August 21, 2014


Depression is a hot topic in our world today, especially when people who are loved by so many are so overcome that they take their own lives.

Depression is spiritual. Depression cannot be cured by pharmaceuticals but instead, the root of it needs to be addressed and healed by the love of Jesus.

When we moved to Alabama in 1993, I did not want to go.  My husband wanted to be connected with The Mises Institute, whose offices were on the Auburn University campus, while he got his PhD in  Economics.  I did not want to leave my beautiful Colorado, my friends and church.

The first year there, my husband now calls, "The Year Your Mother had her Breakdown."  lol?

Our daughter, Laura, was seven and our first son, Matthew, was 18 mos old.  We only had one car and my husband would take it to school each morning which left me home without any transportation.  I was homeschooling Laura and when I would try to take Mark to school in the morning, it ruined our productivity with school.  So often I was home all day with two children.

I didn't have any friends, of course.  People were speaking a language I couldn't understand (Southern drawl - lol) and the weather, the bugs, EVERYTHING!! felt foreign and just plain wrong!  I hated the house we'd bought.  Our house in Denver had high ceilings, tons of windows and a very open floor plan. And it was always sunny in Colorado.

Our house in Opelika, Alabama was not open, was surrounded by trees and there was at least three- 3" long wood roaches on my kitchen floor every morning when I got up.  It even smelled wrong.  Colorado has a very dry climate and it's very hard to get anything to mildew.  But anything that was damp in Alabama (and everything was damp) started to stink like mildew.  I felt like every 'fact' I'd ever known was challenged by this new life.

It took us several months to find a church that we 'liked' and so I continued for the first year with really no connections.  I volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center which meant my mom would have to hurry over those afternoons to watch the kids and loan me her car.  One day when I was scheduled to work I finally had to call them and tell them I couldn't come in - I was too depressed to get dressed.

I approached my husband, who was very happy with what he was doing in life, and told him we had to do something.  We had to sell this horrible house (my daughter still says it was haunted and gave her nightmares!), or move back to Colorado or something.  I was not doing well.

My husband looked at me and very kindly told me that if I was depressed, I was in sin.  He told me that Jesus gave us everything we needed for victory and I needed to repent.

Well!!  That was NOT what I wanted to hear!  I wanted someone to DO something!  I wanted someone to lay hands on me and fix me!  I wanted someone to DO something!

I went upstairs, locked myself in the bathroom in the middle of the afternoon, and took a bath.  I sat in that tub of hot water and cried and cried and cried.  I ranted and raved and shook a wet fist at God and told Him that HE needed to do something!

And God spoke to me.  He told me the scripture, "Submit to God.  Resist the devil.  And he will flee from you."  (James 4:7)

As I sat there crying, my heart began to yield.  I asked God to forgive me for rebelling against what He was doing in our lives, even though I did not understand why, even though I felt like my heart was breaking.  And I told Him I would do my best to yield to His will and live this life He had given me.

The next morning, even though I had no car, no friends, and nowhere to go, I got up, got 'cute' and did my best to have a productive day.  The next day I did the same thing.  And the next day.

One day we heard a strange noise coming out of our fireplace.  We soon realized that the chimney was full of birds.  The local exterminator told us that they were Chimney Swifts, they were 'protected' and they would not come and kill them for us.

The next morning I got up before everyone else, as I usually did, and walked in the kitchen to find a bird sitting on the molding of the cabinet.  It was flattened up against the cabinet like a bat and was a good sized black bird.  Then I heard another one flying around the living room.  I ran upstairs to get my husband and with a healthy amount of drama, he managed to get them out of the house.

The next afternoon I was folding laundry in the bedroom when I heard a 'flap,flap,flap' coming from downstairs. Laura was at a neighbor's house playing and Matt was taking a nap.  I walked quietly down the stairs to find another bird going crazy in our house.  It was flying frantically around the living room, dining room and kitchen, looking for a way out.

I was terrified.

I opened the front door to give it a way out, closed some other doors to keep it from going all over the house, grabbed a few 'weapons' and walked into the room.  The bird flew straight at me.  I screamed like I'd never screamed before and waved my rug beater in the air and the bird flew straight out the front door!

I then spent about an hour putting everything  I could find to block off the fireplace opening to keep any other birds from coming into the house! lol

About a week later I had a dream.  I was in our house and the house was completely empty.  I could tell the former owners had just moved out.  There were remnants of their lives (trash) laying around here and there. The house was dark and shadowy and sad.  All over the walls were the outlines of pictures of their family that used to hang on the walls. (The husband and wife had suffered a divorce several years earlier and the wife had stayed living in this house until her teenage boys had grown up. Then she sold it to us as we arrived in Alabama.)

The LORD spoke to me in this dream and told me that there had been three spirits in the house - three birds - and my husband had put two of them out.  The third one, depression, had attacked me.  My sin of not submitting to God had given it a legal right to attack me.

When I woke up, my depression was completely gone!  I was filled with the joy of the LORD.  I even realized that I might have been a little depressed my whole life.  The LORD had set me free!  My submission to God and repentance of my attitude had closed the door to this attack and I was healed.

Most people would be able to tell you the root of their depression - the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, a trauma, an illness, a job loss, etc.  It's our response to these things that opens the door to depression.  A doctor or psychiatrist cannot cure us.  They often prescribe pharmaceuticals which are highly addictive and can even cause psychosis.  I'm always horrified that one of the 'side-effects' of these drugs is suicide!

God's Word tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace... the exact opposite of depression! Depression has to have a legal right to enter our lives and that's sin.  All of us have sinned.  My heart is not to condemn anyone as obviously I am telling you about the sin that was in my life in this season.  My heart is to tell you that there's a way out.  Taking pharmaceuticals may drug you into not feeling depressed but it does not cure you.  And it still leaves you 'in sin' before God.

And sin will bring further problems into our lives and our health.  We need to look at our sin honestly and let God correct us and redeem us.

1 Corinthians 1:30 says, "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption."

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