I was having lunch with three incredible women this week, and the conversation drifted toward my call to help people break the chains of depression on their lives. I never wanted to be known as that "Christian girl who used to be depressed," but if God can use my pain to encourage someone else, I am in. I am all the way in!
As always, whenever I try to encourage people who are dealing with depression, I always tell them to see their medical doctor and take his or her advice. I also advise depressed men and women to spend time talking with a certified Christian counselor. And, in addition to seeking medical help as well as professional counseling, I am relentless in reminding men and women to never forget to employ the power of their faith in the vicious battle against depression.
One of the women at this anointed lunch turned to me and said, "Carol, I know that you are a Word girl. I know when you were depressed that reading the Word helped you to walk toward joy. But what would you say to someone who doesn't enjoy reading? And, when you are depressed—you especially don't feel like reading!"
I was so thankful she asked that question, and the Holy Spirit gave me an answer I hope will encourage you today.
If you are so depressed that you simply can't read the Word, use your finger to press "play." If you can't read, press "play" and listen to worship music. You will find comfort when you listen to the great hymns of the faith. You can also go to YouVersion.com and listen to the Bible being read out loud.
Allowing the auditory Word of God to wash over your broken and discouraged soul may just be the healing ointment that you need.
But there is still one more option you might consider if you have found yourself in the pit of depression. After you have read the Word and after you have listened to worship music, you must find the energy to serve someone else.
When you are at the grocery store, simply smile at an elderly person. If you are in line at the Post Office, strike up a conversation with the young mom in front of you.
Buy flowers for your neighbor. Send your pastor a thank-you note.
Volunteer in the church nursery. Take a single person out for coffee.
Mow someone's lawn. Take someone a meal. Hand out cookies to the neighborhood children.
You will discover that in giving to others, the joy of the Lord comes rushing into your life in abundance!
Listen as Carol teaches you how to find joy in the presence of Jesus when you're hurting or feel rejected.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written 10 books, including The Rooms of a Woman's Heart; Defiant Joy!; Holy Estrogen!; No More Ordinary; Refined; Joy For All Seasons; Let There Be Joy!; Pass the Joy, Please!; Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue; and Stormproof, which releases on March 1, 2019. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at carolmcleodministries.com.
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