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.

By Susan Tuttle

I’ve thought a lot about names lately. As women, we so often wear a name tag we never were meant to wear. God’s been working with me on this one, and I want to share something.

I recently read Ruth. There’s a lot of great lessons in that book. But what jumped out at me was how Naomi renamed herself Mara, which means bitterness. She had a beautiful name that meant pleasant or delightful, and she allowed her circumstances to rename her. Now, God renamed several people in the Bible: Abraham, Sarah, Jacob…but here is an instance of someone renaming herself.

Maybe just like Naomi, you’ve renamed yourself. Maybe Bitterness, like her. Or maybe it’s Insignificant, Ugly, Worthless…oh, satan is full of names we’re never meant to wear. But, read Ruth. Go on, read it. Naomi renames herself, but nowhere else in scripture is that name used. She is still called Naomi throughout the entire book. See, all scripture is God-breathed (Timothy 3:16), which means that even though Naomi tried hard to call herself by a new name, God never did—because He knew it wasn’t her name. She'd chosen it. He hadn't given it.

Are you wearing a name you’ve given yourself? One you aren’t supposed to have? Rip off that name tag. It’s not yours! God has a name for you, don’t scribble it out and write your own on top. The one He’s given you is much too beautiful to cover.
©2011 Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of three whom God has filled with a passion to reach hurting women and draw them to His healing hands.