a never-ending journey...
Have you ever been on a journey that felt never-ending? There was no end plan, no one was with you, and nothing but darkness was in front of or behind you. There are days that that is exactly what depression feels like. It is being stuck in your own head. It’s being present, but not being present. I have surrounded myself with those whom I love in hopes to get out of the trap of darkness. Even through all the love my friends and family can offer, no one - and nothing - pulls me out of my darkness.
I have been battling this darkness since 1997 - since I was 15 years old. I was raised in the church, I knew God’s love for me, and I knew that He is greater than all of my doubts and fears. Knowing and believing are two totally different feelings though. So, did I believe what I knew? NO.
I lived my life in everyday darkness, a darkness I couldn’t get away from. There were days I felt “normal”, and even some days I felt “happy.” On those days, I hoped the happiness would last forever. But then, the dark days came back and I went back to seeing no end to the darkness.
the darkness consumed me...
In March 2015 I got to such a dark place that I just wanted out. I was so tired, so wrecked, and so overwhelmed with the hurt. My darkness took over every thought God was trying to tell me. God was trying to pull me out of my darkness, but the enemy kept wanting to keep me there. I was so overwhelmed with this battle that I just wanted to end it all.
As the darkness consumed me, I told my mom that I just wanted to die. I didn’t want to walk this path and feel this pain anymore. Afraid of what I may do, she sent my brother-in-law to pick me up and bring me to her. She then took me to the emergency room to get help.
holding onto faith...
On the way to the hospital, the song “This is Amazing Grace” came on the radio. She turned the radio up loud and forced me to listen to every word of the song. “Who’s love is mighty, and so much stronger,” the song played. These were just the lyrics I needed to hear to be reminded of His love.
But I was just in too deep.
I spent the night in the hospital that night, being monitored and sedated. When I was released, I was put on a new medication, and was encouraged to start talking to a therapist.
Those dark days, those days that I wanted to die, are the most painful days I’ve ever lived. But, I made it. Holding onto my faith, my family, and the love of our Father kept me going.
Through every dark moment, every dark breath, God has never left my side. He’s been right there, reaching out His hand, asking me to grab ahold of Him. He’s wanted me to trust Him. To listen to Him. To stay calm, just breathe, and be with Him.
i am a child of God...
A song I used to play on repeat on dark days was, “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. The lyrics go, “You split the seas so I could walk right through it, my fears were drowned in perfect Love. You rescued me and I will stand and sing, I am a child of God.” I would listen to every word, and just lay down all of my fears. I would let all the tears flow down my face. I would just hold my heart and continually give all of my darkness over to Him. He is greater than any darkness that has ever entered my mind.
He is the lamp...
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3
The Bible is where I turn to for truth. God’s Word is my standing ground. He is the lamp that guides my path (Psalm 119:105). When the evil one tries to control my thoughts, I turn my mind toward my faith and stand on the truth that God’s Word proclaims over my life. Isaiah 41:10 tells me to “fear not, for I am with you,” and Romans 8:31 reminds me that if God is for me, who can be against me? I stand on His solid ground of truth. The comfort and healing I find in His Word gives me the strength to pull myself out of any darkness the evil one tries to entrap me in.
I use my suffering to bring awareness to depression and anxiety. I hold to the promise found in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” I know that so many people fight this same darkness I battle, but not all believe that the love of our Father is what can pull them out. He promises to love us and comfort us and heal us of our pain, My prayer is that through my story, those in suffering will know the love of God and will experience the same comfort I have through Him.
scriptures to hold tight to...
Romans 8:18, 8:38
2 Timothy 1:7
Elle and her husband Troy live in Michigan. Elle enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, reading and caring for her two guinea pig babies! Elle is passionate about raising awareness of depression and anxiety, in hopes others will be rescued from the pit of darkness that could have taken her life. To connect with Elle, please reach out on Facebook.
Photos by Carly Kristin Photography. Headshot provided by Elle King.