Recovery from depression is not put on hold until you have everything figured out. Recovery is not a destination but a road that is walked. Some of the reasons for your depression will be evident, and some you may never completely understand. it is not necessary for you to wait until all the reasons are evident. Deeply buried answers take time to come to the surface, and God reveals truth on his own timetable. If you have to wait, you are not alone.
Hebrews 11 is a wonderful chapter outlining the trust of those from the Old Testament who never did see the fulfillment of all they hoped for. yet they trusted in God and in his promises, even when they could not see. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” And again in verse 13: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised: they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.”
There will be times on your journey when recovery looks distant. During these times, you must have faith that God is with you and trust his presence in your life. You must trust, even in the face of your own feelings. During these times, rely on Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Trust in the Lord, even when he seems far off, and he will help guide you out of your depression.
There will also be times when you do not want to forgive or learn to trust. Depression is often a numbing response to one or more traumatic events. It can appear to be protecting you from feeling the full impact of the pain. As such, you may be reluctant to live life without it. A life fully lived is one where the range of emotions is felt. After the gray of depression, the real world can seem bright and loud; it can hurt like coming out of a dark building into the sunlight. You may not want to come out.
At that point, you must allow obedience to supersede your desire. God wants you to come out into the light. Ephesians 5:8 urges us to “live as children of light.” In order to do this, you need to forgive and forsake blame for your depression; you may need to learn some difficult truths about yourself or someone you love; you may need to trust God to comfort you when you’ve run out of hope.
In the midst of depression, hope may be the hardest trait to practice. Yet, hope is what whispers the surety of a better tomorrow. It is as fragile as a dream and as strong as a promise. Hope is the bedrock of depression recovery.
At The Center • A Place of HOPE, we have a theme verse we use for ourselves and for our clients. It comes out of the Old Testament book of Jeremiah and speaks directly of hope. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (29:11).
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 30 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others. For more information about eating disorder treatment, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.