It’s a stupid commercial. Every time it comes on, my husband and I either look at each other and laugh, or chime in with the corny phrase, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” This is followed by the actor’s anemic struggle and pleading eyes. Then the announcer touts the special call button you should always wear around your neck and tells us how we can order one. How ridiculous, we think. Until it happens to you.

The dumbest injury I’ve ever suffered is the time I got trapped under my own yard debris bin. It was full and heavy. I yanked on it with all my weight to roll it down the driveway for pickup, but it flipped over on me instead, pinning me to the ground. I pushed and strained to lift it off; I even tried sliding out from under it, but it wouldn’t budge. Eventually, pain and fear trumped pride and I called for help. I was hoarse and pretty shook up when someone finally heard me. It took three of my neighbors to lift it off. I still have a dent in my leg from where it fell.

Depression can be like that. We don’t like to admit we’re down; we’d rather be up on our feet and roll our own trash to the curb. But the truth is, sometimes we do fall and we can’t get up. That’s when we need help to lift whatever is weighing us down. Depression is not a sin, it’s a feeling, and certainly not anything we choose. But we can choose how we respond to it. Like all human struggles, God has the answers for it.

I am just coming out of the worst season of depression I’ve experienced, other than when I went through an unwanted divorce. It was a heaviness I couldn’t lift – a darkness I couldn’t dispel. Even though I love the Lord and have much to be thankful for, I woke morning after morning with no desire to get up, to do anything, or see anyone. But I did it anyway. I continued to do all the “right” things, while the darkness clung like festering tar.

I continued to press my “call button” and follow God’s counsel. Today, I can truly say the JOY has returned. Praise to God! I know I’m not the only one. Many of you deal with depression on a regular basis or are currently suffering a season of depression. What I share with you in the next three posts is not as an expert, but as a fellow sufferer testifying how God has helped me get up from this all too human frailty. Each post will include what I’ve learned can help when depression hits.

We are created in God’s likeness and He is made up of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We have three parts to our identity as well: Body, Soul, and Spirit. My first post will list some of the physical causes of depression and how we can counteract them. The second post will deal with the soul, which is made up of our mind, our will, and our emotions, and how we can fight depression in those areas. The final post in this series will deal with ways to battle depression in the spiritual realm. I hope this series will help and encourage you, or provide something to share with a friend who is fighting depression.

See you next time.