Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.
I looked at my iPod. Which playlist should I pick to listen to while I wash my dishes? My eyes went back and forth between my “Cleaning” and my “Rend Collective” playlists. I decided on the latter playlist with praise music because it had been a dark day. I propped my iPod up on my kitchen windowsill, pressed play, and as the words came out, something in me opened up.
I turned around, slid down to the floor on my knees and cried. I think I’m in a bit of a depression, I thought.
Depression is this weird thing that you can’t really explain or give reason for. It just is. I get this way from time to time, it’s just a darkness, and it seems to be a rhythm of my life, and I know it will lift.
I’m kind of a functioning depressive. I can be mostly okay, but in my home, going about the hours, everything is a mountain. I remember a professor once saying in class that when you find yourself in a depressed place, when everything feels hard, just do something small. Maybe you can make the bed. Do that. My small thing, right now, is writing this down, because there is something in the writing that helps.
Something about vulnerability and honesty allows the process to take its course. So while I am sharing that I’m depressed, I’m also hopeful because God is with me, and He knows all of my heart and every bit of my soul, and He will be kind and tender with me through this.
I’ve been here before. You may have been here before too. Today, let’s agree to be gentle with ourselves, slowly doing the dishes, and keep knowing we aren’t alone. Because of Jesus, we are free, and we trust the healing in the heaviness.
Do one small thing today. Maybe it’s the dishes. Maybe it’s making the bed. Making it’s smiling at the clerk behind a counter. Maybe it’s smiling to the person in the mirror. Do this one thing.
This message was written and read by Sarah Mae and appears in A Moment to Breathe, a 365-day devotional now available where books are sold.Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
So glad that you shared Sarah’s words today. As we begin to lose daylight, this sort of “functional” depression descends upon many of us. “Do the next thing” is a great act of resistance, even if it means setting a timer and working at it for only fifteen minutes.
Jasmine Ruigrok says
Thankyou… this has been my day put into words. I have no one big reason why, perhaps a million little ones, but it’s been such a hard day. Thankyou for this perfect reminder… I really needed it.
Thank you for sharing this. This is how I’m feeling right now, except mine overtakes me when I think about having to go to work. I love the Paalms at the beginning of this, but I had forgotten about those verses. Thank you for the reminder.
The darkness is so hard to carry around and letting Jesus pull the yolk takes constant effort and will. Repeating the key verses to pull me thought the dark days….My yolk is easy – my burden is light…. reminds me that I want easy & I want light in this word of little people with undeveloped minds circling my kneecaps until I break and shout and remorse and let the dark take over … again. Then I read a devotional cry like this one and the curtain raises slightly while light breaks forth in a heart-swelling reminder that He IS good and He DOES INTEND GOOD for me… He gives GOOD living to the Little People that vex me so… for my husband that loves me through my countless dark days over the last 18 years … for the nasty Moms in my neighborhood and the amazingly selfless Moms that are kind to everyone … for all of us Jesus-girls (thanks, LT!) that are slingin’ it to get through the day with a smile. Another great heart-fog-lifter is the new Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons. Always good to know I’m not in the battle alone! Thank you and hope you get lots of Father’s favor today for sharing this awesome motivation with us today!! xoxoxoxoxox
I too, have days like this when the darkness envelopes me and I feel myself slipping into the pit. I will remember the “do the next thing” and your words of encouragement. Recently I started to try to imagine that “dark cloud” as me being in the shadow of His wings as a reminder that He is always with me. The picture of me being enveloped by His goodness is way better than the evil image that tries to overtake. Thank you and God’s blessings and peace to all.
I will print your reply and apply it to my heart today. Thank you.
Kim B Smith says
I too battle with depression, and when I feel this I am learning to trust in God and give it back to him. I know when this all begins with me, it is evil slipping in and trying to take me in a different direction, an untrusting one, and nasty one towards myself and others. My next step is to become stronger when I release this all to God is to sit down for a moment and turn to a scripture.
Thank you for sharing your writings! This one this morning was much needed. Fall and winter are a sad time for me. I am more of a Spring, Summer personality. I have a hard time getting up and getting going.
Listening to Praise and Worship music is a Go To definate go to for me! One small thing at a time for me. Making the bed, reading devotional, listening to praise and worship music is a must.
Moving on the the writing part!! Thank You
Thank you for your beautiful post! I get down times as well, I need to be reminded to give myself grace and know that He is with me all the way. It just again makes me aware of how many people around us are going through hard days of depression, anxiety, physical or emotional pain. There are so many hurting souls around us, it reminds me to be kind to everyone as we do not know what kind of battle they are facing. May we reflect Jesus moment by moment of every day. Thank you, blessings!
Linda Shukri says
Thank you for sharing that. I had that kind of episode last night. My husband and I have been put in a “wilderness” for the past 18 months – without a church family – and we’re waiting on the Lord to be able to move back to the States. I had just come back from visiting family in SC (which included going to church services! 🙂 that was a blessing! ). Little things, like my computer not working right (churning and churning), set me off into a depression like you described – as I was getting ready for bed. I was praying for the Lord to intervene in our lives. And I was also able to go to bed without tears. Psalm 42 is one of my favorites. Thank you!! 🙂
Thank you… It helps to know I’m not the only one. Believing I am alone with this, rendering me all the more inferior, is not living in the truth. Thank you for sharing Sarah’s words and blessing us.
I pray for the Peace and Comfort of Jesus to surround you all.
You are definitely not alone with your feelings – especially this time of the year. While I think Fall is probably the prettiest time of the year, it’s also the saddest for me because I know Winter is coming and I really don’t like Winter at all. And with the days shortening, creating darkness sooner than we’d like each day, it causes one to feel a little depressed at times. On top of the season change blues, I am also relocating to another state – much bigger city than what I’m used to – due to health issues that my daughter has that need more elite attention than what my state can offer. I’m having to give up my current job (which I love) and leave behind the rest of my family and church (where I help to lead the worship service and play the piano each Sunday) to move 4 hours away, just me and my daughter. Not only is the move causing me panic and some depression, the unknown of what could or may happen to my daughter with regard to the procedures she has to have done, is also haunting me these days. I have no choice but to lean on Him and allow Him to be my Savior, the Healer, our Provider and everything else that we may need. I know that he will take care of us as well as everyone here on this blog. Let’s just trust Him today!
Gail Noe says
I understand where you are. But I have a great word of encourage for you. Colossians 2:10 has an amazing word for us. It says “You are complete in Christ.” Isn’t that an amazing encouragement. Even when our feelings or symptoms tell us otherwise we can rest in the truth that we are complete in Christ. All that we need is in Him. All of the wisdom and healing we need are in Him. Praying that you are able to rest in this truth to bring you to new levels of joy.
This was deeply touching, thank-you. I hope this also might help.
“You Lord, are my lamp: the Lord turns my darkness into light.”
Blessings to all,
Joyce Ford says
Thank you for your encouragement. Blessings on your day today. Choose to rejoice in the midst. The Psalms are my constant companion, therefore I know Father will bring me through. Yes…
Tina Kokoruda says
My depression lifter is: “This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL REJOICE and be glad in it.” (No matter how I’m feeling…
saying this several x’s a day…trusting…hoping…believing…God, you alone, are my Peace, the lifter of my head…and “though He slay me, yet will I trust Him…” b/c I offer my thoughts up to You, my God, b/c you are ever at my side. Though the darkness tries to close in, I turn to You, the “Light of the World” and then, the darkness shall not overcome it. I turn my face and whole being to you, as I do, when I sit in the glorious sun, that you may burn away all that is not of You…My God!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this and it applies to my world right now. Just for today my small thing is going to exercise and eat healthy.
Vanessa Smith says
Had to help my 17 year old kitty, Lucille, cross over last Friday. I know this is part of life. I have lost people whom I still miss. The ache in my heart will fade into memories that make me smile, but today it hurts. I pray to fall into gratitude, for I am so very blessed. This I know. Jesus has given me the gift of the Presence of the Holy Spirit- my Comforter. Thank you, Father.
Pearl Allard says
I so get this. I call them “be gentle to myself” days. Helps take the pressure off to preserve sanity – a higher priority than whatever the to-do list screams. Thank you for this post.
Gosh, this came at the perfect time! Thank you for your honesty, friend, and for that very practical advice to just do something small xxx
I beg you, please, please don’t patronize the obvious worldly tattooing of the body God made in His image on this website. I am sure that I open myself up to much criticism by saying this but I beg you nonetheless.
Susan Kennedy says
What a timely post. Have been fighting the same feelings all day, and it isn’t the first time. Dark days for no apparent reason, or maybe a lot of reasons, but the feeling is almost like fighting to get out of a paper bag….a smothering, almost claustrophobic feeling. This time of year, thought beautiful in so many ways, is especially difficult when the days get shorter and darkness comes earlier. Depression has always been the chink in my armor that the enemy knows so well. So thankful that God knows me better. So nice to know that so many of you understand it as well.
Thanks Sarah! I’m glad you wrote it down. I’m glad that not one gal is ever alone in their tears and on the dark days.
Beth Williams says
I am reminded of a quote by Admiral Mcraven: If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. He goes on to talk about a miserable day: And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. I think that speaks for itself. Just make your bed daily & properly. That will encourage you to do one more thing & hopefully lift your spirits.
I know what it is like to be depressed. This time of year is the worst for people who get depressed. I will pray for everyone that they will feel God with them daily & be encouraged by one small thing they do. God loves you & so do I!
Erica Player says
Currently feeling this. Thank you for sharing. Put words to my thoughts and feelings and so appreciate that.
I’m relieved to read this today. I call these small acts a “drop in the bucket,” and they do help. I know I need to move through the valley. I know “this too shall pass.” It helps me to know I am one of many who struggles from time to time.