Depressed? God’s good word makes the heart glad!
For 28 years, I have been counseling people that were dealing with depression for various reasons. In many cases, it can be the happenings in our lives that create anxiety that leads to depression. God has an answer – “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25 NKJ. I will be vulnerable with you on why I’m now counseling myself in the Lord through His Word to not go into depression.
God gave us emotions. But we cannot live our lives through our emotions. Events in our lives can create depression. Right now, I have to counsel myself in the Lord because of being the sole 24/7 full-body caregiver to my hubby for over six months. He experienced a terrible fall on August 13, 2019, because of a loose hip replacement from 2007. His left femur bone shattered. The surgeons waited six days to do surgery because they had to figure out how to reinforce the shattered femur bone plus put in a new hip replacement. Hubby was in a bed 90% of the time from August 13, 2019 – October 18, 2019, when he came home from rehab. He lost much of his physical strength in the process. Hubby is a 23-year survivor of 4-by-pass heart surgery. Now implied congestive heart failure plus diagnosed with stage three kidney disease.
My hubby has been an ordained minister for 60 years. He will be 83 in July 2020 (I’m 9 years younger). We are in our 50th year of marriage. This episode turned our lives up-side-down in an instant. My hubby has handled this life-changing event in a mostly positive manner. I know that no man wants to depend on another person for his body care. From the day of the fall, I was in the hospital and rehabs 8 – 10 hours every day with my hubby. Now I’ve been the sole full-body caretaker 24/7 for over six months.
This unexpected event changed our lives completely. Hubby’s retired and my ministry has expanded to providing teaching and counseling nationwide and to other countries by phone, Skype, etc. I love to write (over 500 articles on my website www.carolclemans.org). I love making teaching videos. For several years, hubby would joyfully help around the house. He cooked breakfast/brunch on a daily basis and would bring it to me while I was working on my computer. He would wash clothes voluntarily, etc. He would keep the kitchen clean from my cooking.
In August 2018, hubby had surgery on the right neck artery that was discovered blocked because of testing after some mini-strokes. That slowed him down, but still self-functioning. He would walk with a cane but could not walk any distance.
When his fall happened in August 2019, my ministry functioning came to a screeching halt. I had to put my ministry on hold (partially still is) and focus totally on hubby’s health. My biggest issue is sleep deprivation. I’m on alert mode 24 hours a day. I have the upkeep of the home, meal planning, grocery shopping, personal business, ministry issues, medicine distribution, etc., along with full-body care. Hubby has healed from surgery but has not regained his strength to care for himself. We have gone through some major adversities in our life, but nothing as physically demanding as this experience. There is no respite time for me.
I’m not sharing our story for petty. I’m sharing because I want people to understand how someone who has had the Holy Ghost for 65 years and has been in ministry over 50 years is still human. We have limitations in our humanity. I have always been the strong one to care for others even before my counseling education and counseling others.
I become overwhelmed when I am exhausted. (I do take daily naps but never feel completely rested). I cry out to the Lord. This describes how I survive: “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications…I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.” Psalm 130:1-2,5. Every day in the middle of all the chaos, I must take time to connect with God in His Word and prayer. Prayer journaling. Praying in the Spirit. Praying with understanding. I talk to God all day long in an inner dialogue in my heart and mind. (I forgot to share that my hubby has major deafness even with hearing aids – this adds to the stress level of life).
Calls from across the nation keep coming in from saved but hurting people. I counsel nationwide by phone/Facetime/Facebook video/Skype Monday – Thursday evenings. God’s Word is the source of healing and comfort in all areas of our lives. Depression must be challenged by God’s truth. We can choose to dwell in toxic thoughts, or we can choose to look at our lives by asking the question, “What is God’s truth?”
Jesus said that we would have trouble in this world. Being saved does not guarantee us a life of roses. The rain (sprinkles or floods) falls on the godly and ungodly because we live in the devil’s territory. Jesus told us to be of good cheer because He has overcome this world! Our hope is beyond this life!
To get out of a depressed feeling, we must focus on God and His truth! In our situation it is lonely. It is overwhelming. It is hard to look beyond the physical circumstances into our heavenly hope! But we must look up because our redemption draws nigh!
I recently did a teaching video on ‘Looking for our blessed hope’ – you can find it on my FB page ‘Carol Theobald Clemans’ – dated April 10 video. Jesus promised us in more than one place that He would return in the clouds to catch His Bride into heaven to be with Him forever – delivering us from the wrath that is to come upon the whole world – Rev. 3:10. The wrath of the tribulation is for those who are a part of this world. Out citizenship is in heaven. This world is our temporary home. We have nothing to fear!
God gives strength one day at a time even if I’m feeling exhausted. I thank God for a few intimate ministry friends including my sweet sister who lives across the nation that I can call and ask for special prayer knowing they continually pray for us. I can vent my VAT and they love me unconditionally. We are to encourage one another in the Lord!
Proverbs 14:10 (NKJV)
10 “The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy.” This scripture is telling us that others cannot fully understand our sorrows, nor can they fully understand our joys. We need to learn to weep with those that weep and rejoice with those that rejoice. Don’t tell others, “I know how you feel.” Please be willing to love others with God’s love.
We have a moment by moment choice to filter our thoughts through God’s Word. Our thoughts create our feelings and we act out on our feelings. We must gird up the loins of our minds. We may not be able to change our current circumstances, but we can make a choice to reject the toxic thoughts of the devil and replace thoughts with God’s truth!
Nothing on earth will last forever no matter how we feel. God knows the details of our lives. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. That is a fact no matter how we feel!
Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMPC) 5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Mins. Ref: Pastor Daniel Batchelor, Dupo, IL.