Depression – Becoming Known
We don’t really have to question feelings of depression. They make themselves well known, and in response, we get pretty familiar, even comfortable, with their ways. It can feel hard to break these feelings because we run into their sources every day. The consumer society we live in has normalized the idea that we have great need for what we do not have. So we live there – in lack, shame, and worthlessness. We let these sources and feelings tell us who we are.
But do you know who you really are? Do you believe it?
1 John 3:1-2 says, See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
What happens when I tell you that you are given a true identity in Christ the moment you put your faith in Him and invite Jesus into your heart? Relieved? Loved? Or full of questions?
If you feel instantly loved, hallelujah!
However, that wasn’t my response, I had questions, lots of them. But I would like to propose that that isn’t a negative. In fact, I would go as far as to say that your questions are welcomed, even encouraged, in the Kingdom of God.
When was the last time you met someone and had zero questions about who they were? I wonder how that person would feel if you weren’t curious to know them. Even more so, what about someone who you’ve decided to do life with? Shouldn’t you be curious? I believe it’s the same for God. He wants your questions. He invites us to get to know Him better. In Proverbs, we see words like seek and find me.
The last few years haven’t done much to help. I know I’ve sure felt displaced. My world shut down, and like you, I felt left with the media, myself, and those closest to me who were experiencing the same thing.
What was going on out there?
I knew where my faith should have been, in Jesus. I know He says he will never leave or abandon me, but it was so much easier to turn my eyes to the world and believe everything I saw. Overwhelmed when I should have leaned further into Jesus. I began to lose that identity, and I felt no longer known.
Identity. The big bad wolf of this generation. We as a society are constantly wrestling with this term searching for the answer of who we are. Does it seem like we can’t be satisfied in our own skin? Let me propose one more thing, could our failure to be comfortable in our identity be because we stopped asking God questions? You see, Jesus came not only to die for our sins but to show us how to live our lives, and He’s still showing today through the Holy Spirit. Listening for His voice and asking questions about Jesus WILL help us learn our true identity. If we are going to look for answers to our identity, shouldn’t we start with the creator?
I can tell you from experience that the further we find ourselves from God and knowing who He says He is, the closer we step toward displacement, crisis, experiencing feeling unknown, restless, depressed and hopeless.
Let there be no more seeking for identity in all the wrong places and people. A moment of rejection, an exaggerated lifestyle on social media, and fear created by the news are not sources of life for your spirit.
Instead, choose daily to see God for who He truly is, and seek to know Him better. In other words, ask your questions, all of them, and then you will know exactly who you are. You are a child of God – adopted into His Kingdom. Your name is written in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16).
If you find yourself in a moment of weakness, losing who you are, look at Jesus, and find yourself again.
Things that have helped me:
- As you walk with God, begin to journal all of the times you feel specifically known. How did you look like Jesus at that moment? Look back on your entries over time to remind yourself who you are in Christ.
- Seek wise counsel (Proverbs 11:14) from a faith-filled therapist or trusted leader/friend.
- Refuse to isolate. You, too, introverts! Refuel, then go be with the people of God.
- Limit your media intake. Feeling lack? Time to step back.
- Spend time with God in The Word. Ask Him all your questions. Know Him more.