According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), an estimated 16 million adults had a major depressive episode in the United States last year. Depression is also the leading cause of disability worldwide…which means it’s not just us, it’s not just you.
More importantly: You aren’t alone.
This simple fact is so edifying and so often lost in the midst of depression. People often report that things feel heavier in the middle of it - whether objects, emotions, the brokenness around us and in us, all weighty. It can feel like you need to carry it all by yourself. Even the word depression gives a nod to pressures which can feel overwhelming. We need to know we aren’t the first, we aren’t the only one, experiencing this struggle; but also have someone understand that our struggle is unique, not the same as their own.
We need to know that we are supported, valued, and loved in the messy middle, not just in the victory or the valley.
Sometimes the best thing we can do for someone is share space, to hold time together, with no expectation. This is something God does for us. He constantly invites us in, and enters into our space to do this life together, to walk the journey, especially when the road is windy and solemn. He doesn’t tell us to buck up. He enters our struggle and says, “I AM." He collects our tears. He hears our anger. He reaches down in Jesus Christ.
In today’s podcast, Pastor Gabe Kasper shares his own journey with depression. We talk about complicated emotions and symptoms, the spiral that can be depression, life changes and triggers, burnout, family life and support, and leading with vulnerability. Gabe shares lots of insight, including books, Scripture texts, and honesty. You’ll note that this podcast is pat-answer free.
This passage sticks out to me from Gabe’s list, particularly these words written by the apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 7:6:
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…
God sends people to comfort us.
We aren’t on this journey alone. You might be a Paul in this moment or you might be a Titus. We pray today’s podcast gives you some tools either way.
Find helpful resources recommended by Gabe in the show notes:
We’d love to have you share with us your story, experiences, or insight on depression in the comments.