How I deal with depressing days


I have days when I'm just sad. Depression is just a part of the rhythm of my life. It comes and goes. Sometimes I can figure out the source (physical, situational) and others times I can't. I feel sad or oppressed by life, weighed down. I get quiet and weepy. I feel extra needy and don't know why.

One blessing of having been very low in the past is that I know a few things: I know God will sustain me and I know how to deal.  I'm certainly not qualified to give advice about depression, but can only share some things that work for me.

Worship
It's the last thing I want to. But it's what I need, to see the God that is bigger than this little world of mine that feels so small. I love to sing. This morning I sang a worship song, and just the act of raising my hands to the goodness of my God lifted my spirit. He is BIGGER than this!

Scripture
When I feel this way, my heart is often dull to Scripture. I read it, but I don't feel it. So I keep reading, I keep asking God to encourage my heart . . . until something sticks.

"How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." Psalm 139:17-18

People
I try to let people in and share my burdens even if I can't quite explain. I'm not meant to do life on my own, even with the precious Holy Spirit in me (see this post). He made me for relationship. No one knows my heart unless I share it. I ugly cried at church this Sunday and so appreciated the hugs I got from sweet friends.

Outward
I often need a break as a mom, and I'm all for that. My favorite thing to do is roam aimlessly through a thrift store with only my thoughts for company. But that doesn't necessarily meet my needs. Life is still life when I get back.

Depression pulls you into yourself, but Jesus calls you to lose your life and put others before yourself (Philippians 2:3).

I love these thoughts from Edward Welch's Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest (I keep recommending this one):
"When the kingdom of God is ruling our hearts, we aspire more to serve than be served, honor more than be honored, and love more than be loved . . . . Do we run he risk of a lopsided relationship? Absolutely. That is the relationship we have with God--he always loves first and most. . . . At the most difficult point of his [Jesus'] life, he was betrayed, denied, and abandoned. But through it all his love was unwavering. In this, he established the pattern for true humanness . . . . Always strive to have an imbalance in your heart where the desire to love outdistances the desire to be loved."
There is such freedom in laying aside what I like to call the "vortex of me" and laying down my life for my kids, my husband, my friends. Life is not found in casting off my responsibilities and the things that sometimes I see as burdens. Freedom is found in becoming more like Jesus, who laid down His life for me.

Laugh
I have a Pinterest board full of things that get me laughing. Some may totally not be your sense of humor, but feel free to check it out.

This one gets me every time:
Who's is it then?
Image: http://funsubstance.com/fun/88414/whos-is-it-then/
And lastly . . . patience
"I waited patiently for the Lordhe inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction,  out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:1


I'm learning to be patience with my emotions as they come in line with truth, patience with my weaknesses, patience with my faithful God Who Is beyond patient with me.





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