“You’re not alone…I understand.”
Those are perhaps the two most comforting sentiments we long to hear in the midst of a trial. It was what I needed to hear, but didn’t, when I was in the midst of the valley of depression.
The opposite was what the enemy of my soul whispered in my ear so loudly it was deafening: “You’re all alone. No one else understands. If you tell anyone, they’ll know what’s wrong with you and run the other way.”
Depression does not make you flawed
That’s what perpetuates the stigma: the belief that suffering with the pain of depression or anxiety means there is something inherently flawed about you, any more than you would be flawed if you had allergies or heart disease. No one is shunned for those health conditions. Yet, for some reason, we think a mental health concern makes an individual inherently flawed.
The enemy made sure to use my own knowledge and training against me: “you’re the doctor. If you couldn’t save yourself from such an affliction, why would anyone trust you to treat them? In fact, if anyone finds out, you’ll lose business and be the laughingstock of your profession.” He wanted me to believe that my worth was dictated by my condition and that I was flawed because I had walked in the valley.
Yet the enemy is a liar—the father of lies in fact. God’s truth says that what the enemy intended to harm us, God will use for good. It also says that we will be able to comfort others with the comfort that we have been given (2 Corinthians 1:4).
You are not alone; someone understands
In my award-winning book, “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression,” I not only share from my experience, both as a doctor who treats depression, but also as an individual who suffered.
In preparation for the book release, I took a small group of women through the book with me in a book study format. At one point as we were going through one of the chapters, one of the women messaged me and said, “THIS…Is. Me! You’re telling my story for the past 25 years…Now I know why God connected us.” But the not-so-strange part is that she wasn’t the only one to share such sentiments with me. Many women have told me similar statements, yet each one has felt alone, and each, in their own way, has worn a mask afraid to share their suffering; afraid to let anyone see their pain; afraid no one else would understand.
It was my story too. And it’s the story of countless others. And the enemy convinces so many that it is true…that they are alone and that no one else will understand. But I’m here to tell you that it is a lie. You are not alone. Someone does understand.
4 Scriptures to stand on in the valley of depression
Even if you do not have someone in your close circle that you can open up to and share your heart with, you are still not alone. I didn’t have anyone when I was in the darkest part of the valley of despair, but still I was not alone.
- God promises in His word that He never leaves us alone. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT).
- He hears our cries and He promises to heal the broken places in our hearts.
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
- He also promises to comfort us in our suffering, after which, we will be able to be there to extend comfort and compassion to others.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT).
- When I was in the valley of depression, the enemy’s lies were so loud and so convincing, but ultimately, it was standing on and trusting in God’s truth that made all the difference.
And His word reminds us that “they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony” (Revelation 12:11 NLT).
It is for this reason that I am willing to share my story, to give others hope and to help silence the enemy’s whispers in their ears, pointing them to God’s truth and His faithfulness.
Have you experienced God’s faithfulness in the lonely times? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. You just might encourage someone else in the process!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Today is Going to be a Good Day
Exciting News! My newest book, Today is Going to be a Good Day: 90 Promises from God to Start Your Day Off Right is now available!
More information on this uplifting devotional that helps you make each day a good day no matter what is going on in your life.
When life conspires to drag us down with all of its troubles, it can be hard to keep our spirits up. In times of severe illness and depression, I learned that when I stand on God’s promises, despite my circumstances, every day can be a good day.
Each reading includes Scripture, reflection, prayer, and a recommended playlist song designed to help you live out Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
For more information on the book visit: