There were no symptoms; I just knew that there was an over-abundance of sadness. It was like a dark cloud following me around, that I could not escape, dodge, or shake. I had prejudged the appearance of this silent enemy which caused it to creep in undetected and to go unnoticed. I thought what I was experiencing was just a phase.
I had lost my eldest and only brother about a year or two prior. And, during the time of extreme sadness my husband and I were battling infertility. It was difficult to accept that something so natural was now going to be so procedural and difficult. The sadness grew as I endeavored to undergo infertility treatment which just added to feelings of insignificance for me. I prayed and sung to God, to combat sadness and keep my heart postured unto God. I could not comprehend why this was happening to me. I tried to stay positive but it was so difficult.
While undergoing fertility, I thought is this my punishment for missing the mark. I continued to serve through my sadness. I continued to pray surface-filled prayers that did not address the root of my sadness. The relief was momentarily and not enduring. Nothing seemed to be working.
Then during a Sunday morning service, the guest Pastor invited those believing for a child to the altar for prayer. My husband went to the altar unbeknown to me because I was teaching in Sunday school. Another teacher came to the room, and advised I need to get to the sanctuary for prayer because my husband was at the altar. On my way to the altar, I am thinking what is going on? There were couples lined-up at the altar, and the guest pastor prayed for each couple.
When the guest pastor got to my husband and me, he called out the sadness I had being experiencing which was “Depression.” Quite frankly, everything else he said to me was a blur. I had no clue I was dealing with depression. I was still functioning. I was not sitting in the corner crying. I did not sleep all day, or hide in a dark room. Yet, I did not have joy and I saw myself as inadequate and not good enough. I would have never titled the sadness or dissatisfaction for where I was in my life as “Depression.” So the reality of a depression was foreign to me. After service, I became angry. How could I be depressed? I love God! I was embarrassed! I was concerned about how others would view me. Would people now, see me as a helpless damsel in distress? I was angry. Why didn’t anyone else notice?
I struggled to receive the prayer that was prayed over me. I had an encounter with God as I cried standing at the sink. I heard in the conscious of my mind, God’s voice saying “if you don’t receive the word and accept it you cannot obtain deliverance.” I struggled to receive the word because I did not like the news. Yet, I knew that I did not want to remain where I was. So I surrendered!
I accepted where I was, so I could get to a different destination. I told God, crying at the sink, that I receive the word of deliverance, but I needed him to reveal how I got to this place. Through much prayer and searching the scripture, I discovered that the uncertainty of life and the inability to control the things that were happening around me led me to a place of anxiety which was the culprit behind my depression.
It took a year of discovery for me to uncover, the emotions that were unaddressed in my life. When I began to search scripture, I discovered the answers I needed to combat my issues. I had to learn to enjoy life again. I had to learn to laugh again. I had to learn to dream again. I had to learn to hope again. We stopped fertility treatment, and gained peace. We decided to be happy with or without children, and it was then that we conceived.
The biggest revelation through my experiences was coming to the realization, that I did not have to carry the baggage along, but I could unload my baggage at his feet and he would help me carry it. I learned that I did not have to be strong and bare the burdens in my own strength.
“When we are weighed down by the cares of this life, we can invite him into those spaces and not try to bare it in our own strength and ability.”