Denise Mistich is my guest blogger for today and she is sharing her encouraging story of overcoming depression, something most, if not all, of us have dealt with in some form or another. Wherever you may be today, I hope God speaks to you through this story so you may feel His presence and see His mighty hand at work in your life.
I am fortunate my depression is now just a memory. A memory painful enough to want to forget, yet fuel that keeps me going.
The days and nights I spent in “the dark cloud” seemed endless. I was almost catatonic. My eyes were open, but I could not see. When my friends and family spoke, I could not hear.
I had given up on God and decided Jesus was just a myth. So I had no life. Death was all around me, in me, constantly looming over my head. But, sadly for me at the time, never closing in. It pinned me down and breathed poison over me day and night, relentlessly torturing and taunting. I sat day, after long miserable day, hoping it would finish its work in one fatal blow, doing for me what I could not do for myself. (Thanks be to God.)
When medication, hospitalization, and counseling failed, I quit. I literally laid down to die. I didn’t pray to die, but certainly wished for death to come swiftly. I suppose this was my rock bottom.
I had reached the point where I was so dead on the inside the world to me was silent. Thinking back, I realize it was this silence that allowed me to hear God speak the following words.
“That’s enough. Get up. Come on, Get up. Why are you crying?”
“Get up. That’s enough. Don’t you know there are people out there who love you? What about your brothers? They love you, dearly. What about your father? He loves you, too.”
“No, I’m not talking about your earthly father. He will not always be there for you. Where will you be when he dies?”
“I’m talking about your heavenly Father. He has something better for you. Now get up, wipe your tears. You’ve punished yourself enough…”
As He spoke, I got up, dusted myself off and stood tall for the first time in months. Each word literally breathed life back into me and I simply said, “Ok.”
I have been up ever since. I struggled at times and still, depression wants to creep back in now and then. But I can see it coming and I remember it was my response to God’s spoken word that got me out of the darkness the first time. The very same, sustains me.
You see, I have come to realize this response was the last chance for me. I see now that my simple yes was the equivalent to Mary’s “May it be done unto me according to thy word,” in The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1. And just like Mary’s response, it would bring life or death, not only for me, but for those around me.
I believe God speaks to everyone. The book of Hebrews tell us He sustains all things with His word.
It is not a question of whether or not He speaks, it is a question of listening and responding. We have to tune the world out, silence it completely and hear what He has to say. And not just once, but every day of our lives.
Listen for His spoken word, read His written word, and respond, “May it be done unto me according to thy word.”
Your mind will be renewed, your purpose will become clear and you will live to fulfill that purpose. Just look at what Mary brought into the world with this very same response.
Perhaps God is speaking to you now through this article. Or maybe He has spoken to you through a friend or a minister’s encouragement. However He speaks to you, listen, and respond well. You have two choices, life or death. Choose life.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. ~ Deuteronomy 30:19-20
On September 18, 7pm EST, I will share more details about my story on The Healing Room radio show. Dr. Janiece C. Andrews and Margery Phelps will share their stories as well. Together, we will give you some very simple steps to take to begin your healing journey. In the meantime, take some baby steps toward recovery. (Link to radio show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cwa-radio)
When you are depressed, a long list of things to do doesn’t really work. Here are three simple things you can do today that will get you started on your healing journey:
- Tune the world out for a minimum of 15 minutes today and seek God’s presence. (Do not think about yourself, think about Him.) If you don’t hear anything directly, hang on. It will come.
- Think of one person you love more than yourself. Perhaps this is someone you haven’t even met. But this someone needs you. Put that person’s feelings in front of your own and cling to life for their benefit.
- Choose to believe God has a plan and purpose for your life. As He literally said to me, “I’ve got something better for you.”
Denise Davidson Mistich is now an ordained minister and author of Christian books. You can learn more about her ministry on www.spiritual-health-source.com and www.tellmeaboutgod.org. Her book, The Upside Down Heart, is coming soon.