Out of the Darkness and Into the Light - Girlfriends in God - February 17, 2023

Published: Feb 17, 2023

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February 17, 2023
Out of the Darkness and Into the Light
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).

Friend to Friend

Children are wonderfully different. 

When our son Jered was nine months old, he began to pull up on every piece of furniture he could find. He maneuvered his way around our home until the day he took his first step … alone. It was a step of inches, but we celebrated as if he had run a marathon. 

Our daughter Danna had a different plan. When she was ten months old, Danna stood up, looked around, and trotted across the room. Jered and Danna both walk extremely well today as young adults, but they both began with tiny steps … and in their own way.

Nobody gets depressed overnight, and nobody overcomes depression overnight. The journey out of the pit is a process of steps uniquely planned by your Father. 

First, we must wait. The psalmist simply says, “I waited.” Waiting is not passive. Waiting is a time of preparation, a time of rest and healing. 

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3 NIV).

This verse says our Father has gone before us and, in every dark moment, has buried a treasure or stored a secret. Some things cannot be learned in the light. The pit of depression has become a hedge of protection in my life, a warning light that something is wrong or out of balance. To wait means to accept the pit, knowing it is for our good. 

Second, we must be real. Emotional health begins at the point of emotional integrity. When clinical depression first overwhelmed my life, my husband was the pastor of a large, fast-growing church. We decided that to be right, we had to be real. We shared my battle with the staff, the deacons, and then with the entire church. Yes, we took a risk, but we learned an important lesson. A shared load is a lighter load because we were created to need each other.                         

Third, we must be still. We can get so wrapped up in everyday life that we fail to be wrapped up in Him. The busier we are, the more stillness we need. During those two years in the pit, I not only gave up every role of leadership, but I could not even attend church at times because of panic attacks. The Father taught me an important truth. He is more concerned with who I am than what I do. He loves it when I am sitting at His feet.

Fourth, we must cry out for help. God stands waiting to hear our voice; and when we cry out to Him, He comes running – through His Word, through prayer, and through His people. 

God also works through doctors and counselors. Depression is often rooted in a physical problem that requires medication to correct. The medicine does not eliminate the depression, but it does level the playing field so that whatever is triggering the depression can be addressed. Christian counselors are a gift from God. God also works through friends and family members to encourage and help us. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be too proud to accept it. 

Finally, we must be patient. It took me many years to hit rock bottom, and it took me two years to climb out of that pit. I still battle depression. I have asked God to deliver me, but He has said “No.” Depression keeps me broken. Anything that makes me cry out to God can be counted as a blessing. When we come to the end of ourselves, God begins.

I don’t know if you are in a pit and need help, or if someone you love is in that pit and needs help. 

Don’t quit!  

Don’t give up! 

God is with you. 

Let’s Pray

Father, my heart is filled with chaos and confusion. I feel as if I am drowning in my circumstances. I need the strength and peace that only You can give. Right now, I choose to rest in You, trusting You to bring me out of the darkness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you struggling with the darkness in any area of your life? Can you surrender each one to God, asking Him to bring light into your heart and peace into your mind? 

More from the Girlfriends

Hope in the Midst of Depression book coverNeed help? Mary’s book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, will help you deal with the darkness in your life. Check it out! AND it is on sale this month!

Need prayer? Email gjmeador@comcast.net with your prayer request and our prayer team would love to pray with and for you. 

© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved. 

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Originally published Friday, 17 February 2023.