Wearing masks

I don’t usually talk about the depression that I’ve suffered from long before I started having panic attacks. In fact, the reason I had medicine for my panic attacks was because I was already on medicine for my depression.

It’s not an easy thing to talk about because it’s not an easy thing to understand. I think that there is more compassion from society as more people admit to struggling with depression… But it is still a hard thing to admit.

Back when I was realizing that I was dealing with something bigger than I could handle on my own, I went to a Women of Faith conference. It was the one that my 90 year old grandmother had her wallet stolen from her purse as we walked over to the arena from the hotel. It was the one that I had looked so forward to because I attended with my mom, sister-in-law and grandmother, but didn’t get to sit with my mom because they had to sit W.A.Y. up where they could wheel my grandmother’s wheel chair. It was the one that Bug attended because he was 5 months old and I was still nursing him.

But it was also the one where the Lord spoke so clearly to me.

I knew, from attending other WoF conferences, that Shelia Walsh suffered from depression. But she spoke something at that conference, in 2003, that cut right to my heart. I still didn’t want to admit what I knew was true: that I was in the midst of depression and had been for years. I wanted God to heal me from it. I wanted it to just go away. I didn’t want to take medicine for something that would stop if I just prayed hard enough.

What I didn’t count on was God’s answer.

Sheila was discussing her depression and how she wanted to be free of her medicines. She felt that she had to have been healed from her depression and that if she stopped taking her medicines, everyone would be amazed by the amazing changes.

By dinner, her husband asked her if she had forgotten to take her medicine that day.

Distraught, she went to her bedroom and sobbed and cried out to the Lord. Why hadn’t He healed her? Why hadn’t He taken away her thorn?

As she quieted herself, she heard God’s answer. “I did heal you, through your medicine.”

I knew then and there, that God could certainly completely remove my depression in an instant. But I also realized, that sometimes God chooses to keep things there and walk with us through them.

And that is what He has done with me. My depression keeps me closer to Him, because it makes me aware of the fact that I am broken and need Him. It reminds me that He is there at all times. Some people might think that by taking medicine I don’t have enough faith that the Lord can heal me. And that the meds are my crutch. But I have no crutch other than the Lord.

I don’t always understand the Lord’s ways. But I DO trust Him.

Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
Psalm 119:49-50

“I discovered that our brokenness is a far greater bridge to other people than our pretend wholeness ever is. I still take medication for depression. I probably will all my life. I know God could heal me like that, but so far He hasn’t. But I remember that the Good News is not me. The Good News is Jesus.”
~ Shelia Walsh

(for more information on depression, please check out Shelia’s book: The Heartache No One Sees)

Comments

  1. Karla,
    How beautiful when we get to the point in our journey where we truly believe that God can do all things and we put our trust in Him and His plan. Keep taking those meds and remember that you are greatly loved, not just by your heavenly Father, but by all of your earthly family and friends.
    Unending love,
    Mom

  2. Michelle-ozark crafter says:

    God heals us in many ways. I have learned my meds for all my illnesses including my bi polar is His way of giving me a wonderful life and I can be of better service to Him. yes, He has healed me of many things and spared my life more than once but he also uses Doctors and meds and treatments to do it.

  3. soooo true my friend.
    it was when i was in my most brokon state that i felt the presence, mercy and peace of God penetrate my soul like i had never before in my life.
    purpose in pain.
    xoxo beauty out of ashes

    shalom and love,

  4. Anonymous says:

    I deal with depression and the only thing that keeps me walking in total healing is the following; stay in God’s word study it read it live it breath His word. God’s word is our medicine. Stay in unity communion with God spend time daily talking to Him “yada” intimate relations with God daily. Just like a car runs out of gas if you do not fill it, we need to fill our spirits with God. It is not easy but every day gets better in Him and confess His word over yourself. I do not know what type of church you belong to or what your beliefs our but God’s word is alive and powerful and God is alive not dead. Tell your self what God says, you are healed you are blessed you are the head and not the tail above only and not beneath, the apple of the Fathers eye, you have power to lay hands on the sick and see them recover power to cast out demons power over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you… just a few. Read in the bible all the people that were healed from Gen to Rev. Just hearing God’s voice alone is the most Awesome! It does not happen over night but as you see your self the way God see’s you and you speak forth his word and do not accept or belive the lies of the devil…just belive in God’s promises! Hopefully you will not get angry with what i have shared because what I said is different from what the others say…it is your choice and all of our choice to believe God or not.

  5. My mother-in-law died in my arms. It was a horrifying experience. Six months later, my brother comitted suicide. Both my children were living away from home, at college. I was bereft.

    I can tell you about depression, panic attacks and post stress disorder.

    I gladly took the Zoloft and Ambien my doctor said would help me. It DID help me. I know for sure my doctor’s hands were guided by God. Those medications may have saved my life because I felt hopeless.

    When I felt healthy again, I knew I was OK to stop the meds. But no one should EVER under any circumstances just suddenly stop taking them. These types of meds have to be slowly weaned away from. Suddenly stopping can result in worse problems than the ones that created the need for the meds in the first place and can even make a person suicidal.

    We should never feel guilty about taking meds that God led someone to provide for us.

    You are in my prayers, Karla.

  6. Great post. I think that those medications have been a lifesaver for many, many people I know.

  7. I appreciate your honesty in your post. God is faithful through the stroms of this life.
    BTW, I like the name of your blog, that’s why I “stopped by.” :)
    http://samismom22.wordpress.com/

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just to clarify my first comment (with limited space…), I have nothing against taking medication, God is the one who provides us with Dr.’s. Everyone is so different, different beliefs and personalities etc… What I mean is do what you need to do and don’t forget God and His word. Believe in God’s promises.
    To the women with the issue of blood for 12 years she was bleeding and in her case she went to many Dr.’s but the only Dr. who could help her was Dr. Jesus. Jesus said to her it was your faith that made you whole.

  9. Glass Half Full says:

    Good post! I suffered many thoughts of depression right after the births of my boys. Talking was my therapy and God’s unfailing love and grace!!

  10. Big Mama says:

    Love this post and your honest heart. In our weakness, He is strong.

  11. Karla,
    I am so glad you posted on this and in such a positive light! I suffer from depression also and know that it is looked upon by many – and especially other Christian – as a weakness in faith. My family has a history of depression and I admitted it years ago and have been on medication to treat it for the past ten years. It is hard to talk about it with others because many people instantly “judge” you and your relationship with God. I have always wondered why people see depression as a condition completely different from other illnesses that need treatment. I don’t think many people would approach Diabetes, Seizure Disorders or other afflictions without treatment – including medication! I think this is definitely a subject that should be addressed more freely and especially within the “community” of our Lord! Thank you.
    annb

  12. Karla,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I’ve been struggling HARD emotionally these past few months. I had come to the conclusion that because the meds weren’t helping, it must be my poor faith, my lack of trust in the Lord. That my problem really is spiritual weakness after all.

    I don’t wish depression on anyone, but your honesty with your struggles helps me realize that I’m not alone. That I’m not some kind of colossal failure as a human being.

    Thank you! And I’m going to check out that book.

    –Staci

  13. My sister has been battling with depression for a very long time. It was getting to the point where she was ready to end it all. My mom, took over and did a bit of research. This is what she found and it has turned my sisters life around. I’m not saying that this is what everyone should do, but it is something that every woman should know about.

    http://pmdd.factsforhealth.org/

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