Tag Archive: depression


This week at Monkey Barrel and Emergency Ministries we discussed two separate topics: Monkey Barrel students explored fear and Emergency Ministries students explored depression. I will tell you a little about our depression talk in this blog post and next week I will write about our fear talk.

The slogan of the talk was this: depression…it does happen. I was at a meeting of the board of our local Youth Centre just this past week and heard a young lady talk about her experience of teen depression when she was in grade 8. What she said went something like this (I’ll paraphrase):

I don’t know why I started feeling that way. I was not a high-risk teen and my family did not display terrible dysfunction as you might expect of teens with depression. It just happened.

Thankfully this young lady was able to find the support she needed from our local Youth Centre. With this talk my aim was to instill hope in the students present that they and their friends can get through prolonged periods of depression and they can always talk to trusted people in their lives about this.

The reality of the situation is that we all get sad sometimes. There are things that get us down. Most times these feelings go away; however, sometimes we begin to think that we deserve to be sad because of some terrible thing that we have done. Sometimes we believe that the situations will never change. Sometimes we put our head down and stop looking around at all the beauty of life around us. When it gets to this point we likely need help finding our way back.

In the Gospel of Luke Jesus tells a story about a tower that fell on 18 people and killed them. The question Jesus asks is whether these 18 people in the wrong place at the wrong time somehow deserved to be there. Were they bad people? Is this why they died? Was it Karma? The answer Jesus gave was a resounding “NO”.

Bad stuff happens and that is just a part of life. The law of Karma states that what comes around goes around; if you dish out something bad you cannot escape the bad that will come back to you. The reality is that if you are a thief you will likely go to jail and if you are a jerk you will likely have no friends.

Even though we joke about Karma all that time…this is NOT some natural law of the universe. What comes around does not always have to go around; Jesus came to the world to break the cycle of sin, death and destruction. The Apostle Paul reminds us in his book to the Romans that “…the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Moreover, the Gospel writer John said, “…the thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. Jesus comes to give abundant life!”.

Jesus gives hope that tomorrow can be better than today….no matter how bad today was and no matter how many mistakes we made today. Jesus asks us to lift up our heads and look at all the wonderful beauty of life around us. There is more to life then things that bring us down. Once we break free from cultural misinformation like the supposed law of Karma and the message that for some people things can never change we can begin the journey back from a life of depression.

If you have felt sad, down, or blue for several weeks and nothing seems to bring you out of this you might be stuck. Faith in Jesus can help bring you back…and Jesus often times uses people to bring his hope. Talk with your youth leaders, youth pastor, school councilor or other trusted people and start the journey back!

 

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.  (Psalm 31:5-6)

 

NOTE: Wednesday February 8th 2012 is national “Let’s Talk” day about depression and other mental illness. On this day numerous high profile individuals will open up about their battle with depression.

 

Make sure you talk that day as well.

This morning at Essex District High School and this evening at Essex Gospel Community Church we have the opportunity to hear Brett Ullman speak about a difficult topic that is most often not talked about in our school, churches, or homes. It is talked about in popular media, music videos, movies and video games. This topic is self-harm and substance abuse.

This is what Brett’s website (www.brettullman) says about this topic and his talks:

Today, thousands of young people, under-confident and often scared, are seeking release from their personal struggles in ways many adults would prefer not to contemplate and, sadly, ignore. You probably have friends who cut, friends who are bulimic and you know self-injury is a serious problem in teen culture today. Self-injury is taking teen culture by storm and its impact is evident in movies, music lyrics and countless music videos. This talk opens up discussion, raises awareness and shows a way out of the darkness.

The school wide assembly at 12PM today was well attended (~800-900 students) and 90% of the individuals indicated to Brett that they knew someone who had struggled with cutting and/or self-harm. After the talk there were at least a dozen students who spoke with Brett about a variety of real issues that they were facing. This is the first step…talk to someone about this.

I know that there are many people within our community who struggle with self-harm and substance abuse; I know this because I have heard their stories. I also know that while some are brave enough to talk about these things, even more people do not.

If this is you or someone you know, you do need to talk about it and you can get help. The staff and volunteers at Emergency Ministries (EGCC’s Sr. High Youth Program) are more than happy to talk to you and give you the help that we can offer; we are also happy to help you find help for situations that are beyond what you can handle alone. You can reach us on facebook (Emergency Ministries) or by e-mail (youth@essexgospel.com).

Take the first step…you can do this!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46)