It was the morning of March 7th when my world fell apart.
It was not a tragedy or an accident. But rather a dark cloud that I just could not find my way around. The cloud had been darkening, looming closer until it finally surrounded every aspect of my life.
I felt my prayers were falling on deaf ears. The love in my marriage felt too hard to find again. And those five precious children I was raising? I just simply could not muster up the energy.
Depression is real. Even for Christians.
I know how painful and real this can be because I faced it head on. Depression is something that changed me from the inside out. I can see how God used it and continued to use my past experiences to shape me into the Christian woman, wife, and mother He created me to be.
You see before my bout with depression; I had everything together. I could do it all. Manage the home, homeschool the kids, look good for my husband, and hold everything together. I thought I could do it all. And all on my own. I did not need help. And for a Christian woman, that is a precarious place to be.
I did need help. Not only from family and friends but my Savior. I did not just need Him when I was reading my Bible or going to church or teaching my kids. I needed Him every step of the way.
And the only way I was able to see, hear, and understand this fact was to face this dark cloud in my life. I persevered through the absolute hardest time of my life by clinging to the only hope I could find: Jesus and His Word.
Maybe you have found yourself in a similar situation. Questioning your worth, grappling with your reality, feeling as if there is no one there who understands. I get it. I do, and I want to share with you what helped me to find the ray of hope.
First, I accepted the fact that this was part of my story.
I fought for so long. I wanted to pretend it was not happening. I wanted to run away from all I was feeling. I did not find hope and healing until I accepted the fact that nothing happens without first passing through the hands of my Savior. He is in control and accepting this reality is the absolute first and most important step into perseverance.
These words from Ed Welch’s book Depression: A Stubborn Darkness, encouraged me along my path:
“But remember once again that we cannot avoid God. All paths lead to Him. If you are tempted to skip over His words on perseverance, remember that He is life. His words give life. Whatever He says is surprising in its beauty and elegance, and is of invaluable worth.”
Somehow there was beauty and elegance and even worth in the hardships I endured. Though I could not see it when the dark cloud surrounded me, these words encouraged me in those long, hard days.
Second, I changed my focus. I stopped focusing on what I could no longer do, and I focused on what I could do.
It is so easy to think of the areas of our life where we are failing, but how often do we stop and reflect on the things we have accomplished or on the things we have done.
As a young mom of five kids, my job is never ending. I will never come to a point in the day where everything is done. When I switched my focus to one of gratitude, I began to enjoy my life at home again.
I would encourage you to take time at the end of each day and think of three things you have accomplished that day. Give thanks to Jesus for His providence, His guidance, and His encouragement.
I then needed to find my purpose. My purpose in Jesus.
I have always felt called to motherhood. My purpose is in Jesus and raising my children to know Him in a deep, meaningful relationship.
In Colossians 3:2, we are reminded “set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” This verse guided and continues to guide me through those days when I struggle to find my focus. I am not here to live for the things around me but to live for the One above me.
Through acceptance, focus, and purpose, I am slowly healing and finding the light once again. You can persevere and push through difficult situations. It is not easy. But so worth the fight.
I never thought this would be my story. My story of darkness, despair, and ultimately, healing. I would have it no other way. I am the woman God created me to be. Through the dark days, He is there. I promise. And I pray you will find peace in this knowledge.
Christia Colquitt is a homeschooling mom to five children. She is married to 11-year NFL veteran player Dustin Colquitt. They make it their life mission to inspire and help others from all walks of life. Christia wants to share their triumphs and struggles in parenting, marriage, and how to make it all work on her new blog Faith Filled Parenting. Her hope is to encourage you to live with intention, while growing a more intimate relationship with Jesus. While neither Dustin or Christia claims to do this perfectly, they pray to grow together with you on this journey of life.