If you’re living with the chronic illness life can be frustrating and depressing...even if you are a Christian. Here are some ways to fight it.
Faith

5 Christian Ways to Fight Depression When You Have a Chronic Illness

This is a guest blog from Abigail Brown at Abiding with Joy in Christ.

Life is difficult. It doesn’t take long for anyone to figure that out.

Whether you know someone fighting cancer or you grew up with a sibling that had a disability? Tragedies happen every day.

If you’re living with a chronic illness life can get frustrating and depressing really fast. Christians aren’t exempt. Even as a Christian you can suffer from depression when you have a chronic illness.

My Story

Chronic illness entered my life when I was age 3. I was bitten by a tick during a family vacation and contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. My condition was misdiagnosed resulting in severe brain damage that robbed me of the ability to speak, walk, and use my hands.

The doctor told my parents that I would recover within the year but they were wrong. After many years of physical and occupational therapy, I did relearn how to walk and regain the use of my left hand but my ability to speak has never returned.

When I was 5 years old, my parents discovered that the brain trauma I experienced had led to the development of Dystonia, a condition which causes muscles to tighten and the body to contort in different ways.

Currently, there is no cure for Dystonia though I have undergone numerous surgeries and procedures to alleviate some of the more painful and debilitating. I have learned to communicate with others through various communication devices since I was diagnosed in 1999.

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I have struggled with discouragement over the years.

One of the main things that still discourages me is that I’ll never be able to drive. It was really hard when my younger sisters got their licenses and started moving on with their lives.

I really don’t enjoy asking people for a ride. I think to myself, “I’m being a bother to them if I ask for a ride home.” That’s a lie I have been telling myself for years. I have it set my pride aside and humble myself and usually, my family and friends don’t mind taking me places.

I don’t know what you’re going through or what chronic illness you wake up to every day, but if you struggle with depression when you have a chronic illness these five simple ways can also help you.

Related: 10 Verses for Teens Who Struggle with Chronic Illness

5 Christian Ways to Fight Depression When You Have a Chronic Illness

1. Read Your Bible Every Day

The first way I fight depression is by reading my Bible every day. God’s Word is powerful and encouraging.

A verse that has been a blessing to me is Psalm 42:11,

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

I said this verse along with many others to myself when I was depressed.

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I’m thankful David wrote these prayers to the Lord during his discouraging and depressing times.

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2. Mediate on Verses

The second way I fight depression is to meditate on verses that I read in my devotions that day.

Reading your Bible is important…but mediating means you APPLY what you’ve learned into your everyday life.

I have two notebooks. I have a verse notebook and a prayer journal where I write my prayers out. I have memorized several verses by meditating on verses.

I have also enjoyed looking back through my prayer journal and seeing how the answered my prayers.

Reading our Bibles can difficult to do constantly. I have trouble at times but I’m thankful He is always waiting when I do read my Bible and pour out my heart in prayer.

Read Next: What Does It Mean to Have Faith After a Diagnosis?

3. Listen to Encouraging Music, Podcasts Books

The third way I fight depression is listening to encouraging music, podcasts, and books through Audible.

I listen to my heroine, Joni Eareckson Tada podcast called Joni and friends. She always has something encouraging to share. Joni has taught me this:

Sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves.

I also listen to encouraging music and books constantly throughout my day.

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Recent Favorites:

I don’t always want to listen to music, podcasts, or books every day but I do because I know it will encourage me.

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4. Making Time for the Things You Enjoy

The fourth way I fight depression is by doing what I enjoy painting. I have a business called Silent inspirations. I sell notecards with my art on them and I also sell some paintings on Facebook.

My mom got me interested in painting because she thought it would be something that I could do. Plus I could improve at it throughout the years. I started taking lessons when I was eight. But I never thought I’d be selling my paintings.

I have learned to persevere through as I paint while I’m in discomfort. Painting gives me a purpose.

We all have 24 hours in a day. Despite your chronic illness, what do you enjoy doing? How are we using the time we have to be productive?

I don’t know about you but those questions always convict me, because I’m not always a responsible with my time. There are some days where it may look like I accomplished nothing.

Read Next: 5 Powerful Choices When You Feel Uncertain and Discouraged

5. Encouraging Others

The fifth way I fight depression is I do my very best to focus on and encourage others around me.

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This means helping my mom around the house, texting my friends or writing a note of encouragement.

I find when I’m not focused on my problems and what I can’t do I won’t be able to be discouraged. I am grateful for all the things I’m able to do. I can’t stop counting the blessings the Lord showers on me every day.

Where are you focused on? Others or yourself?

Read Next: 20 Reasons You Feel Spiritually Dry

Simple Yet Hard

I’m not telling you anything new. I understand it can get mundane.

Although these ways might seem simple, they are powerful…but sometimes implementing these things can be hard.

Together, let’s strive to fight depression by living our lives in joy, knowing the Lord is coming back soon!

Until then, let’s continue walking with the Lord, listening to encouraging music, being productive and focusing on others.

If you’re living with a chronic illness life can be frustrating. If you are a Christian you can have depression when you have a chronic illness .

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