THE CHRYSALIS (Part 1 of 2) :: My Encounter with Depression



Chrysalis -  noun
(Latin) Chrysallid-,

A protective covering while undergoing metamorphosis: a stage of being or growth.



Metamorphosis - 
(Greek) To transform;

A marked change in appearance, character, condition or function.







A few years ago, I found myself going through a great darkness of my soul.
I saw no point in living
No desire to remain in this world, 
yet scared to find out where I'd end up in the next, 
if I were to actually commit suicide.

I felt deserted by God. 
I felt lost and abandoned. I wondered if God even heard me.
I wondered if I could be so overwhelmed with darkness that I could fall outside His grace.

Where was the delight in my salvation I once had, 
the confidence in knowing I had a future and a hope?
Where did the assurance and clarity of my faith go?


I struggled to know if my faith was real. I mean, REALLY real
And if I was struggling with THAT, did it mean that I was really a Christian?


Was I being punished for some reason, 
that all these sins from my past were surfacing for me to deal with?
My guilt from an abortion, when I was 19, was the main contributor to my pain.
I decided I had committed the unpardonable sin.
I asked and asked for forgiveness, but could not feel it.
I felt alone, unworthy, undeserving of grace.




My normal gregarious, outgoing nature had turned cold and aloof.
My home was left unkempt. My children, ignored.
My own self? Neglected.
I spent my days wandering from room to room, crying.
Or staring into space, as if in a trance.
Or just lying in bed all day.


Like King David, in Psalm 32, I:
"kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long."


One day, I had enough clarity to call a friend.


She reminded me that every Christian has problems at one time or another,
heck, we have problems simply because we are human beings.
We aren't immune to what happens around us.
In fact, the more I seek to become close to Jesus, 
the more likely I am to experience troubles in this world.


STRUGGLES ARE NORMAL.




She also reminded me that if there was any sin in my depression
it was a result of not accepting the forgiveness, not in the asking for it.
God does forgive even the most terrible sin.


ACCEPT GOD'S FORGIVENESS.


She also reminded me that I shouldn't be surprised that my faith was being tried. 
Difficulties and suffering make us face up to wrong attitudes, values and goals in life. 
Times of loss and frustration, are also times of spiritual change and growth.
God was disciplining me that I might share in His holiness.


DEPRESSION PRECEDES CHANGE.


She also reminded me that I, the moment I became a Christian,
I became the special object of the enemy of my soul: Satan.
(I realize it may not be popular, trendy, or politically correct to mention the role of Satan in spiritual depression, 
but I believe, that just as GOOD is real, EVIL is real.) 
Although Satan cannot rob me of my salvation, he can certainly rob me of my joy.
She was not telling me I was possessed, just oppressed.
It was in Satan's best interest to lead me astray, to destroy the work of God in my life. 
His vocation is to constantly seek to lead me on a wrong path, away from God.


WE HAVE AN ENEMY THAT HATES US. 


She reminded me that the good news is I could overcome darkness 
with the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the Cross and the empty tomb, there was not only human suffering
but complete victory and triumph!! 
Christ came to our world to die for our spiritual blindness, pay its penalty, 
and absorb the wrath it deserves.
Satan can no longer destroy those who are in Christ, his accusations are invalid. 
My suffering could not separate me from Jesus.


THE ENEMY HAS BEEN OVERCOME.






I thank God for Karen, who was there for me that day.


If you need hope, and you are reading this, I am YOUR Karen.


Even in your darkness, God does not abandon you


In fact, He is right there with you.
He did not cause your despair, but rather will sustain you through it.


Cling to the only One who has been your source of hope in the past-
the only One who has a true perspective on your situation - God.


He will help you emerge from your pain and release your past.


He will set you free, as He did for me!







To read Part 2 of My Encounter with Depression, click HERE.



Jaime

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31 comments:

  1. Leslie, I for one am glad that you're still around! I'm so thankful to have "met" you, even though I haven't met you, yet. I love the way you love God and your family and the way that you put yourself out here for the sake of helping others. Several years ago, when I was a single mother, depressed and partying every chance I got, I abandoned God. I did this so that I wouldn't feel the guilt of leaving my small daughter with my parents while I went out to party. Even after I met Charles and began to settle down, I would still publicly state that I didn't believe in God. Deep down, I knew he was always still there, waiting for me to come around and I'm thankful for that. The past few years, I've slowly started to build a relationship with God, and I feel really, really good about it. Your posts, the ones like these, always uplift me and I thank you bunches for that!

    ~ Kristi

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  2. What a wonderful post! I am grateful that Karen was there for you, and that you are making yourself available for the next person.

    It's amazing--just this week I was studying Mark 5 with some dear friends, and we got to talking about Satan. One of the ladies there related just what you stated here--that while Satan cannot possess one who belongs to Jesus, but he can definitely oppress us. That truth really resonated with me. And here you are echoing it! A wonderful thing for me to consider and to learn deeply, way down in my heart. Get thee behind me, Satan! I don't want to live under oppression of any kind--and as a child of God's, I don't have to! Hallelujah!

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  3. God spoke to me through your post. It was so beautifully written. So honest. So true. Thank you Leslie, for sharing straight from the depths of your heart. I strive daily to do the same. As for what you have felt. I am there. The truth in your words about depression preceeds change.. well, that is what I long for. That the pain we are facing will bring about change. Thank you dear lady.

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  4. Leslie, this brought tears to my eyes. My older sister knows all about depression. Thankfully, she is well today. So glad you are, too.

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  5. sitting here with tears in my eyes thinking I could have wrote what you did. I too did the "unpardonable sin" at 19. I have been suffering with that guilt and shame for 15 yrs. I just admitted to being depressed 11 days ago and am on Celexa to help straighten my moods out.

    Thank you for letting God speak through you in this post

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  6. I'm another one who knows about depression and hung on every word that I believe you were called to write today. Beautiful and straight to my soul.

    I just typed a bunch more but decided to delete it and not try to add a "jot or tittle" to what God already said through you.

    Thank you, Leslie, for listening to Him and repeating it. I like you yet more today than yesterday!

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  7. Beautifully written, and so real. This will no doubt help those going through the darkness of depression. I was there a few years ago. And it was exactly as you described it. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  8. Hello Leslie, my new red door sister!
    I loved what you wrote on my blog and came over to say "Hi!"
    What a wonderful post on the grace of God. I too struggled with depression and even at one point had a gun in my mouth. That is the day I cried out to God-I couldn't do that to my children.
    I went to church the next Sunday, walked into the prayer room bawling, telling them not to stop me as I told them all the wrong I had done in my life-I stopped pointing the finger at others that day and turned that puppy around at myself. I was ready for the next level God had in store for me. I was ready to forgive myself. The people in the room did not condemn me, they smiled, had tears in their eyes and hugged me as they prayed over me. I walked out of that room a different person (day and night/ask anybody who knew me, this wasn't the Robin they used to know-Thank God.)
    That was almost 10 years ago and I haven't had a bout of depression since and I know I won't by the grace of God. Sure I have sad moments but the gift of contentment is the most amazing gift God has given me besides his son dying on the cross and prayer. :)
    Forgiveness is huge...Most people can forgive others, I wonder why it's so hard to forgive ourselves?
    Robin~♥

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  9. Leslie,

    Thank you for sharing your honest heart with us. I have learned over the years that as women we need to do it more not less. Truth creates very fertile ground where miracles occur. You have given the world another gift today. God bless.

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  10. Your post moved me. Thank you for sharing it, and thanks to Karen for helping you get where you are! God bless.

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  11. Leslie, I so loved your post and am so thankful you are here to share life with all of us . You are an encourager to us all. Gods blessings to you my friend and sister :)

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  12. Wonderful words... It amazes me how HE even uses blogs to BLESS... I appreciate your honesty and WISDOM...

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  13. What a lovely post Leslie. Forgive and forget is what I say. I wish more people would find forgiveness. I am the type initially someone can wrong me, and I can be angry, however, I am very quick to let it go. Life is way to short. Loved your pictures.

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  14. Your friend Karen ia very special -I believe she was there for you for the purpose of allowing you to except forgiveness-you have so much to offer others. May you continue to feel warmth and peace

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  15. Thank you for your honesty and openness. I have struggled with serious depression in the past and know how awful it is. If we let Him, He brings us just what/who we need at just the right time, huh?
    Love your pictures that correspond with your post. Perfect pairing!

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  16. Wonderful post! We are so lucky to have a wonderful God where we can lay all our burdens and all our pain. Everyone needs a Karen in their lives! Thanks for being ours today :)
    Wendy

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  17. Amen, through Jesus we can do all things when we turn it over. Glory to God!

    Abortion affects women's souls, wounds us, even though society tells us it's okay. It's the biggest lie out there.

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  18. Thanks for being transparent and sharing your heart!

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  19. Leslie, you are an amazing woman and an inspiration to us All for being so incredibly honest and open with us! I have been exactly where you described, 3 and 4 years ago. It was the very worst time of my life and like you, I had a good friend who kept reminding me that is was the Devil making me not accept God's forgiveness for my mistakes.
    I truely believe that God brings us through things like this so we not only 'finally' heal and grow, but also so we can use our experiences like these to help other people, like you just did for so many!!

    Blessings to you, Leslie!
    BIG HUGS,
    Coreen

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  20. I think this says it all! God's grace is beautiful!

    Enjoy!
    Cathy

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  21. Thanks, brave lady! Beautiful hope...

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  22. wow, what a powerful and moving post. Thank you so much for the reminder that God is there with us all the time. He will carry us through the rough times.
    Blessings,
    and hugs,
    Lyn

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  23. Leslie, thank you for sharing your dark night of the soul. I definitely believe in a spiritual component to depression. I believe that because my husband is suffering from it now, and you can hear it in his voice, his statements, his actions. Other times he is fine. He is struggling. Any prayer offered on his behalf is appreciated.

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  24. Sometimes my sweet friend there are no words.
    ((( Hugs )))

    Deborah

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  25. what a powerful post. thank you for having the courage to share that with us. I'm so glad you found your way. You are such a talented, loving, giving person, the world is certainly brighter for you in it. *hugs*
    *hearts; maureen

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  26. wow. than you so much for sharing your story. two of my best friends have struggled similarly because of abortions during college. it is so tragic that no one talks about that side of pro choice. satan has tried to use my past sin to take me down, and the Lord gave me Psalm 51:10-13 and Romans 8:1 to hold on to. thanks for bringing light to the blog world.

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  27. Thank you for sharing your story. Depression is a dark secret that Christians feel so ashamed of they don't reach out. I know your testimony will help others find their way out.

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  28. I have been in the same place, I just had no one to tell me the things Karen told you,plus my husband contributed to my doubts, But God in His mercy has brought me to the other side of it. Praise God!

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  29. Leslie, I just "happened" to find your blog. What a beautiful story of how God healed you. He healed me, too, and protected me, big time while I went through a time of depression after I lost my father, and two other close friends within 6 months. thank you so much for sharing your faith and the HOPE that we all have in Christ! Love & blessings to you and your family!

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  30. Thank you for sharing your story. =)

    I have struggled with Depression for the past 5-6 years. I hid it very well from my family and friends - smiling and gregarious on the outside but dark and unhappy on the inside. It wasn't until this summer that my husband and parents realized all this. My mom gave me "Spiritual Depression" by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones to read and it has helped me to understand the dark struggles I have. It is soooo TRUE that Satan wants to rob believers of JOY. I am disciplining myself to read God's Word everyday and it is bringing me great PEACE.

    God Bless ... Erin

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  31. Another amazing and beautiful post. Thank you for sharing with us and allowing us to share in both your struggle and redemption from it. I've been through similar, though for different reasons of course. And not just for me, but for many friends of mine, we've found that the more developed our faith the greater the struggles. Struggles happen, but with Christ we can overcome them and know we have received the greatest prize that could be won. God bless you.

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