Grief Depression

Depression. The part of grief that no one talks about, but it’s the most real part of the process. The feeling of deep sadness over what was lost. Sadness over plans and dreams that will never come to fruition. The waves of depression come and go like the crashing of waves on the shore. Some big, some small. But ever present, and always coming.

When I say grief, I’m not just talking about losing a loved one to death. Grief is also experienced in a divorce, during a turmoiled relationship and estrangement, a sickness or diagnosis that changes the way you do life…. anything that would result in your world being drastically changed from the way it’s been. There is grief wrapped up in all of those situations.

Recently a friend wrote a blog on depression. In it, he describes the despair and darkness we experience during an episode. While sitting in church one morning, I was listening to the sermon and reflecting on his blog.  I had the overwhelming feeling wash over me that depression is a state of mind. That it can be overcome. That I have overcome it simply by being there.

We are just mere weeks away from the 3-year mark of Rick’s homegoing. I am sad, mad, frustrated, and all the other feelings over that fateful day. I am depressed. This is not how things were supposed to be, but it’s how things are.  But I have joy, hope, and peace about it. I am able to live my life in a way that most people don’t understand.

How? It’s a state of mind. I was reminded today in the sermon that Faith = Trust. When I am trusting God in my circumstances, even if the ground is breaking around me, I can stand firm, grounded in Truth.  And with that truth, I can find joy in the midst of the storm.

What truth am I talking about? The truth about Joy. Joy was once described as follows: J is for Jesus. Y is you. Joy only comes when there is nothing between you and Jesus. JOY. Joy is circumstantial, and a condition of the heart.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1

Even though I am overall feeling the consequences of Rick’s death, I make a choice each day to have Joy in the circumstances. It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s a minute-by-minute choice. But if I let it, the depression will take over.  I have to have a state of mind focused on Jesus, and His glory and goodness.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

The song “Firm Foundation (He Won’t)” has lyrics that reinforce this for me. We sang it after the sermon. I heard God telling me “Leave your troubles behind. Find your joy in me. My love won’t fail.”

“Christ is my firm foundation
The rock on which I stand
When everything around me is shaken
I’ve never been more glad
That I put my faith in Jesus
‘Cause He’s never let me down
He’s faithful through generations
So why would He fail now?
He won’t

I’ve still got joy in chaos
I’ve got peace that makes no sense
I won’t be going under
I’m not held by my own strength
‘Cause I’ve built my life on Jesus
He’s never let me down
He’s faithful through every season
So why would He fail now?

Rain came, wind blew
But my house was built on You
I’m safe with You
I’m gonna make it through

Christ is my firm foundation
The rock on which I stand
When everything around me is shaken
I’ve never been more glad
That I put my faith in Jesus
‘Cause He’s never let me down
He’s faithful through generations
So why would He fail now?
He won’t”

Depression can feel overwhelming, taking up every inch of space in your life that you let it. I have been there, I am there. Every morning I wake up and choose joy. That joy gradually evens out the sadness. The waves of depression are still with me. But the joy I choose is my surf board, keeping me afloat. I climb on board and ride out the waves. Sometimes the waves are too big and knock me off my board, taking me under. I have to fight to get my head above water. But when I do, I find my surf board of Joy and climb back on. Treading water until the next wave comes. This is the cycle. This is grief.

But God…..

I choose to put my trust in Jesus so when the storms come, and my ground is shaken, I will have solid ground; stability. What about you? Will you choose Joy?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: