The room was dimly lit but bright enough for Rachel to see. Books that were on the floor seem pushed off from Sarah’s bed. Breathless and speechless, Rachel stepped nervously forward. Happy, helpful Sarah was crouched down at the side of her bed with earphones in her ears, tears streaming down her face and a razor slicing her wrist.
Rachel saw the blood slowly dripping from the previous fine slices on her hand. She saw the word, ‘help’ engraved on her skin.
She nervously reached out her hand and tapped her on the shoulder. Sarah jumped from where she was, and the look on her face was so devasting.
Sarah immediately started to wipe away the tears in her eyes. She soon realized that she was only making it worse as the blood transferred to her face.
Rachel then said, let me help you. With that, she took her hand and motioned for her to sit on the bed. Before Sarah knew it, she went to the bathroom and damped a soft cloth and started cleaning her hands.
Neither of them spoke for a while. This time the silence was awkward.
“Why?” Rachel asked.
Sarah said softly, “You wouldn’t understand.”
“Try me,” Rachel said.
Sarah shook her head. Rachel decided she wouldn’t force her friend to talk tonight. Instead, she hugged her friend and started to pray for her. Rachel started,
“Jesus, I don’t know what it is going with Sarah, I know you know. You are sovereign. Jesus, help Sarah. You rescued me in dark days, you healed my heart and restored me with Your grace. I know you can do it for her. Lord, whatever element that is fighting against her soul’s rest in You, lift a standard. That whisper’s lies in her spirit, I pray You will replace it with Your truth. Remind her of the victories of the cross and how precious she is in your sight. Send help for her ailing heart and set her free from this bondage. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.”
Sarah sobbed throughout the entire time.
Rachel decided to stay until Sarah went to bed. When she was finally asleep, she left and decided to walk back to her dorm. She decided to walk the long route. Puzzled and conflicted, Rachel had a hard time making sense of things. When she fell in her bed, things even made worse sense. “How could this be?” she thought. Sarah was always known to be happy, caring, and modest. She was an example, especially since she is a minster’s daughter. Rachel had grown to admire the family, particularly the father. He was so caring, compassionate, and sound. “Did he not see that his daughter is struggling? How did I not see?” she thought.
Rachel had such a hard time sleeping last night that when her alarm woke her up Sunday, she jumped and cried, “Sarah!” realizing she was in her room, she settled down and then checked her phone if Sarah messaged. She didn’t see a call or message from her. “She might be still asleep,” she thought.
She had her devotion and then started getting ready for church. When she was through, she called, and Sarah answered with the brightest morning she has ever heard. She asked too how she was, Rachel responded, “Fine, I guess. Are you okay?” Sarah answered, “Yes,” without skipping a beat. Rachel then asked, “Will I see you at church?” Sarah responded, “Certainly, I am already on my way from home.” Sarah lived just an hour from school. She stays on campus because her parents thought she would be safer.
When Rachel arrived at church, she saw Sarah teaching the toddlers in Sunday School. She was so enthused about it and widely smiled when they answered correctly. She opted to observe for the day. Sarah then led prayer service during divine service and even worked at the altar after church. Rachel wondered how many Sundays she did this.
Rachel finally got a hold of Sarah after church and asked how she was. Sarah said, “Wonderful, today was awesome.” Rachel replied, looking at her hands that were covered by the shiny purple jacket she had on, “Even after last night?”
“Yes,” Sarah replied through her teeth.
“Are you sure? Because if you ever want to talk-“
Sarah cut her off, “I am sure.”
Sarah then said she was going home now so she will see her at school. Rachel then turned to walk but saw Mark by the refreshment area. She decided to see what she could find out from Mark.
Mark was wearing a white long sleeve oxford shirt today and navy-blue pants. He never really liked ties and only wore them on special occasions. He was always one of those sober brothers that Rachel felt comfortable with. He already had a slice of cake in his mouth and made a big swallow when Rachel appeared.
“Rachel! It is good to see you, how are you?” he smiled and said.
Rachel responded, “I am okay, I guess. How are you?”
Mark said, “God has been faithful.” She asked if they could sit on a bench nearby. She said, “I have something to talk to you about.”
“What is it?” he asked.
Rachel then said, “I…wanted to ask you about Sarah.” Mark took a sip of his grape-flavored cran-water drink. Rachel continued, “I’m concerned about her, have you spoken with her lately?”
Mark gave a loud sigh and said, “Things have been complicated between us. So, I wouldn’t know.” He wished he knew more to share. Maybe it was the sound of desperation in her voice or the fact that she seemed so uneasy. “Did something happen?” he asked, sounding more concerned than he liked.
Rachel replied placing her hands in her lap, “That’s what I am trying to find out.”
She then realized she didn’t touch her watch when she was uncertain or nervous anymore. She knew there was a shift in where she drew strength from. She knew it was God. She would celebrate that but first, she needed to hear more. Probably whatever is affecting Sarah is somehow still tied to Mark, just as how her childhood was affecting her present. She then asked, “Why are things complicated?”
Mark let out a sigh, “It’s a long story.” Knowing she didn’t have to go back with the bus that was now headed for campus but could take public transportation, she said, “I have time.”
The oxford dictionary defines it as, feelings of severe despondency and dejection. It is derived from the root word ‘deprimere‘ which means ‘press down’. It is so common that most people don’t always take it seriously whether in themselves or others. Psychologists renders it a mental illness, I agree to the extent that it means our minds are sick, that they are not operating healthily. The causes tend to vary between persons. It could be an improper diet, lack of exercise, insufficient sunshine, trauma including common unfavorable circumstances, discouragement, inadequate rest, imbalanced hormones, lack of submission to God, demonic harassment, inadequate social interactions, sin, drug abuse among other reasons. I am just making it clear that the cause is not always spiritual. I encourage you to spend some time to introspect, read the Word, talk with a friend and pray to find the root cause.
I have always thought depression was something Christians should never experience. That’s because of the close relationship they should have with God. I thought it was never possible to experience this feeling of being ‘pressed down’ mentally. Let’s just say I found out soon enough. Whilst I agree that this is not God’s will for us, he provides us with an antidote for healing our heavy minds. I chose two persons in the bible to describe the signs and how to overcome depression. The first person is Elijah, I particularly loved the documentation of his dark season as I find it very relatable. Especially considering the number of miracles he did and his closeness to God. I believe the account I am about to share with you is one of the reasons James says he was a man just like us. (James 5:17) We get to see him weak and vulnerable. That’s not very popular today.
Signs of Depression
You can use these to identify it in your own life or that of the people around you. Here are some major signs of depression:
- Fear (1 Kings 18:3)
- Unhealthy Desire for Solitude (1 Kings 18:4)
- Desire to die, Suicidal (1 Kings 18:4)
- Self-Loathing (1 Kings 18:5)
- Fatigue (1 King 18:5)
- Perceived Loneliness (1 Kings 18:10)
How to Combat Depression
Overcoming depression is not a walk in the park, so don’t tell yourself to just get over it. It doesn’t work at least for me it doesn’t. There are times when you feel like a prisoner in your mind even when the door is open it seems you don’t have the strength to walk out. How do you fight when you have to fight your self? What destroys us from within cannot be healed from within. The next hero I would like to shine some light on is David. The truth, up until last night I never truly saw or understood the struggles David went through. It was when I began reading the cries of his heart, I understood that he did have a lot of mental battles that outweighed the physical ones. Let’s look to him to help us navigate these dark moments or extended periods. I would encourage you to read them all, I will share selected verses only.
Depression even though quite tempting should never push you away from God if anything it should pull you closer, if not Him then who? What other hope do we have? Will you trust Him in the valley of shadows? Below are links to useful resources.
Thanks for all those who have been reading and sharing what an impact these posts have been making. My heart’s desire is for these posts to point you to Christ. You can reach out to me via email, Instagram or Facebook, the links are on this page. I would love to hear from you. Also, don’t forget to sign up so you don’t miss a post in this eye-opening, edifying, exciting, blood-pumping series, Engraved. Did you read the previous post? Here it is.
What went on between Sarah and Mark? Will Sarah share what’s going on? Did we know Sarah in the first place? You will never guess who we will hear from! All this and more next Friday. You can use your Friday lunch time more productively and spend it reading our next Post! It will be available at 12 pm for #lunchtimemedz! Remember, you are precious.