Last year, I experienced a severe case of depression where I found myself in a very dark place. It was hard to get out of bed on mornings. It wasn’t my first episode of depression. In 2010, my last semester of college, a few months from graduation I almost left school and went home. I was ready to walk away from everything. I kept having these nervous breakdowns; I was tired. I was unknowingly going through a spiritual warfare. It did not cease after graduation; I was so depressed it almost led to suicide. I was silently crying out for help, but no one could hear me. Today, I notice depression is becoming a trend amongst young people which could be the result of several factors; fear of the future, family problems, relationship drama, peer pressure, low self-esteem or life challenges. I would like to share my personal experience with depression and how I was able to overcome it. If you are currently depressed, I hope my experience and how I was able to overcome depression will give you the strength and encouragement to overcome it as well.
During 2015, I was depressed for the whole year. I had gotten laid off from my job in January; I worked in the Mortgage and Real Estate industry. The company I was working for made the decision in November 2014 to close out the company’s entire east division. It had to do with “projected numbers for the upcoming quarter was below the previous years, and they needed to cut cost,” i.e. salaries. So they laid off thousands of employees. They compensated us for the time we put in through severance packages. So even though I entered 2015 with no job I was still hopeful I would find something before my severance pay ran out. When I received my last paycheck, I applied for unemployment. I decided to go back to school to obtain a Masters of Science.
I still continued to apply for jobs; I was being overlooked for candidates who were deemed more ‘qualified’ than I was. I still consider myself to be relatively new in my career (five years in). I tried to remain optimistic throughout the whole process. There were days I could barely get out of bed. I slept all day and would wake up maybe at 5 p.m. to go to school at night. It was by far the most challenging year of my life. My faith was being tested, and I ask God why me? And His answer was “why not you?” There were nights I’d cry myself to sleep because let’s be honest it’s not easy “ADULTING.” Life can be very challenging that’s why it’s important to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. On days you can’t find the strength on your own to overcome your inner demons, the Holy Spirit will fill us with the power to do the impossible. Also, how are we reacting to those challenges we face in life?” Do we give up, get angry, have pity parties or do we keep going, keep preserving through those storms.
For me even though I kept going on interviews, classes, etc. It still wasn’t enough because I had accepted the depression. How? By not forcing myself to get out of bed in the morning. I was sleeping my days away when I could have found other things to do. I was letting depression win by having its way in my life. I had accepted the spirit of defeat. Depression is a spirit and it’s not from God it is the plan of Satan to keep God’s children bound. What is a spirit? And how do I know it’s not from God?
If we look at the definition of what a spirit is, I like Google’s definition:
“The nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of
emotions and character, the soul.”
Our spirit is our entire being. It’s where our soul resides. The same way we have a spirit and God is a spirit being. Satan and his demons are a spirit being. I’m not telling you anything not in the Bible. (Ephesians 6:12-13 KJV) warns us on what we are fighting against.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Depression is not something we attack from a natural perspective. No amount of therapy sessions and prescription pills in the world will take away depression. I did therapy in college, and I’m not shading any psychologist, but it did not help me. The feeling of being alone, unloved, useless, unworthy, worrying about everything under the sun and the list of lies continues. We have to use the word to overcome it. The word represents the “armor” of God. It’s by the word we’ll be able to stand. We must use the word to speak to depression (many don’t like to hear about the spiritual side of things). But life is about 80 percent spiritual, and a lot of people are fighting things they are not aware of. Therefore they can’t get the results they are looking for. They’re going about it wrong. How can one fight something they don’t know exist?Depression is a spirit it comes to play with our emotions. Some days we’re up, and some days we’re down. It manipulates our emotions to the way it wants us to feel. In 2 Timothy 1:7 says
“ For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but power, love, and a sound mind.”
As a believer, I knew it yet I accepted the spirit of depression. I was also upset with God, and I blamed him (when we get caught up in our emotions, we take our eyes off God). I remember asking God how could He let this happen to me? And He didn’t answer, and I went months without hearing from God. Why? Because I was no longer exercising faith, I was relying on my understanding and stopped trusting in God’s plan for my life. Do you know it is impossible to please God or hear from God without faith?
“And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exist and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11;6)
When we begin to question God, we start doubting who He is and should NOT expect to receive anything from Him. How would you feel if you had all the money in the world and told your family “anything you need come to me. I don’t care what the cost is I have your back.” And when the time comes the person is in need, and they don’t believe you can do it for them. Wouldn’t you be annoyed? Well, it’s the same way with God. He gave me His word in Philippians 4:19.
“And God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
I should have held onto the Word by meditating on it day and night. The Word is a reminder to me God will take care of all my needs. Instead, I was busy worrying about how I would pay my bills, eat and cover the cost of my tuition. I ended up exhausting my 401k to cover some of my tuition fees and books. Though I wasn’t working, please know God did keep His word because I never LACKED anything. I just didn’t have a job.
Instead of worrying about everything under the sun, I was supposed to pray the depression out of my life. I would pray casually from time to time and would only believe God for the job when I was out the door to an interview. My faith was not consistent in getting out of the cave I found myself in. I could not see any light at the end of my tunnel, and I looked at my situation in the natural. I needed to look beyond what was in front of me, which was this problem of “unemployment.” By worrying it made me more depressed, and I was thinking of everything that could go wrong. The funny thing is worrying did not change my situation at all.
Do you want to know what finally CHANGED my situation? When I finally forced myself to take my eyes off the problem, I was facing. I had to look to God for a solution. I started praying against the spirit of depression. I woke up early in the mornings even though I did not have anywhere to go. I would go to my school library since I didn’t have a job yet. I looked for things to do, things to keep me occupied rather than sleeping my life away. Within a month of me doing these things God opened up a temporary opportunity for me, and a few months later He BLESSED me with an even greater opportunity making more money than I was making before at the same company where I got laid me off. God rewards those who are in faith, those who trust in Him and those who put their faith into action. We can’t expect God to do everything for us. God will do the things we can’t do for ourselves. He is the God of the impossible. My situation did not change until I changed my mindset and how I was reacting to the problem at hand. Our reaction will determine the outcome and how fast we overcome the problem presented. I believe I could have overcome this issue quicker if I had the right mindset in the beginning. The minute I change my mindset my situation changed.
I know depression is a spirit. It comes to steal everything from you. To make you feel unworthy and useless. There is nothing pretty about depression. It’s not something to play with. You don’t laugh or joke around saying “I’m depressed.” The minute you feel the spirit of sadness and worry come over you, get up. You don’t lie in bed day after day, week after week, month after month or year after year. Depression is a time stealer. It will rob you of time you could have spent being productive while you wait for things to work out in your favor. It’s so important to have faith whether you choose to believe in God (which I recommend people to get to know Jesus) but faith will keep you going. You must have faith in God and yourself. You have to believe you will overcome whatever situation you are facing. You have to see yourself walking in victory from the storms of life, or you’ll end up going through life tossing like the waves.
Can I tell you something else, the difference between the depression I faced last year and in 2010 is CHRIST! Though God had delivered me from the spirit of depression and suicide, the enemy came back to test me. To see if I knew I was free. He came to have his way in my life. Though I was weak in faith, He could not overpower me. I had walked through too much already even to flinch. God had already freed me from it, and here I was facing the same situation.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)
Please understand Satan cannot test us unless God gives him permission. God will allow him to do it to test our faith, but he can’t touch us. Always remember Job (read the book of Job). All of the challenges of life are nothing new to God. If we don’t know the Word, it will feel new to us. But the Word tells us how to overcome. If your mindset and spirit are in the wrong place at the time of your situation, you could end up staying in a problem for a year which was only supposed to last one day or week. It’s so crucial to have a positive mindset and look for the best in any situation. It doesn’t matter how bad the situation is you have to look for the best in it. Remind yourself when this is over, you’re coming out stronger than ever. Speak back to your situation (every problem in our lives has a name and an ear) let it know it is not here to stay and one way or the other you’re coming out from under it. That’s how I was able to overcome depression, and I hope it was helpful for you.
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Until next time God Bless you richly for reading! 🙂