The following is something I shared recently with a friend of mine. To tell you the truth, I don’t know this friend very well, but when I found out that she struggled with something I have struggled with, I felt an immediate bond, and I hope she can say the same thing about me.
” I feel like I’ve dealt with depression almost my entire life since I was about 9 years old. It started when I was very young and I would just get this overwhelming feeling of not being good. Not ‘not being a good person’, but actually not feeling worthy or worth life. I’m sure you have felt the same way and know what I mean.
I now can say I have victory over depression, but it doesn’t mean I am always happy. Sometimes things still get me down a lot more than they would a normal person, and I do still sometimes struggle with negative thoughts about myself, but even though I might feel a certain way it no longer has that debilitating power over my life and I am now able to fight back with the Word of God. Because of this I’ve been able to do things I wouldn’t have thought myself capable of before and I am so thankful, but sometimes I still wonder if there is a reason why I am this way, because like I said before, even though I know I have victory over depression, I still sometimes have to fight very hard not to slip back into it.
Last night during the worship service, God revealed something to me. He reminded me of something I had read a while ago in a David Kuo blog called ‘Thin Places’. The idea of a “Thin Place’ is that whatever mental, emotional or spiritual walls between a person and God become thinner in certain places or environments and we can better connect with God. Every week he would ask people to send in pictures of their ‘thin places’. Usually people would send in pictures taken from beautiful mountaintops or overlooking the sea or a lightning storm or rainbow or some other kind of natural wonder. I thought about the thinnest place I had ever been and this was it:
I was about 15 or 16 years old. I was going through a severe bout of depression and my mom was extremely ill. She was on medications that changed her personality … I was on my knees in my bedroom with the light off except for the lamp by my bed. I was hiding because I didn’t like my parents to know what I did every day when I came home from school, which was to hide on the far side of my bed away from the door and cry, scream and pray into a pillow. Sometimes I prayed for God to heal my mom, more often I was furious with her because I didn’t really understand what was going on and just screamed and cried. It is not what most people think of when they try to imagine a thin place, but God was always there and each time I went to him He loved me in a real and amazing way and that gave me the strength I needed to go on.
Then God reminded me of the many times in my life that I have battled depression, negative self-talk and low self esteem. The many, many times I cried and thought terrible things about myself and my life. Then he showed me that those times, when I was at my lowest point, were the thinnest places. They were the times when there was the least separation between me and Him, if I would only reach out and let him love me.
The world we live in is hard for people like us because we’re expected to always put on a happy face, but I want you to know there is nothing wrong with being sad and it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you, physically or spiritually. It probably just means that you are a compassionate person who is able to feel things very, very deeply. This is not a curse, it is a blessing! Even though it is VERY hard at times and I would not wish my ‘blessing’ on anyone, I am so, so glad God made me this way because I’ve been able to experience God’s love so deeply and intensely, and I would not trade that for an easy, pain-free life, EVER.
Psalms 56:8 – David says about the Lord:
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.””
Is God taking you through a thin place now?