It all began with a simple prayer request. Our daughter Lauren and her husband Ray were part of one of their church’s community groups, and this night they asked for prayer for me. They asked their group to pray that God would set me free from depression.
It was right after this that I began to look back over my life and the impact that depression had had upon it. During the 25 years that I felt such bondage to depression I had a distorted view of the effect it had had upon myself and those I care the most about. Now as I looked back, I could clearly see that depression hadn’t just occasionally influenced my life. I could see that there was a consistent pattern of it stealing from myself and my loved ones. It was like looking at the landscape after a hurricane has passed by; the devastation had been there all along, stealing joy, contentment and a sense of well-being.
It was shortly after this that my husband and I took a trip to see our daughter and her family. It was while on this trip that one of the members of their community group, Jeremy Stasiowski, handed me a book entitled, “Chemically Imbalanced” by Dr. Wade Brill.
The timing couldn’t have been better. For so long, I had put my hope in medication. My husband would try to help me see that nothing was too difficult for God to restore in my life, including depression; but I just couldn’t see it before now. I would dismiss his words, and in my heart I would say, “yeah, yeah, but let’s talk about how I can REALLY get better. Well, my way hadn’t worked. I went from one medication to another, but the depression not only wasn’t better, but had now gotten to the point where I could no longer compartmentalize it, and it was spilling out in ways that left me feeling humiliated. This day was different, however. Today I was ready to put my hope in God for freedom.
As we drove back to Minnesota, I opened the book. I began to devour it like a starving person devours food. I read it from cover to cover. I knew in my heart that if I had read this book a year ago, I would have not been ready to hear the hard truth it contained. It offered hope that the solution to the depression I was experiencing could be found in God. It also opened my eyes to the reality that if I was going to overcome depression, I was going to have to take personal responsibility for some things; things like my thought life and my spiritual life. Dr. Brill wasn’t pretending to offer some easy fix for depression, but I was ready to do what it took to find freedom, even if it meant suffering. The years of dealing with depression were not free of suffering, so I reasoned that at least any suffering that I experienced on my path to freedom would be worth it.
Once we arrived at home, I began to put some of the principles into practice in Dr. Brill’s book. I wrote some of the scriptures he shared in his book on index cards. Every time I would feel that old familiar weight of depression settling over me, I would pull out my scriptures and read them. The heaviness would leave me; sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours. I could see that there was something very real and powerful to addressing depression as a spiritual problem.
Weeks and months began to go by. The intervals between feeling any depression at all had grown so far apart that one day I remember thinking, “I don’t feel the need any more for antidepressants.” I decided to give it a try. Well, that’s been about 7 years ago now, and I have not been back on antidepressants since. Over time, the Lord has led me, comforted me, helped and guided me. I now feel equipped with a number of effective tools that help me walk free from the bondage of depression; tools that I’ve shared in some of my other blog posts on depression. If you’re struggling with depression, I highly recommend Dr. Brill’s book. If it helps you half as much as it helped me, you’ll be blessed.
My hope is that my testimony will give others the courage to seek God for freedom. If it does, it will have all been worth it.
To order Dr. Brill’s book, go to:
Well written, Arlene! I can definitely identify with your post. Thank you so much for sharing and being so transparent. God bless you my dear friend!
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