to the Christian who struggles with depression.

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“is it really 5 o’clock?” i questioned my friend as i peered across her kitchen in the haze of late afternoon sunshine.

“yeah, it’s really getting late.” she responded as i lost myself in thought. i couldn’t believe it actually had gotten that late- where had the day gone? i hardly even remembered doing anything beside laundry and making coffee- and according to the clock, that was hours ago now.

as my friend continued tidying around her kitchen and making a snack, she asked me if i was hungry and i was like “oh, um..” and never really answered her. what she didn’t know was that i hadn’t eaten anything all day until early afternoon. my mind was fuzzy and formulating answers was a struggle. i questioned my decision to even hang out with my friend at her home. mentally i was not in a place to be around people, yet i knew it was safer to be with someone i trusted than to stay alone in my apartment any longer. instead of formulating a response, i padded over to the couch and cracked open my laptop…

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flash back to a few weeks ago

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my cheeks were flushed as i conversed heavily with a friend in my living room about the topic of depression. she stated her viewpoint and i replied with my disagreement. it was a hard thing for me to disagree with something to that extent and keep a level head. when i’m passionate about something, i often can get too emotional about it and then i lose the ability to explain myself through words. usually it ends up with me angry crying and shutting down, but on this night i held my emotions together:
“i don’t believe we have to live with depression.” my friend repeated back to me. “Okay, I understand what you’re saying…but I don’t agree.”
“Why is that?” she questioned.
“Because, as someone who has fought through years of the haze and debilitating fog of depression, involuntarily– I find that statement arrogant. To state that it’s not something people *have* to live with, is to invalidate those who have lived years fighting through it. ” I paused and then chose to change the topic of conversation.
Yes, I am still friends with this person. No, we didn’t have to fully agree on a subject that I’m sensitive about, however, my opinion is still firm: some people DO live with depression and I do not believe that makes them any less human or any less Christian.

This article is for those people. 

Some nights the anxiety is your strongest reality.
Some days, you can’t even perform basic housekeeping tasks.
Sometimes you just need a text from a friend that says,

“what if i come kidnap you and we drink coffee at my house and hang out”

Sometimes kidnapping saves lives.
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Friends, depression doesn’t have to win. It’s the hardest thing to believe- especially when you’re at war with your own mind. But in the words of one of the wisest men I know, “the mind is a battle field and we need people around us to help us fight that battle.”

A fight doesn’t always mean you walk away unscathed but it does mean that when you find victory after struggle, you are stronger than you were before you started. I don’t think it’s helpful to live your life with the mindset of easy days. Instead, I think being a Christian who struggles with depression means walking through the valley of the shadow, looking your demons straight in the face without flinching and clinging even tighter to the hand of your Savior. ¬†There is a beauty in weakness.