Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thankfulness and Depression

Thankfulness....the giving of "thanks".   Depression....the taking away of joy.  

How can the two go together?  If you had asked me that question 2 months ago, I would have told you that they can't.   But after having gone through a period of depression myself....I must say that my answer has changed somewhat.   

Here's my story!

This year I turn I have been in menopause for awhile now!  I remember asking the Lord to help me go into this phase of my life with grace and wisdom!!!   I have NEITHER!!

It has been a time of struggles, major hot flashes,  cravings and I can't remember what else!!
I have loss over 100 pounds over the last 2 years and my body is still trying to settle down and adjust to that change.   I lost my beloved mother last Spring and my precious granddaughter and her parents have moved to another country.   All this to say that I have been emotionally on overload for a while now and the combination of all of the above placed me in a very vulnerable place 2 months ago.   

The depression came upon me little by little.  I didn't recognize it right away.  I thought..."There goes my hormones again.",  but when it lasted longer than a week....I started thinking differently!   The challenge I would have when my hormones hit would be keeping my attitude under control.   No desire for patience and a lot frustration!
What accompanied these issues this time was a real sense of failure,  regret and shame.   I started looking at everybody else around me and seeing all of their successes and all I could see in me was what I didn't finish or do well or do at all!   So I was sinking fast and hard into a pit of despair and guilt.

I couldn't fake smile my way thru this either.  You know what I mean by that....misery and despair on the inside while smiley face on the outside!!   I could feel the enemy's attacks every time I would read a post on FB.   Every time I would be in the presence of someone who seemed successful or at least achieving what I believed God was calling them to do.   I believed that I was a "big waste of time"  in the area of ministry that the Lord had called me too and useless to all around me.    

Each day these thoughts would invade my mind and heart....those who loved me, would try to convince me otherwise...but it didn't make any difference.   I was stuck in this pit and going nowhere.'s the joy part of this story!

I can't tell that I was delivered by a great burst of heavenly joy!   I wasn't delivered from depression and then found my joy story is a little different!    I can't even explain or describe the joy that I experienced.   It had a purpose and feeling all it's own.   It came and went through out this season of depression....only to "lit" itself briefly here and there, unexpectedly and beautifully!

It was in the really small things, that I experienced brief moments of joy!   I will call them "God Moments"...where ever so briefly....God would show His love (joy) in areas that would grab my attention and for that brief moment....I was able to see and acknowledge what God was giving me.   It didn't remove me from my pit of despair....I couldn't hold onto it for long....but I saw and I knew....God was there with me.

These moments could be found a post on FB...on the radio listening to a women share her the Bible Study that I was doing with my church ladies.
In a song or even on the TV....they were quick, brief and if I blinked my eyes...I could have missed them.   But every time I did see and did grab...I was surprised and felt safe!'s the thanksgiving part of this story!

I came away from this hard, dark journey with an awareness of how God choose to make Himself known to this child of His.  And because of that....thanksgiving flows from my heart and lips!   It wasn't how I wanted it to be...I wanted to be brought out of this pit quickly and miraculously...but when I look back at that season,  it was miraculous...because I saw and recognized God making Himself known to me.   And for that...I am truly thankful!!! 

I know that not all depressions look alike.   We experience them differently and God meets us differently in them.   Some of the depressions require medications in order to come out of them enough to see the Lord again and some need counseling or both.   

I'm just sharing about my own experience.    May my story bless and encourage those who read it.   May you hear my heart and even more a little more aware of God and His great desire to meet us in our need.   My depression lasted about a month.   It felt like years to me....but today,  I like to dwell on those "God Moments" and be thankful that although I was not immediately and boldly delivered from my despair....God came into the pit and showed Himself!   

God is good!!


  1. Hey friend, thanks for sharing your experience. It's always in the valleys where we seem to grow the most, hard as it is at times. I haven't forgotten what we talked about a few weeks ago - we'll have to chat again soon on that topic!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and for your encouragement!! Talk at you soon my friend!

  3. "Even though I walk through the valley...Thou art with me..."

    Through your words here and what you were experiencing, I see that it was STILL all about the Lord!!! You "saw" Jesus pass by, and came to know Him deeper still...

    It reminds me of that quote on Dinah's caringbridge site...

    God is SO good!!

    Are we blessed, or WHAT??!!

    One of your many friends (hehehe),


  4. God is soooo good my friend and you're resulted in a closer walk and better understanding of my precious Lord!