Overcoming Depression: Learning to Live Again ~ by Patty Mason
Depression was a constant battle, bringing on overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, even rage, and hopelessness. It crippled my mind, heart, spirit and soul and destroyed every part of me. When the depression hit, I was living a good life. I had three beautiful, healthy children, a husband who loved me, a beautiful home, and a successful career. I had everything this world deems valuable, yet nothing made me happy; nothing made me whole; nothing gave me the sense of life, love and purpose I was searching for. For a long time, I wore a mask that told the world I had it all, when inwardly I was dying.
During the depression I made every effort to find answers, to get better, but nothing helped. I couldn’t free myself from the emotional turmoil; so, I turned to family, friends, and doctors, but no one could help me. During the depression, I never felt lonelier. As a result, hopelessness flooded my heart and I gave up. I convinced myself the only way out was to die.
In the days that followed, I did something I very rarely did—I prayed. I did not pray for God’s help or healing. Nor did I call on Him to find answers. Rather, I asked Him to take my life. Every morning I prayed for the insanity to end, and every night I prayed to never wake up.
The most crucial point came on December 12, 1996. Reluctantly, I got up and stepped into the shower. Hot tears poured from my eyes. Naked, drenched, and ashamed, I felt like I had been ground into the ashes from which I came. I had nothing left. And through the sobs, I began to talk to God. “I have nowhere else to go but you. You have to do something. No one can help me; only you can help me!” Suddenly, through the sobs, I heard what sounded like a faint voice, “Go to MOPS.”
At the MOPS meeting, the speaker shared about what it’s like having a lack of joy and no real purpose in life, and the only way to find pure joy was through Jesus. When she finished, I followed her to the back of the room. Without warning, a dam broke within my soul and I began to dump my life at her feet. I couldn’t stop crying—I couldn’t stop talking—not even when I realized every woman in the room had turned around to stare at us. Quietly she listened for several minutes. Then, without saying a word, she reached out and touched me on my left arm; and when she did, the hysterics stopped. The crying and run-on sentences instantly stopped. There was no more nausea in the pit of my stomach. The heaviness lifted—everything—all of the darkness that had consumed my life was completely gone.
I knew this woman did not possess the power to heal me, but I believed God did. When I cried out to Jesus that day in the shower, I believe He delivered me from depression. I was living in emptiness and despair, but when Jesus touched me He turned the ashes of my pain into something beautiful. At my lowest point, He came into the turmoil of my personal madness and set me free. And when He set me free, He gave me a miraculous and powerful testimony—a testimony of hope, of love and deliverance, of healing power and His unfathomable grace.
I am living proof God can and will redeem a harmful past in order to give a bright future. In the midst of my depression, at the height of my worst nightmare, God said, “I choose you.” God took my worst nightmare, redeemed it, restored it, and used it—not only for His glory, but for the encouragement and support of others who are still suffering.
Patty Mason is a speaker, Bible teacher, and author of Finally Free: Breaking the Bonds of Depression Without Drugs. You can visit her website at www.libertyinchrist.net.
(Featured image courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)