I’ve created a free printable of memory scriptures on the topic of HOPE that you can download if you’re interested (link at the bottom).
I’ve been fighting against depression, and mostly winning the battle. (Yay!) I’ve reduced my medication down to the bare minimum every other day, perfectly surrendered – I think – as to whether or not I can go off completely.
I think it’s a good time in my life to try. I belong to a gym, my only job is motherhood and writing, and I’m not running around teaching English anymore. My children are older and more self-sufficient. I’m at peace with God, my husband, my friends, and myself.
But I still struggle and my battle usually goes something like this:
Me: Sigh. What’s the point of cleaning? Such dull work. And it’s only going to get messy again. I wish I could eat some cookies, but I (purposefully) didn’t buy any. I wish I could read something good on my kindle, but I’m not that interested in what I’m reading now and I need to finish it. I wish we had enough money to hire a cleaner and a gardener so I didn’t feel so overwhelmed. I should have been a noble landowner! What’s the point of this dreary life?
Yes, I know I sound like a brat. Sometimes I am one, and sometimes I’m sunk by depression and am trying to come up for air.
Me (again): Well, my dear girl, you were not put on this earth to be idle. And you know you feel better when you engage in life rather than escape it. Plus, your children will feel so much more confident if you’re busy and engaged in the home, and engaged with them. And your husband will have complete confidence in you. And – God, I want to make you proud! Please help me to just clean the dishes (or eat an apple instead of cookies, or iron those shirts, or turn the earth for spring planting, or visit some other blogs and encourage the people who write them).
It sounds a lot like a pep talk, doesn’t it? Maybe it is. But a lot of the pep talk is prayer. A lot of it is, ‘God, I want to make you proud. I want to be trustworthy with what you’ve given me. I want to be a source of strength and comfort to my family. Help me!’
When I thought about writing this post – and wondering instead if I should put up some videos of my kids or do my recipe on financiers – I looked in the Bible for inspiration, to help me put my thoughts into perspective. I looked at one of my favourites on depression, which is Psalm 88, and which ends with:
From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
I think what I love about it is that the Psalm ends with these words. It doesn’t begin with them and tie everything up in a fancy bow at the end because of an uber fabulous relationship with God. I love that God is no stranger to suffering. Nor was Jesus. (He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. – Isaiah 53:3)
What that shows me is that God can deal with the shame and the hopelessness and the discouragement and the failure and the despair and the terror – all the messiness of a soul which has been cleansed, but still dwells in an imperfect place.
When I looked at the Thompson Chain Reference, I searched for depression and found nothing. But when I looked at Psalm 88 … you want to know all the study references I found? In that one Psalm there were links to (and I’ll include the reference # if you have a TCR Bible):
God’s Face Hidden 1275
Human weakness 3797
Affliction 491 and 498
Crying to God 1071
And – for good measure, since this is what I’m working on – Daily Duty – 1059
So the Bible has a thing or two to say about depression.
However, once you’ve acknowledged that your feelings matter to God, is it not good to focus on hope? Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
So I created this printable with memory scriptures on the topic of HOPE. If you’ve never tried this, memorising scripture is incredibly powerful. Sometimes the words will come unbidden into my mind when I’m wrestling with fear, anger, or despair. Sometimes I consciously take hold of the scripture and use it as a weapon to fight those thoughts. If you already have the words in your arsenal, your weapons are in place and you will not be defeated.
You can download the printable – it’s in US Letter size format – by clicking here.
So that’s all I’m going to say today. But if you feel like it, do leave me a comment if you struggle in this area. Share your favourite fighting scriptures, or ask for prayers. I would be happy to pray for you. You can also send me a message in my contact form in the About page.
If this post is more than a week old, I won’t get notified of the Facebook comments, so it’s better to use the comment box. You don’t need to have a blog to use it – just leave that part blank.