A few days ago, it suddenly struck me, “Deborah, it’s been a loooong time you’ve been depressed!”

Momentarily sad, unhappy or upset due to circumstantial happenings? Oh, sure.

But depressed? It’s been ages. Literally years.

This was a miracle because, many years ago, I used to be depressed. Really depressed. It was like a thick, black, wet blanket I couldn’t shake off. I couldn’t understand why. Those in the know also couldn’t understand why. Even when I laughed or seemed sociable, it was a dead weight inside.

I didn’t know what it was, then. All I knew was that I felt heavy and deeply sad – and I carried it for so long, it became pleasurable in a black, twisted way. (Those who experience it will understand.)

But now? I loathe depression. With a passion. When people tell me to “be real” or “stop being so strong”, I wish I could tell them that I really am fine! I also have gotten to a point where – apart from medical/hormonal issues – I believe depression is a choice.

When I began to think of how far I had come, I realised I hadn’t set out deliberately to “overcome depression.” Overcoming depression was the natural outcome of certain factors which included:

The Presence Of God:
David said, “…in Your presence is FULLNESS OF JOY.” This is literally true.
I can’t count the number of times I would go into God’s presence, feeling weighed down – then leave laughing at how ridiculous depression seems.

Anytime I begin to feel down, it’s a sign I need to get into God’s presence immediately.
It might be alone, or it might be with a body of believers, but it’s almost impossible to go into God’s presence and leave the same.
I sincerely believe more Christians will be less depressed if they spend enough time with God – and not try to numb, medicate or suppress their feelings.

Getting Into The Word:
Years ago, God used a friend of mine to introduce me to faith messages. He had an mp3 player chock-full of messages from Andrew Wommack, the annual South-West Believers Convention (with speakers like Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, Jerry Savelle, Keith Moore etc) – and I would listen nonstop, ears plugged in.

At that time, I hadn’t heard anything in such depth. Even at work, when I wasn’t doing anything that required mental concentration, my earpiece would be plugged in. I later transferred the messages to my devices and downloaded more – and that was how my ‘Word addiction’ was born. (Even now, one of my favourite ways to relax is plug messages into my ear while playing Candy Crush! :D)

I wasn’t aware of it, but the nonstop bombardment through hearing and reading the Word worked in my spirit and mind – so that when depressing thoughts tried to come up, God’s Truth would rise up and act as an automatic blocker.
No matter how hard I tried, I almost couldn’t get depressed!

Your Word-level and joy-level are closely related.

Consistent Confessions:
This is closely connected to the previous point. The words we speak are truly spirit and life.

I soon realised a pattern in my life: When I constantly spoke the Word of God over myself, I rarely got depressed. However, when I was inconsistent, I was more easily prone to depression or mood swings after some time. It was as though the spoken Word realigned my thoughts, feelings and actions.

To overcome depression, develop the habit of speaking God’s Word over yourself.

Purpose:
As far as I am concerned, the worst thing that can happen to anyone – apart from going to hell – is living without a purpose.

I am not talking about grandiose plans of saving the world.
I’m talking about starting every day with a plan; having something to look forward to each morning; taking an action or creating something that blesses others; pouring yourself into something bigger than you. It could even be starting a project or business.

For Christians, it’s finding out God’s plan for your life and fulfilling it – or simply put, using your talents how and where He wants you to, for His glory.

My happiest, most-fulfilling times are when I know I am smack-dab in the center of God’s will, executing purpose.
When you are productively busy/purposeful, you rarely have time to be depressed.

Community:
The verse, “It is not good that man should be alone…” wasn’t intended for marriage alone.

Loneliness (not just being alone) magnifies depression.
The right community will drastically cut short depression in your life. Surround yourself with people who will not fuel, encourage or ‘understand your depression.’ (Ugh!)

Church or fellowship is an AMAZING place to be. (Get the right one for you – and you will understand.)

Please note: Depression here does not refer to the natural – and healthy – grieving process from loss or trauma.

(To be continued next week)

(Do you have a prayer request? Send it in. We will DEFINITELY be praying.)(Testimonies? Questions/Topics you want discussed? Suggestions on the blog? Drop a note. All private and anonymous. We will share only if requested.)

8 Comments

  1. This is so true. I fight off feelings of depression like a plague. I believe that Christians should be very intentional about their mental health. Well done for this

    1. Debby Osa says:

      Totally agree! Thank you, sis.

  2. Lisa Blair says:

    This is a wonderful testimony, Debby, “The nonstop bombardment through hearing and reading the Word worked in my spirit and mind – so that when depressing thoughts tried to come up, God’s Truth would rise up and act as an automatic blocker.” I like the image – Word blocker!

    1. Debby Osa says:

      Yes! Word-blocker!

  3. Loved the tips. Community has helped me a lot.

    1. Debby Osa says:

      Thank you. The right community is truly a blessing.

  4. Word!
    Every item you have listed is accurate and true!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Debby Osa says:

      Thanks for reading, sis!

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