Depression can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Having been depressed before, I know that darkness all too well and recognize it quickly when it tries to return.
The world stops turning and your thoughts start spinning. Memories from past depressions flash before you, but not so clearly that you recognize it as memories of things you’ve overcome. It’s so vague it feels like you’re afraid of some unknown thing, something that can’t be identified or addressed. You’re transported back to that place where there is only darkness, and you believe you’re there to stay.
But it’s just another one of the devil’s lies. God, in His tender mercy, has shown me that in those moments it isn’t the depression itself that has my emotions in frenzy. It’s the fear of depression. It’s the fear that this is my new normal.
If I give in to that fear, I give in to depression.
Recently I experienced a depressive episode that seemed to come from nowhere. No physical trauma like child birth or surgery, no spiritual fire (like I described here). One day I was fine, and the next day I was sinking deeply into loneliness, apprehension, and sadness. I began to feel trapped in the suffocating darkness of depression. I was afraid. I began to panic, asking “Is this how it’s going to be for me from now on? Will I ever be well?”
Instead of dealing with the issue at hand, I added fear of depression to the reality of depression. How would things have been different had I chosen not to panic?
…if I had looked back and seen that, with each past depression, there has been full healing?
…if I had known, beyond any doubt, that this was not my new normal?
I believe that battle would have been half-won.
This is not my new normal.
Yes, I’ve been depressed several times, and I might become depressed again. But I have recovered every time. If I find myself depressed again it will be no different. I will recover again.
The same is true for you.
This is not your new normal!
Keep these affirmations handy and repeat them when you feel the clouds moving in.
■ This is not my new normal!
■ I will not let fear intensify my depression and steal my hope.
■ There is healing for depression – my depression – even this time.
Above all, if you begin to feel yourself slipping into depression, Stop and pray.
- Ask God to remind you of His love for you and of His power to overcome fear and depression.
- Commit your fears to the Lord and ask Him to show you His way out of the darkness.
- Don’t know what to say? Try this: “Lord I believe; help me in my unbelief.”
Remember, “Crying may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5a
Do not believe the lie that sends you into panic and steals your hope. Your joy will come.
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P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts, so please be sure to comment below. Each of our commenters will be entered in a drawing for our current FREE book giveaway, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship by author Teena Stewart.
Beth Cranford believes every Christian has been equipped and empowered to do specific and effective work in the kingdom of God. It is her heart’s desire to see women live in the freedom that is theirs through Christ by helping them break free from depression and other strongholds. She encourages women to experience God’s power in their lives by understanding their identity and position in Christ and their unique design.
Beth has a passion for helping Christian parents design and implement an education that honors and nurtures their children’s individual design, equipping them for a life of freedom and power.
Beth has been married to her best friend for 21 years. Together they raise and educate their two children in middle TN. You can find her at http://www.bethcranford.com
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4 thoughts on “Holding on through the night for the joy that comes in the morning”
Boy, can I relate to what you wrote! As a matter of fact, I published an article titled “Enduring the Night,” based on that Scripture you shared. I have experienced that same “fear” you described, and like you, I learned to rely on how God has brought me through so as not to fall prey to those thoughts. I think there are many who do not realize that part of what they are feeling is a fear of the symptoms and a fear that it will not get better “this time.” Great post!
Thanks Linda, it was difficult for me to describe what I wanted to convey. Having you say you relate tells me that I found the words I was looking for.
Your post is perfectly timed for me today. I have struggled with depression off and on for 20 years. My only son has just started his senior year in high school and I am feeling like I’m starting into a ‘new’ depression. But I beleive that joy comes in the morning! And I will stop and pray for God to remind me of His love for me. While my circumstances change and my moods fluctuate, I can press into a God who never changes. Thank you!
What I really wanted to convey is how easy it is to let the FEAR OF depression CAUSE depression! If we slow down our reeling thoughts we can reign them in and realize that this is not “my new normal”. This is not how it’s always going to be.
I’ll be praying that you do not slip into another depression. I want to encourage you, if you aren’t doing this already, to get involved with something that (for lack of better words) makes you feel alive. Ask God what He has in mind for you to do. It sounds like you’re looking at being an empty nester soon. Be proactive, get out and get involved so that you can be excited about your new phase of life instead of stuck in mourning the phase that is coming to a close.