Sometimes we’re afraid to pray for healing because it would hurt too bad if we prayed for it and it didn’t happen. It would solidify the abandonment wounds of our past. Not that Christ has ever abandoned us, but when humans have, it makes it feel like God will too.
I suppose that’s where I have been. Depression and anxiety have been long term battles for me. Yes I am a therapist. Yes I am aware of what I need to do to lift myself out of a funk. Yes I do the work necessary. Yes I practice good self-care. But at times it rises up and tries to get the best of me. And I want to pray for healing, but what would happen if God said no…
I made a graphic a while back that mentioned something along the lines of “depression can still wear cute shoes.” I suppose what I was trying to say is that some of the most depressed humans on the planet can be extremely functional. We can do a good job raising our families. We can be incredibly successful at work. We can have amazing friendships and solid active quiet times with Jesus. We can listen to nothing but worship music, go for runs in the afternoon, and even make sure we are getting pedicures and pampering ourselves by all means appropriate and necessary. We can be functional by every definition in the book. And still be dying inside. Depression does not discriminate and it doesn’t always look like the dirty reclusive woman who hides out in her house and is incapacitated by her feelings of sadness. Long story short, depression can wear really dang cute awesome shoes.
And so here I find myself, on what I feel is the tail end of yet another round in the ring with my ruthless enemy. It fights hard. It’s relentless and it doesn’t give up easily. Being a therapist doesn’t make me immune to the woundedness I often find myself treating. Because depression and anxiety don’t always bow down to strategies and therapeutic means. Sometimes it’s biological and hormonal and we have to get the body going in the right direction before the mind has the capacity to follow.
And sometimes it masks our ability to want to pray for good things. Because that’s the opposite of what depression will tell you to do. It will tell you that you certainly aren’t worthy of anything good – nor would anyone (including God) want to help you – so why even try? But I just want to say that sometimes we need to start praying for big things. Even if we are terrified that the big thing is so reclusive it must be impossible.
God’s intervention may look like a referral to the clinic to get your body going in the right direction, it might look like help through counseling, it might look like starting to exercise, it might look like a thousand different things. But when you are at the end of your rope God knows it. And He won’t and hasn’t abandoned you. He sees you. He hasn’t stopped caring or given up. But sometimes we have to risk the prayer of hope and decide that healing might be possible and worth pursing. That Jesus can do far beyond what we have capacity to understand. That yes depression can wear really awesome shoes, but so can healing. And it’s time to get up and pray like we mean it, fight like a warrior (even when we are exhausted), and give it yet another day.