I am praying for Robin Williams’ heartbroken family. I am praying for all of his fans that are incredulous that this man, known for heart, humor and zest, would make such a final and hopeless choice.
I am also praying for you. I am praying for the thousands of laughing people who suffer from depression.
You see … I was you. I know the pain of a black soul. I know the grim reality of having it all … and yet living without hope.
Without joy. Without peace. Without life.
Robin … I wish that we could have met somewhere other than in a darkened theater. I wish that not just your DVD’s had come to spend a Friday night in my family room. I wish that it had been you in person who chose to spend an evening with me. Perhaps the truth and hope of my story could have in some way restored your soul.
I spent years in the black abyss of depression while life hurried on around me. I had what many women only dream of … yet still I was depressed
I was married to a great man. I was deeply in love with him … and yet I was still depressed. I am so thankful to say that our marriage survived my depression. Have I told you that he is a great man?
I had 2 darling little boys. They were smart and beautiful and filled my heart with life and a reason to get up in the morning. And yet I was still depressed.
I had every reason to be happy … and I believe that I was happy … but I was depressed.
I have come to believe that you can be happy and still be depressed. Just ask Robin Williams. Just ask me.
You can “have it all” … and still be depressed.
You can be successful … and still be depressed.
You can be well-known … and still be depressed.
You can be respected … and still be depressed.
Let me tell you this before I say one more thing:
I am not a medical doctor. If you are depressed, go see your doctor and do whatever he or she advises that you should do.
I am not a trained counselor. If you are depressed, find a Christian counselor and allow that counselor to peal back the layers of your life.
However …. In addition to those two things … may I share with you what helped me the very most? May I share with you what washed away the blackness that was rampant in my soul?
During those dark years of depression, I developed an addiction. The addiction that I developed was not to over-the-counter drugs or to alcohol. The addiction that I developed was not to marijuana or to cocaine or to liquor. Those addictions are unable to help you or to heal you … just ask Robin Williams.
Those addictions are lethal habits in the life of a depressed person because they only serve to numb the emotional pain for a period of time … and then the depression comes rushing back in like an uncontrollable avalanche of relentless human pain.
Let me definitively say that I am not against taking a prescribed medication as advised by your medical doctor. Sometimes this is necessary. If you had cancer … you would go to chemo. If you were a diabetic … you would take insulin.
However, my hope and prayer is that there would come a time in your life when the necessity for a prescribed antidepressant would no longer be necessary.
The addiction that I developed in those years of the vacuum in depression was to the Word of God. I found the God of all hope in the Bible.
I discovered that I didn’t have to be perfect emotionally for Him to love me.
I discovered that I didn’t have to have it all together for Him to use me.
I discovered the healing power of a broken piece of humanity connecting with the God Who loves unconditionally. I can’t explain it to this day … but I was healed.
Slowly and surely and hopefully … I was healed.
“My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your Word.” – Psalm 119:28
It wasn’t that I woke up one morning and everything was changed to sunshine, lollipops and rainbows … but it was a definitive healing work that was done in my soul.
Where depression used to exist … now there was hope.
Where sadness once pervaded my continual existence … now there was a stabilizing peace.
As I read the Word of God, it performed a deep and restorative work within me. Although there were many days that I was unable to understand what I was reading with my mind, my heart was quickened with the power in the Word.
I did the dishes with the Bible open on the counter.
I folded the laundry with the Bible open on the dryer.
I played Legos with my little boys with my Bible open on my lap.
I wrote Bible verses on 3x5 cards, laminated them and took them in the shower with me.
My doctor and I were able to slowly wean myself off anti-depressants.
I connected with life again and it was glorious.
My laughter was deep and pure. It was not a show. I was not a circus performer. I had found joy in the richness and text of the Bible.
This is my story and how I was healed from depression. God, the Healer of grief and sorrow, spoke to me from the precious pages of His ancient, yet living, missive. It was more powerful than drugs … than alcohol … than a psychologist.
If He did it for me … He can do it for you. The Bible is a Book of hope and healing.
“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
His wisdom and eternal hope spoke to me daily and it cost me not a dime.
Robin Williams … forgive us. Forgive the Body of Christ for failing to speak about the most powerful healing force known in all of history.
All I know is that once I was depressed … and now I splash in the joy of His presence.
"In His presence is fullness of joy, at His right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11