Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 41: 10
At the start of 2018, I was filled with fresh happiness and fire for the Lord as I had just recently become a Christian. I spent most of my time trying to grow in my relationship with the Lord by packing my schedule with time for Scripture, prayer, and outreach events. All the while I was making the best friends I have ever known. I finally felt whole. Then halfway through summer vacation, I became the most depressed I had ever been.
I have struggled with depression since I was fifteen. However, it was always seasonal and was brought on by the weather becoming cold. I had never had a hard time managing in the summertime, until this past year. It was a successful day if I ate an actual meal and showered. I struggled to care about anything and could not find the energy to care that I did not care. My thoughts were dark and so I ran from them. I could not bear to be alone and deprived myself of sleep to do so. I surrounded myself with friends and activities from the time I woke up at 8 A.M. until I got home at four in the morning. Without realizing it, I was trading in my time with God for others. I had been used to attempting to find recovery in peers during times like this and forgot that the only place I could find peace was with Him.
Then one day He woke me back up. On a particularly rough day, I sat on my friend's bed crying to her. I told her I felt that God had forgotten about me. I said even if this suffering was part of a greater future, I did not know if it was worth living. My friend looked me in the eyes and told me, “Do not doubt God’s love and plan for you.” After months of feeling completely alone, I finally felt like God was with me.
Although I still am struggling with my depression, I have found hope and meaning in Jesus again. We will all experience pain and sometimes that pain may make life feel pointless, but we must keep our faith. I will never be able to fully know why God allows some pain to happen, but I am certain He will be with me through it all. His love for His children is so great and if we seek out our relationship with Him we will find joy.
1. Has there been a time in your life when you sought peace in anything other than Jesus?
2. What are some steps you can take this year in trusting God’s love for you?
Lord, thank You for being such a loving and good God. Thank You for relentlessly seeking a relationship with Your children. I ask that You help us to further grow in our trust in Your plans. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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