Depression...I'm Coming For You

One of the More difficult things that all of us struggle to tame is our emotions.  From anger, fear, frustration, happiness, etc, It is difficult to tame our emotions.  To keep them in check.  And no matter how many scriptures you read, how many sermons you hear, how many quotes you put on Instagram, they constantly gnaw away at you.  Know this, too much of anything is a bad thing.  That goes for both our positive and negative emotions.

Recently in my devotional and prayer time I have become tired of one of the effects negative emotions. So, this blog is coming for it. 

I am tired of depression
I am tired of anger
I am tired of anxiety
I am tired of insecurity

So, I’m coming for you. 

Let me pause here.  This is not some faux-Jesus post negating the real effects of any of those feelings.  Let me make that clear.  Mental un-health is real.  Depression is real. Anger is real. Anxiety is real. Insecurity is real.  According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the adult population in a given year.  

You may feel discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. Whether for a short season or long season they begin to interfere with daily activities.  I want you know this, experiencing depression/anxiety, insecurity and/or anger does not make you less of a Christian, and it does not mean you are doing something wrong. 

**shout moment** It does mean that your mind is so powerful that you are able to create narratives.  What would it look like to shift that narrative to rebuild what these negative emotions and thoughts have torn down instead of constantly tearing yourself down?

There are therapists that are there to help you cope and grow.  There are pastors, like me, who are here to walk with you and give you spiritual guidance.  But after that hour, the two hours in worship, you have to make the declaration that you will not let the narratives that have penetrated your mind to affect your relationships with both yourself and others to dominate your life.  

Depression. Im coming for you. 
Anger. Im coming for you. 
Anxiety. Im coming for you
Insecurity. Im coming for you. 

1 - Ask for help. And then take the advice seriously. 

From personal experience, its easy to engage in conversation about how terrible life is trying to get others to sit in the narrative with you.  Its difficult to take the advice seriously and apply it.  My personal growth and turnaround happened when I decided to take what my therapist and Pastor told me…seriously.  

Its not just another scripture. 
Its not just another quote. 
Its not just another sermon. 
Its not just another song. 
Its the way out.  Its the way to build. It the way to gather wisdom in this season of your life.  

We need to invite others into what is going on in our lives. We need to open up about how we are feeling and let others pray for us and offer encouragement. 2 Thessalonians 2:5 says, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”  Not only does the Lord give us hope, encouragement, and strength directly, He also gives us those things through other people. When we talk to others about our struggles, the encouragement and strength we receive from them is one way Jesus shows His love for us.

Being vulnerable is scary, but we aren’t meant to carry burdens alone. That is one of the amazing reasons God made the church.  Open yourself up. Everyone is not trying to hurt you.  Seriously.

2 - It’s ok to have a therapist.

I had a buddy talking to a buddy about how they both are making a promise to not get married.  So when I overheard them of course I took the conversation in an entirely different direction.  I love marriage, they wanted the marriage benefits without the ring.  Because a fresh voice will force you to think differently. 

Confiding in other anxious, stressed friends will keep you…anxious and stressed.  Therapists are a must.  Sometimes the emotions we are carrying  are more than we can work through on our own. Taking medication, pursuing counseling, or both, doesn’t mean you are weak. Having the courage to ask for help shows you are strong.

Just as God has given you special gifts and abilities, He has given others, like counselors, physicians, and therapists, special gifts to help you.  The prophet Isaiah references this variety in calling and gifting when he says, “The Lord has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1). God gave Isaiah a specific mission: to help those who were hurting. All around us, God is doing the same thing — setting aside people to help us through tough times.

Let me give you a few things my therapist told me that have led me to a path of wisdom in seasons of anxiety and depression. 

-Some people criticize because they never learned how to applaud. 
-Let what you think about you not be what others think
-Love one good thing about you instead of finding something to hate. 

Sounds good. I know right? 

My bank account thinks so too.  

When you take information and apply it you begin got build wisdom.  Take the advice.  

3 - Decide your definition will not be depression. 

At the end, you make the declaration that your conversations both internally and externally will not revolve around your emotions.  After you listen to advice, go to the therapist, and you are sitting at home watching television and that person shows up on your timeline or telephone…you cannot let depression be your definition.  Come for that thing.  FIGHT IT. 

You are not terrible. 
You are not your emotions. 
You are not your past. 
You are not your relationships
You are not your brokenness
You are not your pain. 

You are beautiful. 
You are valuable
You are somebody
You are necessary
You are essential. 

You. Yes you. Your broken, battered self…YOU are somebody. 

So this week you begin to tell:

Depression. Im coming for you. 
Anger. Im coming for you. 
Anxiety. Im coming for you
Insecurity. Im coming for you. 

You are not welcome here.  

Want more scriptures? Ill gladly give them to you.  Theres Psalms, 1 kings, all of Philippians.  But I want you to own this one.  Listen to what Paul said to encourage the church at Philipi. 

Philippians 4:4-9 (MSG)

4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

That thing. Is NOT welcome. 

Period.