Updated: Dec 6, 2021
Like a deer desperate for water my soul thirsts for you God.
I cry so much it’s like i'm feasting on tears.
Doubts surround me – where is your God?
My only defence is to pour out my soul to you.
There is no church anymore, no tangible community.
I miss praise and worship and potluck feasts.
I can’t pinpoint the cause of my pain so instead I ask – why?
Why do I feel like this?
I press on – I hope in God – I cry for help.
I need to keep my eyes fixed on you!
The waters are deep the waves rise high
But You surround me with your love.
At night you comfort me with a song, and hear my prayers.
God, my rock it’s hard to see you,
Are you still there? I cry.
The enemy is pressing hard from every angle – depression ain’t no joke!
Why am I feeling like this?
Look up child.
I hope in you once more,
In fact I praise You, my helper, my God.
As much as I haven’t outwardly admitted it to anyone, my mental health has taken a huge hit this year. I may have been ‘functioning’ well to the naked eye, to those looking in from social media but truthfully it’s been an uphill battle.
As I’m writing this, I’m trying so hard not to delete everything on the page because it’s hard being vulnerable. It’s hard admitting you’re not strong. It’s hard accepting that you need help. It’s hard allowing others into your reality.
On the 8th November, I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t lonely, I was just tired. I didn’t feel like reading and I didn’t feel like journaling either but I saw my beautifully decorated Bible lying on the floor and I picked it up. I asked God to show me something in His Word that would inspire me and make me smile.
He led me right to Psalm 42.
As the deer pants for the water brooks so pants my soul for You, O God. - Psalms 42:1
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, if not spoken, sung in one form or another. Tori Kelly’s version of the song popped into my head and I sung a couple of lines. Then I read on. David has always been my favourite Bible character. He’s so real, he’s also in many ways very flawed but God still calls him a man after His own heart.
When I read on, I saw myself. Every Word of this Psalm resonated with me so deeply.
I just got it. I caught it. I understood it.
And for some weird reason it made me smile.
I’ve been struggling to comprehend lockdown. I’ve been struggling to just breathe sometimes, wake up, smile, laugh, speak. Not everyday is hard but somedays are truly unbearable. I don’t know how my family have coped with this caged version of me!
The reason I smiled was because for the first time during lockdown, I remembered I AM NOT ALONE.
David the giant slayer isn’t here with me in 2020, but he too went through periods of struggle so hard it left him feeling depressed and deflated. (I’ve been studying the life of David and he went through a whole lot so I can see why.) But God never left him. God never abandoned him or forsook him and God has not done any of those things to me or you either.
I honestly don’t know who’s reading this, I don’t know what you’re going through or what you are facing right now but I want you to know that you are not alone. God sees you, He hears you and He cares for you.
Please don’t suffer in silence. Our mental health is as important as our physical health! When you break a bone in your body, we pray for healing and proactively go to a doctor to help us heal. In the same way when our mental health is not where it should be, we need to seek the right help and guidance in order to get back to where God wants us to be - healthy, holy and whole.
We are going through a pandemic, something we have never seen or experienced before. It’s affecting us all in different ways and you know what...that’s okay!
If you, like me are also feeling the pressures of life in lockdown, are experiencing periods of depression and/or anxiety, or maybe are just feeling a little off from your usual self, I've linked some resources below for you to check out.
Oh and also, here's a cover I did with my sister of what i've decided to call my lockdown anthem...I hope it blessed you the same way it has blessed me.
Help is on the way. God is still in full control.
The Common Room - Open Honest Conversation about Depression & Anxiety
Make sure you check out this video, it's got so many helpful tips and testimonies from people who struggle with and are learning to better manage their mental health.
Samaritans Helpline - Call 116 123 for FREE
If you just need someone to talk to, someone to listen the Samaritans offer that service. You can find more about them here - samaritans.org
Some great things you should check out
Switch on your brain - Caroline Leaf
This book was recommended by one of the panelists in The Common Room chat above, I haven't read it YET! But it's on my up next list.
Social Media accounts and websites to check out
About The Author
I’m Laura, the boss lady behind Stay Lit Apparel. God has blessed me with a love for ministry and business and i'm so grateful that every day I get to combine both through this brand. When i'm not designing new products i'm journalling, travelling, making memories or laughing hard. I hope you've been blessed this year by all these stories, testimonies, journeys and designs. Can't wait to see what God has in store for us in 2021.
Stay safe, stay blessed.