by Susan Tuttle

Depression. An easy place to slip into. An incredibly hard valley to climb out of.

There are so many different layers to depression. We can walk in it for a day, or find ourselves trapped in it for years. For some, there is no easy fix. Yet, God equips us to fight our depression. And, whether it's a one day battle or a daily battle, God will defeat it for us if we let Him.

Depression seeks to separate you from those around. In isolation, battles are hard to fight. Alone, there is no accountability for your thoughts and actions. Together, there is safety and strength. Matthew 18:19 reminds us that when "two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. " So get yourself a prayer partner and start praying. God wants to win this battle for you, and He doesn't want you doing it alone.

Depression whispers names God never called you.  Look back at Naomi, I spoke about her in one of my first posts. Naomi pulled her name from her depression - she called herself Bitter. Yet, remember, God never did. Elsewhere in the Bible, whenever He gave a new name, it was used over and over again in scripture. When Naomi changed her name, it wasn't used again. Scripture - which is God breathed - continued to refer to her as Naomi. Don't let your depression rename you.

Depression drains all your strength. But Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the "joy of the Lord is our strength." So start praising. Even though you don't feel like it. Start counting your blessings. Somedays it's just one tiny step forward. One word of praise you repeat over and over. That's okay. You have to start somewhere. Begin to grow that spiritual muscle, because our strength is found in the opposite of depression - it's found in JOY! Practice joy ~ until you're really good at it, then practice some more.

I think worst of all, though, is how depression can make us feel a million miles from God, as if we’re wandering around in the wilderness on a moonless night. I don't like the darkness. I never have. Maybe because we were created for light. And though depression can shroud us in a cloak of darkness for far too long, we have a light. But we need to watch for Him. Listen:

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. (Micah 7:6-8)

Cling to His promise. Expect Him. He hears your voice and though this moment may be dark, His light is coming. Watch for it. His stubborn love will never stop pursuing you, and His light will never dim.