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Published on May 29th, 2017 | by Delaney Wintle

I’m Thankful For My Depression

Some days it feels like the black abyss is only growing larger, enveloping me further. It feels like I’ll never climb back out, into the glorious sunlight. I often feel trapped in a hopeless chasm.

This is called depression. It’s one of the enemy’s most powerful tools. But it is also one of my greatest assets.

What is depression?

There are many misconceptions about what depression is and stigmas that surround it. Before going any further, I would like to debunk some of these myths.

Depression is a sickness. It is not always sin or the the result of sin. God corrects and guides in various ways, but depression is not always a result of this discipline. That being said, our sin can lead us into depression and, if we attempt to find our life purpose and value in anything other than Christ we will never be satisfied.

Depression is commonly a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes certain chemical levels to rise and others to fall. This causes mood swings and, as in my case, depression.

Just because I have depression doesn’t mean that I am always sad. I am not always crying and I don’t perpetually feel hopeless. In fact, if I didn’t tell you that I have depression, you probably would never even know. I wear a bright smile and love encouraging other people.

Now we know what depression is and isn’t. But what does all this mean for someone who battles this day in, day out?

You don’t have to be ashamed.

Depression carries so much shame and judgment. Because of that, people who struggle with this often don’t want to talk about it. Somehow it’s become a taboo subject, but it shouldn’t be this way. We all have battles and that’s okay. It’s called life.

It doesn’t make you a bad Christian.

Just because you don’t always feel happy doesn’t mean you don’t have the joy of the Lord. My youth pastor has said, “Happiness is based on happenings, but joy is found in Jesus.” You are no less of a chosen child of God because you battle depression. You are no less qualified to serve Him and He is no less faithful.

It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you.

I used to be afraid to admit that I had depression because I felt like I wasn’t supposed to get it. I blocked it off with a horrible lifestyle and spending time with someone who didn’t care about God. My views were wrong. Nothing is wrong with me. I just have a different struggle.

You may have thoughts you don’t understand.

Yes, I have seriously contemplated ending my life. It was just about the darkest time I have ever gone through. I felt like I had fallen into a hole in an iced-over lake and couldn’t get out. Any reason I found to live seemed to break away like the edge of the ice until I found myself barely treading water.

God clearly has other plans for me though, because He eventually gave me the reasons and strength I needed to keep going. For me, this is deeply personal but I can share it because I know that it’s just another temptation. Satan puts all sorts of thoughts in our minds and suicide is one of them.

It’s not a sin to be tempted toward suicide. Sadly, it’s pretty normal. That being said, please do not hesitate to seek counsel and help when dealing with such emotions and thoughts. There need be no shame.

It’s okay to need help.

I am currently taking medicine to help with my depression. I hated the idea at first, but you know what? For me, at this stage in life, it helps. I believe that God gave us medicine to help us and it’s okay for you to take advantage of that help (while recognizing that it’s not a permanent solution).

You may also need someone to talk to but feel like you’re too needy. God has blessed me with several amazing people who I can text when I need encouragement and I know that they are there for me. That is what the Body of Christ is all about. It is okay to need help. Trust me, you will have plenty of chances to return the favor.

But realize that it’s tempting to go to others before going to God. He is always there and you can never bother Him too much, so go to Him first. He is like your mom when you get home from summer camp; you can’t bother Him too much.

It will be okay.

You won’t always feel this way. It’s easy to say and so hard to believe, but it is true. For some, this may be a lifelong battle, but there is always an end to our pain and suffering. I’ve been dealing with this for over a year and a half now, but I know that God is faithful and will eventually bring me out on the other side. He is faithful.

You are blessed.

That’s right. You are blessed. You get the chance to see God’s faithfulness so vividly. In our weakness, He is shown to be strong. We get to see this truth so beautifully.

I have taught Sunday School for the past four years. This year, however, I wanted out. My main reason? I am on antidepressants and don’t feel competent. How can I teach kids about God and His faithfulness when I feel like I have absolutely no joy? Thankfully, I had people in my life who challenged me to look at why I wanted to quit. In the end I stayed, and there are so many Sunday mornings where God shows up and gives me the grace to pour out His love when I thought I was empty.

I can empathize with others who share this struggle. I have learned to rely even more on God. I have learned humility. I am blessed.

In closing, I want to say six words I never thought I would say.

I am thankful for my depression.

God has taught me so much and continues to do so every day. My relationship with Him grows deeper and more intimate as I learn to rely on him.

Someday, this will be like the stones in the Jordan river that the Israelites erected as a memorial of God’s faithfulness. Today, it is a battle with a sure victory. He has won. All I must do is travel on in His strength and wait on His perfect timing. Because it will come.

If you remember only one thing from this article, let it be this: He is faithful! We are faithless, He is faithful, but His faithfulness is not measured by our faithlessness. He is surer than the rising of the sun.

He will not fail. Never, ever, ever.

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About the Author

is a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore. She enjoys acting and singing. Her passion is teaching and she dreams of taking that gift over seas as a missionary. Delaney is learning to rely more on God and is realizing that he truly is everything. On a slightly less important note, she is totally in love with her dog, Smudge, as well as chocolate and coffee.

  • Grace M.

    Thanks for sharing this informative article, Delaney! God bless!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Delaney! This article makes me happy :) A little ironic to say, but I mean it in a good way. I’ve experienced depression too and I thank God he brought me through that and didnt just take it away immediately, but grew my so much closer to him through it as a did see his faithfulness more… and so, I’m happy to see that God is working in your life as he has in mine. I agree with everything you said, and you said it so well. Thank you for writing this

    • Thanks so much, Olivia! I’m so glad God brought you through this!

  • CS Lewis said this in the Screwtape Letters:

    “Now it may surprise you to learn that in His (God’s) efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favorites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else. “

    • So very true! Thanks for reading!

  • Thank you Delaney, for writing this! I struggle with depression off and on, and reading this brought me hope and renewed strength for life. Thanks again and God bless!

    • So glad god spoke to you through this, Bekah!

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much for this. I am struggling with one of my darkest periods of depression at the moment, and I think God used your words to bless others who needed this message. <3

    • It is a hard spot to be in, Jessica, but if there is one thing I have learned, it is that God is forever faithful. Keep fighting!

  • Wow thank you so much for this article Delaney. I deal with depression as well and this was such an encouragement to me! It took me almost 2 years to admit to someone that I struggled in this area because I was so ashamed. I didn’t think that you could be a good Christian and have depression. Thank you for this reminder.

    • Absolutely Ashley. I’m so happy that you learned that truth. Satan loves to make us feel less than enough. But in Christ, we don’t babe to be enough.

      • I see my Maniac Depression ( aka Bipolar Disorder) as a blessing. God used it to give me the gift of compassion and wanting to help those like me who suffer from mental illness. I also have been suicidal and God has saved me from my suicidal impulses multiple times. I need to put more trust in the one who created me and saved me . Jesus saves. Romans 7:15 , Romans 8:18.

        • I totally agree, Evan! Keep fighting! It’s rough, but God is faithful!

      • I know this sounds crazy but one thing that I think should be prayed for is that fellow Christians sometimes they don’t understand… One of my friends in Cross Country he tried but just could not understand how mental illness was not caused by evil deeds done by the person who has the disorder. He was a really good friend but he could not grasp or understand my mental illness . Christians like him who don’t understand I sometimes pray for God to give them understanding.

        • I agree that sometimes it’s hard for other people to understand depression or anxiety disorders and that’s one of the reasons why it took me so long to admit to dealing with those. I don’t think people have to understand necessarily because I think that can be hard, but at least if they’re trying to understand and come alongside of us instead of just trying to “fix” us.
          But those who have gone through or are going through these feelings can really relate to each other more since we do understand what it’s like. :)

    • : ( I’m sorry that you have to deal with depression. WIth God’s help, you can fight it! : ) stay strong Ashley!

      • Well thanks Evan! I’m glad to know that we can encourage each other in this subject! :)

  • Eliza Downer

    Thanks for sharing… I just started getting help for my depression. It was super hard to tell my parents that I needed help. However I am glad I did. Thanks for showing me that I am not alone in this.

    • Absolutely, Eliza! It takes so much courage to admit this struggle! Good job!

  • Tabitha Tallman

    Wow Delaney, so good. You are spot on!

  • Manda Rue

    Great article! I’ve shared a similar story as well. As someone who is currently fighting to graduate high school, with depression weighing heavily on my shoulders, I know that God is there for me. Through the good days and bad he is there waiting to bare my burden.

    Another HUGE tip from someone who is going through depression: DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF! I can not stress this enough. Yes, depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain. However, depression is also a tool that Satan loves to use in belittling one’s self and to make you feel like you should face what you are going through alone. Isolating yourself from family, friends, church, society, and ultimately God is not going to help your depression. If anything, it is going to make things much worse. The more you cut out people and God, the closer Satan gets to his goal.

    • I agree completely on what you said in all caps. Especially if you are suffering from depression and feel like or impulsively feel like hurting yourself or attempting suicide. Ironically ive heard people say that if a person is open about their illness or them self harming that most likely the person has no illness and wants attention. I’m adding in that belief is destructive. If someone says they are going to hurt themsleves and you just tell them they should stop seeking attention then a hour latter you figure out the same person you called out for being a attention seeker has hung themself well you are partly to blame for that person’s suicide and you have blood on your hands

      • Mental illness is so taboo in our culture and only recently is it becoming less so. I think it is important to take people seriously. It is also important to remember that others choices are not our fault.

      • Manda Rue

        Yeah, that sadly can happen. Generally people who vie for attention are hurting deep down and are desperately searching for someone to help. One needs to take what people say seriously. In my experience with depression, it is hard for people who have never experienced depression to understand what people with depression are going through. Depression doesn’t just affect your mental and emotional health, it also affects your physical and spiritual health. I think a lot of people who have never experienced depression don’t know that depression is something that one can’t just turn on and off at will. In a way depression is a second form of yourself.

    • Great point!! Depression can make you feel so alone. It is good to have fellow believers around you. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • Joaquin. A. Fernandez

      So true! Sometimes it can happen the other way around. In my case, I became depressed because I felt alone. I thank God that he allowed me to find this website, because it allows me to engage and interact with other christian teens. It has been such a help and encouragement to me.

  • This is such a fantastic article. I’m really proud of you for writing this, Delaney. Through my own struggles with depression, it’s encouraging for me to read your very mature perspective on depression, and how God has used it in your life. Thank you. :)

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Thanks so much for the encouragement, guys! I’ll admit to being a little nervous about publishing this one. You guys confirmed that it was the right thing to do

  • Joaquin. A. Fernandez

    Delaney, thank you for writing this article! It was such a blessing to not only read some encouraging words from a fellow Christian, but to see how you maturely deal with your depression. You are not alone, God will never leave you nor forsake you. Never loose sight of that. God bless.

    • Thanks so much, Joaquin! God is so good

  • cowboyclayt

    Great article, Delaney! I don’t have depression, but I was able to use your main points in other parts of my life. I know its hard to write about things like this, so thanks for writing it even though it was hard.

    • So glad it encouraged you, cowboyclayt!

  • Bethany Rose (TeenForager)

    Thank you, Delaney! I so appreciate how you said depression is a struggle. That is such a healthy way to consider it: if you view depression as a struggle, you can know that you are fighting to overcome it, yet know you don’t have to beat yourself up because you do struggle. You just keep fighting. I also appreciated how you reminded folks to turn to God first without neglecting asking for help from people.

    • Thanks for the encouragment, Bethany!

  • Joye Everett

    Wow. This was so….powerful. I wished I’d discovered the Rebelution when I struggled with depression :,(

  • Nicole Rivers

    …man… This is amazing so long I have been scared to tell anyone… I’ve thought it was bad and that something had to be wrong with me because Christians dont get depressed… I felt so wrong… Thank you! thank you very much this article just opened my eyes wide

    • Oh, Nicole! It’s ok! It is gonna be ok! Believe it or not, there are multiple biblical figures that got very depressed! (David and Jesus, just to name a couple). I’m so glad you came to this realization!

    • Joaquin. A. Fernandez

      Don’t worry Nicole. Like Delaney said, Jesus and David got depressed; you’re in good company. 🙂David Murray wrote a book called: “Christians get depressed too.”
      I personally have not read this book, but I’d like to soon. But all you need to do is just be still and know that God is still sitting on the throne. It can be so easy to lose sight of that…but if you think of the one who hung on the cross for you, it makes the pain a little bit easier.

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