Here is the concluding part on the topic of “Depression: The Battle Within”.
Do you find yourself constantly having to deal with mood swings, depression and perhaps you find yourself prone to self-harm or suicidal thoughts ever so often? Please know this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Being a Christian does not shield us from the trials and tribulations of this world. However, what separates us from a non-believer is our faith in God and His promises to us, His Children.
Jesus Christ already warned us that:
“The thief [devil/enemy/Satan] comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I [Jesus] came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” ( John 10:10 AMP).
Jesus also said to daily take up our cross and follow Him (Mathew 16:24) and in Mathew 11:29 Jesus says:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG).
Therefore, I have resolved not to give the devil the chance to steal, kill or destroy my joy but instead carry my cross (in this case, mood swings) and follow my saviour.
Regardless of how mood swings and depression are handled, either in medicine or in churches, I have chosen to view the traits and symptoms as an adversary that daily needs to be conquered by the spoken word of God. So next time, that mood of yours begins to swing in the direction you don’t want, here some tips that have helped me over the years, and they do come in handy:
A) Read and Speak your Faith: Remember that YOU ARE NOT YOUR MOOD. So meditate on God’s word and speak your faith. I often say to myself:
“I am a Spirit Being, I have a soul and I live within a body. The Spirit of God resides on the inside of me, He inhabits my body. The Spirit of God, not my emotions, is the life force that is on the inside of me.”
Saying this over and over makes me remember that even though I may be feeling awkward at this moment, this is just a momentary phase that will definitely pass. I also ask God to hold my hand and bring me out of it. Have a confession about these low days when you can barely get yourself out of bed or feel excited about the priceless gift of Life. Keep company with the Father and He will teach you how to live freely and lightly as He promised.
B) Music: I love this phrase that says: “where words fail, music speaks”. In such moments, when I can barely whisper my thoughts and emotions to Him, I have found worship songs to come in handy. Thank God for inventing music especially worship songs because I probably don’t know what I would do on such days when my heart is heavy and I can’t seem to utter any word of prayer to God. Music helps to dispel the cloud, the uncertainties, the guilt and even the hormonal imbalance that leads to mood swings and depression. So always have them handy in your car, on your phones, tablets, IPads e.t.c. You may also want to read our article titled: “This secular Music matter” (click to read) to better understand the impact music plays in our day-to-day lives.
C) Talk about it: Yes I know it is not an interesting conversation to bring up among friends especially if they fall in the ‘always happy’ category. But trust me, you never can tell if they are going through the same issue, but have managed to put up a courageous and happy countenance. I don’t have lots of friends but I do have people I can confide in and I have discovered that sharing does help. If anything, it lets you know that you are not alone and the pep talk from close friends can be very motivating in terms of making you see the rainbow even when all seems gloomy. I have read that speaking to one’s pastor, a professional counsellor, or psychologist can also help. Personally, I feel there needs to be an element of trust, safety and empathy for me to be completely honest about my emotions. This only comes through relationship built over time. Hence, my preference for close friends.
D) Pray: It can be difficult to pray, but pray all the same. A little whisper to God or praying in tongues goes a long way. Even if all you end up doing is crying, let the tear drops roll. Remember God knows, hears and understands the groaning’s in our hearts. Even before we go to Him, He already knows because He has promised not to leave or forsake us. Hence, I am a firm believe that He is near especially on those days when I seem to be lost in my own head and under the shadows of the terrible mood that is proving difficult to be dispelled. You can begin by saying this simple prayer /confession by David:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. …For You are the God of my strength…” (Psalm 42:5, 43:2NKJV).
I pray God continues to hold your hands and see you through every passing phase of mood swings or depression. More importantly, I pray you never forget that God is nearer than you think for He is with you when you walk through the fire, the water and even in the valley of death. So be assured that you are more than a conqueror regardless of how you feel.
If ever you find yourself battling with this internal war and you feel no one understands or gets how you feel, we would not only love to hear from you but also to pray with you. Remember God Loves You, He sees your pain and you are not alone.