For those walking the path of grieving the loss of a baby or child, we offer grace for the journey and a friend to walk with you... There are moments on this walk when we feel we cannot go on. Moments when a friend comes alongside us to point us again to the One who sustains us. A friend to lift us in prayer. A friend to allow us to lean on her as she leans on Him. A friend, who is not afraid to walk through the valley in the rain, with a storm mounting. She is not afraid, because the Lord is her strength and her shield. She is not afraid because she doesn't walk alone. And because He has walked with her through the valleys and the storms, He has sent her to walk with you. And He will carry you both through the rain, through the storm, through the unknown dark alleys to secure, dry ground. Whether you are a newly bereaved mother or a seasoned mom who has watched the Lord make beauty from ashes in your life. Whether you need someone to lean on or you are the shoulder that can bear the burden, we hope you will walk with us as we are walking with Him. We hope you will join us with our broken umbrellas, with all our little quirks and imperfections in our various stages on this walk, as His grace washes over us in the pouring rain.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Can I Go On? (Part One - Depression and Loneliness)

To make things a little easier, I'm breaking this lesson into two weeks. We will talk about depression and loneliness this week and guilt and fear on next Thursday's Walking With You. If you already have your post ready and you did the entire lesson, that's O.K....just link the same post this week and next week. And, we will get around to encourage you. I hope you will take the time to read everyone's post and encourage one another. And, I'm sure everyone would appreciate feedback, even if you're not in the study, but find something is resonating with you or leaving you wondering. Our goal is to encourage one another and lift each other in prayer. Not place a burden on one another.

Even if you aren't in the study, and aren't a grieving mom...but would like to share thoughts on depression or loneliness, we'd love to hear your input. If you wanted to be in the study and feel that you aren't able, but would like to join in the discussion, I'd love to hear what's on your heart, too.

And maybe we can encourage one another at The Blog Frog. I'm going to start a discussion there, and I'd love to have anyone participate. (Click here to join in the discussion.) I think we all could use some encouragement. I think it would really help others to know they are not alone.



Depression...such a taboo word in Christian circles. We aren't supposed to "grieve without hope". This is true and biblical. But does that mean we will never feel great sorrow or despair? Does it mean we will skip through life, death, and everything in between with a smile on our face...never questioning anything that comes our way, and loving every minute of matter what it is? Is it wrong to feel grief and agony? Is it wrong to feel lonely, lost, hopeless, forsaken? Can we help those feelings when we lose someone we love dearly?

Let's look to the truth of God's Word to answer these difficult questions:

In Esther 4:1,3...we find grief being displayed by tearing of clothes, wearing of sackcloth and ashes (a sign of mourning), weeping, wailing, and fasting.

In II Corinth. 1:8b-9...we find God's people burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that they despaired even of life...
They had the sentence of death in themselves...(but what did they say?)They said, "we should trust not in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead".

Psalm 6:6...talks of being weary with groaning...crying all night, drenching the couch with tears until my eyes waste away with grief.

How can you tell when you are depressed?

Some people don't eat or can't eat. I have had a few moments like that. But...for the most part, all I want to do is eat. I'm an emotional/comfort eater.

I also struggle with insomnia when I'm depressed. I often can't sleep and then want to sleep when I should be awake...but cannot, as life marches on.

I withdraw and escape..sometimes just wanting to stay in my room. As a mother, we can't really put life on hold. But, there have been a few times during intense grief when I have retreated to my bedroom sanctuary...especially during the year after mom died. I also remember after we lost our twin daughters, Faith and Grace that I didn't leave my house for almost two months. Others would get groceries and run errands for me.

What does God's Word say about grief, tears, and God's response to our sorrow?

He numbers our wanderings...and puts our tears into a bottle...(see Psalm 56:8)

He sees us and keeps our sorrow close to Him. He is aware of every tear we cry. And He cares about us. Even our tears are precious to Him.

Psalm 126:5-6 holds one of my favorite promises. I have clung to it during the sowing of tears and rejoiced to see it's answer fulfilled during songs of joy.

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying his sheaves with them. ~Psalm 126:5-6

What does it mean by "carrying seed to sow" and "carrying our sheaves"?

Sheaves are the stalks of grain that grow from the seeds that are sown. To me, the sheaves represent the promise that is coming. Our sorrow...our tears, our trials are like seeds we are sowing that will one day harvest a beautiful crop. In the midst of grief, we sow with tears, but as the Lord heals our brokenness and replaces our ashes with day, we will sing with songs of joy.


Have you felt alone or forsaken in your grief as the world moves on and you are still hurting? Have you wondered if God has turned His back on you or felt like turning your back on Him?

I talked last week about feeling forsaken. It's probably my "go-to" area of weakness...the lie Satan uses the most to buffet me when i am weak. Lies like: "Sure, God's promises are true, but not for you."

That was probably my biggest struggle with faith and grief after losing Faith, Grace, and Thomas...and even in grieving the loss of my mother. Will He really carry me through this? Has the Lord left me? Does He understand my sorrow...or is He disappointed that I am so broken-hearted?

The thing about grieving is that no one can fix it. People can pray and say loving things and even walk with you through your journey. But, nothing relieves that initial devestation...and nothing completely fills that empty space in your heart. I believe there is always a "missing place" felt for the one who has passed. But, that doesn't mean there is no hope of relief.

It's true no one on this earth can make it better. And, it's a lonely others move on...back into life and a grieving mother still hurts, frozen in her pain, not ready to move forward, not finished healing.

People will let us down. They will not always understand...not always say the right thing. Wives and husbands can even feel lonely with one another, as they grieve differently. He may not want to talk about it...while she may need to relive every moment to get the feelings out. There is a way to respect each other's need to grieve differently. Refer to this post for more information.

The following verses are some of the ones I clung to myself when I felt lonely and forsaken in the thick of grief. We are to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, to know how to walk through this life. And, as we do...we find that our Savior understands grief and loneliness quite well.

In Luke 22, we find Jesus praying alone...His friends couldn't even stay awake! He is praying in agony, sweating great drops of blood as He asked the Lord to let this cup (His impending death on the cross) pass from Him. Even in His agony, though, He says..."Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done.". He took His agony and His request to the Father...yet He trusted in the Sovereign Father's will.

Do you know what struck me and brought me comfort all those years ago when I laid on my tear stained couch? What comforted me the most about these verses?

That Jesus gets it.

Jesus didn't skip through the sorrow with a pasted smile on His face. He was in so much agony, he was sweating great drops of blood as He wrestled with what was about to become of Him. It wasn't easy...He cried out in prayer and agony in His Spirit...that even manifested in His flesh. Too often, Christians think we can't admit that we are hurting, struggling, depressed, grieving. We think we are supposed to have it all together and only display a happy face. I'm not saying it's O.K. to be consumed with depression and wallow in defeat. Jesus didn't do that. But, there is a time for sorrow and grief. Jesus felt those feelings...agony, sorrow, forsaken, overwhelmed, full of dread, despising what was to come.But He took them to the Father in prayer. He knew where to go, and who to trust.

How might our grief be a temptation to turn away from God completely?

Some people turn away from God in the midst of tragedy. People may feel angry, forsaken, thinking God has turned their back on Him. I've heard others share that they wondered, "How could a loving God allow this to happen?"

Trouble will come in life with or without God. He doesn't send trials, and His heart breaks when we hurt. True comfort can only be found when we turn to the Lord...and more pain and loneliness will rule in our hearts if we choose to turn away. But, God leaves that choice up to us.

What did Jesus know of grief and loneliness?

In Isaiah 53...He was despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, aquainted with grief..

In Hebrews 5, we find Him crying out with vehement cries, and tears to the One who was able to save Him.

Throughout scripture, we find Jesus going off alone to pray...and we see that even those closest to Him betrayed Him and turned their back on Him.

Who is there for us in loneliness and grief?

Deut. 31:8
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you.
He will be with you,
He will not leave you nor forsake you,
Do not fear nor be dismayed.

Psalm 73
Nevertheless, I am continually with you...

John 16:32
I am not alone because the Father is with me.

Romans 8:35-39
Nothing can separate us from His love...

If you get nothing else from this post, please just know that Jesus gets your sorrow, your pain, your grief, your depression, and your loneliness. He gets it...He weeps with you...nothing separates you from His love...and He will never leave you or forsake you. Turn toward Him, lean into Him, pour your heart out to Him...He is there.


  1. I don't know what I would do if God didn't know my pain. It's because of the gift of His own son, that I press on with trust and faith in Him.

    You covered it all very well Kelly.

  2. Thank you for breaking this into 2 weeks. I have been busy/ slacking and have only done 3 of the scriptures this past week!!! I will work diligently and post the whole thing next week. If that's ok! (And I won't even "cheat" and peek at your answers till mine are done. :D )

  3. I promise I'll get to posting an entry for this. I've been a bit busy this week and this entire Bible study is wreaking some sort of havoc in my heart that it's taking more time than expected to do the lessons (though I wouldn't say the havoc is a bad brings to mind the song by Sanctus Real called Something Heavenly.... "Whatever you're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace).

  4. I know what you mean, Shannon. This study is a lot more intense than I expected and takes much time to read through and ponder. Take your time. I'm so grateful you are participating and allowing the Lord to work in your heart.

  5. The other day, I was driving to school and all of a sudden it hit me.....Jesus knows exactly how I feel. When I am gripped with fear that causes physical effects, He knows what that feels like. It was a great moment for me to realize that and I really believe it was a turning point too.

  6. I love your honesty! I am tired of the "we must always be happy" nonsense that I see around me. Life hurts and if we can't be honest about it then we can't see that others are hurting. There is, I think, strength in hurting together.

  7. Well said, Miss Purple Moose! There is strength in hurting together...I think it's why the Lord admonishes us to "weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice".

    Kristin...I'm so glad the Lord spoke that to your heart. I know He is continuing to work in your life in beautiful, freeing ways.

    Love to you!