Sharing in our brokenness

BY SANDY ALLEN & BENNETT ROLAN

S andy Allen was on her knees, begging God for a way out. As a long-time BSF teaching leader, she was steeped in God’s Word and committed to seeking Him in prayer.  

But Sandy knew her debilitating condition had returned, and she cried out to her Savior 

For months, she pushed through the fog. She would deliver her BSF lecture, then collapse at home in exhaustion.  

Pounding thoughts would suffocate her joy and desire for living.  

Life is just too hard.  

Nothing is worth it. 

Your life is worthless.  

The very part of what makes you youis worth nothing.”  

Years of Suffering

T wenty-five years earlier, Sandy was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. After medical treatment and therapy, she slowly recovered her personality and worked to restore her relationships 

“Over the years I faced the darkness many times,” Sandy said. “God has seen me through, and every time I thought, ‘Whew that is over. Surely it won’t come back again.’  

She was hopeful the battle was over. But those familiar thoughts returned in the fall of 2018 

“The scary part is that I couldn’t see it,” she said. “I thought I was fine until my depression started affecting others.” 

Recognizing the signs, Sandy sought professional help. Today, her relationship with God is stronger, and her faith is deeper. But Sandy’s journey to this point has been difficult 

“I thought everyone had those days when they hated their lives and wanted just to die when the living felt too hard to do,” Sandy said. People say things like,Tomorrow you will feel better, it’s just a rough patch, life can be hard sometimes.’ But I was overwhelmed and aching inside, without any real idea of how to make things better. But, boy, did I try.”  

“I was overwhelmed and aching inside, without any real idea of how to make things better. But boy, did I try.”

She tried vitamins, sleep, exercise, diet, caffeine, vacation, more work, less work. Even prayer, worship, church counsel and Bible study did not alleviate the growing depression and anxiety.   

Nothing changed the way I felt deep down, about myself and my life,” she said. Life was too hard, overwhelming. People seemed mean. I didn’t really want to do anything.   

Every day felt like I was walking through some sort of thick mud trudging along. The tears would fall, I would think, ‘What’s the point of this life – it seems to just get harder.’   

Finally, a compassionate friend said, “I think you might be depressed. After research and multiple doctor’s visits, Sandy accepted that she had a condition many of her BSF friends could not understand.  

But the God who created Sandy and knew her thoughts intimately met her in the despair.  

“I remember lying in bed,” Sandy said, “the tears falling, and crying out, Lord I know You are God, but You feel so far away. I need You close to help me though. And in the darkness, I sensed His presence, remembered His words that He would never leave me or forsake me,’ and I knew He would carry me through somehow.  

“I remember lying in bed,” Sandy said, “the tears falling and crying out, ‘Lord I know you are God, but you feel so far away. I need you close to help me through.’ “

After years of professional counseling, medical treatment and family support, Sandy feels compelled to share her story.  

And through her honesty, we can find freedom in sharing our own struggles and moments of brokenness. Together, we can celebrate God’s faithfulness, acknowledge our weaknesses and rely on one another as we seek Christ in a fallen world.  

Uniting in Trials

L ike Sandy, many of us face circumstances, diagnoses and difficult relationships that our BSF family may not understand. We walk into our BSF group each week feeling lonely and misunderstood, trying to hide the deep places that reveal our vulnerabilities 

But 2 Corinthians 12:9 promises God’s power “is made perfect in weakness.” And through our painful experiences, God strengthens the body of believers.  

“… So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26). 

Our study of Acts and Letters of the Apostles will bring our sin, shortcomings and pain to light. Instead of hiding these moments, we can encourage group members to share how God is working in the midst of those trials.  

The Power of Faithful Community

T o help us navigate these difficult topics and conversations, God’s Word gives wonderful insight into how the early Church pursued gospel-centered unity.  

They committed to study, fellowship and prayer.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 

Which person in your group today needs your prayers, or who needs to know you are praying for them? How will you reach out to them this week?

They put others’ needs above their own.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 2:3-5 

Whose needs are your focus? How can you ask God to help you show someone else that they are valuable?  

They were quick to listen and slow to anger.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” – James 1:19-20 

Listening can be hard, but will you challenge yourself to ask more questions as you interact with those in your group?  

Unity was a common goal.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”Ephesians 4:2-6 

What can you do to demonstrate humility, patience and love in your relationships with others? 

They sought to forgive one another.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:13-14 

Who do you need to forgive, because the Lord has forgiven you? When will you take action to reach out and forgive?

 

Walking in the Valley

F or those who struggle with depression, or see another who is hurting, Sandy Allen shared some helpful thoughts from her experience.

God does not expect you and me to do everything.

Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’ ” Acts 6:3-4 

Sometimes our trials increase because we take on extra things. 

I love this truth: God’s plan is for His work to be divided among the body.  

When the anxiety increases, or the depression seems worse, allow yourself to let something go. Ask the Lord, ”What are those things you are asking me to do, and what can I stop for this tough season of my life?” 

Depression is a trial.

In all this you greatly rejoice,  though now for a little while  you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faithof greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by firemay result in praise, glory and honor  when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 

Depression,  anxiety and  living with a loved one who struggles with it is a trial. 

In every trial  there  is  an  opportunity for Christ to reveal Himself. Seeking Him in the hard times proves that our faith is real  and that  we know He is the one to turn to. 

And in these verses,  we have the promise  that  as our faith is refined,  our lives will bring praise and glory to Jesus. 

So God is at work in the present hard time. Your faith is being made stronger while living with depression or  with  a loved one who struggles. 

God’s purposes for you are prevailing. 

If you see someone struggling, reach out.

“While the man held on to Peter and John,  all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.” Acts 3:11 

Who among you is hurting?  How can you,  through prayer and God’s compassion, reach out and give them a helping hand? Let them  hold onto you and  bring them to Jesus.  

Maybe ask: 

How  can  I  join you in prayer? 

What would encourage you? 

Can I give you a ride to BSF next week?  

Can I sit beside you during the lecture? 

Would you like to work on the questions together this week? 

When we notice someone is hurting, we do not have to fix them. That is God’s job. But we can be there, a place  to  hold onto,  in times of weakness. 

234 Comments

  1. Norma

    As one who has battled depression most of my life I appreciate finally seeing articles regarding Christians and depression. At one point depression almost won, but I cried out to God and felt his protective presence immediately. I am on medication now and doing better. I am no longer ashamed to speak out about the depression I feel, it is real and sometimes scary. With my church, BSF, and care group I feel secure in the fact that if needed I have people that will remind me that this is not permanent and will pray with me and for me.

  2. Tammy

    Does anxiety combine with depression? I get annoyed by people and every so often I will make enemies all at once within same timeframe

  3. Lucy Ngechu

    May God continue to increase you Susan as you teach and share real life experience such as Sandy’s struggle. The Acts study is for me. I am stronger as i apply what I learn about suffering. God bless you Susan and Team HQ

  4. Judy Steinbrecher

    Thank you for sharing your struggle. As someone who suffered greatly from depression years ago, and who has friends who struggle with it now, I appreciate your honesty
    and that you have opened up the reality of this struggle to those who might not understand it. Blessings to you!!

  5. Margaret Karuga.Nairobi,Kenya.

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. James Selland

    There is a fantastic book written by Kathy Cronkite, “On the Edge of Darkness.” She describes her own depression and has compiled a number of short stories of people who have battled and overcome depression. She describes the disease like a “Black Dog” that you never know when it is going to attack. In simplest terms, depression is a disease primarily caused by an imbalance of a “delicate cocktail” of brain chemicals. I went through this in 1998 after incurring a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury from a severe ski accident. “MILD” meaning, my brains were not protruding from my skull! I suffered from broken ribs, neck & back pain, vision impairment, Panic Attacks & PTSD for ~ 18 months. By God’s grace He dramatically and miraculously healed me. As I recall those dark days, the most frustrating experience was trying to explain my feelings to well-meaning friends, who, after 45 minutes of trying to explain how I was feeling, would say, “BUT, you look great.” I wanted to arrange their anatomy. However, I would not trade this experience for anything–God taught me about real brokenness, His sovereign control, His immense love and compassion (not only for me but my dear wife & family as well), AND that this world is TRULY NOT my home.

  7. Laura Mitchell

    Sandy I am a children’s leader who is diagnosed with major depression. I still have bouts with depression and miss quite a few classes. Some days are so hard I can’t get out of bed. I let a lot of people down which makes me feel worse. The darkness overcomes me and I ask God why. God has been faithful to bring me back into His light. I feel joy again and think I’m ok but it comes back again. I am glad you shared your story. It came out the day after I asked God if there was anyone else who has this disease. God Bless You and Keep you and May His face shine upon you..In service of our King

  8. Iris Schweizer

    Thank you so much for opening my eyes toward ladies who may be going through depression.

  9. Tanya Villani

    Sandy, I praise Adonai for your testimony beloved, chosen, daughter of a mighty King and my sistah in Christ 🥰🌺🙏. I also have Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD, ADD, Anxiety, Fibromyalgia, Chrons, Chronic Pain due to cervical and spine issues and am about to have my second total knee replacement in January. It got moved from December because Dr gave me a shot because pain was so bad.

    I am in counseling with a Christian Counselor, do take meds and have been doing TMS therapy. I totally understand where you are coming from. When I was a speaker for Stonecroft ministries after speaking I would feel completely wiped. Sometimes while on a week of speaking, I would have to speak twice in one day, those days were rough, but God and my prayer partners got me through. I am also a former CL which I loved.

    Many spiritual attacks during both those seasons which I am sure you can attest to. Those attacks only strengthened me and deepened my love for Christ. I depended on Him, cried out to Him and He was always there to gently comfort and guide me through.

    I recently went through another. Last Friday I awoke to hearing Satan tell me I was to commit suicide and then he told me how. Totally freaked me out but Holy Spirit immediately warmed my heart with Phil 4:6-9, instant peace flooded my soul. I have the heart of an intercession and am very empathetic. Gifts God has strategically used along the way to pray for others struggling, even to the point of actually feeling their pain.

    I will now add you to my prayer book. I am forever grateful for your transparency as you have opened a door that many others may find beginnings of healing and hope.

    • Sandy Allen

      Tanya. My heart aches for what you have been through and are still facing. How thankful I am that you can recognize it as spiritual attack, and find strength in God’s word. I love how the Holy Spirit warmed your heart and peace flooded your soul, such a great example of what our Mighty God can and will do!
      Thank you for adding me to your prayers, and today I too pray for you, thank you for sharing your testimony!

  10. Robin Smith

    Thanks for being brave in sharing. My heart goes out to you and so many here. So many responses to read and so many good words. Don’t know if mine will help but my son has been struggling with severe schizophrenia for 12 years. He has dyslexia which is significant in schizophrenia. In all of the 12 years we have been through much turmoil and feared for my life on many occasions. We found no help so far in the psychiatric field for him despite the huge number of hospital stays. He is so sick he is a regular there in the psych ER at UNM. They lump schizophrenics in a big vat of those that they can’t help.

    We found help from Mensah Medical in Chicago. It is self pay mostly. He does testing and uses supplements and it did help my son. He was able to go to school part- time at UNM. He was found to be difficient in zinc which is a back bone element in neurotransmitters. Apparently it is also true that many with schizophrenia are gluten sensitive. My son is allergic to every one of the grains. There is a very good book called “Grain Brain”. Anyway if you watch Netflix there is a movie called “What’s with Wheat” and there is a lot of good info there as well. The grains impact the gut, the gut doesn’t absorb and the brain doesn’t have what it needs to function right. Turns out on this film I think they said none of the other countries will take the wheat from the US because it’s not good. It impacts autism as well I hear. Not sure if it’s the wheat or the chemicals to kill the weeds but somewhere giving thanks for our food and thanking God that if we eat anything deadly it will not harm us I think is imperative these days.

    Another great source is Dr Carolyn Leaf… She has a book about the 21 day detox. She is a neuroscientist. She is a christian and says our brains are wired for love. Isn’t that neat. She has many books and I watch her on you tube. We have searched for years for my son. The Lord gave me a supernatural dream one of the days I cried out to God in prayer like never before because I thought he was going to kill us all. It had to do with diet. Since then I have studied many articles about the gut brain connection and about how many schizophrenics are helped with diet. We have our son doing the keto diet now only for the last 5 days and he is off all antipsychotics for the first time in 12 years. None of them worked for him, they only made him worse.
    Most of the mass shooters were on antipsychotics. So glad he is off.

    I know most of the comments here are not about the most severe mentally ill like my son but I thought if it helped the most severe perhaps it could help the less as well. I feel bad in all of this because I have stated that”Life is not worth living” all the while knowing that it is but just very difficult circumstances and stress for so long, and this is not the only one sick in my family. There are more and it is overwhelming.

    I just thank my Heavenly Father that He really is my help in all of it. I can’t do this but I can rest in Him knowing that he will protect me and lead me to find help for my son. There is a call on my sons life and the enemy has fought hard to stop him but I know that through Christ he Always leads us in Triumph. So I press on knowing that we win…:}

    • Tanya Villani

      Robin rejoicing with you that your son is doing better. You are a very courageous woman to share so honestly with us. WOW! What a testimony to Gods faithfulness to your heartfelt prayers on behalf of your son. Thank you for sharing the plethora of information. I know that will help many and bring glory to God our Father, Holy is His Name. I have added both of you to my prayer book. Love you beloved, chosen, daughter of a mighty King and my sistah in Christ 🥰🌺🙏

    • Carrie Lucero

      I also, have a Generalized Anxiety/Major Depressive Disorder condition. I thought I would sit and read these today. I have been going through a period lately where my symptoms are intensifying again. I have had all kind of testing done for physical conditions and they all read good. I am involved with an extensive outpatient support program through the hospital I admitted myself in to about 2 years ago. I too take medication. It inspires me to hear others that are staying strong through these type of conditions. I am focusing on the love of God, although I am experiencing a lot of exhaustion right now. If others experience this, I know we can all pray for each other and live happy lives. Blessings to everyone responding to this.

    • Sandy Allen

      Robin – Your story is compelling and how you have faced it with God and medical and natural methods is proof that we are not a “one size fits all” people. I am so grateful you listed resources that have helped you, it does give some practical suggestions to those who read this blog. The link it wheat is something I haven’t heard myself, I lived in Europe for 10 years and am sad to say lots of my darkest days were there, so wheat may not be my own issue, but I find trying everything God places in your path a wonderful approach. Lastly is so encouraging to see how our Heavenly Father has been the ultimate help, and I agree we can’t face these types of illnesses with out resting in his arms – I love the way you pointed out the rest in him. Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. Dell Lowe

    Thank you so much Sandy and BSF for being open and honest about mental health issues. Unfortunately, the church has not always been an advocate. As one can see by the many comments, this is a real issue that needs to be discussed. I did not know I could be a bigger fan of BSF, however, today I find I am! Keep being a voice for those suffering in depression and for God’s glory!

    • Sandy Allen

      Dell – I couldn’t agree more with what you have said, the church and many many godly organizations seem to sweep this under the carpet, maybe because others find it hits too close to home and others have no idea what to do with it. So we see it avoided, and many pat answers given – “pray more, exercise etc”. Please pray for all of BSF to be open to face this issues. The HQ is very aware and seeking to bring this into the open, but there remain many classes where these topics are still taboo. Only Our Lord can change hearts and make each class willing to face those who are vulnerable and dealing with these issues.

  12. Erin

    Sandy, I can’t thank you enough for sharing! I am a 4th year STL with depression and anxiety disorder I’ve struggled with all my life. After getting through feeling shamed and like I’m just not a “good enough” Christian, I’ve learned medication helps me have more freedom and ability to be who God made me to be. But continued med changes over the years has been rough! I go through hills and valleys, and in my last valley about a year ago, I completely resonated with your doing BSF/lecture for the week then crashing the days after. BSF took all I had then I felt like I couldn’t move, parent my teens and I just cried all the time. As Christians and leaders in BSF, and our in communities, we HAVE to talk about, and be a light and comfort to those suffering in this way!

    • Sandy Allen

      Erin – I couldn’t agree more with all you said!

  13. Cheryl Ryno

    Thank you Sandy for sharing your journey. God’s blessings to you on the courage that the Holy Spirit has given you. I will pray that you continue in a positive direction. There is a song by Casting Crowns—Praise You in the Storm that is a great source of encouragement. Hope it will give you hope also. Know that you are loved my Christian Sister!!

    • Maina Ndegwa

      Praise God Sandy, thank you for your encouraging testimony. It’s proof that our God is able and faithful. In John 14:14 Jesus confirms: John 14: “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it”.
      Thanks and glory be to God for healing you!

    • Sandy Allen

      Cheryl – I love that song! It really speaks to how we are to be in the “storms of our lives” – Thank you for you kind words, and prayers!

  14. Johnson N Kimani

    Thank you Sandy for your encouragement.We have a responsibility to take necessary actions out of every day life and as a professional in insurance industry and member of the local Insurance Institute U.K.as well as a member of affiliate local Insurance Institute in Kenya from which I opted for retirement last year.I am also conscious that much remains to be achieved and my first priority was to write (autobiography)but being the first book am proposing to write it demands adequate times of garthering facts of my life journey.Nevertheless I joined BSF in the year 2015. Now in fifth year seeking divine wisdom through BSFer’s fraternity in Ongata Rongai Church.At the same period I have been studying Theology Education by Extension through Presbyterian University of East Africa soon we will be graduating. As a Christian, our future foundation lies on serving Kingdom of God and wish to thank all BSFer’s leadership for dedication led by Susie Rowan Executive Director.

  15. Earnestine Bryant

    Thank you Sandy for sharing your testimony. There are so many of us sharing GOD’s word, but not sharing our struggles.
    By sharing sets you free and encourages me to share my struggles. I will be praying for you and others as well as myself. There is freedom just to know to that I may be in depression.
    Thank you again for only the LORD led me to this blog.

    • Marsha Taylor

      Love you Earnestine, my dear Sister in Christ! Marsha

    • Sharon Chansler

      Sandy, thank you for your honesty. I completely relate to you. I have struggled with the same thing for most of my life and it helps me to hear of other God seeking, loving Christians who struggle because so often in the Christian community depression is seen as a spiritual issue. Again, thank you for having the courage to share.
      Your sister in Christ,
      Sharon

      • Sandy Allen

        Sharon – You are so right it is seen that way, so people just think we need more faith! But that’s not it, more faith doesn’t fix bae eyesight, why would it fix this very real illness1. Glad you shared your truth too!

    • Sandy Allen

      Earnestine
      What you say is so true! We need to share our struggles and challenges so we can encourage one another with all the word’s of God. I pray you have someone to share with and to support you

    • Sarah

      Yes Earnistein, I agree so many struggle in silence. I too struggle with anxiety/depression. Praying that the Holy Spirit rages this transparency in our BSF group and we can all encourage and lift each other up.

    • Sandy Allen

      Earnestine – what you say is exactly true, and frankly it is hard to share our real struggles, especially when others do not. I think its. step by step process and it needs to be backed with the prayers of the saints. I pray that as you share your truth you will be met with kindness, love and understanding from family, friends and christian brothers and sisters. Today I m praying for you and for God’s gracious leading.

  16. Kerry Gilb

    Sandy, thank you for being transparent in your struggle with depression! Your “realness” is a blessing to so many of us who struggle with depression on a daily basis. There is so much I could say but much has already been said! I am relieved and thankful to hear of others who struggle with this disease because it helps me not feel so alone and ashamed. In my early 20’s, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I begged God to take it away but he has never completely relieved my symptoms. I find comfort in scripture and particularly from Paul’s “thorn in his flesh” which God did not remove. God, however, has blessed me with Christian counseling and the gift of medication which helps me manage my symptoms. I rarely talk about my struggle as there is still such stigma and shame associated with mental illness. I have felt like I “should be stronger, more prayerful, trust God more” to be completely healed. I often felt like I just wasn’t trying hard enough. Thank you for sharing! My heart hurts for anyone who struggles with depression because I know how painful it can be. I will be praying that God will use your testimony to encourage others and change lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, for HIS Glory!!!

    • Sandy Allen

      Kerry – Thank you for sharing your story too – I know those thought, if I only prayed harder, memorized more scripture, trusted God more etc etc there is a long list of things we think we should or could do to get rid of this illness. I have been encourage by the people who said that accepting it helped them to better cope. My heart hurts for what you have been through.

      • Lisa Ellis

        Hi, I am also a fellow sufferer of ” Severe depression and anxiety disorder”. The stigma is real, but in my experience I have been in Celebrate Recovery, a 12 step Christ Centered program and numberous other groups in the past 33 years. Celebrate Recover has helped me and so has trama counseling. Being understood and getting insights about trama, PTSD, and triggers, etc. has helped me as well as finding persons who are good listeners and can allow me to process without judgement and just be there and love me and accept me and this seems to help me accept myself and feel loved. My biggest issue lately has been shame. Shame is when I believe something is wrong with me, not like guilt that is I have done something wrong. So when i struggle, if i can be still and really look at my feeling and pain and ask God, “what am I really feeling” “what is really going on here” “What am I thinking”; this helps me look closely at what I am really thinking an feeling and then I can address that issue and retreat from taking out my anger on someone undeserving, my husband usually. learned about this thru a group called ACA and so helpful!!! It is also a 12 step group for children who have come from disfunctional families or families who had addictive personalities – like work aholic, emotional addicts, parents who had mental issues . . . .Children are so resilient and we seem to adapt to whatever presents itself in our families of origin without question. But God knew we would need have these struggles and ACA has helped me this year 2019 by teaching me how I need to reparent myself by caring for myself by learning how to process my emotions instead of stuffing them and knowing God gave us all our emotions and that all our emotions (ALL) are ok! Read the psalms if you don’t believe me. ACA is Adult Children of Alcoholics which has many meetings around the world. Thank you again because I could relate to the suffering that was shared here and it has been refreshing to hear again , I am not alone, I am encouraged. God will reveal the lies we are believing and help us replace it with the truth, if we stop and remove ourselves from the situation (which will take much practice! – don’t give up, persevere!) if when we have intense feelings of anger (which is depression turned outward). Ask the questions, what am I really feeling and thinking and once the lie is revealed as God what the truth is about that belief. He is faithful and will show you! Love in Christ Jesus, Lisa Ellis

        • Sandy Allen

          Lisa – Thank you so so much for sharing your story for us all to learn from. I have heard of Celebrate recovery, but not that it could be a help for those struggling with depression/anxiety issues. and I love your suggestion of asking God “what am I really thinking?” So often I just act from the emotions that come with depression, and am unable to find the core, so maybe this technique will help – I plan on using it myself, and pray others will too. Thank you too for the resources you shared especially ones for children! And for the wonderful reminder to read the Psalms!! I love how honest they are and can actually help to express our emotions to God. You have much wisdom to share and I hope you will find other forums to tell others.

      • Wendy Vawser

        Sandy I dealt with almost verbatim everything you mentioned. I pleaded with God in tears many nights to help me. Long story short I go to a Christ -centered hormone specialist in Tucson, Dr.Elizabeth Lee Vliet.
        God, through her, has given me my life back. I found her through a couple friends who have been seeing her for around 15 years. If you are interested read her book “Screaming To Be Heard.”

        • Sandy Allen

          Wendy – Sounds very interesting! I will take a look at that book! So glad God has answered your many prayers with a solution for you!

    • Lien Wong

      Kerry,
      There are countless times I begged God to take it away! Now I just pray for more faith and for God to take me home. I wish my health is better so I can be a missionary. The only joy I have is when I serve others!
      I thank You and others for sharing! It’s good to know I am not alone!

      • Sandy Allen

        Lien – I have prayed the same over and over for me and my loved ones – that God would remove any hardship! But it’s clear He works through out struggles when we turn to him for our answers and our strength. Today I pray for your faith and for God to give you a desire to “live for him” here on earth. He does have solutions to see us through our painful journeys, and I know he has one for you, and that He will use you as an example to many others and you persevere through the pain. May God’s presence be so so real to you today!

  17. Susie Huntsinger

    God bless you Sandy for your honesty, humility and love for others to share what you have gone through. I’m so thankful that others have been helped and encouraged by your words. God has used you in a powerful way in your lectures and leadership and He is now using your words to help others in the larger group of BSF. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    • Sandy Allen

      Thanks Susie – I have to say you have been a huge huge support during the dark days and times, and an ongoing support, someone I can always turn to.

  18. Dani

    Sandy,
    Thank you for sharing honestly and painfully your mental health past… I too have mental health history with Major Depression Disorder… Most Christians don’t recognize depression as a medical disorder and want you to just get over it. I thank God for His faithfulness and love to see me through the difficult times.

    • Laura

      I have been a volunteer with an amazing organization called National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It has fabulous resources on their website (www.NAMI.org) and offers a variety of support groups for those struggling with a mental health condition as well as for the family members who support them. I encourage everyone to look at their website for helpful information on all types of mental health conditions as well as guidance on how/where to turn for support. Their National website has a link to each state, and then to each County, so support groups can be found easily in/near your zip code.

      It is a fact that 1 in 5 people WILL have some kind of a mental health condition as some point in their lives however only half will seek out treatment, and that is only after suffering for an average of 10 years. It is so sad to know that people feel so alone with this medical condition…. one wouldn’t wait 10 years to seek out treatment if they suspected any kind of physical illness. We need to End the Stigma and be more compassionate with our friends and loved ones who are struggling.

      • Becky

        Thank you Laura for sharing the information about NAMI – I am looking into it, as I have an adult daughter struggling with mental health issues and have been at a loss of how to help her when she doesn’t think she needs help. Praying for all who struggle with this issue.

      • Sandy Allen

        Laura – thank you for your time volunteering at NAMI, I look forward to checking out this organization. And the stats you wrote are so so sad – that most wait 10 years before they seek help – I am in huge agreement with you -and other illness and we would get treatment!

    • MW

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us… it is very encouraging. I understand that it is often difficult to share your deepest thoughts and weakness to others and being a witness of God. May God bless you in your journey with Him and may the Holy Spirit empower us so that we may be able to serve God and others beyond our own power and abilities.. and in midst of suffering/trails.

    • Sandy Allen

      I too thank God for his faithfulness, his love and constant presence with us when we suffer.

    • Sandy Allen

      Dani – You are so right about what you said! I thank God for his amazing faithfulness too – I am glad to hear he is seeing you through!

    • Carrie Lucero

      Dani, thank-you for pointing that out. A lot of people don’t understand these disorders and the kind of work and commitment it takes to handle these things. A faith that God will see us through the rougher times and the love of life be re-stored and made stronger and stronger. Blessings

    • Sandy Allen

      Dani – This MDD is an illness, like any other illness, so I pray for you to be able to find people who will support you in the christian world – for God to lead you to his hands and feet support. Also that he will shower you with verses to remind you He is there to walk through the valley with you.
      I agree many christians don’t recognize this as a medical disorder, so I am praying as you get stronger that you and me along with many others will have the boldness and strength to educate the christian community on this issue. My heart is with you and praying for you.

  19. Jody Morris

    I have struggled with depression most of my life as well. I didn’t seek counselling for years because it was not something my dad would support. And even now it is hard because so many in my current church community look down on those who are “so emotional.” Thank you for sharing!

    • Susan Clement

      Sandy I want to thank you for your bravery and drawing back the curtain hiding mental illness. I’m selective with whom I will share my story of having depression.

    • Sandy Allen

      Jody, my prayers are for you right now! Lord I ask that you would provide Jody with a community to support her through this struggle, people who don’t judge, but just love. And Lord continue to provide treatment for her, and ease the struggle.

  20. Debra

    I learned many years ago (the hard way) to NEVER EVER go to the church, even if the pastor was a counselor, very unhelpful

    • Sandy Allen

      Debra, I am so sorry for whatever happened to you, it must have been incredibly painful. I hope that maybe in a BSF group you will find support, either way – I am praying for you that God will provide much relief and the effect treatment for anything you are going through.

    • Grace Katigbak

      Oh Debra! My 34 year old son has been in and out of rehab since he was 16 years old…And only NOW that I have become a real Christian: emphasis on CHRIST can I truly feel and ache with him, as I ache with you now, writing these words. Ultimately, who can really help except those who have been devastated themselves: and know the anguish of too much anguish…
      I have survived life after being abandoned by my father at 6 months, sexually abused at 5 years of age, brutally beaten by my first husband….etc…etc, the horror stories that are even more incredibly painful because some . part of you believes you actually deserve the pain…
      And than a hand of compassion comes, and it is never too late to HOPE.
      I found that hope in the church. I fervently pray and weep for you: that you might find it too. As a mother, it is with a mother’s heart that I embrace you and as a Christian it is with his perfect love that I hold you close to me….

      • Sandy Allen

        Grace, You have been a fighter through so so many hardships. I am so thankful that you found Christ and are able to put your emphasis on Him! Thank you for your prayers, empathy and embrace in Christ. I love how you said its never too late to Hope! I will remember those words for many years to come.

  21. Robert

    Thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately the stigma regarding anxiety and depression is as common in the Church as elsewhere – that is too bad. It is well documented that chemical imbalances in our bodies and brains are often part of the problem and without medical treatment and in many cases medication, the imbalance cannot be corrected.

    Just like cancer and diabetes require medication, correcting chemical imbalances affecting anxiety and depression also require medication.

    We need to share our stories more to help change the attitudes of the Church regarding mental health.

    • Rachel p

      Thanks for sharing. As someone who struggles with anxiety , I so appreciate the honesty We are all broken with issues .

      • gabrielsathianathan

        Praise God for His goodness and your willingness to share.
        Wish you victory over every challenge. Gabriel BSF Chennai India.

    • Vickie Rose

      Thanks Robert for re-confirming the importance of medication in dealing w anxiety and depression. At one time, satan tried and succeeded in making me feel guilty as a Christ follower to have given into taking anxiety medication. “Why can’t I be stronger in my faith and handle this worry by giving it to God. I still struggle but have come to know, as you said, this is a medical condition and I now thank God that there are medications that need to be taken just as you would for any other medical condition. I walk stronger in my faith as a result of treating my disorder.

      • Sandy Allen

        Vicki , I have had those same thoughts and fought the medication for many years. At some point the darkness was so dark I was willing to try anything else I could, and medicine seemed like the best option. Now I am so thankful to God for creating the men and women who make these medications and the doctors that carefully prescribe them. To me that is the hand of the Lord at work.

    • Sandy Allen

      Robert – thanks for sharing the truth about mental illness – it means the mind itself is sick. I have often thought how is the person with a mind that is sick supposed to figure out how to get better.

  22. Lizzy

    I am suffering from anxiety and depression too. I was feeling shamed. I can’t believe so many sisters are suffering. Thank you very much for all your honest sharing and resources.

    • Sandy Allen

      It’s time for the shame and the suffering in silence to end. There is no reason to be ashamed of an illness that you didn’t cause. My psychiatrist says to his patients “you need to know you didn’t cause this, so its not your fault”.

  23. Karen

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have also struggled with anxiety and depression many years. I’m not embarrassed by having been treated with medication and counseling, but it is sad when our own sisters in Christ shun those of us who admit to this. I have had comments that were dismissive and condemning. A friend who I encouraged to get help is also being treated but she is too afraid or embarrassed to let any of our other friends know. This is not right! We are definitely not alone and should not be ashamed of this.

    • Sandy Allen

      Karen – I agree its just not right. It leaves the person who already has a tough time reaching out due to the illness even more isolated, which just feeds the disease. I am praying that somehow our churches and christian friends will become more educated about this, so that we who suffer can be encouraged and supported.

  24. Mary Ann Bentley

    Oh Sandy, how I need this today.
    I cannot find the words. You summed up my feelings perfectly.
    Walking into a room, smiling, but feeling that paralyzing depression and it seems to raise up out of no where.
    Thank you for letting us all know we are not alone.

    • Sandy Allen

      Mary Ann – You are not alone in this! and it is so hard to be honest about it because you just don’t always know how people will respond.

  25. Helen

    Dear Sandy,
    So grateful for your candid and beautifully written shared thoughts about your struggle with mental health. I too have struggled with mental health issues over the years. A few years ago I was MIS-diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and put on many medications that compounded the struggle with terrible side affects. Thankfully those days are behind me as I endeavour to trust God to lead me to master my mood (with a new diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder), with the help of a wonderful christian course, lead by a christian doctor. From experience, we have to be very careful who we share with. In general, I have received understanding and support from the church community, however I’ve also experienced being stigmatized and labelled from fellow believers, which creates even more suffering. It has been particularly difficult for family members also to accept, though my husband is now learning more and now able to help me rather than join the “you just need more faith” bandwagon. As I have not had good experience with medications, I have been able to manage the depression/anxiety with good supplementation though it can be expensive. I’m interested in the above comment from Beth B to look into the GeneSight Psychotropic test, that could help administer the correct medication, though I put little faith in MD’s, to be honest. God has disciplined me to remember He is the Great Physician …. we have to be very careful not to run to man, but to run to God first and He will direct our steps. My experience has been that God does not always take away our pain but that He will give me the grace to see the purpose in the pain for His glory. I love what you mentioned Sandy, “God’s purposes for you are prevailing”.

    Thank you again.

    • Julie Hersh

      Helen:
      Thank you for sharing. I tried really hard to find wellness without medication and almost died from suicide. Medical intervention has saved my life and I feel strongly God has called me to be an advocate for pharmacological intervention for those who need it, of which I am one. Blessings, Julie

    • Sandy Allen

      Helen – Wow you have been through so much, and I echo the truth that when people don’t understand this is an illness and you get the stigma it does lead to more suffering!
      I did the genesight test several years ago and it has helped my doctor figure out the best course of medicine, but its just one of many treatments, and from what I have learned in my own experience this is an illness that doesn’t just go away one day. So like you we all have to find our way through the suffering and pain and seeking God. As each of us is made so uniquely it makes sense that our treatment will be the same. But God is the one who must direct our steps! Its my prayer and maybe somewhat of a mission to educate our christian community on how to love those who struggle with mental illness

      • Helen

        Thank you Sandy. I’m moving forward with the Genesight test and hope and pray for good medical treatment this time round. Blessings.

        • Roselyn

          Thank you very much Sandy for sharing your moving story. God is good all the time. Let us continue praying Him unceesingly. He is faithful and just and indeed as you rightly said, He will never leave you alone! GLORY TO GOD ! Continue to PRAISE and REVERENCE Him!
          Stay Blessed,
          Roselyn.

  26. Debbie

    So appreciated your post, I have suffered most of my life with depression. Anxiety is the worst now. I have had bad experiences with counseling too.
    Some situations are hard to navigate through. Family can be hardest because you have to deal with that, they are your family. Thanks for your post!! Your transparency will help so many others.

    • Sandy Allen

      Debbie, I am so sorry you have suffered most of your life and are dealing with the anxiety now. I too have had bad counseling experiences with christian and non christian counselors, and it makes it much harder not easier to face. And I can echo the family be the hardest too.

  27. mo

    Thank you Sandy for being open and share the struggle. As our society become more fast paced and competitive, people are more isolated than ever before. I have heard that only ten percent of people who has depression are actually being treated, the rest are left in the world and suffering. I am sad that our world still have a big stigma toward mental health and look down with people who suffers with it. I have personally suffered, and admitting it to the wrong group of people has made me suffer even more. Some peers from my home country has openly bullied against me for it while I was suffering, and called out that my head has problem. I forgive them in the name of Christ, but that pain will not leave me. They made me feel shameful of my depression. As this morning, my heart still hold on to that bitterness, where one girl give me the book “pride and prejudices” and labeled my name all over it.

    • Sandy Allen

      Mo, what a struggle you have had and much suffering! I know our Lord knows all and has been through it with you, but its hard! I am praying now for God to raise up a group to strengthen you and support you – the body of Christ needs to be there! I also pray that God will remove the bitterness, and help you to forgive those who have so badly hurt you! Most people just don’t know what to do so they jump to some horrible conclusions. Our Christian community needs education – and a wake-up call, I imagine some thought they were somehow helping, but in their ignorance did exactly the wrong thing. May God provide for you. It helps me to remember how Jesus was mistreated in his own town, by his own family, so He knows your struggle!

  28. Melissa

    Thank you so much for this blog post. I have also struggled with depression and anxiety for many years. It is such a blessing to have fellow believers share their struggles so we know we are not alone. This will help change the myths/judgement about mental health in the faith community.

    • Sandy Allen

      Melissa – sorry for your own personal struggle, and I am so hopeful the myths about mental health will change!

  29. Marion Svoboda

    So many of us in the same boat … I am overwhelmed, and I didn’t even read all of the posts. I am so thankful for your honesty, Sandy. I was so offended when my daughter said: You need counseling! Now after 1/2 year I can say that just talking and being heard has helped me. I rediscovered nature is healing, so I take walks again and do pray and worship when I am outdoors. This was key: admitting I am depressed, not hiding, asking for help , being transparent and allowing God to be there in the valley with me. One reason for my depression was physical, very low iron, way too low due to severe blood loss, untreated for years, and menopause and it went downhill from there. Those years were so difficult, but now I know that I am closer to God, closer in prayer, closer to loved ones, I lost pride in my self in the need of being close to my Savior. those hard time let me grow like nothing else before!
    Is it over? Guess not, Sandy, but your story took away my fear of depression showing up on my front door again

    • Sandy Allen

      Marion – Its so comforting to know we are not alone. I love how God’s nature has helped to heal you! And yes depression can easily be the result but to other factors as you experienced.
      I too am encouraged as I see how God has seen me through and all of you too – so we know he will journey on with us, and comfort us every step of the way.

  30. Laura

    Thank you all for sharing your weaknesses! I have major depression disorder, as well. I know these thoughts and feelings all too well. In my darkest nights I hear God say “you are my child, whom I love!!!”
    My family still does not understand that I can’t “snap” out of it. And in their concern for me, they speak words that are painful to me. Please pray for healed relationships for me. I have professional and medical help, and God is so good to me.
    Your sister in Christ

    • Diane Devendorf

      🙏🏻 I am praying with you and for you in your relationships. I am also dealing with depression and relationship issues.

      • Sandy Allen

        Laura and Diane – I too am praying for you right now – the relationship struggles that come from our families seem to just increase the depression, and its really hard to tell people what will help you, because in the depression you really don’t know the way out! I pray that you will have some loved ones who do understand one day soon, I love the words God speaks to you on those dark nights – together we just have to cling to them, and Him!

  31. Judy Higgins

    I, too, have suffered anxiety and depression since I was a pre-teen. As a BSFer since 1978, when I gave my life to Christ FOR REAL, He has been with me in the suffering. He has also shown me in-house Christian counseling help as well as medical help.

    Statistics say 1 in 5 Christians have this diagnosis. BSF, is it possible to address this issue in a mini study of Biblical characters? To be able to identify with emotions of the Patriarchs, the Kings, the Disciples – – and the unnamed healed would be encouraging!

    • Sandy Allen

      Judy, it sounds like you have suffered a long time, but how wonderful that you have known the presence of the Lord in the pain. I will have to pass along your idea to those I know at HQ, it does make sense to look at the emotional side of life of those in the Bible.

      • Catherine

        Sandy do you take prayer requests? I am praying for you and your honesty, courage and lovingkindness for us all with your sharing your personal story. I commented on Judy’s message here is part of it (Statistics say 1 in 5 Christians have this diagnosis. BSF, is it possible to address this issue in a mini study of Biblical characters? To be able to identify with emotions of the Patriarchs, the Kings, the Disciples – – and the unnamed healed would be encouraging!)

        What a powerful BSF study that would be!

    • Catherine

      Judy, when ever I talk about my own diag bi polar, PTSD, and anxiety, some people literally back off I mean they back up, when I say Jesus promised to SAVE my family with SALVATION, so many CHRISTIANS ALL their families that they know of are SAVED, but some might not be. I have been told you pray too much..Really how about PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, you keep praying the SAME PRAYER (what did Jesus do in the Garden of Gethsemane . JESUS prayed the same prayer three 3 times to His FATHER. Why did Jesus say “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done?) Your idea is a MUST.. Old Testament & New Testament, and all those who God has used examples: Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon and many, many more, Look at the recent Christian pastors taking their lives, also Robin William and Kate Spade were suffering Christians. Look at Abraham, Jacob said take my life, Joseph could have said that with all his years in Potiphar’s house (wife LIED) sent Joseph to prison BUT GOD, was with Joseph. King David, Job, Jonah, Isaiah, Elijah said “Lord, take my life” , I thought Peter felt the same way, Paul New Testament (former Saul) said “take my life Lord”. We are NOT alone, this would help so many, a BSF on Depression, Anxiety and ALL mental issues, including dementia vs Alzheimer. I actually had an 80+ year old woman pray over me, telling me 4 things I needed to do to get rid of the generational mental issues without naming the religion I was told I needed to 1- go confess to a _________, 2- and 3- and 4 I had to rejoin the church I left in my 20’s I am in my 60’s. My heart and mind break when people Christians tell me YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH FAITH, they are not there when I am praying to God Jesus and the Holy Spirit, help me to want to wake up. They say?? Oh those of little faith, NO, I have a TON of faith, but I have also a chemical imbalance, I know from experience I MUST take meds, unless Jesus performs a MIRACLE or takes me home, I was on one pill one time and we knew I had to be on more. They say in 2020 a short time from now MENTAL ISSUES will TOP all diseases in the WORLD. We have an AMAZING God and a Great Physician with Jesus who can save our WORLD now and ALL future generations salvation and ALL healings and ALL needs. I am praying for all those reading this and who will in the future. Reach out, the Holy Spirit will give you the RIGHT people to reach out to. We will carry a cross I have carried one off/on all my life but the past 8 years, BUT GOD has BLESSED me more than anything, thank you God in advance for ALL your doing in our world / we do not see the finished STORIES, we ALL have a STORY for HIS GLORY, our lives are like PUZZLES, MOSAICS, TAPESTRIES, MASTERPIECES, He will FINISH what HE started!!!! B’s M’s O’s / FFW/FGR/ Matt, Virginia, Catherine, Donald, Gary, Clint, Jackie, Ronda and many more.

  32. Kristin

    I am so glad that a topic like this is being addressed honestly and openly. I have struggled with mild depression, relationship problems and emotional problems. It is such a blessing to see that BSF is acknowledging that people have problems. We don’t have to hide them or pretend that they aren’t there. Many times I have sat in small groups and never mentioned what I was struggling with. I still don’t blab about my struggles but it is nice to know that BSF is acknowledging the elephant in the living room and not pretending that the elephant doesn’t exist.

    I love the way BSF is organized and how it focuses on the Word of God. It is good to be structured and focused, but opening up a topic like this in another forum is a good thing. It brings BSF into the twenty-first century. I, for one, feel good that BSF is addressing this topic and that leaders are being open and vulnerable. It makes me feel better about myself and my struggles. By the way, I am doing fine. God is good and He is working in my life in amazing ways.

    • Sandy Allen

      Kristin – I agree 100%. The struggle is all too real for who many people, many just don’t think they can seek help or tell loved ones.

  33. Rugare Nyandoro

    Very encouraging thank you for allowing God to use you in this special way.

    • Michael

      Thank you Sandy for sharing. I went through a terrible ordeal with Bipolar type 2. Just like your experience even church didn’t help. I got better after medical help and counselling. The key was my acceptance of the condition and not being in denial. I have been improving ever since. Now I am going deeper with Him

      • Durango girl

        I thank you too Sandy, for your courage & openness. Sometimes the church adds vinegar to the wounds by intimating that we just don’t have enough faith. I have also struggled with depression for many years. Thankfully medication has been helpful, but I have to do battle with my thoughts sometimes.

      • Sandy Allen

        Your a testimony to me, that the acceptance of the condition is part of the healing process, because I want to deny it over and over again, so thank you for sharing, and for your encouraging outcome as God has drawn you closer to himself, Amen!!!

  34. Lawrence musyoki mbithi

    Thanks Sandy for your testimony. I went through a tough experience in alcoholism and homelessness but came out of it by the grace of God. I felt like the ancient prophet Jeremiah (Jer.20:7-18) and the apostle Paul (2 cor.12:7-10). thanks once again for sharing your experience.All glory to our awesome, unstoppable God!

    • Gary

      From the words of Isaiah- I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with garland, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

    • Sandy Allen

      And thank you for sharing yours in this blog, and yes all Glory to our Unstoppable God!

  35. Bertha Semu-Somi

    Amazing Grace,Praise to the LORD who led you Sandy to use all you have to give to the needy. Obedient servant you are. It reveals the treasure we have within us that we have received from the Provider, our Creator, yet we sometimes consider them our personal secrets, simply because the stigma attached to such experiences makes them shameful burdens. Little did I know our pain could so richly bless others! For me this testimony started last week when one of us in a group shared that for years she has been suffering from depression like symptoms. Then quickly another followed and then another, I am sure if we had time more would have joined in. And today, look what Sandy just did; as one of the ladies said, she opened floodgates of testimonies; very useful for many to learn, to have comfort, support and in good company, never alone. May the Almighty continue to use you Sandy as you spread Hope out of Sorrow for you surely did not waste your sorrow. Where I live, I know of a young lady who is trying to start an awareness initiative to address the issue of stigma around depression. I would appreciate if you could stay in touch through email?

    • Sandy Allen

      Bertha – I tried to comment on this yesterday, but now it doesn’t show up. So amazing the timing of this blog and the openness of the women in your group. I pray that all our groups would be able to speak honestly and truthfully about the real hurts we have.
      Yes I would stay in touch – I’ll have to figure out how to do that.

      • Bertha Semu-Somi

        Shalom Sandy
        Thank you for your comment and undertaking to stay in touch. Would email perhaps be the best option? Should I share mine? For I am in Tanzania.
        I have continued to come back to the blog post and wooow! How rich we are in our brokenness. The floodgates continue to rage. It is indeed our Unstoppable God at work in all of us; Praise Him. Meanwhile, someone just shared a short but powerful prayer that we can evoke whenever we feel sad to the point of slipping into depression:
        “Oh God, I seek refuge in you from worry and depression”

  36. Kendi

    Sandy – thank you for obeying the Holy Spirit and sharing. It is indeed for the saving of many lives – coming from a family with loved ones who have been through similar battles, I so resonate! I’m encouraged that through it all, God’s light is still stronger than the darkness that can so engulf. Thank you again – I’m so much wiser and able to be there more effectively for my loved ones – and for others inside and outside my family and this circle of believers.

    • Sandy Allen

      To God be the glory” his light is greater than our darkness” is well said and so important to remember.

  37. Chris Antemie

    Thank you Sandy–you know, Nelson Mandela once said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” You have had many successes, I’m sure, but the fact that you can share your perseverance in the ONE who helped and is continuing to perfect your faith is priceless. Thank you for getting back up; time and time again even if at the time there seemed like there was no point. I had one of my best friends tell me something similar to what you described in your experience, and for some reason, there was peace in my heart knowing she’ll get through it, but I decided, with much more compassion that I will up my “community” with her and allow her the space to share whatever is on her heart, without worry to me, that God’s got it. God’s always had it. And He will always “have it/him/her/them/us.” With absolute and radiating love in my heart, to you I say “thank you for being so courageous!” I do miss hearing your tender voice Thursday nights on the video screen though–know you are loved and adored. Hope we can reconnect soon. 🙂

    • Deanna

      I cannot say how much I appreciated reading this tonight. I have been depressed for many years. I’ve been on medication which does help, but always felt so guilty like somehow it’s my fault I’m still so depressed and anxious. My only son also has the same problem. I feel such a mixture of emotions which really robs me of the joy Christians are supposed to have. I’m new at BSF, so I haven’t learned to open myself up in our group. I usually feel worse if I share much of my thoughts because then I feel “less spiritual.” I’ve been saved and attended church most all my life. I have lots of Bible knowledge and everything but just can’t seem to find the victory over the darkness of depression. It helps to know other Bible believers struggle. Music is really a wonderful blessing for me. Thank you all for sharing.

      • Libby

        Deanna, please don’t feel guilty about your “less spiritual” thoughts. God is working in and through you. Last year was my first year at BSF, and I was amazed how God used someone in the group to speak to me each week. By sharing their struggles and temptations–their less spiritual thoughts–I learned that I am not alone. I so appreciate the honesty I have encountered in the Christians at BSF. For once in my life, I have not felt judged or condemned for expressing my less spiritual thoughts, and I hope you don’t either. I pray that you are filled with the Holy Spirit today and that you will know the peace that passes all understanding. God bless you and your son.

    • Sandy Allen

      I love that quote from Nelson Mandela – I am putting that in my notebook! Honestly it is God helped me up time and time again! I’m so glad you are going to reach out to your friend, how lucky she is to have a friend like you.

  38. Katherine Bedford

    Bless and praise God for the unity of saints that share each other’s burdens and lay bare their struggles to encourage and help others.
    Sandy Allen the Lord bless strengthen ,encourage and keep you. I have had a season of depression when my husband was ill. Bible study prayer ,singing praises to the Lord every day, worshiping would really help me be lifted It was a war. Thank God for the saints who were praying. It was hard for me to feel very down and sing praises & playing worship anointed music ..
    Be encouraged the Lord is with you .He sees knows cares and is working it ALL OUT even when you DONT feel it So happy to hear that you have improved with treatment . You are in my prayers. I love you.

    • Sandy Allen

      Katherine – thank you for such kind words, I think we were in the same class? But your words are encouraging and affirming as well as your example of healing by singing praises to the Lord, and feeling the darkness lift! How good God is to guide you to that “treatment” and how amazing its effectiveness, I’m adding that to my list of treatments to help in the dark days.

  39. Carol

    Thank you for giving this mother of a son, who is diagnosed with acute depression and psychosis, hope. His degree in theology and work as a youth pastor preceded his first “psychotic event” and has left him questioning if Jesus is a fable, Your vulnerability has encouraged me to keep looking to the only One who understands it all, and I do not feel so isolated in my pain. Bless you for speaking up and being a Barnabas.

    • Sandy Allen

      My thoughts and prayers for your son, depression has made me question my faith over and over I am sad to say. But every time I cry out for God to show me, He does! May God give you insight and wisdom through his Holy Spirit to sustain you and to guide you on how to help your son. Watching our children suffer is such a difficult thing, I pray for his restoration of health and faith.

  40. Carolyn

    Thank you BSF for allowing Judy to share her story about her struggle with depression. Thank you everyone for the words of love, encouragement, and support you have graciously spoken to Judy and all those who share the same struggle (such as myself). It is my understanding that there are different types of depression, degrees of intensity of depression, symptoms experienced, and durations of depressive episodes and thus, each individual must seek the wisdom of God as well as professionally trained mental health practitioners for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and information about treatment options. BSF, friends, your TL, and hopefully even family can walk alongside you in love, prayer, and support. The Word grounds us in God’s truth about who we are, a beloved and highly valued child of God, as depression sometimes can warp our thinking and/or make us feel “less than” or “defective.” The Word provides hope, grace, and encouragement when we feel like we want to die, which is a reality for some of us who struggle with depression. It is also my experience that treatment for depression is not “one size fits all,” rather, healing, relief, and/or management of the condition comes in different forms for different people (for example, prayer, laying on of hands, elder anointing with oil, counseling/therapy, herbal supplements, chiropractic/acupuncture, dietary changes, Bible immersion, support groups, and/or antidepressant/antianxiety medication). I feel sad and pray right now for anyone who has felt, or feels, judged or minimized when they express their struggle with depression and the treatment option(s) they have chosen. I remember many, many years ago when I studied 1Kings 19 in my BSF class; the story about Elijah. Interpretation of this passage may vary, but in my humble opinion I read in this passage the gripping drama and story of a man, Elijah, who was overcome with depression and anxiety, to the point of wanting to die. I see how God sent one of His angels to “touch” (v.7) and minister to Elijah in this dark period in his life. God lovingly and tenderly cared for a very depressed man. After an extended period of rest, refreshment, and food provided by the Lord, the “word of the LORD came to him [Elijah].” (v.9) There was a “gentle whisper” (v.12). God helped Elijah move on with his life. And for those of us who might be in the midst of a depressive episode/time or feeling confused about what to do, I would also like to humbly share the time many years ago when I studied Joel 2:25-26 in my BSF class: God promises to “repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” We may feel impatient, as treatment for depression is sometimes not as simple or quick as a prayer or a few therapy appointments. Let us be encouraged that taking time to seek professional help and navigate the journey is not wasted time for God is a God of restoration and second chances. He will use our depression (whether cured or not) for good in our lives, the lives of others, and for His glory, as we live out our faith with authenticity and in truth, as Judy has modeled here. Finally, I find the Psalms to be tremendously affirming of my struggle; the Psalms model for me the challenge to be real and honest about my feelings and experiences with depression, and provide tremendous encouragement and hope.

    • Kate Burford

      Thankfully, I have not had clinical depression. However, I have heard some Christians dismiss those who wrestle with it saying Just Cheer UP or Just Pray- You don’t need professional help. It’s good to hear BSFers saying yes, it’s OK, it’s good to ask for therapy and medical assistance. The non-profit mentalhealthfirstaid.org teaches how to help those with mental illness become able to reach out for help getting better, and self-aid. There are ways of learning about these challenges and becoming a wise instrument of God’s love in other’s lives.

    • Deb

      I have “suffered” from depression and suicidal tendencies since I was 14. I did not “know” what was happening to me, my family’s way of dealing with it was “what do you have to be depressed about?!” In my early 30’s I finally had the courage to ask my doc tor at the time – his response was I needed to have a baby – hopefully after I was married – that was my problem, I did not have children. Wasn’t a big help. I’ve been on a variety of medications for over 40 years now and still have suicidal thoughts almost non-stop. What has stopped “my hand” has been my nephews (I’m the sole “survivor” of our immediate family) and beginning to realize that, at my current age, I WANT to enjoy these last years. I have been blessed beyond description, with a group of ladies from the very first BSF group in which I participated. These women have seen me through the death of my mother and the loss of my beloved sister who filled the roles of sister, friend, mother. the sadness, grief and loss of my sister has devastated my life and thoughts. I will definitely pursue the “genesight.com” web site. Thank you beyond words for sharing the information. God bless and keep you and all the incredible women who have shared through this format.

    • Sandy Allen

      Carolyn – all your words ring true! Thank you for adding so much to this blog through your personal experience, and pointing us to God’s word and his people for examples!

  41. Beth B

    If you haven’t had great results with medication, or for those who are contemplating starting meds, please take a look at this website- genesight.com.

    As someone who has been on a myriad of medications for twenty years, I believe the GeneSight Psychotropic test is ground breaking. It helps to direct your MD to the best medication based on your DNA. It’s a very simple cheek swab that takes literally 2 seconds. Your MD has to order, administer, and evaluate it. And in a couple of days, you’ll have a guide as to which medications might be most therapeutic for you based on your genetic make up and how you’d personally metabolize them. It’ll also outline those that you might want to stay away from.

    I wish this test was around when I first started taking medication. Trying to find the right meds can take a long time and become very frustrating. If your insurance won’t cover it, call the company and ask about self pay. 95% of people pay a maximum of $330. I only recently took it and my results indicated that the ones I’ve used in the past weren’t necessarily the most effective for me and possibly the reason I had to experiment with so many. Now I have a well researched guide as to what I should try if I ever need to change.

    • Kenna

      I just took the genesight test, I’d never heard of it before. Like you, I’ve walked this road for too long. Thank you for sharing your struggle, it’s affirming for me.

    • Diane Devendorf

      Thank you for sharing this information.

    • Lynn newton

      Thank you for this info!
      I have needed to try fund meds for my depression and won’t do it because when i try meds… i feel worse.. i am going try find a doc to does this testing, I was afraid this was just another gimmick… thank you again!

  42. Donna

    Thanks Sandy for sharing. I am blessed by the replys of others who are fighting depression too. Learning there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus has helped me declare truth and fight Satan’s lies. With medication, and admitting my sins and brokenness others can see how we have grown and are being healed in the struggling and that encourages others also. It was being a CL that I found children are best at loving encouraning, and stating the Truth of God.

  43. Beth B

    What I’m noticing over and over in Acts is that there isn’t pain without purpose. It was my own struggle that brought me close to the Lord. Sandy- perhaps one of your purposes in sharing your story was in fact to encourage all of us who are commenting and those who are stuck in the fog and feeling alone. With regards to medication, after a long time I realized I was trying to fix my brain WITH my brain- trying to think myself out of it. My brain needed medicine before I could grasp the other positive habits of therapy, exercise, etc.

    • Sandy Allen

      How true – I came to that same realization, and its so good to remember that again and again, Thank you!

    • Helen

      Thanks for sharing Beth. My experience (as I outlined above) has not been fruitful with regard to looking to medications to fix the brain. I put little faith in multi billion dollar corporations whose CEO’s admit that their primary goal is to make money and not look after the health of the consumers. Having said that, I am open to the possibility that maybe I really just haven’t found the correct med that suits me. I will look into the Genesight test and see if the test is available in Canada. Blessings, Helen.

  44. Michelle

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have suffered from depression since I was a child, probably brought on by undiagnosed ADHD as a child in the 60s. It was so difficult to get my family to understand that I needed help from my doctor. Without Jesus, I would have been alone in this endeavor. Unfortunately, several years ago, a BSF Leader told me that I wasn’t praying hard enough to get rid of my depression. Jesus always has a plan and uses my situation to help others! John 7:1-12 out of the bad comes the good for the glory of God!

    • Sandy Allen

      Michelle – I am so so sorry your BSF leader said what she did! It surely was no help to you, just another reason to feel defeated. So many with good intentions just don’t get this disease! I hope you are getting help now, and that you can read some of the other posts that also declare this is a disease, a place of suffering, yes God sees us through but its good for us to seek treatment that He also provides through medicine.

    • Robert Cook

      Sandy it indeed takes courage to share such a powerful testimony. For depression put you in such a dark and empty place but God. Listen to apostle Paul in Roman 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. You are in my prayers and may God keep you and bless you.

  45. Nanette Griffith

    I am amazed at the number of Christians that struggle with anxiety or depression. I am in tears as I read your stories.
    I don’t think most know how real this illness is. These stories gave me a whole new understanding. There are many scriptures
    that deal with anxiety & fear etc. Maybe that’s why God has mentioned fear & anxiety over & over in his word. So from what I have
    observed take your meds, scripture, prayer, love, trust God with hope. Do not be ashamed hope in God. Shalom of God!!!!
    You are all in my prayers……

  46. Sarah

    I thank God for you, Sandy, for the faith He’s given you to serve in such a role! Our studies of our Father’s faithfulness in mercy is the very power and clarity He gives for us to participate and even be in leadership! I may suffer from depression, but I am in agreement that my desire is for the Lord, often, because of it.
    In my weakness the Lord shows His strength. In my burdened limp that depression feels like, He’s using even me to impact the kingdom.
    I feel I have more compassion for the level 1 & 2 school age children and their mothers/family members who bring them. Though teaching the children is a stretch for me, by faith, He is making the power of the Holy Spirit very personal, as this is my first year as a CL of school age. I know His best for me is hearing the deep truths and questions of God and His kingdom, from the mouths of these young ones! I’m enthusiastic for the children each week for the fullness of the program, as God is raising a delightful generation!
    As you speak your lesson, Sandy, God will be praised for the receipt of the gift and miracle!! God has lifted my face through your blog and the responses, today! In Jesus Together, S

  47. Dawn

    Sandy, this is so timely as I too suffer with depression and anxiety. I know that God sustains me and delivers me through each bout with this disease. I also know that He can heal me but if and until then, I trust that He will never leave it forsake me and will always provide a way of escape. The Lord usually sends an angel through a friend who has me on their heart. Just being listened to and accepted for where I am in the trial often provides the healing balm I need.

  48. LindaMcnutt

    Blessings to you!!!!! I have a son who is going thru some very tough times and your story could not have come at a more heart felt moment!!! God knows when we need Him the most and exactly how to ease our hearts!!! How I can relate to your pain!! My son is wonderful and has much to offfer in life—– he just needs God to show him the way— and loads of prayers!!! Thank you !!! Thank you!!!

  49. Mary Rebecca Lara

    I can completely relate. I have done the traditional medicine route and it failed me completely. I have a functional medicine MD female doctor now and she has helped me immensely with hormonal balance and diagnosing and treating subclinical hypothyroidism and Chronic Epstein Barr with Myers IV nutritional therapy. A wonderful Christian MD is Dr Colbert who wrote a book called Hormone Health Zone.

    • Mary

      Mary thank you ffor bringing this up. Dr Colbert has been given extraordinary wisom in treating us with his knowledge of the body and how it works. I encourage others suffering with this condition to at leat read Dr Colberts book. Hormones have a huge affect on the body and the mind. I pray for all suffering with depression. God is good and I believe He blesses us with helpers to whom He has given wisdom.

  50. Jackie

    Thank you for sharing. I have not been taking my medication trying to get off of it but I have had depression since I was a small child and my mother also. Thanks to you i am going to start taking it tonight and relying more on the LORD.

    • Tracy Arntzen

      I urge you to take your medicine and get treatment. This is a real medical condition that needs treatment just as does diabetes, thyroid disease, cancer etc. my family members have benefited greatly from therapy (find the right therapist for you) and support groups

  51. Deborah

    As I read Sandys testimony and the responses I was reminded of my own experience with anxiety and depression. I found it was common in my family on both sides (mother and fathers ancestors).
    The verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 12:25…Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.(NKJV). When I was overwhelmed by anxiety I would call a trustworthy, godly friend and say to her, Hi, it’s happening again. She would go immediately to the word of God and read to me from the bible. Then she would pray for me. No discussion. Just the reading of Gods word and prayer. This went on for almost two years. I don’t have anxiety anymore. I used to have panic attacks. I don’t have these anymore and I’m seldom depressed…and if I feel it happening, I call her and it is nipped in the bud. Haven’t had a crisis call in this regards for years.
    We need each other. We need the Lord and His word…it is living and powerful.
    I never went on medication. Mine was serious because it involved suicidal thoughts…but thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ those thoughts no longer haunt me. Praise God for His kindness and mercy and grace.

  52. Laurie Ramón

    Dear Sandy, I got to know you in Europe when we were both TLs together in different classes. I would have never guessed that you struggled w/ depression, but then again I did not see you on a weekly basis. You always seem so collected, mature & joyful around me. Thank you for vulnerably sharing your struggle, it’s impact on others, and how you cope with it both spiritually, medically, and practically through all these responses you’ve take the time to write. Although I have a background in mental health, I think your personal description of your thoughts & feelings gave me a much deeper understanding of what it feels like to be depressed. Your sharing also helps to lift the stigma of depression among all of us & encourages others to share more so that we can understand & support each other better. Although I’m saddened for you to have this great struggle, I’m grateful for the way God is using your story to help others. Sending you a big hug.

    • Sandy Allen

      Laurie
      Thanks for the hug! I loved seeing you at some of the retreats too! Hope and pray you are well and thank you for your encouragement!

  53. Wendy

    Thank you for sharing your story Sandy! Thanks a lot for other sisters sharing their story here as well! Many years ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety attack and soon developed into deep depression. I almost committed to suicide as I felt like I was living in the darkness and lost hope to life. Thank God I didn’t take any medication and God himself healed me completely.

  54. Nancy

    Thank you for your story. Mental health issues need a face so we can begin taking away the stigma. Depression, along with other mental health issues, is a disease. Like diabetes-diet, and exercise alone won’t cure it. Medication may be needed for life, too. Mental health diseases are not a condition of faith. We don’t question the faith of those with diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.
    Someday I hope along with “ Chuck strong” bracelets for those with cancer, we will be wearing “Sandy strong” bracelets for mental health diseases.

    • Sandy Allen

      I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. I like the bracelets idea and a great way to share one’s truth, something many need to do. I don’t know the “Chuck Strong” story, but am going to check it out!

      • Nancy

        Chuck Pagano. A football coach.

  55. Shelia

    This is so timely for me, last night in class, I broke down. Some of it is loss of my mother and best friend in the past year, and some is from feeling like a pretender, showing up at church and class, putting on the happy face when inside, I feel like screaming or crying. I too sit and just stare into space and feel like what am I supposed to be doing with my life. I have become extremely overweight and unhappy with that and failing at any attempt to make changes, it just doesn’t seem like it’s worth the effort. I feel like my own worst enemy. I have been going to counseling, but even there, I feel ok when I talk to her and perhaps not really dealing with the issues, putting on the front. I know the power of prayer and God has delivered me from so much in my past. I don’t know why I can’t seem to let him help me now.

    • Sandy Allen

      Shelia, Thank you for posting your story, that is a huge step! As you read these are often some of my own feelings and I have to fight to seek the Lord and allow my identity to be in Him. But this can also be a disease, or can be a season of suffering. I pray that you can let some of the people in your BSF group, maybe just your leader know how you are feeling so they can stand with you, beside you and pray for you. I often have to remind myself that people are not mind readers, when we look happy that’s what they think we are. So be brave and honest and allow God to strengthen you through his body. Let me know if you want my email so I can connect with you personally.

    • Carrie Makin

      Sheila,
      I have also sought treatment for depression and anxiety. Let me encourage you to keep going to counseling and be as vulnerable as you can. Therapy is also hard work but very with it. Having said that, if you don’t feel you’re making progress after awhile, try a different therapist. Also I agree with Sandy, sharing your burden cuts it in half. This is also true with depression. Find a trusted friend who will walk with you.

    • Tracy Arntzen

      Praying for you sweet one. I am so sorry for your loss. Sharing your story is a BIG step, one you can build upon. One step a day toward taking care of yourself is my encouragement for you. Xoxo

  56. Tara Furman

    So grateful for your courage to share. God is greatly glorified through it!

  57. Leah Dion

    Sandy thank you for sharing!!!! May God bless you and hide you safe from the evil one. My mom died of depression, ultimately, so I lived with this disease my whole life, through watching her. Please consider Elijah House prayer ministry. It helps us learn to walk in victory over our trials and encounter Jesus in an amazing way. Love to you!! Your BSF sister (8 year BSF’er)

    • Sandy Allen

      Leah – Thank you for your kind words and also for the tip of the Elijah House prayer ministry, I have not heard of it before but will check it out!

    • Earnestine Bryant

      Thank you Sandy for sharing your testimony. There are so many of us sharing GOD’s word, but not sharing our struggles.
      By sharing sets you free and encourages me to share my struggles. I will be praying for you and others as well as myself. There is freedom just to know to that I may be in depression.
      Thank you again for only the LORD led me to this blog.

  58. Louise Bowers

    This could not have come at a more needed time. I have served as a BSF leader through years and years of chronic pain and depression, often fighting my way through class/leaders meeting and returning home feeling frustrated, sad, and ineffective. Although I would often go home exhausted and depressed, I always felt God had called me and I was being obedient to His will. In the last few years I have gone from being a Children’s Leader in the School Program (which I loved), to being a Group Leader (which I also loved), to this year when I am unable to be in leadership at all. Fortunately, my class has room for me to participate as a class member, which I also love, but I miss the fellowship and closeness of the leaders circle and the feeling that I have been useful in whatever my role was. One of the most difficult and depressing things about chronic pain for me is that it makes me so self-centered. When pain is my constant companion, even though my heart wants to serve the Lord, I’m finding it more and more difficult to rise above the pain and continue serving in the only ministry I have left, which is teaching Sunday School to adults (which I also love). For years I have been trying to saturate myself in His Word and recently more deeply in prayer because I know He wants to teach me something through this experience. How amazing to see in the Lesson 5 notes that Stephen did not live to see what happened to the fledgling church for whom he gave his life. I am convinced God is using my suffering for something, and maybe I will never know what it is, but “To God be the Glory”. I will love and praise Him until my last breath.

    • Sandy Allen

      Lousie,

      I am so sorry for your constant suffering. I am sure all your service to God is effective, because ultimately he chooses who serves and where and the outcome. I thank God for people like you who continue to persevere no matter what, you are an example to many I am sure. I pray that you are able to share your suffering with those around you, who can support you. Please let me know if you want to stay in touch.

      Sandy

    • Jenny Farrell

      Dear Louise, thanks you for your transparency. I know it can be confusing when our journey is dark. I am in full agreement that God is using your suffering—not a single teardrop or an ounce of pain is wasted. I pray for healing and that you will sense God’s nearness. I also pray that you will find a way to serve God “in the midst” as that obviously brings you joy.
      i have suffered with depression and anxiety. It’s so much better now but the stigma must be broken!

      Love, Jenny

    • Jo Anne Roth

      I love you sharing your chronic pain as I relate and sharing the gospel .
      Praying God will take away your pain. I love the story of Stephens
      love for the Lord.
      We continue to serve through pain.
      God loves us so much.
      Thank you for your story.

  59. Betsy

    Thank you for sharing your story. Often we feel so alone, like no one could never understand the emptiness. I often have the though running through my head that if I say all my hope is in Jesus, then why do I feel so hopeless? It is a lie from the evil one.

    God Bless you for sharing so openly!

  60. David P Sharo

    I’ve been battling clinical depression my entire life and really appreciate Sandy’s blog. I was not diagnosed nor treated until I was in my 30’s so I spent a long time wondering why felt they way I did. Unfortunately, depression and other mental illness runs in my family. Once I became a believer, I’ve wondered how my depression fits into the picture of Christianity. The joy that people feel as Christians depicted in the Bible is not something I get to experience very often. While I take medication, it’s a constant battle trying to keep the “black bird” from taking over completely. Thankfully, prayer helps me survive and endure. I pray about this daily. Once again, thanks so much to Sandy for sharing her experiences with clinical depression.

    • HSJ

      The situation is perverse. There is no future. The dark waters press in. No one can be trusted with confidence, gives people too much power. The swelling pain comes in waves. And the shame lurks around every corner. Does the pain cause the shame, or does the shame cause the pain? Yes and yes. You just really really want to be done. But you can’t. It’s not allowed. Quitting badly hurts too many people. Just keep swimming/walking/crawling/whatever. It won’t be better until it is. Somewhere somehow this makes sense to the Creator. It has to.

  61. Jamie Shier

    My goodness. I had no idea how much I needed to read this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  62. Terri

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your story because it’s a story most of us who can relate “to the T” wouldn’t share about ourselves. Thank you again.

  63. Peggy Villanueva

    Thank you for sharing. Our local BAG director has a very open heart and shares with us her pain and tears. It is through that openness and sharing our groups unite in love. Thank you BSF.

  64. Linda

    Your story helps me so much! To hear I’m not alone in these feelings of depression! I take medication, go to counseling, constantly pray for relief, but continue to struggle! I hate it so much! My heart breaks for you, too. Thx for sharing!!!

  65. Malori

    This is such an important topic to address and share openly. It’s not the person’s fault from lack of faith or lack of closeness with God. It’s simply a medical, neurological, hormone, and/or chemical imbalance! This story sounds just like my own. A couple of years ago I finally reached out for help. With my therapist and doctor I’m now treating my depression. But it does still rear it’s ugly head from time to time. It’s tough to keep plodding through when you have no idea how long it will last. It’s so difficult for the people you live with too. Praise God for his faithfulness and grace.

    • Sandy Allen

      I agree, praise God for his faithfulness! And I hope and pray the community of believers around the world will be able to see the truth of mental illness, so that those who suffer don’t have to suffer in silence.

  66. Genevieve

    I’m grateful to you for your courage to share this. Suffering can be a very lonely place as I know firsthand. But God is glorified when we tell how he has met us and carried us in our most vulnerable times. And, suffering helps us be more compassionate. I feel fellowship with you in your suffering and your story encouraged my faith. Thank you! The Lord bless you
    and keep you ❤️

  67. Lyn Cain

    I needed to hear this today. My cry to God, “where is the hope?” was answered by reading this post. As His peace floods my soul, I praise Him for never leaving me in my hour of pain. He reminded me that the source of hopelessness is Satan and He has defeated him at the cross. Bless all those who cry out to God for He will respond with His presence.

  68. Dottie

    Thank you for your transparency … you could have been telling my story. God bless you as you continue to be vulnerable, because that is part of the healing process and how we allow our Lord to use us as vessels to our church family.

    • Tonyia

      I am depressed and filled with anxiety. I have multiple sclerosis and I feel less useful by the day. I live in my big house by myself. And my husband says I am getting better. But I cry. I need so much encouragement. I am physically & mentally in pain. They say some of this is due to my MS. I just so tired. I am overwhelmed. I deal with my anxiety in shopping which does not fix my problem. But for a moment I feel good. I then ask God and my husband for forgiveness. But I wonder if God can forgive me. I hurt inside. Thank you for sharing. I guess I have more work. I guess I should return to my therapist. I am on anti depressant but it is not sufficient. I am tired of taking so much medication for my MS. I think some of my physical pain is due to my mental pain.

      • Sandy Allen

        Tonyia, My heart goes out to you! I identify with the “retail therapy” which in the end is so transient. And it is a struggle to trust God on this path that is beyond painful. I pray that you will continue to search for answers and help, don’t give up, God is with you and for you! There are many treatments for depression that do help. And allowing others to pray for you and stand with you is one of those big helps. I pray you find a way to share your struggle maybe with your BSF Leader? I am asking God today to guide you to help both emotionally and physically.
        Please let me know if you want me to keep in touch with you.

    • Cassetra Robertson

      Thank you for sharing your story, it really does helps me to understand how people suffer with depression so if someone we know, I can tell them your story as to what to do. I Thank God for bringing you thru everyday. ❤❤❤

  69. Jennifer Snyder

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Siobhan

      Thank you for your honesty. Tonight, I’ve felt desperately lonely and questioning my acceptability. Feeling I am too much, too needy and that no one can possibly like me.
      It is such a blessing to know I’m not alone in these feelings and I will wait for God to work in my weakness.
      God bless you

      • Sandy Allen

        Siobhan
        I am so sorry for your struggle with this and the loneliness that comes with it. I pray God will guide you to some medical help. It is an illness, so don’t be afraid to treat it as one. And you are far from alone. I hope you will also reach out to your BSF Group Leader and let her know that this story in the blog brought up some feelings you have not felt able to share before. Know God made you, loves you, and yes people like you, but its hard to see when we struggle.

  70. Liv

    Thank you, Sandy, so much for being open and honest. This is a huge help to the body of Christ to move these issues out into the open and allow others to know they are not alone as believers with depression and anxiety and whatever else. Christ’s love, the joy found in Him, and the promises in the Word reminded me in a dark period that my value is in Him, not what others think of me or what I think of myself. His love for us is overwhelming and healing.

    • Enid Earle

      Thank you for sharing your story

  71. Suzy

    Thank you Sandy and others. I too suffer from depression. Although I take medication, it does not alleviate the pain, only manages it. It is through prayer, Bible study, fellowship, family, and hard work that I am able to cope. I have probably always suffered from depression, but I did not realize that this was unexplained sadness I felt constantly. I was angry at my former (late) husband because of how his depression affected our family. But I came to understand him and have empathy for others when I recognized this “thorn in the side” as my own. I acknowledge that i need to rely and depend on God every moment, and this has drawn me closer to Him. I share my struggle with others so they can see that Christians are broken people who are only made whole through Jesus Christ our Savior.

    • Wendy

      Thank you for sharing your story Sandy! Thanks a lot for other sisters sharing their story here as well! Many years ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety attack and soon developed into deep depression. I almost committed to suicide as I felt like I was living in the darkness and lost hope to life. Thank God I didn’t take any medication and God himself healed me completely.

  72. Donna Haprer

    Hello Sandy, thank you for sharing. Your days that you visited Winnipeg must have been tough, but so thank ful to have had our visit! Please know that I continue to be Thank ful for BSF and the word of God mostly! As we live out this Acts of The Apostle lessons these weeks it is difficult to see such persecution, but know full well it is part of life. Blessings!

  73. Ella Miller

    You aren’t by yourself in these struggles. I have an uncle who had some of the same issues for many years. Finally his wife began selling Juice Plus and he started using it. Within several months He began to feel a lot better. He still needed the medicine he was on but never suffered from depression again that he couldn’t manage with meds, healthy eating,, and Juice Plus. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you with His wisdom.

  74. Linda

    Thank you for sharing. I really needed to hear this today. Bless you!

  75. Suzy

    Thank you Sandy and others. I’ve suffered from depression and been on meds. for over 10 years now.
    But truthfully, I believe that I’ve always had depression; I just didn’t realize it. My mom had panic attacks when I was a child, and I had my first one over 25 years ago. These attacks and the depression would come on for no apparent reason. It’s difficult to explain to others how and why you feel so sad inside. My former (late) husband was so depressed that he would sit in a chair in the dark. I didn’t understand it at the time, and was angry at him for his emotional abandonment of his family. At one time in my current marriage, I was afraid to leave the house and stayed holed up in the bedroom, watching endless episodes of LAW & ORDER, or simply laying on the bed staring at the wall. I believe that my depression has not only made me understand him better, but have empathy for other sufferers. My meds. do NOT alleviate my depression. It is with much prayer, bible study, fellowship, family, and hard work that it is manageable. This “thorn in my side” brings me closer to God, and has made me acknowledge my dependence on Him. I share my struggles with others so that they can see how Christians are still flawed and broken people who rely on the Lord, not on ourselves, for our strength and hope each day.

    • Sandy Allen

      Suzy – thank you for your story, and I say Amen to the truth that Christians are still flawed and broken and relying on the Lord is our best hope! Saying a prayer for you today.

      • Holly Holmquist

        Thank you dear Sandy for sharing your story. I know bits of it of course, but i’m grateful for your honesty and transparency. Be assured God is not wasting your suffering. You can see that just by reading the responses to your blog. Sending a big hug and much love to you! Holly

  76. Joyce Ong

    Sandy, you were my TL during all my 6 years as a Children’s Leader and I have always loved how genuine, authentic and down to earth you are. With this article, you have taken us to another level of honesty and vulnerability which is sadly missing in so many Christian circles. Thank you for taking the bold risk and speaking about your depression. I struggle with anxiety, sudden panic attacks and intense fear. I am afraid to drive alone because I have had panic attacks while driving and almost passed out. It is very real. The struggle, the fight, the warfare is very real. It is not something to be minimized or treated lightly. I still have to overcome a lot of the stigma and shame that you dealt with – or are still dealing with. It is not easy! But it teaches me to depend on God every moment and not on my own strength. Thank you so much for sharing. I am praying that your testimony be a light that gives hope to many who are struggling.

    • Sandy Allen

      Hi Joyce – How I miss you! Thank you for sharing your story too, and the stigma that is very real. I am praying for you today as you deal with this and for others to support and encourage you. Recently my daughter with her own battle with depression let her entire Life Group know of her struggle. Then she had a really bad week, but not one in her Life Group did anything to reach out when they heard of her struggle (even the pastor and his wife). She was heart broken, even went the next week to her group and they never said a word. So many of our christian brothers and sisters just don’t know what to do! I am really seeing this more and realizing that those who struggle need to be the ones who bravely educate other believers on how to support through the struggle! love you! Sandy

  77. Kate

    My husband and I just had to admit our dear 16-year old, adopted from Russia, daughter to a facility that will help her and us through her eating disorder. Your story and the three “Walking in the Valley” bullet points were just what I needed to read today. Thank you, thank you for allowing God to bless me and bring His comfort today through you.

  78. Jasper Ouma

    Thank you for sharing and giving encouragement to us who may be facing other challenges but do not have the courage to come out and speak. Most men (I included) feel shy to share and so suffer silently. My prayer is that through the study of Acts of the Apostles, we will recognize the power of our unstoppable God and come out of our shells so that others can help us.

  79. Debbie Tiensivu

    Thank you for your sharing.Its good to look at things with an open mind.Praise God very helpful

  80. Ashley

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed this right now. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder 11 years ago. I have been mostly good since starting medication but there are times when I am not. The past few weeks I have been very down. This is a comfort and encouragement to me. I greatly value BSF!

  81. David Sharo

    I too have suffered from clinical depression my entire life, but didn’t get any help until I was in my 30’s. While I take medication, I still have bouts of major depression. Prayer definitely helps me endure and survive. I greatly appreciate Sandy’s testimonial because I’ve never been sure how other Christians deal with this illness or whether it was a subject for discussion with my BSF comrades. Thanks so much.

  82. Jill Powers

    Thank you for sharing your story! I too suffer from depression and anxiety and it is hard for people to understand who have not experienced it. Your story will help others!

  83. Daniel Struve

    The link “Sharing in Our Brokenness,” isn’t working for me fyi. from todays email

    Thank you.

    • Sandy Allen

      Praying for you today Ashley, and that God will give you strength to persevere, but also to share your story and guide others in how they can support you and other people who deal with this type of illness. We really need the body of Christ to help us through the valley’s.

    • Sandy Allen

      Daniel – I had to go to the bsfblog website to be able to see the entire post, so maybe that’s an option for you? I don’t work at In San Antonio at HQ, but I will pass along that the link didn’t work.

  84. Donna Porter

    Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your story and God’s faithfulness. God has gifted you in amazing ways! You are an encouragement and blessing.

  85. Cynthia FIscher

    I am so glad you shared Sandy’s story and included the medicine and therapy part as well. Three decades ago in the BSF I attended in a city with an abundance of medical schools and resources the teaching leader made a negative comment about using medicine to treat depression. That prompted a letter from me and then when that was unanswered a phone call. I am so happy there is medicine for this illness. Certainly there are different ways people express they are depressed, but the big stuff, the DSM major depressive disorder recurrent responds to medicine quite well for most people. My faith and my praying friends who listened to me sustained me through several untreated depressions, and through God’s providence led me to get medical treatment.
    Thank you so much for including how not only how Sandy leans on God but that she takes medicine and avails herself of therapy. Her story was a wonderful one and may help others who are reluctant to visit a physician or psychiatrist.

  86. Wm. Henry Ray, MD [Emeritus]

    I’ve been in our BSF group for several years & heartily recommend it!

    Personally, I prefer the questions related directly to scripture vs the class members’ interpretation ”(your) take away,” or interpretation of what the verse says. I don’t think the members’ op[inion is as important as are the scripture words. If I want to read opinions I can read a commentary!!!!! Respectfully,WHR

    • John

      I believe the application from this post and comment thread is that God’s Word is full of promises. Through BSF, closeness of Godly friends, God’s Word, and these discussions I am reminded how great God is. With depression and anxiety a person can feel completely worthless, as though the world would be better off without them. I have felt this way. I have watched my family cry as I describe how I feel. What God’s Word has taught me so far this year is that this is a direct attack Satan uses to place a wedge between God and me. At my absolute lowest and darkest point this year, I read the section of Acts that talks about Stephen and the sacrifice he made with God’s strength. I read about how Saul approved of Stephen’s stoning and then went on a rampage against the Christians in Jerusalem. Perhaps the greatest nugget of truth in all of this is when God met Saul on the road to Damascus. Saul eventually became Paul and was just as zealous for the faith after as he was zealous against the faith before this experience. This story gives me great hope that God can not only forgive a sinner like me, but he can use a sinner like me. If God can forgive and use a sinner like Paul, I know he can fogive and use a sinner like me.

    • Sandy Allen

      WHR
      This was meant as a personal story of God at work in the life of ordinary people, with real problems, not as a commentary.
      I agree scripture is always best, and yes there are many amazing commentaries to read.

    • Gwendolyn

      I agree!!! And sorrow that BSF has gone in this direction.

  87. Isabel Duran

    I have struggled with depression all my life. I never wanted to acknowledge it. I always powered through with a new goal, exercising, healthy eating, vitamins etc…just like Sandy. It was only in the past year that I have been able to admit that I do suffer from depression. Yet even now it seems so unfair because how can I serve the Lord when I feel like I’m walking with a cloud over my head. I still serve but currently I’m majorly struggling with brain fog, insecurity and get anxious very quickly. I am in God’s word but everything seems worthless these days. I have been feeling like I’ll have a nervous breakdown..I don’t want medication and I’m tired of counseling. I pray continually for strength. I don’t want to disappoint my daughter. My husband always expects the worst of me even though I have worked in a professional environment for more than 25 years. Praying the Lord would heal me totally. It is shameful to feel this way as a believer. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kristen

      Your story spoke to me and I hope you know that you are not alone. Sadly depression can make you feel so incredibly alone, even in a room full of people. And admitting that you struggle with anxiety and depression is extremely hard to do because, at least for me, I feel like I have no right to be sad or anxious and should just keep my mouth shut and get over it. But that is not true. I have been dealing with a period of depression and anxiety for about the last 6 months. There are days when I just stay in bed and cry because I can’t do anything else. When anxiety sets in and I feel overwhelmed and scared and do not see a way forward. When this happens I have been trying to simply pray and ask God to, in that minute, give me peace and ease my pain. I open up my bible and start by reading just one chapter. I try to focus on the love God has for me. I pray you find peace and remember that no matter what our flaws are, no matter our sins, God’s love is always with us and, even in those moments our doubt and despair He is there.

    • Marilyn Silliman

      Dearest Isabel, I want to hold you and take away the pain. I know how hard it is to hope anything for the future, and how lonely depression is. Please know that God’s beloved children experience life in this broken world, and that includes health problems like depression. There is no shame in having any illness! And there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
      Some resources that have helped me are devotionals by Joni Eareckson Tada and
      a website called ChangeMyRelationship.com. Love to you!

    • Deb

      Isabel, Depression is a disease, just as much as Diabetes or cancer is a disease. There is no shame in being afflicted with a disease as a Christian. And just as you would take medication for diabetes or cancer, you should also take it for depression. Please see a doctor and get help. I have. And though there is no cure, it sure helps.

    • Sandy Allen

      Isabel – My heart to breaks for your struggle. I pray God will heal you and that you will find a way through this trial and terrible disease. If it’s any help I firmly believe it’s an illness like any other, and that sometimes it does require medical treatment. They can even do a blood test now to confirm your depression and find best ways to treat it.
      I often use the example with my friends that we don’t ever pray for our eyesight to suddenly be restored, we all are willing to go to the eye doctor and get glasses. So for me I think of the medical treatments for depression like eye glasses, a treatment to help.

  88. John

    Thank you for sharing your journey. This blog post hits me where I sit today. I struggled with anxiety and depression for years but was afraid to get help because of the social stigma that can be attached to mental health challenges. For me, I ended up fighting addiction on top of the depression and anxiety. I am five years sober and grateful for every sober day I have had. I would not have made it if not for a handful of family and close friends who refused to stop praying for me when I begged them to stop. I still struggle with depression and anxiety, but the BSF study this year has really helped. After a very long dry spell, I am finally seeing some of the fog lift from what has been a very dark period in my life. Thank you again for sharing your journey. That takes tremendous courage.

    • Liv

      Thank you, John, for sharing this. Hearing how others, as followers of Christ, work through stigmatized issues like depression and addiction is so helpful in removing the curtain hiding these hushed topics. Christ is our strength and way out, and your words offer much hope.

  89. RJ

    I pray Sandy’s family and close friends did stay by her. I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder 32 years ago. Due to the anxiety attacks I soon stop leaving the house unless someone could be with me. I had small children at the time. Very few people even me knew what this was. I have kept this close to my heart and knew never to share. My family and husband did not understand. I am thankful for a wonderful family doctor that noticed and referred me to a psychiatrist (taboo in our family) This doctor truly changed my life. Even with resistance from family I continued therapy. If not I would not be alive and well today. I am on a regimen of medication.

    • Sandy Allen

      Thank you so much for your honesty in sharing and the prayer for me and my family. I am so glad you have been helped by therapy and medication, which has helped me too.

      • Sandy Allen

        I want you to know that some friends stay and support and others struggle, but even having one or two who love and support you can be enough. I will pray for God to rally people around you! I have found too that I need to tell them how to support me, which sounds odd, but honestly many people don’t know what will help.
        When I was first diagnosed I told one friend and her reply was “shhh we don’t want anyone else to know”. I am still shocked that she said that, and it just tells me that mental/emotional illness needs to be talked about, there is no shame in having an illness, the problem is that this one doesn’t show like a broken leg would.

      • Pam

        Just chiming in to say me too. Thanks for going public, i.e, walking in the light. Jesus has been working with me about being more vulnerable. Initially scary then feeling more relaxed and comfortable. My thought lately is that chronic depression is believing the devils lies. So down, down we spiral. I thank God for those that walk with me through those valleys.

    • Sue

      I have had depression for over 20 years, been thru ECTs, multiple med changes, hospital stays and counseling… I’m grateful for Sandy’s story to open up a dark side of depression that nobody wants to talk about… I wish I could talk about my depression to Christians, haven’t been able to… I have Major Depression Disorder, and am going thru some down cycles right now…. BSF is good to go to, but I can’t tell them about my depression for fear of being judged… so I pretend and try to mask my symptoms… I know God wants me to be free and honest, but I don’t know what to do… easier to curl up at home… but that’s not what God wants either….

  90. Jane

    I am blessed by Sandy’s testimony. Indeed with God nothing is impossible.

  91. Hannah Reagan

    I love this article. I think it spreads light on a situation that so many people deal with, and yet are struggling to reach out for Godly support.

  92. Marlene Wise

    Sandy, thank you for your bravery. I am a GL and I take medication for Depression. In the past, I felt like I must not have enough faith and I’ve been embarrassed to ask for prayer because mental disorders have such a stigma in our society. I do very well on medication, so much so that friends are surprised to learn I have Depression. Last year, the day before our first BSF class in September, I had a sudden and severe attack. Usually my depression is a slow and steady burn but this was an inferno. I went to Leaders Meeting that morning and everything was fine, then I got home and I was emotionally paralyzed. The only thoughts I had were… how am I supposed to show up tomorrow and meet a bunch of ladies for the first time and encourage them about our study. I spent the rest of my day sitting in a recliner staring into space. My husband had to leave work to pick the kids up from school and had to cook, etc. It terrified him and my teenaged children (and myself) but, PRAISE GOD, my family prayed and I woke up the next day like nothing had happened. While I know this particular incident was a spiritual attack, I also accept that my depression is due to a chemical imbalance and has nothing to do with a lack of faith. I am no longer ashamed. Thanks, again, Sandy… your story was a great encouragement to me.

    • Sandy Allen

      Marlene – Thank you for sharing your story – I was fearful at first to write this article, for fear of being “that woman with depression”, but I surrendered that to God. This is the story he has given me and the illness he has used in my own life to keep me on my knees. There is so much stigma still about depression, so I knew God was guiding me to share how he is seeing me through one day at a time.

      • Wayne

        Thankyou for sharing your story! It is powerful and healing to let our brothers and sisters in Christ know about and share our pain. Not an easy thing to do but it is a must. We all know out of every BSF class there is going to be much pain that each person is carrying but there isn’t the time to listen. Somehow, I believe we have to make time or we are falling short of what we are called to do, love our brothers and sisters and always be there for them!🙏 Love you all!!

        • Aichi Kitalyi

          Thank you Sandy for sharing and indeed the followup testimonies are very inspiring. Great learning and may be more so for me coming from African culture where the word depression is not in the vocabulary of many langauges. God bless.

      • Eva Heatwole

        Depression is the one illness that everyone is ashamed to admit they have. I have suffered with depression for many years, as have others in my family. I am afraid to tell anyone of the struggles I have for fear of being thought of as having a weak faith. Thank you Sandy for being brave enough to share your story.

  93. John Eleazarian

    Thank you for sharing this story. My trial with depression started in 1994 and came to a head in 2005. Like Sandy, I had no idea that I was depressed, and it ended my career as a lawyer, destroyed our finances, and cost me a great part of my reputation and, briefly, my freedom. But God was faithful through it all. I came to Christ as a 23-year-old in 1974, and when Satan’s message that my life was worthless filled my mind, God reminded me that He valued me enough to die for me. Instead of destroying my witness, my trial made that witness much more effective, and I reached people I never would have known otherwise. My weakness caused my ego to get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit resume His direction in me. While my wife and I still bear the earthly scars of our journey through the Valley of Death, God’s presence has enriched us in ways we could never have imagined.

    Thank you again.

    • lou

      Can u recommend a good rehab place?
      My brother is in desperate need of one?

      • Sandy Allen

        I just peeked at the Elijah House Prayer Ministry website, that someone mentioned in their post, it might be a place to start? I imagine you can search the internet, or ask your pastor too. Praying now that your brother will be helped soon!

  94. Lynett Vinson

    Sandy, I also suffer from major depression. Do you take an antidepressant? I was diagnosed 30 years ago and still take medication, I tried on numerous occasions to get off the medication but would sink back into despair. I cannot function without the medication, I cannot even bathe myself. I sometimes question my faith? Just curious about whether you take meds?

    • Sandy Allen

      Lynett – Yes I take medication and do various other treatments, I have no intention of going off the medications – even attempting to decrease at times can bring on a serious depression dip.

    • joyce

      Lynett, I have suffered with depression most of my life. After revealing to the doctor that I work for that I was heading down the black hole again, he suggested I try a new drug out called Zoloft. I tried it and now 37 years later, I am happy to say it still works for me, AND my faith in Jesus Christ is stronger than it has ever been. Has it been an easy road?……NO. As we see in our study of Acts, God might take you down those awful detours in life only to prepare you for something greater ahead. I am just going to have to trust him on that, but that is ALL he wants, is for me to trust him. Medicine does not measure ones faith, your belief and trust in God our Father does.

  95. Donna J Housley

    Thank you so much for being vulnerable enough to share this story. Having dealt with mental health issues, I’ve experienced the stigma it can have in terms of talking about it….sadly and especially in the Christian community. But praise be to the Lord, as with Sandy, through Christian counseling, medication, prayer, support of loved ones, – The Trial – the Lord used all those things I mentioned to free me from the bondage of anorexia that had its roots in teenage sexual abuse that I had never told anyone about until I started the counseling at age 38. It is His testimony and in that freedom, I am free to share this story without hesitation. I was a BSF GL when I hit that point in my life and was so afraid to tell my TL …. and when I finally had to, she was so loving and kind and became part of my support group. I’m now a CL and absolutely love it! So again, thank you for publishing Sandy’s story. For me, this is huge for the BSF community. We are not called to suffer alone. Break the stigma re: mental health issues and watch how God works!

    • Sandy Allen

      Donna – I too have been disappointed by the response of some christian communities, but often I think people just don’t know what to do or say. Every time I have a dip, my husband always thinks he has done something wrong, or that I am mad at him, that’s when I have to remind him that this is the depression and he has done nothing to cause it to resurface. He also says that when I am the most depressed is when I seem to push him away emotionally, and he reminds himself that when I push him away is really when I need him the most!

      • Donna J Housley

        Thank you for your reply, Sandy. Yes, it’s really difficult to know what to say. I totally get it and by the grace of God never had any pain or bitterness from it. It’s interesting – I find that the trial a sufferer goes through is also a trial for the ones around them in how they respond. God uses it both ways…to teach us, to grow us, to heal us. And by His grace in my situation, He has used it so many times for me to be able to help others who’ve experienced what I did. It’s amazing….for you as well. With your willingness to share your story, I’m seeing a flood gate open up amongst other believers/BSFers to feel free….to see that it is okay to talk about their mental health issues. It’s okay. And in fact, the person sitting right next to you might be struggling as well. To God be the Glory….great things He has done.

        • Chritasaleen

          Sandy,
          You were writing verses out of my life that were coming from your own story. My story is one of ashes and coming thru hard times… most Christians don’t want to be near “dirty Christians”
          Like me with depression, and other disorders…
          Can’t talk about it either! It’s taboo, no friends,
          Your outcast…..

    • Joan

      Thank you everyone for your honesty. I have had my ups and downs with depression and beating myself up because I have so much to be grateful and thankful for. I praise the Lord for all of you. We are to love and help and pray for each other. Jesus loves and died for all of us. May God Bless you all and give us all the strength and courage to talk and share and do what we have to so we can help each other and get well.
      Joan

  96. Bob Allen

    Thanks for sharing this difficult journey with me and being vulnerable with your life story. The older I get the more I am challenged with being depressed over the world around me. Christians are not immune and certainly strengthen each other in sharing our trials. May we continue to find Hope in the One who gave it all and do the same for each other. May God fill our cups to overflowing in His Service. Thanks again for your courage to share.

  97. Linda Chapman

    Sandy’s testimony is such a great witness to the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s love in action ! Even in her dark trial she was able to deliver her lectures …even when we are weak He is strong …Always Faithful.

    S

  98. don bills

    It is so wonderful too see the oneness (unity} we have IN Christ !!!

  99. Lisa Locklear

    Depression has a life of it’s own. Many lives can be changed with it. Prayer can ease some of this despair, but volunteering can have a positive change in our lives. Giving to others puts out of our own needs second, even for just few moments in helping others. I encourage all to give some time to others either by praying for, and or with them. Or giving time to someone else during some tough times ourselves. Taking away some of the torment of those times can get brighter by seeing someone else smiling because you have changed their lives with you involved with others. I had both my parents taken away from us all due to depression, and how it takes our sense of self away from us.

    • Sandy Allen

      Lisa, Thank you for sharing your story. I too have found it very helpful to be in the lives of other people and serving God in this BSF ministry. I agree it gives me a better perspective and can keep me from the sometimes “pity party” mentality.
      I am so sorry for the loss of your parents due to this illness, it really is a serious illness.

      blessings to you
      Sandy

      • Joan

        Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency Sandy. I too have struggled with depression for years. Even with living a life of daily prayer, being in the Word, and living deeply dependent on God depression has persisted. Depression is extremely lonely because as a Christian it is easy to feel guilt and shame as if it is something I’m doing wrong or should be able to shake. It is excruciating pain because of how it effects your mind. It is so encouraging and comforting to read your story and the responses and knowing I’m not alone. God bless you for sharing your story.

  100. Jeanette

    Thank you for sharing your story. Praying you have beauty for ashes and a future filled with joy. I know this experience only makes you a more compassionate and understanding TL.

  101. terri thomas

    thank you for sharing. depression is real and left untreated has many terrible consequences.

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