Emily Wierenga
About the Author

Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, and the author of six books including the new memoir "Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity and Purpose" (Baker Books, 2015). Proceeds from Emily’s books benefit her non-profit, The Lulu Tree. She lives in Alberta,...

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Reader Interactions


  1. Hi..I just have to share this..by Derek Prince..whom has taught me very much about the word of God

    God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ1—according to Your Word—I am asking You to deliver me from this spirit of heaviness.2
    Thank You, Lord, that all things work together for good in my life, because I love You and I am called according to Your purpose.3
    In Jesus’ name, I bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.4
    I put on as a helmet the hope of salvation.5
    Now, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, that I may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.6
    Holy Spirit, guide me into all truth7 and deliver me from all the lies8 of the evil one.9
    I will not be conformed to this world, but I will be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.10
    Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

    1Joel 2:32 2Isaiah 61:3 3Romans 8:28 42 Corinthians 10:5 51 Thessalonians 5:8 6Romans 15:13 7John 16:13 8John 8:44 9Matthew 6:13 10Romans 12:2

    IN THE 1950s, I had a problem of recurrent
    fits of depression that would come over me like a dark, heavy cloud. The more I prayed and fasted, the worse it got. One day I had come to the end of my solutions when a phrase in Isaiah 61:3 captured my attention: “a spirit of heaviness.” I suddenly realized I was dealing with a spirit—not with mental or psychological conditions in myself.
    Recognizing the identity of my enemy was a tremendous step forward. I found an- other verse that I believed would bring the solution to my problem: Joel 2:32. I put this and Isaiah 61:3 together and prayed a very specific, scriptural prayer (see over).
    After I prayed, I was delivered. The pres- sure was lifted. But it’s one thing to be de- livered; it’s another thing altogether to stay delivered.
    God began to show me that He had set my mind free from this demonic pressure, and it was now up to me to reeducate my mind.
    I had to train my mind to hope (keep a confident expectation of good). It didn’t come in five minutes, though; it took more than five years. But it’s been worth every bit of training that I’ve put into it.
    Take the helmet of salvation—the helmet of hope. Put it on. Cover your mind. Pro- tect your thoughts; bring them under con- trol and in line with the Word of God. And experience the glorious results!
    —Derek Prince (1915–2003)
    Taken from CD4016: “The Helmet of Hope.” 
    Derek Prince Ministries
    P.O. Box 19501 • Charlotte, NC 28219 http://www.derekprince.org

  2. This is beautiful. It will be something I tick away for the next time I struggle with depression. Who wouldn’t i, when I feel the pain of so many of God’s people? I never thought of it quite that way.

  3. Beautiful, Emily. As the happiest of women who also suffers from depression, I am so grateful you included the option of medication. When our chemicals are working against us, God can use the right medicine to set our bodies and minds and hearts free. Bless you for your candor and the hope you offer through the Light of Christ.

  4. This is beautiful, Emily. I have struggled with on and off with depression, especially in the winter months. Recently I completely changed the way I look at those moments in my life. I used to refer to depression as “the dark cloud” but over and over in scripture God revealed that it wasn’t a cloud, but the shadow of God where I was hidden in Him. In His wings, no more clouds…just His protected shadow held and loved.

  5. This was such an encouraging article for me as I’ve struggled with depression for years. It is so true how raw pain has driven me to “seek God and draw close to Him”. No longer do I stay in the darkness but continue to ask Him what He is trying to show me. In all this, I have found joy unspeakable!

  6. Thank you, Emily, for once again using your words to bring tears to my eyes as I kneel at the feet of my Savior. I welcome His invitation to be still and know.

    Your words are so timely in that I’m in a bit of funk this week – crabby, tired, done. Can’t I just stay in bed until this “wears off”?? I’m generally a very happy, upbeat person (most people I know would be surprised to find out that I sometimes I fake happy) so when the lows hit it sinks me pretty hard.

    Tomorrow is a new day and next week is a new week, meanwhile I will rest in Him!

  7. Emily, beautiful post. Having two family members who daily struggle with a mental illness, these words are such a gift. In the midst of it though, I think it is so hard to find the light but the Pastor is reminding us how important it is to look for the late. I’m reminding of this verse from Psalm 30, “Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes with the morning!”

  8. Emily, words cannot truly express how grateful I am for your thoughts today. You see, I’ve battled depression for a very long time. Really, the entirety of my 35 years. I finally found my way back to church in February and it has been like a breath of fresh air. The daunting task of “unlearning” everything I’ve always known hasn’t been easy though and has seemingly made my depression worse. I am already on medication and see a psychiatrist regularly and yet, yet the cloud won’t lift.

    Well, about four weeks ago, we had a guest speaker at our church by the name of Dr. Kingsley Fletcher, whom my Pastor affectionately calls his spiritual father. Although I wasn’t moved by his sermon, it was afterwards when he called those who were suffering from depression up to the altar for healing that made my heart stop. My mind raced at the thought of this man healing me. As I wondered the possibility, my husband casually forced me into the aisle.

    I made my way down and awaited my turn, all the while watching in utter fear as the people he touched fell limply to the ground. I never prayed harder than at that very moment–for sturdy legs to hold me up. His eyes were darker than obsidian and he stared deeply into my soul. Music played softly in the background has he placed his hands on my face. I can’t remember the entirety of his words but he shouted at God to take back what is his from the hands of the devil. That I was his child. He said I would experience no withdrawals from my medication and cast peace over me. I could only stare into his eyes.

    I took the enlightening as direction to stop my medication. And I did well. For 24 hours. Then the physical withdrawal hit and I felt like a failure. Here was this man of God, who routinely casts out spirits of evil, and I wasn’t healed. I was still broken.

    My thoughts wandered and I wondered why God didn’t love me enough to heal me. And I struggle with not feeling like I am “enough”. Enough of a wife. Enough of a mother. Enough of a daughter of Christ. Because of my depression, I always feel like I am less. And this was the perspective I needed.

    So, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. <3

    • oh Lisa. This just touched me so deeply. The Lord knew you would be reading this post today. He knew, sister. He loves you so much… Bless you as you reach for the light…

    • You aren’t alone friend. Depression is awful, but the Lord does love us. There is a purpose in all the madness.

  9. Thank you so much for your words here. I have always seen my depression as a curse and more yet as a weakness. I have chosen to go the ” no meds ” way not liking how I was affected by being medicated and instead chose to look for Jesus in it, but I have never been able to find Him in my depression…which gets me questioning my choice of no meds and my faith as well. ANYWAY…I’m going to print this and read it closer. Thanks so much for this perspective.

  10. Thank you Emily, thank you. From one who struggles with depression, especially in our long, cold winters here in Canada, I SO appreciate what you’ve written here. This is going in my ‘Emily File’ to re-read over and over as the long season approaches. I’ve never thought of depression in quite this way, never really looked for any lesson in it all, but I will follow your prayer example and see what He may say to me. I love your soft, gentle heart, E.

  11. Thank you so much for this encouragement, Emily. Berating myself for feeling sad instead of joyful is exactly what I’ve been doing. I love your perspective – that it’s not a curse but a way to get closer to God. Blessings to you!

  12. Thanks you, sweet friend, for speaking words that affirm to so many that suffer from depression that it is not a curse…it is not a sentence cast on them…they are NOT less…but God has offered His invitation into their hearts to lean into Him and let Him be their light in the dark nights and days. You are a blessing!

  13. Emily,
    Thank you so much Emily for posting this up in bloglandia!
    I have not blogged or read others in about two months.
    Not because of depression, but sheer over busyness.
    This post was a ray of light for me.
    Depression is a sneaky mufti-layered bugger.
    Spiritual, psychological, physical, a curse and a gift.
    Such a thing could never, ever be pinned and put in a neat tidy box.
    But we try, I try.
    Each time a dark bout comes over me, God gives a new perspective, shows me how I have let strongholds in, shows me how this has nothing to do with me, and always, always shows me that He can be trusted and I can just be still.

    • girl, i LOVE this: “God gives me a new perspective, shows me that I have let strongholds in, shows me how this has nothing to do with me, and always, always shows me that He can be trusted and I can just be still.” AMEN.

  14. I love how you say that depression relies on sight. It sees the darkness. But Faith does not require seeing. Yes! Yes! This is so good Emily. Thank you for writing this. love you friend.

  15. Celebrating Christmas as early as you can. Your little one will be gone long before you are ready for her to be. Teach her everything about Jesus and how he died for our sins.

  16. Thank you for this. I am so glad to see more Christians discussing depression. Depression can be a liar and make us feel like failures, less than, etc. I too, have suffered from a lot of depression, but I have hope as we all do. He is there through it all with us.

  17. I have been going through a depression and I thought at times I was just crazy but I’ve been searching about depression (and that’s how I found this website) and I’ve been finding myself wanting to be closer to God and pleading with God to help me through this, after reading this blog I really can’t wait to see what God shows me when this is over with. I truley love the Lord but never really felt like I was worthy of his love. Thank all of you for this website, I really needed to know I’m not the only one suffering.

  18. Thank you so much for this article. I have suffered with depression most of my life. When I am depressed, I always feel like a failure and like I am disappointing God and everybody else because I am so weak. While I may struggle with sad days, this article does give me hope. Leigha

  19. Thank you, Emily. So often I allow other voices to shame me in the midst of the darkness… Then the ‘What is wrong with me?’ voice becomes my constant companion. The beautiful perspective you shared today is a life line for me.

  20. Wonderful words Emily…light in the darkness..My mother suffered through depression and now I see this repeated in my daughter..at times it is heartbreaking, yet God’s love, grace and light break into the darkest of moments..I love them so much..God loves them infinately more just as they are..

  21. WOW! Such a beautifully written post! It is true that depression is like a dark cloud in your soul and you just need to let some light shine in there!

    This year has been rough dealing with my aging dad & his medical issues, plus job issues with both my hubby and I. Lately I have felt more of a longing to be closer to God. I almost can’t wait for God to come back and take us home. I get so tired of the everyday “stuff” that must be dealt with and want more quiet alone time with God & my family!

    Blessings 🙂

  22. Leave it to Madeliene L’Engle to nail it. As believers, we need to learn to speak the language of lament, to be transparent about our real heart aches and the dark nights of the soul in which we cannot sense the presence of God. This is when our faith is tested and we find the faith to “doubt but yet believe.”

  23. Dear Emily,

    Thank you for how beautifully you minister to others with words of life. What a gift you have been given! This is the encouragement I needed today.

    God bless you,


  24. amen
    Singing to d LORD a new song everyday & writing HIM w/ tnxgiving make it all.
    Praying that HE always draw closest as we draw near to HIM , never ever to.let HIM go.
    Great is r GOD !!