This blogpost is written by Jeremy Helbert, a member of our community. The post is a further reflection on the message Jesus & Depression, which is available on iTunes.
Additionally, here is Jeremy sharing a bit about his background and how Jesus has been at work in his life:
Jesus & Depression
When thinking about my time at Antioch and what Jesus has to say about Depression, I think of Prophecy. While this may seem like a jump, or even contradictory, Prophecy is the ability to speak life where none is found. It gives space for someone to go from "I want to die," to "I want to live." Yet, it does not judge when they are in that first space. It just let's that person know there is more for them. This is why I believe the two are connected. Anxiety and Depression go hand and hand, so when Jesus says, “Do not be anxious,” He is speaking into this future hope. It is a promise. Sometimes this promise is fulfilled supernaturally and sometimes, with the aid of medicine. Either way, Jesus is speaking life regardless of where you are.
How Eeyore's friends treated him in the Hundred Acre Woods, is how I see Jesus interacting with us who struggle with Depression. They never set him aside, and told him that he was less than them. They never rebuked him for struggling with Depression. Instead, they spoke life despite how Eeyore felt about himself. In my own walk with Depression, it has been this way. People have continually spoke life into me, until I was able to ask God for words for myself.
He loves us, and, He speaks into our lives.
He includes us in the body.
We aren't separated because we struggle.
We don't love God less because of it. Instead, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Not because He wants us to remain in that space. Not because there isn't healing. We are blessed because there is healing and life for us.
The biggest opponent to overcoming Depression, is shame. If it comes from your own thoughts, or someone else, shame keeps you away from Jesus. It doesn’t matter if you have a full healing, and never have to struggle with it again, or if you have to take Zoloft, Jesus does not put shame on you. I would say shame is the biggest reason to have a community around you during those darker times. If you are attached to a community, it is harder to remain in that place because you can be vulnerable. My first experience of really seeing the truth of this was when a group of us were planning a rock-climbing day and I was basically felt into a bout of Depression. I did not want to go, but because I was honest with those around me, they made me feel wanted regardless of where I was mentally that day. The activity ended up helping me get out of that bout faster. It won’t always be that way, but there is still hope despite that.