To all that are struggling with depression,
- I don’t know you. I don’t know who you are or where you’re from. I don’t know your background, nor do I know your unique circumstances. I don’t know if your depression is the result of your genetic disposition, or if it is caused by something terrible that happened to you in your past. I don’t know if you’re going through a major change in your life or if you’re struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.
- There are a lot of things about your fight with depression that I simply don’t know.
- But let me tell you a few things that I do know.
- I know how it feels.
- I know how it feels to have no one understand what you’re going through.
- I know how it feels to feel alone in a crowded room; to feel like you’re putting on a “happy mask” in public, only to feel like you’re slipping further and further into an unsolvable despair.
- I know how it feels to lose interest in things that once brought you joy and happiness; for foods to lose their taste, for nature to lose its beauty and for the world to lose its color.
- I know how it feels to want to be left alone while simultaneously (and desperately) yearning for someone to reach out and help you.
- I know how it feels to do everything — absolutely everything— to try to fill the growing emptiness inside of you. I know how it feels to try to self-medicate and mute the pain with anything and everything: excessive sleep, television, foods, pain killers or other addictions.
- I know how it feels to fall to your knees and beg God to free you from the terrible loneliness of the darkness in your mind — only to feel like the ground has opened beneath you, plunging you into an even darker abyss.
- I know how it feels because I’ve suffered from depression since I was a kid. In 2006, my depression culminated in a suicide attempt that very nearly claimed my life.
- I know how depression feels and I’m intimately aware of the thoughts and feelings that lead to suicide.
- But I also know a few other things. And this is why I’m writing to you.
I know there is hope
- Just as night is defeated by the dawn, or as the winter is conquered by the spring, or as the darkness is dominated by any degree of light, I know that you can make it through this.
- And what’s more, I know that you can be a better person because of it.
- Our lives are a journey on the earth. As we move forward, we will not only figuratively experience the geography of life: the exhilaration of high mountains, the tranquility of calm meadows, the isolation of treacherous canyons, but we also experience the seasons of life: the hope of spring, the abundance of summer, the harvest of autumn and, yes, the darkness and depression of winter.
- Just as we continuously experience the change in seasons, we will also experience the contrast between canyons and mountains many times in our lives. Some winters and canyons last longer than others, it is true. But as someone who frequently struggles with depression, I can promise you that the springs do come and that there are paths out of the canyons and into the light.
- I said that you are going to be a better person as a result of your depression. I meant it. Having dealt with depression for over 20 years, I can say with confidence that my depression has given me an incomparable appreciation for life.
- If you move forward while holding onto the knowledge that the sun will rise in your soul, I assure you that one day, you will stand at the summit of a figurative mountain and look back on your life’s journey. You will see your canyons of depression for what they were and realize that they taught you things you otherwise couldn’t have learned. And, to your utter amazement, you will see how your experiences with depression, dark and painful as they were, only added to the overall beauty of your life.
- For aren’t the most beautiful vistas the ones that are filled with mountains, valleys, canyons and wondrous variety?
- To all who are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts: you are not alone. We are all on this journey together. I promise you that there is hope. Let us reach out to one another and walk together in the sunlight.
This article was originally published on Seth Adam Smith’s blog SethAdamSmith.com
I watched the sippy cup leave my hands and had an “out of body” moment. Out-of-body me stood there looking at sippy-cup-thrower me with that judgy-side-eye thinking “Really, you’ve stooped this low?” The sippy of juice splattered across the kitchen wall and my kids stood there as dumbfounded as I was when I realized I had just lost my ever-lovin-junk in front of them. Everyone was afraid to blink, breathe, cry, or laugh. Because what do you REALLY do in those moments? If you don’t laugh, you just cry.
Oh, motherhood. You bring out the best and unfortunately, the worst in all of us. I can’t remember what it was that made me lose my temper, throw that cup, and probably scare my children half to death. But what I do remember? My three-year-old walking up to me not moments later, hugging my leg (as I was sobbing on the kitchen counter at this point) and saying “I love you, Mommy.”
That, my friends, is a picture of grace and unconditional love. If we learn anything from our children, it’s forgiveness, grace, and love. I was hitting rock bottom, exhausted with three children under the age of three and losing it every second. But a little squeeze from a three-year-old reminded me of God’s love for me in those moments. He whispers to us through our children, “I love you.”
In our weakest, ugliest moments – He embraces us. When we have sore throats from yelling at our kids, when we can barely put a sentence together to talk to our husband because we’ve let our marriage fall apart. When the loneliness takes over because we’ve broken every relationship in our lives.
His grace, His love covers every inch of us – especially the ugly, weak parts. Redemption is such a gift, and every part of our life can be redeemed because He showed us that when He gave His life for us. He could walk away, and leave us crazy people to our cup-throwing ways – but He always welcomes us in and shows us His love.
Thank you, God, for not throwing our sippy cups against the wall and going to the cross for us instead.
Romans 5: 1-11
From a Devotional Study. By Thrive Moms.
On this date July 12 every year for 18 years we celebrated your birthday. Now we celebrate your death anniversary. Our hearts ache with the worst pain ever. Your memory is all we have to hang on to. We will forever love and miss you.
Today I wish I did so many things differently.
I wish I held you a little longer. Wish I kept you when you had to go away.
I wish I could erase time and start all over. But I’m too late. 😒🖤💔
And my faith and hope is that One day we will meet again.
I love you!!! My beloved Niece. Jocelyn. 🖤💔💙
Happy 19th Birthday. July 12, 2017
Happy Father’s Day !!!
Good fathers are needed. They are vitally important to the happiness and success of every family. There are many reasons why fathers are important, here are five truths that stand out to me.
1. Fathers are the knight in every daughter’s fairy tale and the hero in every son’s comic book.
2. Fathers are the greatest example when they think no one’s looking
3. A father’s counsel can live on forever
4. A father’s perspective fulfills every child’s need for exploration and adventure
5. Fathers are an earthly reflection of God
Every child is in need of a good father, one who will take the time to know his child and love him. William Shakespeare wrote, “Wise is the father that knows his own child.” When a father walks with his child each step of the way, not only does he learn to know his child, but he develops an unbreakable bond of love and friendship and he leaves valuable lessons etched on his child’s heart. There is no greater gift for a father in this life.
“How to Offer Real Comfort”
What brings you real comfort in a place of deep suffering and trial? Does someone telling you, “It will be all right,” “I believe God will bring healing,” “You’re a strong person, I know you will get through this,” or “I’ll pray you get better and that this will all come to an end” bring you real, lasting comfort?
These statements always fall short of offering any real comfort. Though they sometimes carry partial truths—since it’s good and right to pray for healing and better circumstances—they can also reinforce the misleading idea that our greatest problem is our suffering, and the removal of it would be God’s greatest blessing.
If we do not have a correct theology of suffering, we will be shocked, devastated, and angered when adversity strikes us or those we love. What we really believe shapes what we actually say, both to ourselves and to others. If we believe the wrong thing, we will say the wrong thing, and end up resorting to quasi-Christian clichés (which offer false hope) or to never having anything to say at all to those who are hurting (which offers no hope).
Paul teaches us that no matter what circumstances or company we may find ourselves in, our message of hope should confidently remain the same. Trace his logic in these verses. He believes that Christ has risen to eternal life, and so one day he will raise Paul to eternal life. So this is what he speaks of, for the sake of his listeners coming to understand and appreciate grace, and the sake of his God coming to receive the thanksgiving he so richly and infinitely deserves.
If we believe in resurrection hope, we will speak that hope into the lives of others. One of the most crucial times for us to share this truth is when we are walking alongside a brother or sister who is suffering and struggling to see this hope for themselves. And what better person is there to share such hope than one who has been comforted and strengthened by it through their own season of suffering? It is from the overflow of the comfort we find in knowing that Jesus has risen and will raise us too that we are able to comfort others.