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.”