When Despair Empties You

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“It is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of Heaven.”  

The Apostle Paul

As a broken believer this happens. I breakdown, my faith is questioned, and I feel all alone. Issues like a simple hot shower and eating something seem impossible. I’m embarrassed to say I once went 34 days with a shower. I laid in bed unable to function. That is the insidious truth about chronic depression, I know it well. God seems far, far away from me.

There is much I can do before  it gets to this point. And although life seems insurmountable. Clinical depression kills people. It slowly devours “a sound mind.” It cripples before it takes away your life. There is nothing quite like it; people tell you it will pass, and that you’ll see the sun again. But at the time that seems to be the worst advice ever given.

” For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7

Meds help a lot. I take Zoloft and that is a godsend. I never miss a dose. I know I’m not bulletproof. I’ve taken it for five years now. It’s like insulin for a diabetic.

Afflicted souls are special to God. And that truly comforts me. Sometimes it seems like there is an invisible tether that holds from completely dropping off the edge. When I do pray, it is desperate and brief. More like a quiet scream for help. There are no frills and no eloquence, but I know I’m being heard by Him who guards my soul.

People for the most part, are of little help. I admit that my attitude can be less than stellar. “Unless you have been lost in this section of hell yourself, it’s best if you just shut up.” (I don’t really say this, but I’m tempted to.)

But there are a few that can speak. Almost always these are the ones who have been through some affliction themselves. They have been hurt and they ‘walk with a limp.’ I’m convinced that they can speak in direct proportion to the pain they themselves have suffered. I once woke up to another pastor praying prostrate on my bedroom floor. He didn’t have to do or say anything else. He left without saying some ‘pious’ word to me, what he did was wonderfully done.

“I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain.”   

John Henry Newman

Take care of yourself. If this isn’t your first major depression, prepare in advance spiritually for the next. Identify those ‘dear-hearts’ who can help you in advance. Keep taking your meds, even if you think your o.k. And speak often with the Lord, and learn to listen to His voice. That “sound mind” is a promise for those who truly need it.

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About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
This entry was posted in advice, affliction, an intense love, antipsychotic drugs, battle, battle wounds, believer, Bible promises, bipolar disorder, brokenness, brothers, Bryan's comments, challenges, church life, comfort, compassion, conflict, confusion, counseling, counselors, crisis, depression, despair, desperation, despondancy, devotional, difficulties, disease, encouragement, endurance, faith, fellowship of the saints, following Jesus, friendship, frustration, God's dealings, grace, hell, helpful, humility, Jesus Christ, joyless, kindness, lessons learned,, life, life lessons, loss, lost causes, manic depression, medications, mental illness, Mike Yaconelli, moods, personal comments, pleasing God, prayer, presence of God, psychotherapy, rest in God, scars, schizophrenia, self-pity, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, spiritual lessons, spiritual warfare, symptoms, thoughtful and aware, transparency, understanding, Very helpful, waiting, watching and waiting, wisdom, Zoloft. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to When Despair Empties You

  1. You say you take Zoloft. I was influenced by that and asked my Psychiatrist to put me on Zoloft just last Tuesday the 9th. He told me to take it at night. I am wondering however if it makes a diference that I am taking the generic Setraline. Also have you had any adverse side affects from this? Any feedback is most welcome

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  2. Margaret says:

    Sometimes, my prayer is just, “Help me”

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    • Barbara says:

      Margaret, sometimes, “Help me” is the best prayer we can offer to God. He knows your heart and is right beside you no matter where you are, no matter what is taking place, no matter who understands you or not. May His Spirit of comfort blanket you today. May He fill you with His peace and joy to carry on!

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  3. Jamie Bujan says:

    So good.

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  4. pebbles4christ says:

    I’ve been in that place many times. I’ve learned that when I think that I can’t feel God’s presence, it is because those are the times when He is closest, those are the times when He is carrying me.

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  5. Barbara says:

    I’ve been through a great deal of affliction and can relate to many hurting people. I’d like to share a bit of my story in hopes of helping others. Here is a video clip of a smidgeon of such: http://youtu.be/GD6f4GjA58o

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