Not only is depression a very real struggle, but it can also feel disabling to your faith when you need God the most. Depression often comes accompanied by a lack of motivation and robs us of the desires that once stirred us. When it comes to the practical side of walking out our faith, things like going to Bible study, reading the Word regularly and getting involved with your faith community can now seem like a daunting task. If you’ve been feeling this way, know that it’s not uncommon and you are not alone.
However, our spiritual health and our mental health play off of each other and truly walk hand in hand. So it’s important to have the flowing of God’s truth into our spirit and into our minds to bring ourselves back to the firm foundation of our faith that keeps us anchored through these storms. Here are a few ways to stay rooted in God’s Word when you’re lacking the motivation during a depressive episode.
- Listen to an audio reading of the Bible. This is a really great way to keep the spirit of the Word flowing through your mind when you feel weakest and less motivated to read. Today there are many audio Bible apps to choose from, such as YouVersion, Daily Audio Bible, The Gateway Bible App and more! I recommend listening to the Psalms in the morning and before bed.
- Post scripture around the house. Whether it be on Post-It notes or flashcards, consider posting some of your favorite verses in the places where you’ll see them most as a regular reminder of God’s truth and promises for you. Places like the nightstand next to your bed, the bathroom mirror, above your desk, on the fridge, etc., are all really great places to help keep the scriptures at the forefront of your mind.
- Consider an accountability text group. One of the best things you can do for yourself during this time is to bring others whom you love and trust into the place you’re in. Consider starting a group text with two or three friends where you each post one scripture to the group that morning and briefly share how it spoke to you that day.
- Reach out for mentorship/biblical counseling. Another good idea is to reach out to your church or another local church to see if they have any mentorship or counseling opportunities (group or individual) where you can stay plugged in with someone who can read the Word with you and over you. If you feel yourself spiritually backsliding, having someone else to help support you with scripture regularly can be so beneficial!
- Turn on notifications for your verse of the day. A really simple and practical way to keep God’s Word a priority in your day is by having a Bible verse notify your phone each day. You never know how God may use a particular verse to help relieve some of those negative cyclical thoughts for that day.
- Journal what the verse means to you. The super-beneficial thing about journaling during this time is that not only is it a safe zone for you to express and release some of those heavy thoughts, but it can also help you work some truths back into your soul. Consider taking that verse each day and writing a short paragraph about how it applies to your life during this time. It doesn’t have to be super long, just whatever is on your heart!
- Group Bible reading plan with YouVersion. Another great accountability tool is the YouVersion Bible app, which now has a feature where you can do group reading plans. Get with a friend or two and check out some of the existing devotionals on depression, faith or understanding the scriptures, and realize that you don’t have to journey through these alone! In fact, we have a PI Girl Talk group on Facebook where you may find other young women who are willing to read through a study as well!
These are just a few ideas to help get you back on the road of recovery through God’s Word when it feels like your thoughts and emotions are working against your faith. I know because I’ve been there—and getting to the other side really does mean taking the little steps and walking with others through the process.
We’re always praying for you ladies here at Project Inspired.
If you have any other ideas that have been helpful for you, please leave them in the comments for others!