Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ In the Midst of Depression

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest blogger, Carol Heilman   @CarolHeilman

I believe Carol Heilman must be the sweetest lady I've ever met that I don't know. Do you know what I mean? We have an online friendship and a close alliance as authors with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Carol is genuine, funny, and full of wisdom. If you are battling depression or love someone who is, this post will help you. If you feel ashamed by the stigma associated with depression, this post will help you. Many, many Christians fight the hounds of depression. It doesn't mean we are bad people. It doesn't mean we have little faith. It means we live in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people. Carol and I pray that you will feel encouraged and know that you are not alone in your struggle. God is our Healer, be it through medicine or divine intervention - HE is the One who heals. He holds you in the palm of His hand and cradles you near to His heart.

Welcome Carol!

Have you ever suffered from depression? I have and here are a few things I have learned along the way.

It can feel like falling into a deep, dark pit filled with quicksand.

Depression can hurt, not only emotionally, but physically.

It can affect my ability to think clearly.

I may become restless, unable to sleep, and lose interest in my usual activities. I may lose hope.

Winston Churchill suffered from clinical depression and called it the “black dog.” 

If you find yourself in the clutches of this disease, get help. And do it today. Talk to someone you trust. You may need to contact a trained professional. You could have a chemical imbalance, or perhaps you have suffered abuse, rejection, or feelings of unworthiness and have kept the hurt and anger inside yourself and it’s eating you alive.

I am thankful I no longer need medication or counseling, but if I should again, I would gladly accept whatever it took to help me get well.

Thirty or so years ago I was depressed and didn’t realize it. My doctor at the time, bless him, did. I was so ashamed. I didn’t even share with my husband that I had begun taking medication. Actually, I didn’t tell anyone. What would people think?

I am a Christian and I thought I should be able to handle whatever came my way. I was wrong, on many counts. Because I am human, I cannot handle anything on my own. The good Lord did not create us to journey through our earthly lives alone. Now I cry out to Jesus and lean on Him. He has never failed me.

Today, I sometimes will see depression lurking in the shadows ready to pounce. I am most vulnerable when tired or sick, or even more so when disappointed in circumstances not unfolding like I had planned. Imagine thinking I am the one in control. That’s when I pray the hardest and try to give everything over to the one who knows my every thought and fear and insecurity, yet loves me anyway. Yes, mess that I am, Jesus loves me. He loves you. That makes all the difference.

"He (the Lord) will rejoice over you with gladness. 
He will quiet you by His love. 
He will exult over you with loud singing." 
~ Zephaniah 3:17

A Tweetable to Encourage Others 

Meet Carol:

Carol Heilman, a coal miner's daughter, married her high school sweetheart, a farmer's son. She began writing family stories, especially about her dad's Appalachian humor, for newspapers and magazines. One day her mother said, "We don't have any secrets any more!"

Carol's book, Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar, was inspired by her mother's spunky spirit and her dad's gentle one, as well as both parent’s humor.

She lives in the mountains of NC with her husband of fifty-plus years. They love to play cards, go antiquing, hike, and visit grandsons on the east and west coasts.

And Carol's book, Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar

Summer's steamy haze coats North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, but Agnes Marie Hopper discovers the high heat isn't the only thing causing her blood to boil. After trying to live with her daughter for six months, she and Betty Jo come to an understanding: neither can tolerate living with the other. So on a sultry August morning, a week after her seventy-first birthday, Agnes loads her few belongings into Betty Jo's shiny, black Buick, and rides to Sweetbriar's retirement home, Sweetbriar Manor.  

Agnes has a nose for trouble and that's exactly what she finds when she learns some of the residents are being robbed, over-medicated, and denied basic cable and Internet access. When it looks as if the administrator is behind the facility's shady dealings, Agnes complains to the local sheriff but is told she's a senile old woman who should mind her own business. Could it be he knows more than he'll admit?

No matter. Agnes isn't about to let bad police work and some unscrupulous administrator stop her. Armed with nothing more than seventy-one years of common sense and a knack for pushing people's buttons, Agnes sets out to restore Sweetbriar Manor’s reputation as offering a "rewarding and enriching lifestyle" - or die trying.

To purchase this book, find it on Amazon here.



  1. Nan, I give thanks to the good Lord for you. You are a joy and a blessing in my life. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. One day I hope we will meet in person!

    1. I hope so too Carol. I think it would be a hug-fest :) Thank you for sharing your heart with my readers.

  2. Beautiful post, Carol. I've battled with depression myself and you're right, Jesus makes all the difference. Bless you, my dear friend. :)

    1. Yes, He does Andrea. What would we do without Him? Thanks for stopping by.