I Struggled with Depression
Before God Lifted Me Up

-Emily James

I Struggled with Depression before God Lifted Me Up!

My name is Emily James, and this is my story.

I grew up in what I thought was a Christian home. My family and I would go to church and learn what I thought was the truth about God. Since I was only young at the time, I didn’t understand a lot about God and what he could do in my life. Then suddenly, we stopped going to church. I couldn’t understand why but I knew that God was watching over me throughout the years of my life.
My family said I was “baptized” when I was a baby, and I was told that I was going to Heaven. Of course, I didn’t know much at the time and would just agree and carry on, going my own way, with no thought of God. I was given some Bibles to read in my spare time, but I had no interest in reading since it was a “waste of my time,” I felt. I always thought if I would do “good things” in my life and “do good for others” that God would just accept me, and I would get into Heaven.
"I didn’t know much at the time and would just agree and carry on, going my own way, with no thought of God."

As time went on and years passed, I was going through some really hard times. I had gotten fired from my job, and I found it difficult to deal with. This would make me fall into a deep state of depression, anxiety, and loss of interest in everything. I truly thought I had no purpose in this life. Another thing that I would struggle with was the reality of death. Several of my family members and friends had passed away, and their deaths would hit me hard. I would blame myself somehow for their death – maybe I hadn’t prayed hard enough for them, or I had done something to make God mad. I would even try to beg God to take me instead. It would get so bad that my thoughts would become suicidal.

In October of 2019, I started a new job as a certified nurse aide in Kutztown. I thought that this was a good time to start over with my life and maybe God had a plan for me after all. That is when I met Rachel. We had an instant connection and became really good friends. As we talked, she mentioned things about God and asked me if I wanted to go to church on Sunday. Then afterward, she asked me to do a Bible study with her. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I thought that I should try something new. We did the Bible study at Rachel’s house, and God began working in my heart. This is when I saw a change in my life. II Corinthians 5:7 says: “For we walk by faith not by sight.” This verse is very true and straight to the point. I had been walking in the sight of this world but in reality, I needed to be walking in faith in the Lord.

"When I was done praying, I knew immediately that I was a new person!"
When I was done praying, I knew immediately that I was a new person! II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” It felt like the Lord had cleared a dark cloud and had lifted a heavy weight.  January 7th, 2021, was the day I got saved and turned my life over to God.
My walk with God has absolutely changed my life. Walking with the Lord has helped me deal with anxiety and depression, and I know now that God has a purpose for me. I no longer deal with negative thoughts. When depression and anxiety hit me, then I go to the Word of God and just read the book of Psalms, specifically Psalms chapter 56. I talk to the Lord, and I know that he hears me. I keep my focus and trust in him, not the situation at hand. God has helped me gain some confidence in myself and be more open with Him about my difficulties. It is very reassuring to know that I am not alone in my struggles.