"I’ll use them to test Israel and see whether they stay on God’s road and walk down it"(2:22)
Every single day.
Every single day, I fight from slipping into the pit of depression.
It is from the pit of hell. It not only affects you, but everyone around you and those that they are touching. It affects the day you are presently in and those days to come. It is a constant ripple. Even to the generations to come.
Throughout my years I have been on and off medications, in therapy, to help battle this horrible disease. It is an unseen monster which wants nothing more than to destroy you from within. There have been many, many times that I have contemplated suicide or just going through the motions of floating through life. I bow my head in thanksgiving, when I think about how His grace, mercy, His being bigger than anything, His being in control, have been a shield to those I share life with. How my heart weeps when I think about how depression has caused so much unnecessary heaviness in their lives.
There were times when I felt I was "okay" and decided that I didn't need the meds or the therapy anymore. The only "weapon" that I picked up 32 years ago, which remained in constant use, was being in His Word. I am a living example of how His Word protects us from what could have happened. Even when looking back on the times when it was obvious I should have never went off the meds.
I wasn't "okay".
No longer am I walking daily on the slippery slope into the deep waters of depression. Some days, I stand so far away from the slope, it is just a tiny speck in my minds eye. But, there are some days, when I am right up close. When if I allowed myself, I could slide right in and be pulled down to the bottom.
Yes, there have been times when this battle seemed out of my control. I now know it is a chemical imbalance affected by circumstances around us. But still, there are healthy steps, healthy exercises I must choose, in order to take myself away from that slippery slope.
It is the fresh memories of being pulled down, doing everything that I can to stay afloat, which keeps me continually utilizing what keeps me healthy.
Memories of when it seemed only the tip of my nose was above the surface.
Memories of when even my nose went below water, my lungs were bursting for air, my eyes were wide open and I was reaching up. It was in the struggle of desire, my hands burst through the thick surface of depression and He grabbed my hands.
I am constantly reassured, encouraged, able to stay away from the slippery slopes, when I think about Peter. In Matthew 14:30-31, he is walking on water, towards Christ, "But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
"Immediately" - Jesus is constantly there - Jesus is constantly watching.
He knows when I have failed the "test" of staying away from the slippery slopes. He knows when I have chosen to not utilize the "weapons" He has given me.
He is there too.
"Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of me" - He is my lifeguard and lifesaver. There isn't any depression too deep for His reach. He takes hold of me and pulls me out. He takes hold of me and draws me away from the slippery slope. He takes hold of me and leads me to green pastures. He leads me through the valley of darkness.
He always has a hold of me.
I am in the palm of His hand.
"But seeing the wind, I became frightened, and beginning to sink I cried out, “Lord, save me!”
I took my focus off of Him, I was tested and became focused on myself, on the world, on the wind about me. “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
In the state of depression, I removed myself from the palm of His hand.
I let go.
Alone, we are unable to make it through the illness of depression. In the opening up about this "secret" through articles, communication, there are many in His family who now are able to help when they begin to see siblings caught in the struggle. They now know this isn't something we can just "shake" off. It is an internal battle. Together in God we are fighting this. Our ABBA has shown me it is an essential part of my life to continue in healthy choices, utilizing the healthy weapons, tools and His Armor.
We are promised our Christ has been through every single temptation we will be up against. The souls of the world were literally on His shoulders - how He had to battle the temptation of drowning in depression. He gives us such hope in all of the ways we are tested. Our Savior is The only example to follow.
We have to allow ourselves to be removed from the slippery slope of temptation.
"that we may stay on God’s road and walk down it as our Christ did.”