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Monday, April 29, 2013

Overcoming Depression

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Overcoming Depression

Among all the weapons of the devil that he has been using to cripple women, it is "depression' that he has been very successful with. Depression can kill a person while she is still alive. And this is the vision and mission of the enemy: to kill, steal, and destroy. Depression for me is an emotional disease that can creep into our lives so easily. Why? Because we women are emotional beings. We tend to linger in our emotions. The devil knows this so well.
I have been in a depressive state several times in my life. At the early age of 14, I was already trapped in a serious relationship with a guy who I gave up my virginity to. I was exposed to so much emotional pain and trauma long before I was emotionally capable to handle all that. Then I got pregnant at 19 and ended up married with that same guy. More hurts and pains added to my already wounded heart. That marriage ended up in a separation after 10 long years and finally an annulment. One hurt after another weighed my emotions down.
It will take me forever to list down all the traumatic situations I've been through that can surely justify why I have all the reasons to be depressed. Yet, I choose not to. It is a choice I have to make for myself on a daily basis, just as it is going to be your own choice. This brings me to the first step in overcoming depression: (1) Know that it is your choice and nobody else's. That being the first step, let me now proceed to the next steps.
(2) Realize that depression is not from God. John 10:10 says that Jesus came that we may have and enjoy life and live it in abundance. So if you are a true believer of Jesus and a follower of His Word, then when you allow yourself to be depressed, you are nullifying what Jesus Himself said in His Word. Of course there are those who will say that what they have is a clinical depression and that it is not just something you can brush off. But then, does the Word of God say something about clinical depression? More often than not, those who are diagnosed with clinical depression can't get out of their depression because now they have a reason to justify their condition. It becomes an excuse.
(3) Know the root issues of your depression but don't use these as excuses. It is good to know what is causing your depression. If it is clinical depression that you have, don't just be satisfied with knowing that you have a chemical imbalance. Where did that chemical imbalance come from? It's definitely not from God. It may be a generational sin or curse that has been passed on. It may be some sin that has not been repented for. It may be some issue on unforgiveness. Or it may be that you have been catering to that depression and feeding it for the past years. Ask God to expose it to you. He will, for as long as you are serious about being delivered from it. And once it is exposed, don't use it as an excuse or a reason to remain in it.
(4) Once you know the reasons or causes of your depression, find solutions to it. This is where the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit come into the picture. The Bible contains all the solutions to our problems. Matthew 7:7 says, "If you seek, you shall find". If we can spend time sitting on a counselor's office and waiting for some advice or prescription, how much more should be willing to spend time with God and wait for Him to reveal the solutions to us. If we can follow a doctor's advice and prescription, how dare we not follow God's advice and prescription.
When I was going through my own depression and having some panic attacks, God revealed to me that the root cause was an issue on deceit. Just to give you a clearer picture of this issue, let me bring you back a little to my past. My ex husband used to leave me in the house with our son and I was very content and at peace with that. Little did I know that he was leaving me because he was doing drugs with his friends and also cheating on me. I found out about all these years later. I even discovered more after we finally separated and ended the marriage. It didn't even hurt me anymore when I discovered it. I sort of got numb after years of being emotionally detached from him. What I didn't know was that years later, that hurt that I just covered up with band-aids will resurface in my new marriage. My fear of being cheated on was the cause of my anxiety and panic attacks. I could have used that as a valid excuse on why I was having panic attacks. I could have told my husband to just understand where I was coming from. But no! I was determined to get out of it. I was sick and tired of having those panic attacks. I prayed so hard for God to deliver me from that depressive state. I started researching on Scriptures that will help me deal with that problem. Philippians 4:4-8 became the Scripture that I leaned on (and continue to lean on). 
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon].
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 
And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. 
It didn't take long and I started feeling emotionally stronger. This brings me to my next step which is...

(5) You have to be hard on yourself if you are serious about overcoming that depression. You see, that depression lurking inside of you is a whining, crying baby who needs all your attention. You have to act like its parent and say NO to it. You have to control it and not let it control you. A depressed person (and I know this so well) wants all the sympathy in the world. This is the reason why self-pity and depression go hand in hand. They are actually twins. When a woman is depressed, she wants her friends to tell her, "it's ok... I understand... go ahead and cry". This may help for a while but not on a long-term basis. In fact, this is just feeding the depression more. The soothing words may pacify it for a while but then it gets hungry again and will need more and more. Another sister of depression is blame. A depressed person will always blame another person or a situation. That spirit of depression will always act as the victim. So, if you are not going to be hard on that depression, it will end up controlling you all the time. You have to whip it and show it who the boss is.
Jesus Himself didn't cater to people's weaknesses. Read this story from John 5:1-8...
LATER ON there was a Jewish festival (feast) for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways). In these lay a great number of sick folk--some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up) waiting for the bubbling up of the water. For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted. There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk!
Jesus will only heal and deliver you if you are serious about it. And if you are serious about it, you will not only seek for the remedy but run after it... whatever it takes. This is what happened to the woman who was bleeding for 12 years (Matthew 9:20-22).
(6) Remember that it is also about maintenance and prevention. No matter how strong you become and no matter how long you have been delivered from depression, don't forget that it can return any time. And when it returns, it will be so easy for you to let it in again. Why? Because it has become a part of you. Each time you feel it coming, you better put your foot down and say NO. More than this, you have to strengthen yourself by spending time in prayer and study of the Word everyday. Surround yourself with women of God who are emotionally and spiritually strong. Guard that heart of yours for out of it springs the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other. For more of Lisa's articles, visit http://godzgurlz.com/ Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_U_Maki  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6753269

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