It’s true, the experience of depression is exhausting—both physically and spiritually. We find ourselves desperately feeling around for a light switch that we may finally land our fingers on a toggle. But alas, there are no quick remedies for instantly illuminating our gloom—no switch to flip, no immediate assuage of our pain. Yet, while depression is a season where our capabilities may be diminished, there are small sustaining graces to partake of which can carry us along while we wait.
Depression demands to be heard—to have a voice. Ed Welch writes, “There are times when depression is saying something and we must listen.” If we don’t take notice of the dirges despondency sings, we fail to capitalize on an important catalyst for spiritual growth.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Laura Fleetwood on the topic of panic and anxiety recovery. Laura shares details about her personal struggle with anxiety, what recovery has looked like for her, as well as the various ways God has ministered to her as she has battled on-and-off seasons of disruptive anxiety in her life. She also explains how panic and anxiety manifests itself in her physical body, and gives listeners a practical acronym designed to help us turn more quickly to Christ and his body when panic strikes.
It's by design we raise our ebenezer on the battlefields of life (1 Samuel 7:10). Maybe for you, that place is a hospital bed. Maybe it's a courtroom. Maybe it's a jail cell. Maybe it's a clinic. Maybe it's a cemetery. Believe there is no place too taboo for our Jesus, no building or circumstance can keep him away from consoling your hurt and wiping your tears. Uncomfortable places of despair may separate us from the outside world for a time, but they cannot separate us from his steadfast love (Romans 8:35-39).
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell and Reverend Chris Moles unpack the heart of domestic abuse. Chris shares why he believes there has been some push-back from the Christian community about pursuing violent men with the hope of the gospel, the problem with treating domestic abuse as an anger issue, reasons why focusing on abuse as spiritual rebellion is so important, realistic ways of measuring intervention "success," and words of admonishment (as well as hope) for the man who senses he is abusing his power and wonders what true change will require. He also shares a variety of reliable resources that the audience can explore to further educate themselves on the issue of domestic violence, or find guidance for next steps if they are in a abusive relationship.
Sometimes disappointment comes in the form of forced humility—the moment when we must admit we cannot fix our problems or ourselves in our own strength. Sometimes we compound our sorrows by not recognizing the season we are in, and the error only serves to make things worse.
It's not the strength of our hope that sustains us, but the object of it. Read more about battling hopelessness in mental health recovery in this "3 Minutes of Courage" Devotional.