When the Darkness of Depression Overwhelms

Have you ever sat down with someone for coffee and realized that not only are they beautiful inside and out, but they are filled up with so much life-wisdom that you just want to hear more? That was me, sitting across from Leslie Marie Bauer. For a while now, I’ve been a fan-from-afar, hearing pieces of her story, seeing her interact and lead a weekly group of about 100-pre-teen girls, including my daughter. So recently when I had the opportunity to hear more of her story, I absolutely took it.  I’m so grateful she’s here with us today, Leslie writes honestly about her journey with depression at lesliemariebauer.com.  Please welcome Leslie…

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It’s no secret I’ve lived much of my life in the dark—battling to cast off depressive darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12). And though my good days are many, the bad are sometimes breathtakingly so–altogether debilitating. Heartbreaking. Joy draining.

Last Sunday was one of those days…though the springtime sun was brilliant against a beautiful sky blue, my countenance was anything but; the skies over my head a steely grey as I drowned in a chemical storm.

Thankfully, I know by now where my help comes from, having fought this battle for so long {click here for my battle plan—my Depression Survival Guide}. And though the billowing emotions can feel so REAL, wrapping themselves tightly about me as they do, choking out light and all manner of perspective, I know that is all they are. Feelings. Lies masquerading as truth.

And so, through brimming tears, I willed my downcast gaze Upward…“I lift my eyes up to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

This Word–my help–it’s medicine to me on the dim days. And it’s for us all, in His grace; each bought-with-a-price, precious one of us:

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:1-16 (NIV)

I typically don’t “do” poetry, but as I bathed in this Truth on Sunday, verse came cascading out of me:

“When you feel rejected; dejected; altogether alone…you are chosen; adored; intimately KNOWN.

When you feel invisible, hopeless; orphaned; unfed…you are seen; pursued; so wanted He bled.

When you feel flawed; messy; your weakness laid bare…you are Handmade; exquisite; crafted with care.”

That last verse comes from the deepest, most vulnerable place in me. See, on the dark days, I tend to feel there are parts of me that are flawed.

The depressed parts.

And unfailingly, as I weep my whys at His feet, He reminds me this is not so. These parts; most especially these, have Divine purpose. Woven into me for the sake of others; that I’d be perfectly positioned to throw those depressed and drowning a lifeline of hope.

My weakest parts beget my very calling. And I’m betting yours do as well, friend.

Many of us are well acquainted with Psalm 139…it’s grown so familiar perhaps, its curative truth is nearly lost on us. So let me encourage you to still your precious self and retaste it. Reacquaint yourself with the One Who’s intimately acquainted with your every nuance; every cell; every unmatched particular. Allow David’s love song to minister to your tender places.

I did.

And felt His Spirit’s Sword slice clean through my clouds, sending pent up tears spilling…and setting me to soaring, all aglow in His sunlight. An encounter with our Maker will do that—sweep aside the shadow caster and refresh us, completely changing our forecast.

We all have some bitter pill to swallow in this life; not one of us immune to suffering. But take heart, my friends…our Helper LOVES US, every last part. And even on the dark days, He’s always one prayer; one gaze away…

If you or someone you love is acquainted with the darkness that is depression, there is HOPE for you; for them. Click here for encouragement and an arsenal of weapons to wield on the dark days.

leslieprofileTo hear Leslie’s story in her own words, click here for a podcast at Life with Lisa Williams where she shares honestly about her courageous journey.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Today I’m honored to be light-shedding and hope-spreading over at http://www.womenwhobelieve with my lovely friend, Julie Thomas. Check it out: http://womenwhobelieve.com/2016/04/28/when-the-darkness-of-depression-overwhelms/ […]

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