Depression is paralyzing and is unloving.
For Samantha depression appeared in her life as a constant fear and paralyzing anxiety about not being able to do the right thing. Not being able to please the people around her.
Samantha lived in utter fear and this fear dictated every aspect of her life. She couldn’t function.
The night before her Grandmas funeral Samantha had a profound and life-changing moment. After seeing the aftermath of her Grandmother’s suicide and the devastating impact it had on her family, she knew this is not how she wanted her life to end.
She remembers sitting at the dining room table with her sisters and talking about depression and the grip it had on her mom’s family.
“My mom set the example for my sisters and I of turning to God in her own struggles,” said Samantha. “The fact that by my mom accepting Jesus as her Savior, she was saved from such a dysfunctional and painful past. This was huge in showing me hope and revealed the miracles being lived out in my mom’s life.”
“I knew I needed Him to save me,” shared Samantha.
Soon after accepting Jesus as her Savior, Samantha reached out to her parents for help and they took her to the doctor and talked about what was going on.
“I didn’t want medication personally, so my doctor prescribed other therapies,” said Samantha. “It wasn’t until a girl at church pointed me to a path of change. I was super bullied but this one girl who was two years older than me just started to reach out to me shortly after my Grandmother’s death.”
Through this close friend of one of her sisters, Samantha started going to a bible study and got involved with the youth group.
“Anyone has the power to change someone else’s life,” Samantha explained. “To be a complete god-send to someone. This girl was an angel. She was a gift from God. She just knew I needed a friend.”
But depression isn’t cured over night, it doesn’t go away. The thoughts are always there and they slowly creeped back into Samantha’s life. Through a difficult season, God was faithful again to her and to her family by providing a change in her heart. Samantha’s mind set started to accept that her worth was not in her weight nor what people thought of her. None of those things defined Samantha. Instead, what identified her is her identity in Christ.
“It’s like I know life is not going to be easy,” said Samantha. “God will use these difficult moments to show me joy and hope for tomorrow. Jesus gives me that hope. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow offers opportunities. It will offer pitfalls but also joys and opportunities.”
“There is so much hope through Jesus.”
Samantha shares that even in the midst of her depression, she now sees and understands it is all temporary. “It’s like a reality check…even if you feel the world is caving in, how intense and sad the world might sound, its not the end. It will pass,” explained Samantha.
Samantha was quick to quote Romans 12:12. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer,” said Samantha.
Today depression is not a challenge nor a struggle for Samantha.
“Take it day by day, hour by hour,” shared Samantha. “There will be days that you will have to remind yourself of Jesus. Meditate on one good thought than being consumed by all the thoughts.”
Samantha continues to encourage anyone who battles with depression to not be ashamed of your depression.
“I wish we would come to a point where people can admit life is messy and that your mind can’t keep up and that it’s common.”
Samantha encourages anyone that struggles with depression, and parents who think their kids might be depressed, to go to the doctor for help. There is medication, therapies, and people that can help.
“Your brain can break and become sick like the rest of your body. Get help from a doctor. From a counselor. They want to help you.”
Samantha continues by sharing “So much that led to my depression is I didn’t want to talk to people. To burden them. I wish I realized that I was sick and I can NOT be blamed for it. It happens. Depression or bipolar disorder or any mental illness. It’s the same way.”
“Above all, there is a hope so much greater than what I was going through,” said Samantha. “Jesus is this hope and He wants to walk though depression with you.”
“When you read the Bible God reveals how He knows me. He understands me. God tells us this is why He sent Jesus. His son was human for exactly this purpose. To do life with you. To help you.”
Jesus loves you.
If you have suicidal thoughts, please immediately call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255 or call the Nebraska Family Helpline at 888-866-8660.
If you would like to meet with a Citylight Counselor, please fill out the online request form at citylightomaha.org/counseling/