Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:5 (CSB)
I looked at my iPod. Which playlist should I pick to listen to while I wash my dishes? My eyes went back and forth between my “Cleaning” and my “Rend Collective” playlists. I decided on the latter playlist with praise music because it had been a dark day. I propped my iPod up on my kitchen windowsill, pressed play, and as the words came out, something in me opened up.
I turned around, slid down to the floor on my knees, and cried. I think I’m in a bit of a depression, I thought.
Depression is this weird thing that you can’t really explain or give reason for. It just is. I get this way from time to time; it’s just a darkness. It seems to be a rhythm of my life, and I know it will lift.
I’m kind of a functioning depressive. I can be mostly okay, but in my home, going about the hours, everything is a mountain. I remember a professor once saying in class that when you find yourself in a depressed place, when everything feels hard, just do something small.
Maybe you can make the bed. Do that. My small thing, right now, is writing this down, because there is something in the writing that helps.
Something about vulnerability and honesty allows the process to take its course. So while I am sharing that I’m depressed, I’m also hopeful because God is with me, and He knows all of my heart and every bit of my soul, and He will be kind and tender with me through this.
I’ve been here before. You may have been here before too. Today, let’s agree to be gentle with ourselves, slowly doing the dishes, and keep knowing we aren’t alone. Because of Jesus, we are free, and we trust the healing in the heaviness.
Do one small thing today. Maybe it’s the dishes. Maybe it’s making the bed. Making it’s smiling at the clerk behind a counter. Maybe it’s smiling to the person in the mirror. Do this one thing.
This devotion was written by Sarah Mae, as published in A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess, a devotional by the (in)courage community
We know your days are busy and filled to the brim, and we figured at least some of you could use a moment to breathe. Today, we invite you to click the video below, listen to Sarah Mae read her devotion, and pause your soul. Breathe deeply. Rest, just for a moment, and let God speak to your heart.
Take a moment to breathe.
Beth Williams says
Thank you for being open & honest about a touchy subject in the church. It seems so hard to mention it to church people. They don’t always understand what is happening. Music has charms to soothe the soul. There is something so gratifying about hearing & singing praise music that just lifts the soul & the darkness goes away. For me it helps me to realize that someone other than me is in control of this crazy universe & He can heal me right here right now. I know for me it has helped tremendously. When my father had to be hospitalized for geriatric psych again all I could do the next day was play Stephen C. Chapman music-sing & dance in my kitchen. That lifted the ugly & got me fully (mind, body & soul) focusing on God.
Thank you for your honesty! I am right there with you. Seems I have more dark days than not. This is exactly what I needed for today. I am overwhelmed with my family life & it doesn’t seem to be letting up. My ex left me for another woman 12 years ago, it was terrible for all of us (2 small kids). They broke up, my ex was suddenly kinder to me. We got along, etc. now he is back with that same woman & it is horrible again, for all of us. They claim to be Christians. My ex is mentored by a man in the church that I go to & he is not counseling my ex towards reconciliation for our family. Lots of prayers are going out & because of God being with me, I can get up today & make my bed! for your soul to be lifted as you lifted others with your honesty.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Why do people say Depression is only in your head. They don’t know what like to be depressed. If they never been through it. So I say never judge what you don’t anything about. A very good Christian Friend of mine alot older than me. Who is now in glory. Used to say don’t talk or judge that person. Would God want you Judge that person. Gods answer she say be no. She say pray for them rather than judge them. She is so right. Today even though she is not hear on earth. I can hear her words ring true in my heart. As I don’t know what that person is going through so it not my right to judge them. I should do what she told me to do and God would want me to do for them that is pray for them. Also she used to say this is also so true Bidden or not Bidden God is watching. She say that means God sees everything you do and say. So think before you judge that person with Depression or going through a hard time as that person could be you. Would you like people saying things about you. So don’t do it. Do what God would want you to do. Sometimes even for yourself if going through Depression it not easy take it to God as his Holy Spirit to tell you if bad with it you need speak to a Christian trained on it. God tells you through the Holy Spirit what to do. As it will help you. You might also think another problem as you been the one in your family that people lean on say she do it. She say she saved. Christian are meant to caring yes. But family especially if not saved can use that as black mail against you. To get them to do jobs for them if on Holidays or going away. Been there. Like look after their pets. You have a million other things to do and not got the time thet still expect you too. But Christian are meant to be caring they say back to you your not be very caring or helpful. Yes. But you don’t mind helping them out. But it gets to you when they over use your good nature. Say you say your a Christian. If so your not showing it. Your not being very kind and caring to your family. It could also be they say you look after the elderly person in family more than them. Jesus says yes help be kind. But he would not want you to be used either. Then you go into Darkness and get down about. Time you have to speak up. Say I help you out but you do your part as well. They might not like you. But your not been on kind. Your not saying no. You doing it in Love. Jesus is with you are doing your bit all. Not letting the darkness of what they say get to you. Or your family use you. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little
Dear Sarah Mae
What an inspirational read. thank you very much. It’s just so awesome to know that even when we do feel low and sometimes lowly, and that is also ok, God is still with us and will bring us through it.
Hey, I’m kind of new around here, but not at all new to seasons of darkness. Many spiritual giants have struggled with bouts of depression: David, Elijah, Job, Moses, Jonah—and that’s just in the pages of Scripture. You would be staggered by how many saints throughout the ages have shared in this battle. So take heart: there is such a great cloud of witnesses who can all attest to the compassion of the Lord in dark times. How could Jesus be anything other than kind to the people He entered into the greatest darkness imaginable to rescue? This struggle is not new, you’re not in it alone, and it won’t ultimately win. Beautiful promises to hold onto like flashlights in the dark.
Donna Henry says
“It seems to be a rhythm of my life.” I have never, ever heard anyone else say those words but when I read them I almost cried because that is me! I, too, know it will lift, but when it falls on me and in those days that follow, it does feel oh so dark. Thank you for sharing because I feel a bit less weird knowing someone else has the same experience.
A pastor once told me when I feel like this I can remember Jesus has been there too. In my suffering, I’m sitting with Him along his path as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and felt overwhelmed by what He was facing. Or as He carried that heavy load, the cross, uphill. Or when He hung on the cross, abandoned by almost everyone He thought loved Him. Jesus has had this human pain and sits with us in our pain now. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to sit with while we suffer through the pain, knowing light will come again.
margaret fleming says
Thank you for sharing, it really helps to know I’m not alone and that listening to others stories helps me in my journey. Appreciate the openness of your story.
Mary Mccauley says
Thank you. As we enter the season of love her darkness I too go up and down. It helps to remember I am not alone. Prayers and praise.
Thank you for this! I relate so much. It’s hard for others to understand who haven’t experienced the weight and unpredictability of depression. I’m so thankful that Jesus continues to be there for me in the darkness of it, that His love covers me and gives me strength, and for the encouragement and vulnerability of those, like YOU, who are actually talking about their struggles and bringing hope and understanding with their truth.
Thank you, Sarah. I believe I am in a state of depression now. I lost my husband and my father since December of last year. I am so tired and doing something does help. Taking a shower, making the bed and cleaning up the kitchen lifts my spirit. I know that “this too shall pass”. If anything God has shown me that people do love me in my church and have been there for me. But also, God has redirected me to see others pain and sorrows as well and to be there for them. We are all in this together and God will see us through…………………………
Thank you so much for this!! I’m in a dark spot right now. Just trying to do little things. This morning I took a shower and did my hair before going to physical therapy. Even something as small as that lifted the dark clouds a bit.
Christine Beck says
Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been struggling through some dark days for a bit now. As you said , I go through this from time to time. So nice to see someone else share so honestly about it. Helps not to feel so alone. God Bless you!
Oh how I sit here and feel the same pain as all of you, depression, it creeps up on us and tries to keep us down. Satan knows how to get to us doesn’t he? Days like today I didn’t want to do anything, see anyone but I got up did some laundry and looked up while doing it and prayed little prayers knowing God is with me and he’s with you too. Remember the best is yet to come, all of us whom “believe”.
I am definitely going through some dark days right now. I am raising our 2 daughters ( 10 with ADHD and 4) while my husband work aways from home. Things are so very hard right now. It’s a daily fight with loneliness, anxiety, and depression. I feel constant guilt that I’m not a good enough mom or even just a good enough human being. It leaves me feeling hopeless and thinking nothing will ever change. But deep down I know God has a plan. He sees me, knows where I am and will not leave me. I thank Him for a wonderful church family that ministers to my children when I can’t, a strong grounded in God’s truth mom who listens to my struggles, and a husband who is willing to do what needs to be done to provide for his family. I try to remember God’s truth and I know there’s a silver cloud to all of this though most of the time I have to really squint to see it.
Thank you, Sarah Mae.
Mary Larson says
Sarah- well said…thank you for sharing and reminding us that we are not alone!!
Nancy Ruegg says
During the first trimester of my third pregnancy I experienced about six weeks of depression, exasperated by deep exhaustion. I wish someone had told me then, “Be gentle on yourself. Do one small thing today.” Thank you for sharing your voice of experience and wisdom from scripture, Sara Mae!