Have you ever felt all alone? Have you ever thought, “No one will understand if I share what I’m going through?” What about this thought, “People will run from me if they knew what I was dealing with.”
I want you to know, those are lies! Lies Satan uses to isolate you and get you to feel as if you are alone so he can work his cunning deceit on you.
How do I know this? I’ve been there, my friend.
About 8 years ago I was dealing with depression. And pretty badly too. It’s still hard to talk about…I think because of the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Too many believe that people should just pick themselves up and brush themselves off and just stop wallowing already. To be honest, I had those thoughts myself about those struggling with depression before I had it.
I’ve decided though, that it needs to be talked about. I remember about seven years ago I had been struggling for about a year and it really came to a head. I had suicidal thoughts and they scared me, a lot. I finally felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit one night at small group to open up and share what had been going on. I fought it all evening but by the end of our time I knew I had to speak up. A friend was going to close us in prayer quickly to end the night, but before she did I asked if they’d pray for me. I shared a little about my depression and the negative thoughts that had been swirling in my mind for months. They gathered around me and prayed.
It didn’t instantly cure my depression, but it did start to chip away at the lie that no one would understand and they’d all run from me if I opened up. They didn’t run, they didn’t even cringe. They laid their hands on me and lifted me up.
The next day, one of the wonderful ladies from my group came over and asked me some very pointed questions, one of them being, “Have you thought about killing yourself?” I hadn’t known how to share that in group. I was startled by the bluntness of the question and yet thankful for it. It gave me the chance to truly share the depth of my struggles. She asked because she got it. She’d been there. She knew how it felt to be in that place. She knew others could get there. And she had made it through. It gave me so much hope to know someone else had been struggling just like me and had found freedom from it. Again, it chipped away at those lies that had been holding me back from talking to anyone. Satan’s hold on me was starting to break, little by little.
It also freed me to share it with my hubby, something I had been way too scared to do. I’m not sure, now looking back, why I was so terrified to tell him. I think I didn’t want to worry him and I didn’t want him to see me so weak. I also think Satan was using it as a way to isolate me further. More lies…your hubby wouldn’t understand, he wouldn’t want to deal with it. Thank the Lord he just hugged me and helped me through it all.
There were many other women after that moment with whom I shared what I was going through. And so many of them nodded and hugged me and said, “I get it, I’ve been there.” I was shocked at the number of people who’d been right where I was, struggling so very much. I truly had believed the lie that I was all alone.
I share all this because I want you to know you are not alone. If you believe you are all alone, know it’s a lie straight from the devil. He wants to isolate you, get you to believe there’s no one to help you, no one to understand so that he can continue to drag you down. He wants you to believe it’s all your fault and if you’d just try harder you wouldn’t be such a failure. He wants you to believe that everyone would run from you if they knew.
Oh, but if we can just believe the truth! We need each other so much. Community is everything! Community helps encourage us, lifts us up, helps us realize we aren’t alone, gives us hope that brighter days will come, turns us to Jesus over and over, and gives us what we need. God uses community around us to do all these things and to teach us about himself. When we are surrounded by others that we can bare our souls to, we can be healed of so much. And when we realize we aren’t alone, oh, the hope that gives!