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When Depression Challenges Your Faith

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Your world, which was once full of brightness and hope, turned into something dark and terrifying.

You assumed the dark clouds would pass and that the storm in your mind would drift away after weeks of rest.

The days passed by and the feelings stayed, leaving traces of past memories and traumatic experiences. The sadness became worse as it covered the times when you knew you should be happy. You were in the middle of the party, but felt left out and alone. You were surrounded by friends, but sleepless nights remained. The chill and fear in your spine haunted you in your dreams. This was not about being “too emotional.” You prayed every single day as melancholy crept through you. You prayed harder; you visited the church often, prayed longer, confessed everything and surrendered all that you had. Yet these things were not enough. You knew it would never be enough.

Depression is a tough battle to conquer, even when faith is present. The mind is wise and can lead a person to think dark thoughts until the renewal of one’s spiritual life becomes less and less important. Depression can leave people feeling so different and isolated that no amount of words can ease their worries. The hands of people who are willing to help them may not matter; thick clouds of hopelessness may blind them from seeing hope and optimism. Sometimes, even faith will not help them to overcome it easily.

These negative thoughts eat up your daily routines. You’re no longer the lively person others used to know. Your church mates convinced you that these feelings were all in your mind; you can conquer it by praying and drawing yourself closer to God. You tried and keep on trying, but still, it comes and it goes and comes back again stronger than before. You became tired, but people should know that your faith is there. You love God and you know he can help you. But depression may never listen to your heart’s desires. The prayers may help you overcome the sadness, but at the end of the day, depression seems to be taking your faith away from you. It is not easy. It will never be.

But like any other darkness, peace will surely come. You realize that depression may challenge your faith and devotion. But the grace of God will come knocking at your door to save you from the pit helplessness. It may not make you feel stronger at the start, but from my experience, embracing your faith can help you conquer the hardest and toughest battle of mind and spirit. I believe there is no love stronger than the love of Jesus. This love can be a stepping stone to finding the light you keep looking for. Faith cannot heal depression alone, but trust in the Lord and yourself and surely, it will gradually go away.

I am a survivor of depression and indeed, faith helped me gain more weapons and shields to fight it, along with the people who helped me get through it. Hope and healing are always there; we just have to find it in our hearts. You can conquer it, because I believe you are God’s greatest warrior. You will always be.

Unsplash via Ben White

Originally published: October 9, 2018
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