I went through depression.
Depression is not a choice. You can be defenseless when it happens to you. It attacks when you are happy. It attacks when you are sad. It has no specific patterns. It chooses no gender.
There are hints about it in my other articles like the words ‘void’ and ‘empty’. To my wife, she knew about this. She understands the difficulty involved of making me part of her life that also includes my social anxieties. I also told some of my closest friends about that time in my life where every day seemed to be a battle.
This blog is not about my life though. Not yet. I will be writing another one for that battle soon. There will be glimpses of some of my experiences here. This blog is based on how I experience it. I do not want to be simplistic about how others are feeling. It is never to underestimate how they feel.
Today’s blog is about Jesus and how he fought depression well. It is so easy to say that he should be able to fight it because he is God. We will see that it was not easy for him as we look at the story when he was praying in Gethsemane.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. –Matthew 26:36-37
The enemy and the spirit of depression is a stronghold that encourages us to be alone, isolated and be far from anyone. Fight it even if it is hard. When you feel like shutting down your life with people, all the more that you need to bring them closer to you.
Find people in your life that you can trust. That is the reason why I have mentors and have invited specific people in my life. They are the ones that I can be totally honest about what I am thinking, how I am feeling or where I think my life is going.
I made myself accountable to them. I intentionally make a schedule to meet them. I gave license to them so that when they see that there is something amiss about me, they are free to knock sense into me.
I devote a specific time of my day to pray. But there is not a day that I also ask them to pray for me. I ask them to pray for me when I go up on stage, when I am called to talk to management, or when I am mentoring or coaching people. I know I am being covered.
Jesus in the same way went to Gethsemane with the company of some of his disciples. He asked them to pray and he was honest to them about how he was feeling.
Recognize what you feel
Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” –Matthew 26:38
Jesus is God but he was man at the same time. He was not playing God. He did not act tough and strong. He made himself vulnerable to his disciples.
He recognized what he was feeling.
He was very sorrowful. Depression makes you feel so low and so sad. Sometimes, you do not even know where it is coming from. You just feel uninspired where life is void of colors and meaning. There is a tendency to keep it to yourself. Swallow the pain. Feel numb. Try to sleep to forget. But there is a need to recognize it. Share what you feel. Know that when you recognize it, you will know how to respond to it and not just reacting to it. People that you trust may also give light to looking at it differently.
…Even to death. While death can be an escape, but that is not for us to choose and decide. The one who created you is the one who has the ultimate right to call you home. Do not make it linger to your head. Think of your family or your friends who even if at some point you are devoid of feeling if they care or not but they do care.
Not my will
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” –Matthew 26:39
I overcame that lowest point of my life when I met Jesus. I prayed almost the same prayer. Every day, I will call His name and believe that He can take it away from me.
Every day, together with people who helped me, I became stronger. Stronger to fight. Stronger to persevere. Stronger to endure.
It might sound very simplistic if you are still in that situation. But know that it did not happen overnight for me as well. It took me almost a year.
And it was not my will. It is His will. He who created me, called me and healed me. I will never be able to understand all the reasons but I know that in my generation, it can be a testimony.
Is my battle over?
It is not. There are days when I want to be invisible. Days when I wake up in the wrong side of the bed. Days when going to meet people is a struggle.
But these are better days. I am not alone. I have people who can entrust my life and my feeling. I listen to them and they listen to me. I am signing this article off with a smile.
And I hold on to these promises of God in Isaiah 40:28-31:
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
I went through depression and so did Jesus. In confidence I know, that every prayer and every plea to help me got out of depression was heard by him. He understood me fully.
That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, 18he would have already experienced it all himself – all the pain, all the testing – and would be able to help where help was needed. –Hebrews 2:17-18 (MSG)
Related Article: Feet Above The Water
WRITTEN BY: JUNVER ARCAYNA
*This is only the view of the author and not reflective of the organizations that he is connected with.