Let's Talk About Depression (Guest Post)

Dear Warrior,

Let's talk about depression.

Sometimes it just up and hits you out if the blue, other times it slowly swallows you up like a dark and cold cave. No matter how hard you try, you just can't shake it. It chases you wherever you go no matter how much sunshine surrounds you. Like a cloud that just won't go away, depression is confusing, lonely and miserable. If you've made it out of that valley, you know that beautiful feeling of one day waking up with a little bit more hope in your pocket, and the next day a little more than that, until finally you wake up and you can see the good, and it's all around you.

I've dealt with depression on and off since I was a kid. Most recently, when one of my very closest friends from high school tragically passed away. 2016 was already ending roughly. I wasn't adjusting from moving back to the states as well as I thought I would, and my family has been in a really difficult season. When Ricky died, it was like I saw that storm coming and I didn't even try to run away from it. I let it swallow me. I stopped talking to my friends. I stopped talking to my family. I didn't want to get out of bed and I was exhausted all of the time. I don't think I looked in the mirror for more than the three seconds I needed to wash the toothpaste off of my mouth after brushing my teeth. I stopped responding to clients. I couldn't pray. I couldn't even bear to ask God why my life looked like this. I felt so alone and so broken. So I gave up.

But God doesn't leave behind the weary hearted, does He?

Some of you may know who Bridgette is. She's my Velvet Taco buddy. She's my ride or die. She's the one who set Clark, my boyfriend, and I up! She's also almost as stubborn as I am, and she never gave up on me. She started speaking truth over me. Every morning she would text me "You are _______." (today's was "you are favored."). At first I didn't respond. I didn't know what to say, or where to begin. I didn't believe those words. I didn't even know who I was anymore. But she didn't stop. Still every morning when I woke up I would read those words and every time, my heart would believe it a little more. A very recent Sunday morning I remember standing next to her, arms held high worshipping at church, crying out in thankfulness. For the first time in a long time, my heart felt free. I felt the peace and hope that I had been missing for so long, and I felt God's perfect love shine through Bridgette's faithfulness. I know she didn't want to send me those words some days. I'm stubborn and not always easy to love. But because of her obedience, I am healing. Isn't that so powerful? I could cry thinking about it, and I often do. I just hope this encourages you to be obedient to what God is nudging you to do. It could change lives. And based off of God's track record, it probably will.

Much love,

Anna Cate