed. I bathed, but I didn’t want to. I worked, but it was a chore. My daily obligations were still there, and I addressed them somewhat, but it was very difficult. Then EVERYTHING made me cry and I found one day that I COULDN’T get out of bed. Then I KNEW I had gone too far. I made a doctor’s appointment for a “sick visit” and my doctor saw me an hour later. In those three short weeks I had gone from moderately depressed to severely depressed and HAD to have medication. I started Cymbalta and within two weeks, the medication was working and I saw how “crazy off my rocker” I was!
Now I truly know how crazy people think! Everything makes perfect sense in the craziness! I immediately cancelled all of my plans to move to Florida. The craziness was clearing and you know what the first thing was that dropped into my spirit? “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL THESE OTHER THINGS will be ADDED unto you.”(Matthew 6:33)
BAM! There it was! That’s how Satan had fooled me. And all of a sudden it was so crystal clear. “I” had been trying to fix my marriage. Me, myself, and I. I prayed ceaselessly, tirelessly for God to help me, but not once did I ask Him to be a part of our marriage. Not once did I ask God what did He want me to do and how did He want me to do it. I just knew everything and tried to do everything on my own knowledge and on my own power and of my own strength. I came to realize that my marriage was bigger than me. God allowed this to very literally break me down so that He could build me up.
I repented like I had never before in my life! How dare I even think that I could do the will of God without putting God FIRST? I was so focused day in and day out on my marriage; THAT (marriage) was what I “meditated” on–not God, not Jesus, not the Holy Spirit. That was my sin, and it caused me to fall. God showed me clearly that depression (and other mental illnesses) can come from setting your mind on things below instead of things ABOVE. I had not set my mind on God–it was on my marriage and then I had the nerve to ask God for help after I had put Him second! Oh I was living “right”. I wasn’t out in the world or anything like that, but I was fooled into thinking that I was living as righteously as I possibly could, but I realized that I couldn’t as long as God was not absolutely FIRST in every area of my life.
So after repenting, I made up with the Lord. He forgave me and I corrected my journey with Him. He absolutely comes FIRST now–no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I consult Him about everything. I invite Him to be involved with everything to the point that I want Him to run the show and just allow me to have input only when it’s His will and it will advance His kingdom.
Once I was confident that I healed, I started weeing myself off the medication. Who said Cymbalta doesn’t have side effects and that you don’t go through withdrawal? Lies! The withdrawal was so bad that I almost wanted to stay on the medication–almost. But God saw me through it, and when I tell you I’m never going THERE again–by the grace of God, I’M NEVER GOING THERE AGAIN.
So for all of you sisters out there who are letting Satan torment you like he tormented me, I understand. I understand completely. Many married women are tormented because they are doing the right stuff and feel like it’s not enough, or maybe it’s not the right thing. You’re second guessing yourself. You on the defensive. You wonder if it will ever work, if your husband really loves you, if he’s cheating…. Decide that you WANT your marriage, and go to work on your relationship–with GOD. Invite Him into your marriage. Seek Him and not just about your marrriage, but about building your relationship with Him. God is faithful! He brought me back from the pits of hell and I KNOW He will do it for you, too!
Single ladies: I know some of you are tormented because you have gotten weary of being alone. You’ve had a number of bad relationships and you don’t see a potential Mr. Right in sight. Forget Mr. Right. God wants to send you your own Boaz. But, you’re just not ready. You’re pinning after a man when you should be pinning after God. You’re chasing after flesh when God wants to bless you in the Spirit–which is where your foundation should be. Put God first. Meditate on things of God–which means you are going to have to control your thoughts instead of having your thoughts control you. Control your emotions, instead of having your emotions control you. And in this way will you grow to be ready for your Boaz. And while you wait, consider keeping your legs closed. Show God that you are ready for His best by giving Him YOUR best. We have to get out of the habit of half-steppin’ with God, but wanting Him to shower us with the best He’s got! Seriously? Sweetie, He just doesn’t work that way. He is good; He is merciful—but in all His omnipotence and omnibenevolence, we CANNOT GET OVER ON HIM. So let’s just do right.
So, was I weakminded, as some may think? I don’t think so. I was tricked. Satan used my desire for a good marriage against me–and I let him simply because I absentmindedly neglected my relationship with my Father. But, now I know better, and when you know better, you do better!
And how is my marriage now? It’s much better. God is truly working miracles. I would still like to see things progress a little faster, of course, but I know that God’s timing is perfect and that what He joins together (whatever we allow and invite Him into) NOTHING can tear apart! I don’t worry about my marriage anymore. That is, I don’t meditate on it anymore. I don’t think day in and day out about it. The things I do, I do to please God. And when God is pleased, who can really find fault with that? When God is pleased with my actions, I am automatically doing the right thing for my marriage, so ultimately, I have NOTHING to worry about.
Let me leave you with one more scripture, Romans 8:6 (AMP), “Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].”
P.S. Please feel free to leave me a comment below or share or one of your timelines if this helped you or will help someone you know. That’s why I shared this–to help someone. Blessings, —J.