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Yes, you, Mama, struggling with depression.
I am right there with you.
And I want you to know that this is not a list of things you need to do when you’re depressed. I’m not going to do that to you.
I’ve seen those lists a million times before. I’ve also been told by many well-meaning people lists of things I’ve GOT to do now in order to get out of depression. Think positively… get out and get some sun… count your blessings… try this essential oil… exercise more… yeah, I get that. Those can all be good things. Of course. But my goodness, when you’re so down and out that you can’t hardly lift your head anymore, who wants to think about hitting the gym?
So, instead, I want to offer you another list – a list of truths to remember in the midst of your depression:
Please hear me again: I can understand where you are coming from, mama. I have lived with depression for several years. I also have bipolar disorder and have suffered through both postpartum depression as well as antepartum depression. I happen to be pregnant and dealing with depressive episodes currently, so these also serve as things I want my own self to remember.
The truths and reminders I offer here are based in the book of Psalms in the Bible – most of them written by King David. David was a man well-acquainted with melancholy. He suffered through rejection, abandonment, hopelessness, loss, grief, and more… and he was often depressed. This is why I turn to the Psalms, many written by David himself, when I am feeling low – these beautiful songs and poems show me God’s compassion and gift of hope toward one who often felt downtrodden.
So I want to take just a few moments together to remember these 7 important truths:
1. There is no shame in being depressed.
I want you to hear this one loud and clear: when you are depressed, there is never any reason for shame. Yes, there is still such a stigma surrounding any kind of mental illness – depression included, but that does not mean you need to be ashamed for it. It is something that has happened to you, and not something you have done wrong. In addition, there is no shame in seeking help, either. In fact, seeking help for depression is one of the strongest and bravest things you can do. Simply continuing to face life in the midst of depression means you are strong and brave – remember this, Mama.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.” – Psalm 34:4-5
2. You are not alone.
We are never alone in our struggles, even if it feels that way. There is always someone out there who is willing and able to offer you support, to whom you mean the world. It may seem so lonely sometimes, but we are never alone. And know that God is always with you. Remember this, Mama.
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.” – Psalm 46:1-3
3. You are loved.
Even if you do feel alone, or abandoned, know that there is always someone out there who loves you. You are lovely, lovable, and loved. Your child loves you. There is a God who loves you. You are worth far more than you may realize in the midst of a dark depression. Remember this, Mama.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1-3
4. You have purpose.
The very fact that you are a mother means you have incredible purpose. You were chosen to raise your children – yes, you! That means you have an amazing reason to get up every morning, to face the day, and lift your head high. You have a purpose in life, you have young ones who look to you, who depend on you. And not only that – you have purpose because you are also worthwhile. There are so many reasons you are still here. Remember this, Mama.
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” – Psalm 57:1-2 ESV
5. We have a God who has promised to be with us in the darkness.
David wrote the beautiful Psalm 23 – where we are reminded that God is always with us when we are in darkness: “even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (NIV) Other translations read “the valley of the shadow of death“. You cannot find any place darker. But God never leaves our side. Remember this, Mama.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4 ESV
6. This too shall pass.
Nothing in this life lasts forever… you will get through this. There is help available, there are people around you willing to lift you up. Things can and will get better. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and you will find your way to the light again soon. Remember this, Mama.
“Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.” – Psalm 30:5 NLT
7. You have hope.
As long as you are alive, you have hope. There is always hope in this life. There is hope for you, hope for your children, hope for your family. There may be struggles and difficulties yet ahead, there may be hard work you need to endure, but there is a ray of hope for you. God has always promised his people hope. Remember this, Mama.
“Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.” – Psalm 119:49-50 NIV
Remember these truths, mama, when you’re caught in the middle of a depression. Turn to the book of Psalms for comfort, for uplift, for encouragement. I pray God speaks to you in your struggle, and that these passages provide you a place of solace.
What Psalms would you add that have helped you?
Share with us in a comment your favorite Psalm, and don’t forget to subscribe for more uplifting and encouraging words and resources for mothers and families… I’d love to have you along for the journey.
And for those of you who want to dive further into the Psalms with your family, I recommend:
May God be with you, friends. Peace.