In light of the recent tragedy with Rick and Kay Warren’s son (our prayers will go out to you in the coming months) we are reminded of the darkness and its power to overtake our minds and eventually our souls. Depression is real. Regardless of the reason, it is time for the church to stop dismissing this very real issue amongst our own.
Since we’ve taken it upon ourselves to “always show a happy face to the world,” it is hard for God’s people to somehow acknowledge that depression is real. It’s dark, it’s debilitating. It leaves its mark not only on its prey, but also on the loved ones surrounding the one held captive in its grip.
According to the George Barna survey folks, depression is the single most thing that pastors deal with in their counseling. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, fully one-third of the people in the US deal with depression on an on-going basis.
I will never, ever forget the pastor’s wife who called me. She was in tears trying to explain her life-long experience with depression. I really tired to convince her to get help. Her reply brought chills to my bones. It wasn’t a matter of not having the resources to come away to a quiet place ~ A’nesis Counseling Sabbaticals ~ in Colorado. The problem was that she was a pastor’s wife in a very large church. No one could know her battle. It would do too much harm if anyone found out the depth ot the darkness she lives in. She freely admitted even her husband was not aware of how deep she was in with this depression thing.
Depression is real. God’s people need to start being real. Getting help for depression shouldn’t be shameful. Even Jesus knew the anguish of dark nights. If He cried out in His pain, we also are allowed to do so. I encourage once again anyone dealing with the darkness…please, please…help is available. Get help.