Twenty three years ago I was miraculously healed from suicidal depression.
But what does that healing look like today? It happened almost a quarter of a century ago. Am I still healed today? Think about it, every single person that Jesus healed in the New Testament eventually died. At some point their bodies succumbed to age, illness, or injury and they died. Their healings were only temporary. Do God’s healings last?
What does that healing look like in my life now? Being healed from depression doesn’t mean that I don’t ever feel sadness anymore. It is part of the human condition to feel such things. We also have an enemy who whispers those lies into our ears at every opportunity. So I do feel sad sometimes. But I have learned how to recover quickly when feelings of despair wash over me. I am committed to the battle against depression in my soul and I will not give in. God has taught me to recognize the hopeless feelings for the lies that they are. Being healed means that I continue to lean into Jesus regularly with meditative prayer, Scripture, and fellowship with likeminded brothers and sisters. I have learned how to take my thoughts captive, recognize those thoughts that do not benefit my soul and quickly dismiss them from my mind (I explain this healing method in my book).
These strategies have served me well over the past two and a half decades. In all that time I have never once struggled again with that demon of depression, even through some very difficult times…
Until last week…
Life has been a little challenging lately. I described it a bit in my recent post “Recovering from Dry July”. In April I also experienced a soul-wrenching, but necessary, parting-of-ways with an abusive family member. Add a few other problems that I won’t bore you with details about. I’ll be honest, since I published my book this spring, I’ve been hit with one painful blow after another (I don’t think that is coincidental). My heart, mind, emotions, and spirit have been worn down to nubs.
I recognized it immediately… the crushing sadness, irrational despair, lies of loneliness and failure berating my mind, crazy bipolar swings, the blackness. Depression. It hit me hard and fast. Unexpected. I tried to fight it off with prayer, spiritual warfare, praise, Scripture… I pulled out every tool I could muster… for 48 hours I fought but it would not lift. I felt helpless against it. I told my husband what was happening. I needed help.
We enlisted an old spiritual warrior friend. And the three of us fought off that demon together, warfare prayers, canceling agreements, rebuking the enemy, repenting of generational sins. I heard a door slam shut and the anguish was silenced. The next day spent with two new amazing friends brought more healing. Church the next day brought even more. Twenty three years ago I undertook the healing process alone with God. Now He’s teaching me how to let my friends help. We need each other. We are the body of Christ and we complete each other. I am so thankful.
Today I feel tired but good. I’ve learned some things. Some things I already knew. Depression can return. We can do all the right things and still be oppressed. All those right things (prayer, Word, fellowship plus eating right, exercise, and rest) are so important. Sometimes healings are a one-and-done miracle. Other times (usually) we have to work for it. But the work isn’t what heals us. Ultimately our healing and protection comes only through Jesus Christ. He WANTS to see us whole, delivered, and free. But often He gets us there THROUGH the work.
I know a lot of people who read my posts battle with depression. I’m going to be honest with you if and when I struggle with it too. So when I tell you that true healing IS POSSIBLE, you will know I am telling the truth. The battle IS worth it. I’m right there with you.
“The LORD is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise Him.” Exodus 15:2