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Today’s Truth

Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’

John 5:1-6

Friend to Friend

I opened my eyes and came face-to-face with darkness, a very familiar foe. I immediately knew it was going to be one of “those” days. I have struggled with clinical depression for many years and am well acquainted with its ugliness.

A heavy blanket of darkness seems to be weighing me down.

Each step is like trying to walk through quicksand.

Joy and laughter are buried under layers of gripping pain.

The smallest tasks seem like huge mountains to climb.

I don’t want to do anything or see anyone.

I know better. God’s promises have not changed nor has His faithfulness abandoned me. He is with me. He never promised I would have no pits in this life, but He did and does continually promise that I won’t have to endure them alone. Like a parent soothing his suffering child, Jesus whispers to my weary heart that everything really is going to be alright. I cling to His promise and the hope it brings.

But today I feel like a royal mess.

Did you know that a mess is the perfect setting for a miracle – if we are willing to be honest? Sometimes it is a lot easier to just stay in the darkness rather than struggle toward the light. Not everyone really wants to be healed or rescued. Their infirmity has become their identity, or their crisis now defines who they are and forms the familiar parameters of their life. Take the man at the pool of Bethesda for example.

The pool of Bethesda was the gathering place for anyone in need of healing. People believed that the first person in the pool after the water moved would be healed from whatever disease or illness they had. Since the pool was fed by springs, it is safe to assume that the water was stirred fairly often. Jesus saw the man lying there and asked what some might consider an unusual question, “Do you want to get well?”

The man had been an invalid, unable to walk or stand, for thirty-eight years. I think the question was a valid one. Was the man comfortable in his pain? Was he willing to pay the price that healing requires? Jesus wanted to know.

“I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred,” the man replied. “While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” That was all Jesus needed to hear. “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” The man was immediately healed. There were many people at the pool that day, but Jesus healed only one of them – the man who was honest about his pain and willing to believe God in the hard times.

So many friends and family members have prayed that I would be delivered from this pit of darkness. I have come before God in total transparency and honesty, making sure that I am not clinging to some cherished sin. I have done everything I know to do.

And still the darkness remains.

Some days … some weeks and even months are much better than others. God has taught me that the depression keeps me desperate for Him … and for that reason alone it can be counted as a blessing. I am indeed living the life I never knew I wanted.

My name is Mary. It literally means “bitter, but when broken, sweet.” And in my brokenness, I find healing. Do I want to be healed? Yes! And I am.

Let’s Pray

Lord, it seems as if my world has collapsed, hurling me into another deep, dark pit. I come to You in complete surrender. I am desperate for You, helpless and afraid. But today, I choose to trust You, even in the darkness, knowing that Your healing for my life is on the way.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

My book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, is my story of desperation, brokenness and restoration. It is also the story of God’s power to help you overcome depression in your own life. Do you need to know how to help someone who is struggling with depression? This book offers practical ways you can help someone you love deal with depression. Check it out.

And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

14 Responses to “Do You Want to Be Healed?”

  1. Sherri says:

    Thank you so much for your transparency. I pray and stay in complete agreement with you that God would do exactly what he promised he would do. Be blessed.

  2. Lesa G. says:

    Mary, Thank you for sharing and for your transparency. I went to try to look at your book for a close someone who I thought it might help but the link is broken. I wanted to let you know and i will check back later. May God continue to richly bless you daily in His joy!

  3. Mary says:

    I been praying for healing and deliverance too from anxiety that cripples me alot. Please pray God delivers me but also that I see like you the dependency it has made on Him and lesson of trust and faith I have been learning during this time. I too had deep depression but was saved from it. But still struggle with anxiety

  4. Deb says:

    This, Mary, describes my life. Thankfully, it does not define my life. Each day is a decision to either get out of the bed or pull the covers over my head and shut out the day ahead. Each day I arise is a victory for Jesus and a reflection of God’s Grace. I thank you for your transparency and testimony. I am thankful you talk candidly about depression and its crippling effects. I pray for God to cleanse you from this disease and be filled daily with His joy for life. I pray the same for me. Light, grace, peace…. victorious in Jesus. Deb

  5. Ali says:

    This was the most appropriate day for me to read this as yesterday I again let my ongoing eating disorder control a choice I made. I am so ‘stuck’ and ‘used to’ life with my anorexia that when it comes to challenging myself in trying something I run away in fear allowing the illness to convince me life with ‘it’ is safer than healing. I beg for prayers for mental strength to overcome that evil anorexic voice.

  6. JD Toney says:

    I am in the helping field, helping others professionally to cope with their emotions by using GOD’s word as foundation. It was a struggle for me to have confidence of helping others when depression and anxiety surfaced in my life; as a result of my husband leaving. As I reflect, even today, it is by the Grace of GOD that I have been able to get up and get out. I still have this issue, especially with triggers, and has often questioned how can I help others, if I am going through this? But GOD reminds me of His WORD Mark 9:23, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Hearing your and others’ testimonies is a Blessing and confirmation that GOD is True, Just, and Good. Even in the mist of depression/anxiety, GOD Blesses us

  7. Janet says:

    when I clicked on your book title it went nowhere and requested that I notify you.

  8. Jacqueline says:

    Bless you for saying it how it is, for making your self open to people who sometimes sadly don,t understand, but as we all go through things to help us connect with others who hurt or are broken to bring them closer to a Father or Saviour who is the only answer or deliverer or healer, i have had my independence stripped off me in more ways than i can say but i know through all the sorrow etc God will never leave me and nothing is ever wasted, but i remember the scripture Ps62v8 Pour your heart out to me, this helped me, God wanted me to share my whole heart with him, so i did, even the ugly bits and when i felt abandoned by him, i am so thankful he never rejected me once and as true to his word stayed by my side despite how awful i was, life just isn,t perfect or even fair and hard to grasp, i think if life was a bed of roses all the time we would be so unbearably selfish, i hope you are comforted Mary and thank you for reaching out to so many love Jacqueline xxx

  9. Bernadette says:

    Thank you for “keeping it REAL” Mary, as always. With prayer & supplication and in support and sisterhood, Bernadette.

  10. Rebecca Jones says:

    Thank you for saying that not everyone wants to be healed, I know I did but could not figure out why I was not, but now that I know I pray His grace to become who meant for me to be.

  11. Abby says:

    I love reading your posts Mary, as I also struggle with depression & anxiety. Unless someone has experienced it they don’t understand. Thank you for being transparent & reassuring me I am not alone.

  12. Stephanie says:

    This was another great read. I’ve suffered with depression off and on most of my life and have felt tremendous heaviness lately. I’ll sit in that heaviness out of “comfort” because it’s what I’m used to. It’s a fight to want to be better. Do you want to be healed is an interesting question. Sadly I don’t know. My fight to be “normal” is inconsistent.

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