Monday, March 7, 2011

Through the Valley of Depression

       I've been exploring on the web today, finding new blogs that have really inspired me. I enjoy finding out about young mothers who are doing their best to present a godly influence for their children. I was introduced the other day to a blog called "Come Have a Peace" and through it, I found several others. These young women who are writing about their daily lives seem to have it all together.
       That wasn't true of me when I was younger. I married at age 19 after having known my husband for only six months.  I can truly say after 55 years of marriage, God blessed immensely by putting us together. We have served God in twelve churches and one association of churches through these years. After our retirement, we traveled in our 5th wheel trailer and Ford dually truck to help churches with construction work. Along with several other couples, we did this for ten years, until my husband's health required that we no longer drive the trailer. Since then we've been here in our little home, doing what we can in our church, and I have taken on a new career--writing.
        But shortly after I was married, I experienced depression. We were serving in churches that didn't pay much, my husband was trying to finish college and seminary, we were having babies about every two years, and it all pressed in on me until I could not handle it.
       My sweet husband talked with one of his seminary professors, who counseled me and led me through the valley of depression. But God is the one who led me out, after I allowed him to.
       My deepest regret is the time that I lost with my children, that can never be regained. However, they were pretty little, and don't remember much of it. We have a great relationship today. Our four children are scattered. One is in Missouri, two are in Texas, and one is in Germany, but we communicate. E-mail, texts, and telephones keep us close.
        People today don't believe that I once suffered severe mental depression. It is truly a tool of Satan. Satan cannot take away our salvation, but he can enter our thoughts and make Christians miserable, if they allow it. It takes strength and the word of God to withstand those fiery darts Satan sends, especially when one is already weakened by doubts and fears that Satan has put in our minds.
        I just want to say to all you young ladies, God bless you and keep you strong. I am thankful for all of you. My book A HERITAGE OF FAITH tells the story of a family who tried to follow God's will as we ministered to churches that were in decline. Check out my website if you want to know more about it.



  1. i have had some moments like that as well, but my faith has never been stronger so hopefully i will never find myself in that place again. :)
    found you through marriage mondays!
    i enjoyed your story.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. So many times as Christians we miss out on the bond and encouragement from others because we hide our struggles instead of seeking help. I know that I am and have been guilty of that. I get so proud and want to handle things on my own that Jimmy often has to force me into asking for help from others (which is embarassing). The worst time was several years ago after our miscarriage. It's nice to know that I am not alone. Thanks again for sharing.

    I am also glad that you visited Come Have a Peace. I hope you enjoyed it!

  3. You have such a beautiful and peaceful blog, Juanita, and I love getting to know you through the pictures on the sides. As a pastor's wife, I can understand why giving out so much in such hard places often leads to discouragement and even depression. My "Come Have a Peace" was born out of many things God used in my life; being raised in a family that always battled depression is one of them. God really wants us to "Come, have His peace," but so many challenges in life can rob us of it. Thanks for sharing your story, and blessings on you in your new ministries in this season of life.

    Much peace,