Hi Kelly, I have been depressed since summer. My mental situation gets better from time to time, but I still have at least once per month that I cannot get up to work. I regret decisions I have made. The regret feeling hits me, even after I tell myself “God has plan for me, a plan not to harm me but a plan to prosper me to give me the hope and the future.” I feel ashamed. It is like an endless loop. I have shared my struggles with my Christian friends, and  they were very supportive: they prayed for me, they said that I am awesome, they said God will see his image in me… However, their encouragement makes me doubt myself even more: I feel they are lying to me because they love me and don’t want to hurt me. Am I too sensitive of my problem? Why don’t my problems go away? Even after I try so many things: memory verses, writing thanks list, taking medicine, seeing therapist, go to church, fellowship….Could you please tell me what’s wrong with me?

First of all, so MANY people think about and struggle with the same things you’re struggling with, even though they may not actually express it…

A lot of what you’re going through can be explained by the fact that when we individually, personally confront the reality of a real, living, powerful, intervening, loving God, it draws out all the impurities and distortions of how we think about ourselves, life and, ultimately the Lord…This could be a great season of repenting (i.e. purposefully changing your mind/thinking and redirecting/replanting it) of ALL those things that don’t line up with the truth as The Lord/scripture lay it out–and by “season”, I mean an extended period of time that we don’t get to control when it starts and when it ends…it can be a long time, and it can be frustrating and painful.

And I would also guess that you are confronting lifetime patterns of trying to control things in your life, and not being able to do so. This could be a season of learning to yield — scripture says, “like a weaned child, I do not consider things too great for me…”

A wonderful picture, that “weaned child”…that child has been crying and screaming and struggling with feeling like they are going to DIE unless they are fed the only way they have been and, thereby, the only way they understand and believe will sustain them…however, it is a new time and season for that child to be fed/sustained/live another way that is quite unfamiliar.  In that picture, the wrestling is over and that child has YIELDED to rest in the arms of the Lord and there is peace…

You want that kind of peace and that is a wonderful thing to hunger and long for…You have worked hard for it, with your efforts to get up, go to work, come to church, be prayed for, go to counseling, get medical help, etc.

This is the kind of scripture that would be most helpful for you to search for and find…you are in a PROCESS that requires something of you, that will end up forcing you to do/think things in a NEW and DIFFERENT way than the past–a past that ended up being unsatisfying and unfruitful and has brought you to this place of need…Rethinking is the greatest step to complete transformation.

You could look for scripture/people in scripture (that is alive and POWERFUL beyond all else–including pills, counseling, distractions and vacations) that you can identify with and see where it takes you.  For example, you could find a lot to identify with David in the book of Psalms–he complained a lot as did Job…both of these men struggled and wrestled deeply and sincerely with the God they believed in, but eventually yielded to believing in the ultimate, pure and active goodness of that God…

Often times the hardest part of our faith is simply believing. Even Jesus said the real work of God is truly believing (Jn. 6:29). If God loved you so much that He died for you, if you really believe that, then it’s easy to conclude you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Simply believing can be SO HARD.

Keep believing and keep moving forward. Your victory is just around the corner.