Facing Depression In the Midst of Grief
In the last issue we looked at grief thru the eyes of Job's wife. Particularly we highlighted how her response was vastly different than Job's. We also touched on the bargaining and the anger stages of grief. Before we move on today and focus on the depression stage, I want to make clear that there are different types of depression. While depression is a part of the grieving process, there are other types of depression that may not be related to grief at all. It is important to seek professional help if these symptoms are persistent, debilitating, and/or severe. Depression is treatable and can be overcome.
Suicidal Thoughts - Please seek professional help
Loss of Interest in normal activities
Feelings of Hopelessness/Helplessness
Job experiences most if not all of these symptoms while also experiencing some of the anger symptoms associated with grief. In his different discourses he expresses agitation, irritability, & helplessness.
At different intervals he verbalizes a desire to die, "I loathe my life." He also states in chapter10 that "I will give full vent to my complaint, I will speak of the bitterness of my soul." He is basically saying I am holding nothing back and giving full expression of my pain.
Job calls his well meaning friends worthless physicians or pompous quacks. He makes no apology for expressing his pain.
At different points in his exhortations he even sounds irrational, confused and incompetent. It is obvious his thinking is confused and he complains of his trials in one breath and then tries to comfort himself with the same complaint in the next.
This internal struggle voiced externally shows his desperation to make sense of his calamities and find comfort.
Yet nothing comforts!
In fact his friends who we will take a closer look at next issue have a variety of explanations, solutions, and answers to Job's agony but they only make his grief worse and he implores them to be quiet.
Until God answers!
God answers Job with a Wilderness Appreciation Tour! Isn't it awesome how God answers us specifically, clearly, and completely in ways that we would never imagine or expect? In ways that are unique to us individually. I am sure Job wasn't expecting this. But it worked. It was exactly what Job needed.
God will answer your grief and depression - but it may not look like you think or expect.
A client gave me permission to share her story of this very thing. She was in the throngs of grief experiencing deep depression and anger over her husband's sin and unfaithfulness. Yet her story really began a year and half earlier.
She faced a hysterectomy to remove massive tumors ending her ability to have children. Her mother had a series of strokes that lead to multiple hospitalizations. Her job reduced her hours and left her in limbo for 9 months regarding the long-term status. Her sister was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Her brother lost mom's money in the stock market and her husband of 20 years leaves in the midst of all of this. And, she was diagnosed with skin cancer. Confusion over the 20 year marriage debilitated and haunted her wake and sleep. She searched for answers. We searched for answers. She continued to turn to God for comfort. That's when it happened. Her kitchen caught on fire.
Just as she begins to clean up and recover from the kitchen fire, the AC goes out. Then the gas water heater broke. If that all wasn't enough the stove and the microwave also decide they are done working and she learns she will no longer be able to afford her car.
A new kitchen later, and all these things fixed, repaired, or replaced we laughed and marveled together and God's grace, and provision. The business of getting all these things taken care of got her mind, focus and attention off the pain and God revealed Himself in very real, tangible ways as her companion and provider. He used these unexpected struggles to bring healing to her heart and soul in the relationship area while blessing her with a new kitchen and new appliances.
On Job's tour, God did not reprimand him for his feelings. He simply recounted His majesty and challenged Job to look at How big and How Great He is.
Job responds, "I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes. Surely I spoke of things I did not understand and things too wonderful for me to know." Job also states in 42:2 "I know that You can do everything and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You."
However, God chooses to comfort you know He will and He loves you. It may not be today or tomorrow.
God is still in charge, on His throne, still Almighty and He never changes. If He comforted Job with a closer look at His Majesty and Mightiness, perhaps you too can find comfort in recounting his Glory, Majesty and Power.
Psalm 8, Psalm 18, Psalm 33 & 34
Facing Depression In the Midst of Grief
Stages of Grief
Coping in Crisis
Happy New Year - Are your Ready?