Letter to A Depressed Christian

Written By Carol Lerh, Singapore

Dear Depressed Christian,

I know about the scars on your wrists. I know you spend your sleepless nights crying. I know about the days that pass meaninglessly by as everything important you’re supposed to do remains undone.

I know you think nobody loves you, that you can’t do anything right, that you’re the laziest, most self-centered, incompetent, cowardly, ineffective speck of dust God has ever created.

I also know that you’re only alive because you’re still figuring out if you’ll go to heaven if you commit suicide now, and that you feel ashamed for being afraid to die.

You feel overwhelmed.

Just like Moses. The people of Israel started lamenting to God about only having manna to eat when they had fish, cucumbers and leeks back in Egypt. God was angry with them and Moses felt burdened with having to care for all these ungrateful people. In Numbers 11:15, he told God, “Please go ahead and kill me.”

You feel alone.

Just like Jesus. His disciples fled. The crowds screamed ‘Crucify!’ And in Matthew 27:46, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

You feel like it’s all your fault—or at least that’s what some others tell you.

Just like Job. He lost his property. His children died and he was stricken with illness. He didn’t do anything wrong, yet his friends said to him in Job 4:7, “Who, being innocent, has ever perished?”

People tell you, “Everything is going to be okay,” but you can’t believe them. You’re in a dark cave with no torchlight and everywhere you walk is the wrong direction, because you have no idea where you are going. It’s hard to believe, but Psalm 40:1–2 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock.”

People tell you, “You can do it,” but you can’t believe them. You’re lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, and you have no energy or willpower to do anything. And everything you do will be wrong anyway. It’s hard to believe, but Psalm 37:24 says, “Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

People tell you, “God loves you,” but you can’t believe them. You’re in agony, alone and tired in a crowded room full of people with high expectations of you and hidden agendas, saying things they don’t mean. It’s hard to believe, but He promises in Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Our Comforter is not silent. Through His Word, He speaks to you and me.

It takes a mountain of effort to do anything. It’s going to be like this for a while. But don’t stop trying. Slowly, one thing at a time, start doing things like bathing, eating, and praying. Make it a routine. Then read the Bible, eat a meal with someone, or go grocery shopping.

Learn to find beauty in small things. Eating something warm. Hugging a soft toy. Reading a Psalm. It’s not easy because your world is colored grey, but it helps you to keep going. Thank God for something every day. It may not make you more grateful; but it is therapeutic.

Even if it feels like you are just going through the motions, keep at it; meaning is something you find by living.

Think of the people you can tell about your depression.

The people you just thought of are people who love you. You are loved. Tell them what you’re going through. They may not understand but you’ll feel better. Tell them what you think might make you happy, something funny you noticed, or comment on their new hairstyle. Ask them to pray for you.

Include God in that list.

Because God really loves you, above and beyond what any human is capable of. Romans 8:38–39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

5 replies
  1. Rency
    Rency says:

    Thank you for such a powerful, therapeutic, simple thought that will be helpful to many.. God bless you and bless you!!

    Reply
  2. Lucy Lie
    Lucy Lie says:

    Hi Carol Lerh. This goes deep into my soul. Thank you. It recalls to those dark days of mine 6/7 years ago. Move forward today, I can see my life have been transformed 180°.

    Just wanted to encourage and passing this to those who read; He who promised is faithful. Our God is faithful. Faithful He has been and faithfull He will be. Saying this out of self-journey with Christ 🙂

    Do not hesitate to ask a favour from someone older / a peer who are strong in faith for their time to listen to you. Be broken, be real, be courageous after.

    Feel free to talk to me either 🙂
    I am 23 years old, a suicide attempt survivor. Overcoming Anxiety disorder. Currently staying in Southeast Asia. You can search my name on any social media and dm me 🙂

    Reply
  3. Sammy Mwaura
    Sammy Mwaura says:

    When I looked at how my life has changed in many ways and in many ways remaining the same I can’t help but thank God for loving me through all those moments I came out of high school a totally different person than I was at the beginning of my high school education something happened to me on the way back from a marathon I felt this weight anchor itself on my feet and I wasn’t the same guy in .. that last year of learning before I sat down for my O Level exam i had gotten to a place where everything was upside down classroom was uncomfortable the dorm where I slept was uncomfortable I began isolation myself from other students to the point where I could not sit through a lesson without heading to the prayer room a few months later after my graduation the same things happening back in school were now happening at home I lost my ability to stay in bed at night so I slept down stairs on the couch or watched movies all night and went to bed in the morning I asked my mom if I can go to rehab where I came to know my problem was due to schistophrenia though I immediately doubted that diagnosis deep inside I know my mind wasn’t that far gone later I came to know from my mom I was suffering from depression a common ailment in the family on my mother’s side … The worst of those dark days is behind me now but I still can’t operate in public I get anxious in closed spaces taking a minibus to town waiting for my meds at the pharmacy getting into another minibus on my way back home having visitors at the crib I lock myself in the bedroom and take a nap or head outside for some air …. Through it all I’ve been learning lessons in compassion and love for my neighbours I can’t stand seeing or hearing believers belittle each other knowing how fragile we all are as humans even if it’s just on the media outlets I can’t say I am thoroughly well behaved I do get irritation from little things that don’t matter that much my mom drives me up the wall and I’m in my late 30s next year I turn 40 so you can imagine how long ive been going through depression

    Reply

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