Remember the panic attack your anxious four-year-old self had standing before their first crowd. A…
I remember walking through that dark lonely path called depression. I could hear only myself in this thick resounding darkness. I felt so alone and rejected. I knew I was alive, but my soul had given up on life. Sadness weighed down my soul. The only thought that came to my mind was suicide. What was I living for, after all? Achieving my dreams had become a lofty mirage. I had become a mockery to myself and my family. My life’s story had become a parable of miseries.
I had tried all I could to accomplish greatness, but I failed. My dreams and ambitions continually eluded me. I could not stand among my peers, everyone seemed to be up there but here I was, way down below. Stepping out of my house was a hassle. Everyone asks what was happening with me as if they truly cared. They only wanted something to gossip about; to find out if I had advanced or still at the same level. In a bid to hide from their glaring eyes, from their questions of seeming kindness, I stayed buried in my room. That was the greatest mistake of my life. I never understood that the lonely prey is the predators’ delight. I was being drawn into the dark pit of depression without knowing. I was gradually losing my mind, I wasn’t aware of my environment because all I saw was darkness. I kept a distance away from everyone and even God. How wrong was I! There I lived wallowing in pity, bitterness, and failure of lack of accomplishments. Days ran into weeks, weeks into months. I gained a little comfort with food and sleep. Music, the food of the soul, and the age-long antidepressant had lost its therapeutic magic on me.
Some days and nights, I cried to God in my loneliness. It was like he couldn’t hear me. These continued till one day while flipping through the channels, I came across a preacher. He told so much of the love of God. He spoke so much of how God could turn the darkest part of one’s life to light, because He is light.
Every day I glued my eyes to his channel, I kept on watching and listening. I thought God left me but now I knew he never left. I was the one that blocked him out.
Naomi and her family of two sons, left their people because of famine. She hoped to become better, but she eventually lost her husband and sons. She remembered the God of Israel doesn’t leave or abandon his own. He is an ever-present help! One of the daughters-in-law, Orpah, couldn’t see a reason to remain, so she left. Naomi returned to Bethlehem with the other daughter in-law, Ruth. She thought it was all over with her. But God had a better plan all figured out. A long way along that windy road of their return was the birth of the Saviour, Christ!
For me, I made a new resolution to turn back to the saviour and my life has known peace. The peace, that comes, not from the outside, but from the inside! It’s a total rest upon God’s love and never-failing promises.
What could make a prisoner, incarcerated in a bathroom-sized Roman confinement for a great part of his life beckon unto free people, to rejoice with him? (Philippians 2v18). And though beaten and downtrodden, without a cause to party, he found a way above his sorrows. He made us see his joy wasn’t in what the world can give, but in the Lord (Philippians4v4). So, swap your depressive thoughts with the soothing consciousness of God’s unconditional love. Feeding your minds on all God has done for you in Christ can keep you upbeat over and beyond whatever the world can give.
Also, your joy is an act of faith and restful confidence on God and His Word. Your faith expressed in joy turns on the light switches of God’s power to work in and through you, to effect a change.
“Life is too short not to enjoy every single day”, Joel Osteen advices. You don’t need to have a perfect marriage, relationship, work experience or financial situation for you to stay full of joy and divine glow. Happiness is your choice to make, not an emotion to feel. Make this choice today!
And in case you have not, the best way to choose joy over depression is by accepting the joy giver Himself. He can give you peace and joy that this world can’t even explain.