Examining the Dark: What to Do When Depression Lifts

as featured at Servants of Grace
This article originally appeared on the Servants of Grace blog on June 24, 2019. Read the entire article at this link.
Anyone who has battled depression can tell you that relief is a welcome mercy from God.

Yet, as much as the relief is welcomed, it is also sometimes wasted. As a feral cat darting out of a cage, I have often sprinted back into everyday life after seasons of depression. What once was slow and plodding and tempered suddenly switches into a whirlwind disguised as “normalcy.” In my haste to get far removed from the shadows, I neglect to reflect on the lessons learned in the dark.

Who isn’t repelled by the pain of depression? It singes, stings, and swallows. But more than that, deep melancholy threatens to decay our souls when we treat it like a skeleton in the closet. Depression demands to be heard—to have a voice. Ed Welch writes, “There are times when depression is saying something and we must listen.” If we don’t take notice of the dirges despondency sings, we fail to capitalize on an important catalyst for spiritual growth.

Sometimes we’re so busy rejoicing in depression’s absence that we ignore what God was teaching us through it.

The time to prepare for dwelling in the shadows is not when they fall upon us. Depression restricts our ability to ingest even small doses of comfort and courage. Our appetite for faith and fighting and fortitude are meager when despondency settles. Because of this impediment, the time to become a student of our sorrows is when the fog lifts enough to see things clearly.

In short, the best studying of our suffering happens when the lights are on.
Depression invites us to take a long listen to its voice for the purposes of healing what’s tender and realigning what’s askew.
Examining the Darkness: What to Do When Depression Lifts
Christine M. Chappell
Christine Chappell is the author of Clean Home, Messy Heart, the host of The Hope + Help Project podcast, and is a guest contributor at Desiring God. She writes frequently about motherhood, sin, and sorrow at her blog, has completed biblical counseling certificates with the Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship, and is currently pursuing certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
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