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.
Psalm 42:5 (CSB)
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. 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. Maybe it’s smiling at the clerk behind a counter. Maybe it’s smiling to the person in the mirror. Do this one thing.
This devotion was written by Sarah Mae, as published in A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess, a devotional by the (in)courage community.
We know your days are busy in a different kind of way than ever, and we thought you might be able to use an actual moment to breathe. Today, we invite you to click the video below, listen to Sarah Mae read her devotion, and pause your soul. Breathe deeply. Rest, just for a moment, and let God speak to your heart.
Take a moment to breathe.
Michele Morin says
I grinned (or grimaced?) at your term: “functioning depressive.”
I guess that’s me, too, only I say that I was born depressed, but I wonder if in both of us it’s just a function of making room in our lives for all the sadness that ‘s there (and in those we love), choosing to give it a good hard look, but knowing the best way to love is to trust for that day’s portion of grace to do the next thing that needs doing.
That’s the truth about the darkness our nation is walking through right now, for sure.
Ruth Ann Ball says
I agree with this whole heartedly. My husband has been going through kidney dialysis for almost 2 yrs now and we know that eventually that he will die. We are both 75 yrs old and have been married for almost 57 yrs (anniversary is 11/16/63). This is hard for me even though my faith is strong and we have a wonderful church(Grace Pres. Dawsonville, GA). I seem to lose my patience with my husband and I try not to and our son (who lives with us & is 50 yrs old) says to me just to one thing today Mom and try to let things go. I seem to have trouble but listening to music, playing with our German Shepherd dog (Duke who is only 2 yrs old), or reading (devotionals, the Bible and etc.) helps me center back on what is important which is people and GOD!!
Beth Williams says
Sweet sister it is hard to deal with your husband’s disease. Praying for God to comfort you all in these extra trying times. May you sense Him around you at all times. For me when I feel down or upset listening to Christian or gospel music helps heal my weary soul. At times I dance to the music getting myself active & thinking about something else. Prayers for peace & rest in your family’s souls.
Sue McGee says
What you wrote sounds so familiar. I also am a functioning depressive! Up until 3 years ago life was sailing along ok. Then my husband became quite ill with several things compounding all at once. Suddenly he can no longer work. And spent his days struggling to get through this. Also just as suddenly everything that is done to keep a household running, from finances to lawn work, to being a healthcare person became my responsibility. Here I had been retired (I am in my 70’s) and was now seeking a job. My husband is better in many ways physically today but the illness and meds are taking a toll on him mentally. So the struggle continues. We have 5 children between us (second marriage) but all live out of state. So I go through periods where I feel very alone and just plain sad. But I always try to remember that I am never alone because God is with me. I pray for strength and Gods grace. Thank you Sarah for your message today. May God’s light shine upon you.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
We all as Christians have dark days. Days when we don’t feel like praying or reading or Bible. Days we say why God do I feel like this. It nothing to with this Pandemic we are living all over the world. Even we Christians are human. The non saved of the world look at us. Most of them say. Hay I thought you a Godly person were meant to be the happiest person on the earth. Now where is this God you believe in. That is meant to keep you happy all the time. It hard to know what to say then to a person who is not saved. But behind it all we are still FREE. We can still go and cry to our Saviour who still loves us. Say to him why do I feel like this. Why do I feel so do down. Why do I have dark days. I normal. There are days. I don’t want to Pray or read my Bible. I when that day goes by that happens I feel bad for letting God down that I didn’t spend that time with him that day. I go away the next day saying God forgive me. For not spending proper time that day I didn’t in your word and prayer. The days I do I feel so much better. I know in Jesus I am free. Love today’s reading as I love all today’s readings. Thank you all you for the wonderful work you do.
Thank-you Sara Mae,
Blessings to all,
Kelly G says
Thank you, incourage, for selecting this devotion for today. Blessings on all you who work behind the scenes to keep this site going, as I know your hearts are heavy and you are seeking to know how God would lead you in your specific life situations. One size does not fit all. Your efforts are appreciated! ♥
Emily B. says
Anna E. Rendell says
Kelly! Your comment filled my heart. Thank you so much for the thoughtful encouragement; we behind the scene-ers love this community deeply.
Nancy Ruegg says
My heart aches for all those who suffer from depression. I’ve only endured a short, 6-week stint years ago. It took every ounce of strength within me to do just what needed doing for our two young children. God bless you, Sara Mae, for being honest and humble. With you I praise God for the healing in the heaviness.
sarah Yum says
Thank you. I can face tomorrow because my GOD lives.
Beth Williams says
This is one very important topic that must be brought up in church circles. There isn’t a one size fits all answer to help the sick. A lot of people must take medications to alleviate some symptoms. This should not be looked upon with shame. I personally have never really had any psych issues. My family has dealt with it some (geriatric psych) & the pain & anger associated with it is real. My heart goes out to the families dealing with this on a daily basis-especially in these trying times. We must find a way to make room for the sadness that comes in everyone’s life at some point. Christians, though, have a hope that never fades. We can trust God to help heal our bodies. I find myself listening to Christian or Gospel music & dancing around praising God. That seems to lift my mood a bit. Thank you Sarah Mae for the open honesty in this post.
Carol R Nicolet Loewen says
Thank you for your encouragement in this post. I think right now so many of us are feeling the weight of heaviness, of depression, of sadness because of all the turmoil and dissonance in our country. I’ve just gone through a time of depression following my dear mother’s death. How we need God’s promises, uplifting music, and the love of family and friends to help lift us up or, just to be with us.