Dispelling the Lies
Not Today, Satan
I am all alone.
I am broken.
I am worthless.
I am a mistake.
I have no purpose.
I was created wrong.
I am a waste of space or energy.
The world would be better off without me.
No one loves me.
How familiar are these lies? Have you heard them once? Do you hear them daily? Weekly? Monthly? Was there a specific occurrence that brought them on? Have they always been there? Have you ever been tempted to just curl up with them and give up? Do you do battle regularly? Is there a rhyme or a reason to it? Can it be calculated? Does it strike without notice? Does it build up over time before exploding?
Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about and for that, I’m so glad that you don’t. Or maybe you know exactly what I mean, and you understand the intricacies of each of my questions. And for that, I’m truly sorry, but I’m also confident that this does not have to be your weakness, even if it feels like that.
For me. These lies are so familiar, they are at times what clothe me before I even get ready for my day. There have been seasons of my life that I wore them daily. Seasons of weekly. There were specific occurrences that would make them worse. There was one life-changing experience that amplified the lies exponentially and I have yet to truly come down from that. However, having the volume turned up on those lies and emotions is what led me to begin understanding them. So for that, I guess, I’m thankful. Now I understand that for me, my biggest triggers are trauma and hormones. Trauma exacerbates what is already within me, and hormones keep it cyclical.
I am writing this one day removed from my most recent episode. So I have clarity. Logic. Reason. An intellectual understanding of the chemical and emotional goings-on of my being. I know that eating right helps to control it. If I’m not eating right, I have no clue when it might hit. If I am sticking to a healthy diet, then for me, it can be calculated. It does not hit the same time every month, but I know it will be somewhat in the vicinity of my womanly cycle. Sometimes it’s right before, sometimes it’s during, sometimes it’s right after, but the one constant is that it will happen. And often the more I fight it, the longer it gets drawn out. These are the things I have learned. Brain chemistry and lady hormones, God help me if I ever get pregnant. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never truly had that desire. But this is the logical side of what happens inside of me.
The part that many people don’t like to talk about, is that I am also a Christian. Jesus following, Bible-believing, God-fearing, saved by the blood of the Lamb, in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit Christian. And I have depression. I have done the try to pray it away thing, believe harder, trust harder thing. But this is my story.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?”
Before you argue. I FULLY believe God is capable of taking it away. I FULLY believe that for some, that is their story. I FULLY believe that God could one day do the same for me. Because He is God. And He is all-powerful. Mighty. Sovereign. But because He is God, I also know that He didn’t make a mistake when He created me. I know that He knows my innermost being. I know that He is Adonai El Roi, the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13). He is the same God who King David cried out to, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalm 42:5) The same God who Himself prayed in the garden, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death.” (Matthew 26:38) He is not a stranger to depression.
Recently I learned that famous theologian and pastor Charles Spurgeon lived with depression. In fact, he once said, “My spirits were sunken so low that I could weep by the hour like a child, and yet I knew not what I wept for.” I had been wrestling with feelings and thoughts that my faith was not great enough, my prayers not bold enough, my spirit not willing enough, so when I felt that darkness coming over me, instead of running to the Father for comfort amidst the sorrow, I ran to Him berating myself for not being stronger in my faith or a better Christian: Insulting the very Creation that He knows and loves. When I looked at the words of Spurgeon, one of the biggest Christian faith forces to have ever lived, I realized my argument couldn’t hold up. So I knew, those are lies of the enemy and each lie written at the beginning of this piece goes right along with them.
So what if, I stopped denying this part of myself? What if I stopped seeing it as something that’s broken? What if I stop wishing I was “normal?” What if I turn to the God who sees me and ask Him how to use it for good rather than letting it destroy me? What if when I am on the mountaintops I fortify myself with knowledge of His peace and comfort and faithfulness so that when I am in the valley of doubt and fear and sadness and cannot feel that truth, I can still know it?
God may choose to change this part of me. I know He’s capable. And if that is how He wants to be glorified, then I will continue to ask for Him to take it away. But if that is never part of my story, and He chooses instead to be glorified in how I use this aspect of my personage, then I will listen to His guiding, when I can hear, and in the moments where I am struck deaf with sorrow, I will rely on Him to hold me until it has passed. For though “we may weep through the night, at daybreak it will turn into shouts of ecstatic joy.” (Psalm 30:5b)
Not today, Satan.
We have a real enemy who will continue to feed us every single one of those aforementioned lies. He won’t stop. They may sound like your own voice in your head or the voice of someone else in your life, but know the real enemy. His name is Satan, and like a popular TV show once said about the ‘god of death’, what do we say to him? Not today. Not today, Satan. See he could use your mental health for his own destructive plan, but what the enemy “meant for evil, God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20) Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Depression of spirit is no index of declining grace; the very loss of joy and the absense of assurance may be accompanied by the greatest advancement in the spiritual life.” God can and will use it for good. Just ask Him how and be willing to listen.
Again I will say, I am writing this atop a mountain, having just come from the valley. Everything is much clearer here. So I know I can write these words and if you are currently in a valley, you won’t be able to see their truth. I know. I really do know. But trust me, and if you can’t trust me, trust Him. For though you walk in the valley of the shadow of death, you don’t have to fear any evil, He is with You. To comfort you. To guide you. Let Him. And when you have emerged and can once again see and hear clearly, thank Him, and ask Him to use it for your good and His glory.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life,
And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:4–6
You are not alone.
You are not broken.
You are not worthless.
You were made on purpose.
You were made with purpose.
You were made for a purpose.
You were not created wrong.
You are not a waste of space or energy.
The world would not be better off with you dead.
Someone loves you.
God loves you.
You are not alone.
You are never alone.