I remember the day the music seemed to stop.
I tried to find my confidence, but it was simply missing.
Much as a glass window dazes an unwary bird that flies into it, tragedy stunned my flight and interrupted the music.
A dark cloud of depression weighed down my soul. My feet seemed heavy as I tried to lift them. Fear was ever present. Complacency settled into my thinking…
Another tune began to play in my mind. The enemy formed a new tune by twisting the tragedy to form notes of lies about the goodness of God. Each note carefully played to create doubt that would displace my faith. The more I paid attention to the deceptive music, the louder it grew.
I started to wear a careful smile and became adept at pretending I was okay. But I was not ok. I was depressed.
Have you ever felt this way? I can relate. I understand the strain of carrying a heavy soul.
It’s ok you know. You don’t have to be ashamed. People who have never experienced depression may judge you– but not your Savior. Jesus knows how you feel. He is not ashamed of you (Hebrews 4:15).
Your Jesus experienced a crushed soul.
“They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, ‘Sit here while I go and pray.’ He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’” (Mark 14:32-34).
There Is No Weakness in Depression
The Greek word for grief is adēmoneō which means to be troubled, in great distress or anguish, depressed.
Jesus did not play it strong or cover his feelings. He did not hide away.
He called out for friends to pray for him. And he called out to his Father. He did not see his grief as weakness or something to be ashamed of… and neither should you.
Closely on the heels of expressing his confidence in God, the prophet Jeremiah cries out in this desperation “Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame” (See Jeremiah 20:11-18). If Jeremiah who experienced an intimate relationship with God struggled with a heavy soul, why are Christian’s surprised or ashamed when it happens to them?
Shame causes us to hide from God to try and handle things on our own instead of asking him for the help we need.
Keeping your feelings bottled up inside does not allow you to process the pain. I know this because it happened to me.
During that dark time, I began to see a therapist and the first step he gave me to find healing was bringing out my pain into the light.
“Aliene, are you being honest with God? Have you ever told him how you really feel? I don’t mean religious language or offering up Christian phrases, I mean authentic raw honest communication with the Creator of your soul. You are angry with God but you don’t feel like it’s ok for you to have those feelings. But God can take your anger. Honesty is your first step. I want you to set aside a day next week. And pour out your heart to him. Tell him what is in your heart”.
And so that’s exactly what I did. I let the flood gates open…and I mean they were open. I sobbed uncontrollably and let my emotions roar. I was honest.
And when I had no strength left and no more tears left to cry, I heard his still small voice speak to my heart. I felt an unbelievable sense of relief and God’s presence so real it felt like he was hugging me.
And in that moment, I turned the corner. My journey to healing still took a long time, but honesty was the first step. Before this point my efforts were spent pushing down the pain, but now those efforts were redirected to process the pain.
Be Honest and Share Your Heavy Soul
Bring your pain to Jesus. Matthew 4:16 tells us that Jesus is the light “for those who have lived in the land where death casts its shadow a light has shined.”
Has depression cast a shadow over your life?
Matthew 4:24 describes how people brought those who needed healing to Jesus. People in darkness brought to light and found healing.
Sometimes when life hurts, we pretend we are okay to protect our hearts. However, pretending can also prevent us from being vulnerable before God.
God can handle our anger. He can take our doubt. Our first step to trusting God again is to be honest before him. To pour our heart out to Jesus.
Let go of pretending and be vulnerable before the One who can heal your heart and bring restoration to your heavy soul. Tap into your emotions and let them flow before your Almighty Father. Set aside time to pray. Be brave. Bring him your broken heart . . . and watch the healing begin.
What we hide cannot heal. Honesty before your Creator brings healing to your soul.
Nourish Scripture: Mark 14
In order to heal, your soul requires nourishment. Download Nourishing Your Heart and discover how to THRIVE on God’s Word.
Blog written by Aliene Thompson. Aliene Thompson is the founder of Treasured Ministries and the Author of the Nourish Bible Study Series. © 2019 Treasured Ministries.