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“I Was Calling God a Liar”: Can You Love Jesus & Be Depressed?

I remember the weight.

Feeling the darkness drag me down to a place I thought even God couldn’t go. Where I was a nothing and nothing really mattered. Where loneliness devoured my insides but no human being could fill the void. In that moment, I knew only the darkness. The joy of the day before was a distant memory and the hope of a brighter tomorrow was impossible to imagine.

That was the reality of my depression.

For many years, I had no concept that I struggled with depression. I was just ‘sensitive’, ‘quiet’, or ‘moody’. I didn’t understand the struggle within me — no words to describe the turmoil that would unexpectedly come and invite itself into my life. And once it entered, it made itself at home in the dark corners of my mind and refused, like a good house guest should, to leave.

As a child, I daydreamed of a different life. Of a different me. As a young adult, I found respite in my music and a busy schedule that kept the darkness at bay.

For a time, my coping skills worked. Life as a 20-something was adventurous. A move to a tropical county. Marriage. Two babies.  Music. Friends. I found joy in all the above, but sometimes, when I stopped for just a moment to catch my breath, I found myself battling the darkness again. It seemed to hover ever in the distance — waiting for me to stop spinning and twirling — waiting for a chance to edge itself into my life.

Then came the decade of change.

Another move, but this time to the middle of nowhere. No friends, no family, no ministry to keep me dancing from one activity to another. Just a trailer in the middle of the prairies with two, then three little ones, and a husband who was busy farming.  A perfect opportunity for the storm to finally descend in full fury and overwhelm the unprepared housewife.

I was a Jesus-girl from the time I was 12, and I desired nothing more than to follow Him the rest of my days. We had been together for such a long time, surely I was a professional at all things Jesus by now. But it turns out, there was so much….so so much I didn’t know.

I didn’t know you could love Jesus and be depressed. I didn’t know you could serve in ministry and need ministering yourself. I didn’t know that running from my pain would catch up with me. I didn’t know how to change. I didn’t know where to start.

Thankfully my husband saw that I was not doing well and encouraged me to find help. Because my emotions were wildly swinging in all directions at once, I went on anti-depressants. I speak only for myself when I say that they were exactly what I needed for a time. The muting of my feelings was a gift! I was exhausted from the pendulum swing of my all-consuming emotions  — the calm was a welcome relief! With the help of the anti-depressants, I was able to care for my family — be a wife and a mother — and focus on life beyond my own pain.

During this time, I also went to see a counselor for the first time. I only went once, but it changed my life! I will never forget her words after listening to my story: “Of course you are depressed! I would be depressed too if I were you! I’d be worried if you weren’t depressed!”

No one had ever given me permission to be sad before. No one had ever validated the feelings that were raging inside. No one had ever said it was ok to be broken and a little crazy. I left her office with a joy that I hadn’t experienced in years — and it stayed for days and days and days.

Amazingly, once my feelings were validated, I wanted more than anything to overcome them. I wanted healing.

After our move, we found a church we loved and began to attend a small group Bible study. It was one of the highlights of my life in that season. Not only for its friendships but for the time of learning it became. One of the most significant moments occurred when we were studying the concept of truth.

What is truth? Is truth constant? Is God truth? In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth and the life.” Did I really believe that? If so, then I needed to believe the words He wrote.

One day I was full of the assurance of God’s love and then the next day, I doubted He knew I even existed. On my bad days, I couldn’t grasp the concept of 1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!”

I couldn’t hear it. I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t believe it.

Maria Dyck
Maria Dyck
Maria is passionate about helping women stand on the Firm Foundation that is Jesus Christ. A writer, musician, wife, mother and occasional chicken farmer, you can find more of her writings at www.whenwallstumble.net or on Instagram @whenwallstumble

Jill Duggar Dillard Suffers Pregnancy Loss, Announces Stillbirth of First Daughter

Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband Derrick Dillard are grieving this week after suffering a heartbreaking pregnancy loss. The couple announced Saturday the stillbirth of their daughter, Isla Marie Dillard.

Stranger Takes Photo of Family at Disney—Then He Promises He’s Not “Creepy” & Makes 1 Heartbreaking Request

"Several minutes later the same man who had just taken our picture walked up to us, in tears, and asked if we had a moment. He promised he wasn't creepy and introduced himself as Scott and his wife as Sally."

Beyond ‘Sorry for Your Loss’: 14 Meaningful Ways to Express Condolences

Explore heartfelt and unique ways to say 'sorry for your loss' with our guide. Learn how to offer condolences that truly resonate, including personalized expressions of sympathy and thoughtful gestures to support those grieving.