Depression Doesn’t Mean Defeat: How to Encourage Young Women Who Struggle with Depression

 

When I started going to counseling (which I was afraid to admit due to my being a Christian and, worse, a pastor’s daughter), my counselor said something that stuck with me.

“Stephanie, I’d like to see you get angry.”

I looked at her like she was crazy. I thought, “Wait. The Bible says something about anger. Something like—don’t even go there. She must have read the confusion in my expression because she chuckled a little and said, “I’m not telling you to get angry at people or even situations; I want you to get mad at Satan and the lies he’s put in front of you.”

So, let’s talk about depression. Let’s talk about the lies—feel free to be angry at them and angry at the father of lies (John 8:44). Then, let’s talk about the truth, and how you can help young women who may be struggling with depression. As the church we need to seek truth in every situation, not just the ones that “apply” to us.

Here are some lies the Enemy would like for us, and our girls, to believe:

  1. A Christian can’t be depressed.
  2. Christians only struggle with depression because of unconfessed sin.
  3. Jesus should be all the healing you need. You don’t need to see a counselor.
  4. Depression is unbeatable.
  5. If you struggle/struggled with depression, God can’t use you to show His love.

I don’t know about you, but I get angry at the Devil’s lies. So, why don’t we make him a little angry? Let’s put his lies to rest, let’s beat them back and beat him down with truth.

  1. A Christian can be depressed. Here are some Bible people who experienced forms of depression.
  • David (See Ps. 13:1-4; 42:3-5a,7; 55:4-5.)
  • Elijah (See 1 Kings 19, and focus on v 4.)
  • Jeremiah. Lamentations (a lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow). The name of the book itself is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Job (See Job 1-3, and focus on 3:1-7,11-12.)

2. Sometimes, depression is due to un-confessed sin, but not always. (See Ps. 38 and 51.)

3. Yes, Jesus is the root of all healing. But He had disciples. God uses ordinary people to carry out His mission. He uses missionaries, lawyers, teachers, and doctors to reach people and bring healing. Why could He not use a counselor to help bring healing to a wounded soul? (See 2 Cor. 12:7-10 and Eph. 4:11-16).

4. Depression does not mean defeat. God may allow you to go through some pretty tough stuff, but He won’t let you be crushed. (See Luke 1:78-79 and 2 Cor. 4:8-9).

5. God can use whomever He wants to use. Paraphrasing what a friend of mine said, “I love that God uses the most broken parts of me to be the brightest spots of my testimony.” (See 1 Cor. 15:10.)

If you notice a young woman struggling or if she approaches you for help, what steps can you take?

  1. In any situation in life, seeking God is the first step (Matt. 6:33). And prayer is a powerful weapon against the Enemy (Eph. 6:18), so pray for her and encourage her to pray and seek God (1 Thess. 5:11).
  2. Listen (James 1:19). Don’t give your opinion, and don’t discount hers. Allow her to speak freely. If she doesn’t feel accepted and loved by you, that may make her feel like it was a mistake to come to you and could even keep her from opening up in the future.
  3. Seek help (Prov. 20:5). Set aside your own feelings and opinions. If she thinks she’s depressed or if she feels that her mood swings up and down, like a roller coaster—help her find a good, godly counselor. Sometimes depression will pass or fade over time, sometimes it lasts and can increase the chances of other mental disorders. The point is, get her to someone who can help guide her through what she’s dealing with.
  4. Memorize Scripture with her. Scripture may not “cure” depression, but it can bring truth, calm, and peace to the midst of a turbulent situation. Here are some Scriptures I cling to during difficult times in my life, hopefully these will help you get started.
    1. Proverbs 3:5-6
    2. Isaiah 41:10
    3. Jeremiah 29:11
    4. Matthew 11:28-30
    5. Romans 8:26
    6. Romans 8:31-39
    7. 1 Corinthians 10:13
    8. 2 Corinthians 2:8-9
    9. Hebrews 6:19

 

By: Stephanie Livengood

Advertisements

One thought on “Depression Doesn’t Mean Defeat: How to Encourage Young Women Who Struggle with Depression

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s