By Sara Ghormley
I have suffered from depression and suicidal thinking since I was a teenager and didn’t really know why. I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression in my 20’s and continued treatment (including talk therapy and medication) on and off for the next 15 years. One psychiatrist gave me a “life sentence:” I would always suffer cyclical episodes of severe depression and would always be on medication. I thought I was doomed to live as a “lesser” Christian who didn’t get to have joy and peace because of my mental illness and troubled history.
Thankfully, that’s not how my story ends. And yours doesn’t have to, either.
I started biblical counseling six years ago and began a long, hard, but also wonderful, climb out of depression. Even better than being off all medication, I now live in the freedom Jesus Christ promised to us, His children. (Galatians 5:1) There is a way through the debilitating feelings of sadness and despair: God’s wisdom, encouragement, mercy, and love poured out through His Word. (Psalm 1:2-3)
There are many “on-ramps” to the freeway of depression, and whatever the cause may be, the Bible provides real hope for change and a new life of joy. The way out requires a willingness to see yourself and God differently and to take an honest look at where your “stinkin’ thinking” needs to change.
It is critical to understand:
1. Who you are in Christ—your value and position as a child of God. (Ephesians 1:3-10)
2. The power living inside you—the Holy Spirit, to change and live. (Ephesians 1:18-20)
3. The process of sanctification—God gently works out His plan in you. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
4. The role you play in God’s kingdom—to bless you and glorify Himself. (Ephesians 2:10)
I am so thankful that God is redeeming my life daily so I can help others see their way out of the darkness and into the hope that Jesus offers.