If I had to count how many days I woke up depressed, anxious, and exhausted, I don’t think I could give you a number.
Every morning, I was on the verge of tears before my feet could even hit the ground to start my day. Getting dressed, fixing hair, doing makeup—none of it mattered compared to the emotional rollercoaster of depression I was riding.
I just wanted to get to the end of the day where I could experience some sort of relief and let out all of the emotions desperately eager to burst out of their cocoon, ready to be set free.
I noticed a change in myself, so why wouldn’t others? And that’s what frightened me.
I didn’t want anyone to know, other than the ones closest to me, that I had been tangled in a web of depression and didn’t know how to get out … especially when I couldn’t make sense of how it all began.
Mornings, I would wake up with an intense pounding in my chest. Days, I would sit in my car bawling. And nights, I would lie in my sea of exhaustion.
Yes, I had days with small glimpses of hope. God would put the right song on the radio that I needed in that moment, a podcast would cover the topic I most desperately needed to hear, and a verse would come to mind that I needed to grasp onto for comfort.
God was truly present.
And yet, I didn’t feel Him. He felt so distant from me, and I was doing all I could to hear from Him, trying to seek some answer to get myself out of this dark pit.
I felt so ashamed. If I’m a Christ follower, why can’t I just let go and trust? Why won’t it all just slip away when truth is spoken into my heart? Why can’t I feel God’s presence and His goodness?
All I can say is that it was a dark valley, and God was there, but I was unaware of the miles and miles left on the road that still needed to be traveled.
Psalm 23:4 tells us, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me” (NASB).
God promises to walk with us in the darkest valleys. He never promises a life without valleys, but I believe He uses them for our good, to help us grow in our faith in Him.
We can’t see His plan. We can’t see His path. But we can see Him. We see His character, His goodness, His faithfulness, and His love for us.
These are the truths I had to remind myself of in the dark valley. God is good. God is good.
God is good.
Did I always feel this? No, but I believed it to be true, and that’s what helped me hold on.
The first time my mom asked me if I thought I needed to talk to a counselor, I burst into tears. How did I get here?!
I didn’t understand how a Christ follower could just fall to such a low place when I felt like I was living the life He called me to.
But God is so much bigger than my understanding. It’s like God said, “Child, let go of the shame and the grasp you have on this situation, and allow Me to work healing in your life. You have not been forgotten. You are not alone. You are loved, and I care about you.”
Friends, you are loved. Loved by a God who sees your suffering and sees your pain.
He isn’t an unmoving God. He is constantly moving, in your life and in your heart. He desperately longs to draw you into a deeper relationship of faith in Him.
Even when you don’t see it, even when you don’t feel it, God is moving. He is working things out for your good, even when you don’t understand the circumstance you’re in.
There is so much in this life that will bring us pain, casting us into our lowest valley, telling us there is no hope. It brings us to such a vulnerable position of defeat. Lying in a fetal position longing for an answer. Longing for comfort.
But guess what. God is there with you.
He is lying by your side on the ground weeping with you, because He hates to see His children in pain and wants to wrap you in His arms to bring comfort.
Your suffering isn’t good, but God is good, and there is hope in Him!
Your situation isn’t all for nothing, because the Great Restorer hasn’t ignored your situation. God hasn’t ignored your pain. God hasn’t ignored you. Quite the opposite.
God sees your situation and is currently working. He sees your pain and is in the process of healing. God sees you, His son/daughter whom He loves. He longs to restore you so you can fully experience Him and His goodness.
He may not restore you physically, but I promise that He can restore you spiritually.
He will never leave you or forsake you. He is present in your situation.
So rest. Rest, knowing that you don’t have to have it all together. All you have to do is have faith to take the next step, knowing our good Father is currently working in your life, even though you may not see it.
What’s your next step of faith in seeking the presence of God?
How have you seen the goodness of God in your life?