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5 Biblical Steps out of Depression

All of us battle depression on some level at one point or another in our life. In the Psalms we find five biblical steps out of depression. #Biblestudy #Psalms #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

{Before I begin, I want to share that I have never had clinical depression and that is different than the type of depression I am writing about today.  Please seek help from a professional if the darkness is not lifting and you are going numb or not able to function.  Some people need medication to get through and that is nothing to be ashamed of. The brain is an organ like all our other organs and just like I currently take blood pressure medication for my heart, you may need medication to get through your depression.}

Are you feeling stuck today?  We all go through hard seasons in life but sometimes a season is more than hard and it feels simply impossible.

God has given us each a different personality and part of my personality includes an upbeat, smiley, cheerful demeanor.  While I am the same woman I was before my dark season began, inside I am a changed woman because of the valley I have been through.

Back in 2016, I remember smiling at my kids while I homeschooled them, smiling at church, smiling at the store, smiling on youtube and smiling at my husband each time he came to the door to visit the children for the evening – but inside I was full of sadness, fear, anxiety, dark feelings and dark thoughts.

I would stand in my shower for what felt like forever just letting the warm water run over me as I cried my eyes out.  It was dark and painful.  I NEVER EVER want to go back to that place again.

Only by the grace of God, was I able to function but what I know now is that those tears in my shower, on my bed and to friends and family –was a part of my healing process.  It was normal – it needed to happen to help me grieve the many losses I was facing from my husband leaving.

In 2017 and even this past year, I have had a few hard weeks that were triggered by glimmers of hope followed by disappointment, where I was once again plagued with the inability to cope.  I would stand in my walk-in closet trying to choose clothes for the day and literally not be able to make a choice.  I found myself just sitting down there in my closet and crying.  During this time, I had trouble gathering my thoughts, remembering things, thinking clearly, sleeping, and eating.  All signs of depression – but thankfully each time it was short lived.

But this is what I have learned – even when I am not okay – I’m going to be okay.

I have found that my losses no longer dictate how I feel day by day or week by week.  Things happen that will trigger emotions out of nowhere (like a song on the radio or a hard parenting moment) but what I know now that I did not know before – is that the feelings of despair always pass.

And so I want to share with you from Psalm 40:1-3 – how God has drawn me out of the pit of despair and put a new song in my heart.

In Psalm 40:2 – David is stuck in a pit and he writes:

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,

David was in a pit of despair and now he is going to tell us how he got out of the pit.

Here’s 5 Biblical Steps Out of Depression (based on Psalm 40:1-3)

1.) Cry out to the Lord.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
(Psalm 40:1)

David cried out to the Lord.

Sometimes when we are stuck in the pit, we cry out to people.  We seek a pastor, friend, family member or counselor to help us. That is all good and God uses people to help us but FIRST we must be crying out to the Lord!  Let no one take the place of God in your life.  He hears your cries!

2.) Wait patiently for the Lord.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
(Psalm 40:1)

David waited on the Lord to answer his cry.

This is vital!!!!  When we cry out to the Lord and he does not immediately deliver us, it can be tempting to lose our faith.  We must keep believing and keep our faith alive and wait patiently on the Lord. He does hear us!

Have you ever stood in a line that was moving at a snails pace and then the people around you start to grumble and get vocally angry? Who are the ones that are patiently waiting? The ones that are humble and quiet.

Be the humble, quiet one — as you patiently wait on the Lord to bring you through.

3.) God will lift you out of the pit.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
(Psalm 40:2)

God delivered David from the pit.  His feet felt like they were sinking in quicksand but then, God lifted him out and placed his feet securely on a rock.

When we cry out to God and wait on God, eventually the day will come when God will remove your desperation and depression and a sense of comfort and security will fill your heart again.

I can say with confidence – because I have been there – you will come through!  God will deliver you for your pit.  He hears your cries.

4.) God will give you a new song to sing.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
(Psalm 40:3)

David had sang many songs to God but this time – it was different. This is saying a lot coming from the writer of the Psalms. He had a new song to sing because of what he had gone through.

My kids have told me that they are a little embarrassed of how loud I sing in church…I’m pretty sure I’m not always on key and that is part of the problem. Lol! But I think I sing more loudly now than I ever have –because I feel more deeply grateful and near to God than I ever have.

Have you ever been swimming and for a split second got caught under the water and you weren’t sure which way was up. When you hit the surface and breathed in air – air had probably never been so sweet!   This is how I feel about God.  Being free from my desperation has caused my heart to soar and God has become more precious than ever!  I do not take his presence for granted.

5.) God will give you a new testimony.

Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.
(Psalm 40:3)

Nothing David faced was just for his own benefit.  It was also for the benefit of others – like you and me!  Because of David’s faith, many trust in the Lord.

Friends, when you come through a dark season and others have watched you cry out to the Lord, wait patiently on God, be lifted out of the pit and they see you singing a new song – they can’t help but to see the great God that we serve and relate to the struggles you have faced.

Your depression is a part of your testimony.

I have always had a heart for evangelism.  My degree from the Moody Bible Institute is a B.A. in Evangelism and Discipleship but there was no class I took in Bible School that mentioned this evangelistic tool! Lol!

David says many will see your pit and how you came out of it and trust in the Lord!  Praise God – our heartaches and struggles are not wasted!  God has an eternal purpose for your pits.

And though I don’t want this to be a part of my story and I’m sure you don’t want it to be a part of your story too…if it is… surrender it to God to do what he wants with it.

Do you sometimes wonder how to share the gospel with others?

Do not be ashamed of the pits you have been in.  Be real. Share your story with those who are lost.  Let them see what God has done in your life so that they can have hope and trust in the Lord too!

Are you in the dark today?  The Lord is near. Hang on to hope!

And next Sunday when you are in church worshipping…just know that there’s a blogger in Ohio standing in her church service with her arms lifted high – belting out a new song to her God!

He will bring you through too – keep waiting on the Lord. He loves you so.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God.
(Isaiah 43:1-3)

Walk with the King,

 

 

**Chime In**
Have you ever gone through depression? What triggered it and how did the Lord bring you through?

41 Comments

  1. Thank you! This is an important message. I am frequently going through dark times as I have a chronic heart and lung trouble and am a foster/adoptive mom that feels the loss of a child each time he comes and leaves our home. All of these points are spot on. The other thing I find helpful is to find your contentment with God. So many times we are struggling and think when God brings us through we will be content, when in heaven, when answers, when, when…but God wants us content now with Him and in His perfect timing our circumstances will become content also

  2. Hey Courtney,

    I have followed your ministry since the beginning. I have read your blog posts, watched your YouTube videos & even purchased your book. You have been with me in multiple states as I traveled with my family & when my husband traveled business, leaving me alone alot. I just so happen to click on this email/blog because I have been plagued by moments of depression & emotional triggers. On January 3rd of 2016 my husband made a confession that left me hurt, betrayed & disgusted. While his confession pieced together the scattered puzzle of the last 5/6 years of our marriage, it was nonetheless devastating. Just like you & your former husband, my husband & I have grown up together. We are 34/35 now & have been together for a total of 18 yrs. I have chose to stay with him. Somedays are beyond tough. I have had to break forgiveness down to a daily, sometimes hourly goal, because sometimes I am just so hurt & angry inside. While trust & restoration is something that will continue to be built with my husband, I know that God hasn’t forsaken me. He has kept me safe & drawn me close to him. He has given me misinstry tools, leaders, counselors & friends for love & support. I know God is still working within me. I cling to the glimmer of hope when I look at the pit of devastation he has pulled my husband out of. The damage has been done, but my God is the builder & creator. He is at work & will use all things for His glory! Thank you for being an open book to help others with your testament & walk. I don’t know what God has planned for me, but I know the plan involves Him & no matter how much the enemy trys to steal my joy, my hope or my marriage… my God will never forsake me. My husband & I will celebrate 13 years at the end of August. We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but God is good! Thank you again for your reminders of hope. Shalom!

  3. Thank you for being open and honest. I have been through actual clinical depression in my life. Those were dark and foreboding times(and yes, I did take medication at that time that I haven’t been on for years). Yet, God seen me through it, and I am experiencing the blessings that I prayed for back then. Seeing God get me through those times have helped me these past 6 months.

    I recently lost my mom to stage 4 breast cancer. I was very close to her. Nothing can feel the void of her loss. I only have comfort in knowing that I will see her again and thank her for teaching me about Jesus, so we can rejoice together in glory.

    I also have finally listened to God completely about leaving a church that had programs and standards, but had lost it’s first love. Though it is a relief to leave that church, right now I am feeling a void as I wait for God to direct me to a new church. I know that void will be filled in the future, but I know I need to wait on God’s direction and not jump ahead of Him.

  4. Dear courtney,
    I have had two divorces and many other heartaches…. i cried for years, it seems to me now…. and God started to lift me out of my pit in January 2016 with your Job study, in the time of your greatest suffering he used you to rescue me – isn‘t that amazing?! Thank you for sharing all of your story. Our lives are such powerful testimonies of His Grace – much more than just knowledge and words.

  5. This hits home for me. I knew I was feeling this way on and off in the last few months and I knew it was the next step in the spiritual attack the devil has had me under. Literally every place I can possibly be attacked it has happened and now I’m onto my health facing a surgery for a ongoing digestive problem. Each new attack has caused me to face the same things you described including going through a week or two of despair that feels like it won’t go away. I feel too sick to eat or want to eat because of it (which isn’t helping my digestive problems) and I also know binging on food causes me to not be sober minded which also isn’t helping anything. As the news from the doctor this week meant surgery I went again into despair and depression beginning with the what if’s including what if the surgery makes things worse, what happens when I have to stay in the hospital, what happens when i can’t rely on food and eat (which is a problem that I need to address with Jesus and I am not), what if I have too much time off of work and run out of PTO time. As everything was happening on Wednesday the verse of the day was Psalm 55:22 give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. As I was panicking I saw this verse as a reminder on my phone that God has it all under control and I felt His peace. Then a few hours later I came home and with a plan of action, the same verse came up on my facebook from a completely different source. I know this is when God is speaking to me and again giving me His peace. Thank you for this article sharing your testimony to remind me of what I am going through and as before there can be peace again in my life despite my circumstances.

  6. I am still going through it but sadly I can’t cry. I just feel so much sorrow and darkness around me. I can’t see a way out. I feel like God is laughing at me. Everytime I get a little bit excited about something I get dragged back down. I don’t know how to pray anymore. I don’t know how to ask God for anything anymore. Now I just exist according to his will.

    1. God will never laugh at you, sweet lady! He loves you more than you know and He will deliver you from your pit, too! When you feel like you can’t pray or don’t know how, ask others to lift you up to the Father on your behalf. I am going to pray for you right now. I pray that you feel His love and peace .

    2. Tate, we go through seasons where it seems one thing after another happens and it can be confusing. But, it doesn’t change all the things in God’s word. Read and reread God’s promises and all that he says about loving you and delighting in you and even when it feels like just going through the motions, keep going. And, remember that even when we can’t pray or find the words, the Holy Spirit will groan for us, so God sees you and knows where you are.

      Don’t give up.

    3. Tate, I have often felt the same way [looong sad story] so now I just pray the Lord’s Prayer as Jesus said. I also, as others have written above, have asked the Holy Spirit to pray for me as I literally get a stomach ache tied in knots and bloating when praying [except the Lord’s prayer now]. Also, although I have felt the same as you [not that God was laughing at me but that as soon as I praise Him or read the Bible or etc. I feel severely ‘slapped in the face’ pretty much immediately but let’s remember that is not the character of God as we read in the bible but it sure sounds like the character of the enemy, and the enemy would love for us to continue to blame God. I hope that anyone will correct me if I am wrong. Please hang in there and let’s both continue to, by the Holy Spirit’s power, distinguish and stop believing the lies of the enemy. BTW, when I first started the Lord’s prayer I used to labor and sweat over every word and sentence and make myself miserable ‘working’ so hard …no need…just pray it as Jesus said. Again, please anyone correct me if I am wrong. Tate, you are not alone as you can see from all of the replies!

  7. Such powerful words! Thank you for sharing your story, and your path to recovery – such an inspirational and comforting message … jm

  8. Thank you for your timely post. I’ve been working a lot of hours which impacted my sleep, then my husband’s grandmother passed. Pairing this grief and lack of sleep with strained relationships with my in-laws and confusing/ difficult realizations and emotions from my family of origin led to a struggle with depression. Also concern for my sister, brother- in- law, and nephews as she faces deployment and divorce and I’m unable to help. We just buried my husband’s grandmother yesterday afternoon so everything is raw and recent. I know from experience i need to practice some self care, get better sleep, and avoid becoming more overwhelmed but in the midst of everything i admit I’ve forgotten to learn on God. This is an amazing reminder of the security and hope I need. Thank you.

  9. I struggle too. It comes and goes. I never take medication. I never talk about it. I keep it to myself. Just trust God to remove it. I too am that person smiling, praising, and worshipping God, doing all the right things, but inside there’s a heavy darkness.

  10. Dear Courtney ~

    Thanks for putting depression right on the table where it belongs, where we can talk about its impact on our lives, our ministries, our spiritual health.

    Those of us in ministry or leadership or counselor roles are certainly not immune from its devastating appearance in our lives.

    http://www.lindastoll.net/2016/08/finally-in-which-she-spoke-dreaded-s.html

    But there is healing and hope. And God specializes in restoring those years ‘the locusts have eaten’ {Joel 2}. Because we’ve been there, done that.

    Bless you …

  11. Thank you for this post. It came at a great time for me. Unlike you, I was diagnosed with clinical depression at a young age and it is something I have struggled with my whole life. It sometimes feels like trying to climb out of quicksand. Your post reminded me that I need to remember to pray harder through these times and that God WILL pull me through. My greatest fear is that my kids can see it in my face when I am down even though I try to hide it. I don’t want their memories of me to be that I was a “sad” or “unhappy” person. But sometimes it’s just so hard and also causes a lot of guilt. Anyway, I just want to let you know that I appreciate you and all of your posts! Blessings to you and your family❤️

  12. This was a great post. But the best part of it was the very first thing you said. Your gave the disclaimer about clinical depression. I was diagnosed back in my teens (I’m along was from there now) and have had good, meaning well Christians tell me that I only needed to pray harder, trust in Jesus and lots of other platitudes and my depression would go away. I doubt these well meaning people would tell someone with cancer the same thing.
    So that being said your post was very well written. Thank You

  13. Thank you, that is very inspiring. I went through the same thing and was very distraught over the loss of my marriage. It was a tough 2 years but with much prayer and looking to Christ for direction I started to build my new life. With God there is hope.

  14. Oh WOW. You took the words straight from my heart. Yes, I have walked through this myself. Praise God for pulling me and you and many many women out of this same pit. Thank you for this awesome testimony. I will share and share this everywhere. Praise God. Keep telling your story, it will help millions to come out of that pit.

  15. Oh Courtney…I made my post before I read your blog post today!!! My SOAK echoes yours in words, but not the same pit-wise.
    My husband didn’t leave, but my son’s 1st wife walked out of his life, leaving him every bit as devasted as any woman has ever felt. And she left him with a 7 year old precious little child to love and care for in this storm
    Fast forward a few months and my mother spirals into dementia, falls breaks her hip here in our home and is dead in 12 weeks.
    Moving put just 6 months from that, my husband of 38 years is run 9ver by a tractor and never worked another day, never played another game of golf or went fishing or piloting a plane.
    Along the way, another precious grandchild is born and sadly we weren’t there to celebrate that joy. Not because of miles/distance but because of miles of distance in relationship.
    Traveling onward, caretaking and death of 2 elderly handicapped in-love-parents.
    All the while, raising that precious 7 year old little boy to a 20 year old man with our ir son, regaining a beautiful relationship another beautiful relationship with our granddaughter, now 9, and her mom, who I’ve known since a teen and loved.
    Fighting monthly health issues, 2 cancers, numerous falls, dozens of hospitalizations with my husband now for the past 3 years…
    YES, IVE BEEN IN MANY, MANY PITS!
    BUT GOD…yes, He rescued me from the pitS and set my feet on higher ground! Hallelujah and I praise Him for the song in my heart and the praises on my lips today as I recount and reflect with Psalm 40!

    1. Praise God! You have been so much and still going through a lot, and yet your faith shines through in your post. You can still praise Him with a song i your heart. Thank you for your comment.

  16. Very good reading for me this morning. I feel like you have lived the life I’m going through. Standing in the shower and crying out to the Lord to help me. I know He hears me but man waiting on His timing is difficult but understanding He is working through us is what gets me through the day. Thank you. ????????

  17. Love this post. Thank you, thank you for pointing out that clinical depression requires treatment just like any other medical condition.

  18. Thank you for writing this! I got divorced in November. I’ve always tried to live a cheerful, light-hearted Disneyland life. But this past year when I’ve had to face reality and broken ideals I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression. It was hard to go to work because of feelings of panic and overwhelm. I still have those feelings but over time,very slowly they are getting better. I’m trusting God and my faith has grown so much through this pain.

  19. I love this Courtney. I am SO sorry about your husband’s choices, but praise God at how He has used this to grow you closer to Him and to minister to so many people. Since 2012 I have followed you on FB and now IG. He HAS kept your head held high and I stand in awe at the proof of His power when we are weak. I’m very thankful you did not run and hide in shame and fear as the enemy wanted. No no. You stood on The Rock and shined in the darkness. May God heal you powerfully…deeply…no scars. I pray.
    Love in Christ,
    An inspired sister

  20. Courtney, I understand your words clearly. I have lost 2 husbands and my best friend in the last 15 years, and only Jesus has helped me lift my so heavy cross like no one on this earth ever could. He has sustained me in a much altered world. Now, like you, my heart soars and God has become more precious to me than ever!!! I am a true over comer! Praise, Praise Him!

    Ruth

  21. Perfect timing! I am having a very hard time right now, and my sister is also battling post partum depression as well. We both need God’s help and healing. Thank you for making depression something to talk about and not to try to hide or be embarrassed about.

  22. Thank you Courtney. I have been in a very dark place, many years ago, with severe clinical depression after the traumatic birth of my second child. He is now 28 and there are still times when the scars open up and wounds appear but with God’s grace and strength (and medication), like you, I have come out safe and sound on the other side. I’m a different woman, but in a good way – I rely on my Saviour more than ever; I need Him every minute of every day. Also, like you, I believe part of the Lord’s plan for me going through this was so that I could minister to others in need. Depression is horrendous but with God’s help and family support, there is a way through. You may have to live with it for years (even for the rest of your life) but God’s grace is sufficient. Accept it as part of your journey instead of fighting against it, and you will learn how to use it for God’s glory. If anyone reading this is struggling, see your doctor. God has doctors there for a reason. Remember Luke – he was the beloved physician.

  23. Courtney, thank you so much for this! My story is so very, very similar to yours ! I am pressing on, I am waiting on God currently for His plan for my life and my kids. It is hard, many times along the way, my faith has been so weak and I think the depression did not help this, but I continue to lay it all at His feet (usually daily as I try to control things my way and not his) am ready for the complete healing and new song that he will give me! And for my story to show others that He does bring beauty from ashes.

  24. Thank you for your words. In my depression gods Word was my help. Jesus goes with in this time. Every day. I feel this more in this hard time.

  25. WOW! this blog described me in so many ways. In the last 5 years I have lost two close friends to cancer. A few months ago I lost my father after a year long illness. Through it all I tried to be the strong one, rarely shedding a tear and being the one for family to lean on. I too am the one who always has a smile on her face. When others ask me how I am I smile and say “fine.” Yet, I have been hiding a secret. I suffer from depression and anxiety. There have been days when I sit in the bathroom and cry. After reading your blog I realized I am not alone and I need to reach out more. Thank you, Courtney.

  26. I lost my precious MOM March 6, 2018 unexpectedly in her sleep. This is the longest I have been away from my mom. She was my strength my encourager my go to person for everything. I am single live alone my daughter is 25 and on her own. I feel like i am Grieving alone. Like I am invisible. The people that said they would be checking on me never have. I feel totally isolated. I am not living, I am just existing going through the motions wearing a fake mask. Everything is an effort. I don’t know how to do life without her. I feel like God is so far away. I pray for God to bring me new friend, and nothing!! I feel so isolated, desperate!! I don’t know how to get through this, especially alone. Everyone that said they would be checking on me never have. I feel like I am sinking in depression I don’t know what to do anymore. Please pray for me, that God brings the right people in my life. I can’t do this alone any more this is so unhealthy. I need to find hope and a purpose. Going through the motions us-destroying me. My heart and soul is broken!

  27. Thank you. I have been following you since the very beginning. I needed to hear (read) this today. This post and the newer one that you posted called “How is the most important part of you doing?” Both spoke to me on such a deep level today. I need to remember these things especially when anxiety, fear and depression get the best of me. We all struggle in our own ways friend and I think we could all use these reminders, thank you for putting your heart and soul into this ministry.

  28. I have suffered from this kind of depression you write about for many years off and on. For some reason I seem to have had more than my share of dark pits in my life. I have always felt that somehow I needed to put this all together and to share it with others in order to help them. And I have felt for quite a while that I am being drawn to write. My problem with that is I can’t seem to get myself started another pit every time I start feeling positive something creeps up to pull me back down and I go through this again. and one of the things that you said that I’ve known but don’t always follow is that God is the one that’s going to pull me through other people but my loneliness is overwhelming my desire for human interaction and companionship is stifling sometimes. I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. And I tried to fit in many places. I know that I hear things differently than most people do because I’ve been told I do and I know that a lot of times when things are explain to me I have heard them differently then people have meant them or expected them to be received. I just want to come out of this move forward and continue with what God wants me to do. I feel like everytime I get to that point I’m being struck down again by the enemy or at least he tends to strike me down but pulling myself back up sets me back days. I am weary I even sleep doesn’t seem to take that away. I was told years ago that I don’t have clinical depression because I am always able to pull myself up and hang out and I know that I will this time too but it seems to come to me one right after the other without any breaks in between. I pray God gives me some relief soon.

  29. Dear Courtney,
    I found this blog in my email. It has taken me a while to open myself up and read this. In my life and my relationship with God, I feel I am on the outer edge not sure how to “jump” on. I have been in and out of a dark season for almost 3 years. I have gone the route of medical help and counselors, this is the first time I am reaching out to the Lord for help. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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