I wanted to begin talking about pain points that I experienced in my life and wrote about in my autobiography: “Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption.” When I was a child, I suffered from depression, and my mother always said I would carry around a pocket full of tears wherever I went. In our family of origin, we were not allowed to talk about our feelings, so I buried them down deep into my subconscious mind. Anger turned inward is depression, and because anger was definitely not acceptable, I became depressed. I remember there were times I wanted to die, and at times it felt debilitating. But I was good at masking my depression, and I escaped reading Bobbsey Twin books and pretending I was in a different family. I also slept a lot and wrote in my diary what I was really feeling deep inside.
When I came to know Yeshua (Jesus) as my Messiah in 1974, He immediately gave me the gift of joy. I knew it was a miraculous sign that Yeshua was real as the transformation was unbelievable! The joy of the Lord truly became my strength. However, there were times even in my life as a Believer that I experienced depression during rough patches. I have since learned that even though this Scripture is true, we can get triggered in our present day life and need to protect our vulnerable past hurts: 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” (NIV)
I liken it to someone who may have diabetes and needs to make sure the disease is managed by taking insulin, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. Otherwise, the disease can flare up.
So how do we manage our triggers with emotional illness, you might ask? It’s different for everyone, but for me, I needed to set appropriate boundaries and not allow emotional abuse in my life ever again. I surround myself with positive people, stay grounded in the Word, have accountability partners to come alongside me when necessary, and most importantly, daily prayer. Another very important principle is to stay grounded in the present. Depression likes to take us back into our past so we can obsess with “if onlys”: “if only I had done…, if only I hadn’t done…”
We only have today, and that is where we must stay, in the gift of the present.
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
Here for you,
Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS
Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption
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