I had my first anxiety attack at the age of 15. Unexpected shortness of breath, chest pain, and feeling of despair, came up to me and punched me straight in the face. I had no idea what the heck was happening to me at the moment, honestly felt like I was slowing dying. By this time I had already accepted Christ into my heart, attended church regularly and lived what I thought a normal life. So I would question and wonder, why?
Truth is depression doesn’t make exceptions. You could be mentally the strongest person out there and still be vulnerable to fall in it’s trap. I think of it as quicksand, step in and you’ll slowly start to sink. For some reason I thought being “Christian” automatically ruled me out of that sinking hole. Only to find out that there’s a greater risk because of it, i’ll explain.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
In this whole chapter Paul advises us to take up the whole armor of God.(Read about the armor in Ephesians 14-18) So that when those harsh and evil days come we may be able to stand our ground. I didn’t know what this meant back then honestly. I guess because I had never gone through it before till it hit me.
Around that time I had my first heart break (they suck, am I right?) relocated to a different city, puberty acne was pounding on my self-esteem and was soon to start high school as overwhelming as that already is. I was basically on my own since all my friends went to a different school. I was not realizing that I was slowly drifting into depression because I chose to ignore and hide all my feeling instead of facing them. Suddenly it was harder to get up the mornings then usual, my energy was lacking, motivation was quickly out the window. This horrible feeling of despair would linger over my spirit unlike anything else I had felt before. I was in a battle, not with anyone physically but within myself. It took a great effort to show happiness around my family since I was secretly miserable inside. Eventually like I said in the beginning I had the first anxiety attack. Which in my opinion is the aftershock of depression. That was my body physically reacting to all the emotional mess I was carrying inside.
One of my biggest mistakes was not speaking about it to anyone. I thought I was strong enough to take it and go through it I guess. Wrong! I needed help, and fast. Life isn’t perfect not even when you are Saved. It’s not always a walk in the park. I was young and mistakenly thought that’s how it had to be. Not going to lie, I allowed depression to settle in and question my Faith. Depression AKA the devil, said to me. “Well if God is love, why don’t you feel loved? “If God is your Father, why do you feel abandoned? “If God is your strength, then why are you broken?” the list goes on.
Remember I said that being christian puts you at a bigger risk. Yes, it makes you a target! the devil will never rest until he has you under his feet. He’s angry about the great plans the Lord has intended for your life and aims to rob you of all blessings. He attacks not only physically, and emotionally, but mainly spiritually. Because that’s where your Faith is. That’s why Paul writes about the danger around us, that we can’t see with our eyes-but certainly exists.
So, how did I overcome?
The same solution to my everything. JESUS! You see I simply surrendered. All my troubles, all my tears, all my failure, all my fears, all my heartache, all my pain, all my burdens, and all my shame. I allowed Him to take control of my life, He became the captain of my sinking ship. He reminded me that on that cross I received freedom. Rest for those weary days, and shelter from the adversary.
Am I still at risk for depression?
yes! Everyday, and so are you. But it’s a choice remember that. You are not destined to be miserable and chained down. Choose to set your eyes on the one that saves and gives Love, Hope, Peace. It’s a daily decision you have to make as soon as you open your eyes each morning. It’ll be hard, you still might get that flat tire on the way to work. You are still going to have disagreements with spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, and family. Economy might be difficult at times. They’ll be days where your stress level is higher than your self-esteem.
But remember when you’re tired and feel like you can’t go on anymore.
Let Go! He’s ready to catch you.