Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

Those of you who know me personally can probably attest to two facts about me: 1) I'm a very private person who is not accustomed to opening up to strangers (nor often to those I know well) and 2) I hate controversy and confrontation.  In fact, I have a difficult time even writing a negative book review...I will do it, but its a struggle.  So even I am surprised to see myself addressing this topic here.  I think it has more to do with the Holy Spirit :)

There has been recent controversy among several larger Christian blogs about the topic of depression.  I am not going to attempt to address the controversy as this is not the place for that.  What I would like to do is address this subject as one who is in the trenches and for whom depression is a daily battle.

I'm not even going to attempt to address the causes of depression, for they are so varied in scope.  Nor am I coming to you as someone that has the answers.  Nor am I coming to you with a miraculous healing story, even though I know God can and does heal in miraculous ways.  I'm writing to you as someone who is in the trenches of a battle that I am now finding more and more women fight with...and as someone who has walked in the trenches with girlfriends, family members, and others.  The other reason I'm not addressing causes is that God is an individual God.  His Spirit can speak to each of our hearts and show us the right path for us.  I would simply like to share some things that have helped me (not as someone who has arrived, but in the hopes they may help someone else).


-Stay in the Word everyday.  Listening to an audio Bible can be a great way to do this throughout the day, putting little nuggets of the word into your mind.  Reading the Psalms can be very soothing.  Sometimes you may not think you are absorbing anything, but keep at it.

-Pray, pray, and pray.  Pour it all out to the Lord.  Sometimes it helps me to have my husband take the kids so I can take a walk.  When you have young children, it can be harder to concentrate, so this helps.  Combining two benefits in one.  God will bring anything to the surface you need to bring to him if you are quiet before him.

-Mornings can be the hardest for those who struggle with depression.  Starting the morning with praise music helps me even if my mind isn't clear enough to pray yet.


-Consider keeping a journal of thankfulness, listing all the good things in your life.

-Doing something for someone else, I think if its a surprise its an extra added boost.

-Sometimes crying out before the Lord can be a beautiful thing, even though it hurts deeply.

-Find a strong Christian woman you can talk to when you are struggling emotionally.  This has also helped me so much as I've realized pastors, pastor's wives, elders, etc are not immune to these battles.

-Get out of the house a bit every day, even if you don't want to...added benefit if this involves doing something nice for someone else, such as taking your children to a bounce house.

-Watch children at play.  I personally find so much joy in watching my children play.


-Take walks daily or find another form of exercise you enjoy.  This has an added benefit if you do something outside.

-Take a multi-vitamin.  This is simple, but I'm amazed how much my energy has increased.

-See a doctor to find out if there are physical causes.  The Lord is the great Physician and sometimes I believe it is beneficial to take medication.  We all have to seek the Lord individually about the path he would have us take.

-Forgot to mention a biggie: sleep.  Lack of sleep can make the struggle more difficult.

Felt led to add this: We cannot play the Holy Spirit in someone else's life.  God has a plan for us alone.  For me there are four generations of mental illness in my family, indicating that there may be a presence of hereditary issues.  For me, God's plan involves taking medication daily.  I struggled with a legalistic attitude which kept me from these same medications that have been life-changing.  Please don't let the enemy keep you from medication if this is an avenue that God wants to use to heal you.  Seek out what's right for you...that may be somewhat different than what's right for me.  

Led to add yet again, I think:  If you are pregnant or postpartum (many have been there including myself) please pay extra attention to the physical end of things.  Depression can lead you to have changes in appetite, a very dangerous thing at this point.  Make sure you see a physician immediately.  

Most of all, don't struggle alone. I would like to invite you if you need prayer please email me at julesreffner@gmail.com.  It would be my joy to pray with you!



Thank you SO much for this post!!!!


Thanks so much. I have been there and my heart was hurting, I was looking for the right way to respond. I know there are so many hurting women out there....seems more and more common.

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt experience on your blog.


I, too, struggled with depression. Thankfully, it's largely in my past these days. If you would like, you can read my story here: http://www.jenniferreynoldswrites.com/2010/05/24/how-sushi-saved-my-life/

Thank you for sharing. I think one of the greatest challenges to those with depression is the feeling of isolation. As hard as it can be, it must be talked about. I've found great freedom in just spewing my own struggles out there for all the world to see! It can be uncomfortable but I like to think it may help someone else avoid some of the challenges I faced.

Thank you so much for sharing! I also have struggled with depression. Your post was so gentle and compassionate and obviously from the heart. I have found much help from the exact same things that you have listed in your post.

Jennifer, Thanks for stopping by. I am very much in agreement with you that the feeling of isolation is what we often need to fight the hardest against as those who are prone to depression.

Thanks so much for sharing what helped you, those are very often the things that help me day-to-day. Well-said.

Christa, I'm so glad you stopped by and I'm glad you have found things that help you. I was very much wanting to come across as gentle, so I'm glad I did to you. Heading over to check out your blog.

Julia: I praise God for the work that He is doing in and through you. He is really stretching and growing you through this blog.

"You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance." mulanPsalm 32:7

Thank you, Steve. I know He can use our experiences to help others.

Thank you, Steve. God used your comment to lead me to add something that I think was needed the first time.


Thank you for addressing this topic in a loving and encouraging way.

I have been struggling with depression since 2000. I find that as a Christian, so many times I am afraid to "talk" because of the opinions in the Christian community.

Thank you for "putting yourself out there" and being so loving.
As your friend, I am so proud of you and excited to see the wife, mother, and friend that you are and have become!

God is using you in wonderful ways! Thank you for being obedient to Him!
I love you friend!


Thank you so much. I am so touched by your post and putting yourself out there in the comments! I am very blessed to count you as a friend and hope you feel you can give me a call if you are having a rough day, friend.

Julia, this is beautifully written. Thank you for being transparent, even when it is so hard!

Thank you so much for posting this!! It's a struggle for me, too. I never understood the pressures put on a mom until I became one! It's so hard, but I don't turn to God like I should. I need to pray more often and read the scriptures more. Thank you for reminding me of that.

Beautiful blog by the way.

Great advice/ideas.
I am a full time caregiver of my 87 year old dad. It is just he and I Monday-Friday. On Friday night my husband drives in to town from another city where he works at during the work week. He and I only get to see each other on the weekends. My dad refuses to sell the house and move to the city where my husband works. We've been in this arrangement since mid 2002. I've been a caregiver since the mid 1990's but quit my job in 2000. At times I feel sorry for myself, get lonely, etc, etc.
Walking outdoors helps me, going to the gym helps me, being in a Bible study with other women helps, reading and keeping busy with blogging, spending time with my grandkids, walking around in the mall, calling my husband or sisters to vent. I also memorize Scripture, have a devotional Bible reading time everyday, and talk to Jesus almost constantly.

Cherie, Thank you so much. I can't take any credit as I know in my flesh I most certainly wouldn't share any of this.

Tammy, Thanks for sharing. It is so hard being a mom somedays you're right. Makes it hard to find quiet and can be very tiring. Praying that you get the quiet time that you need...maybe someone can help with the kids or they will take a nice nap so you can get that needed time.

Annette, I'm sure caregiving can be rough. I'm glad you're able to find those little times...little things help so much, don't they?? You're right about women's Bible study being a lot of help...I'm involved in one too and small groups are great fellowship. I think you hit the nail on the head, too, that for many of us on here blogging can be therapeutic. I like to write poetry when I'm depressed, too. Thanks so much for sharing.

Thank you all for your encouraging comments and for being willing to share your own struggles. I'm praying for each of you by name tonight. Blessings.

Came over from your comment on one of those blogs...and I think you are absolutely right and addressed it beautifully!

Kristen, Thanks so much for your kind words...and for stopping by and commenting.

I thank God for the medicine he has allowed us to discover that helps us with many of our health problems, including depression.

And I thank you for your post.

Sharon, Amen and thank you for your kind words.

We are even more kindred spirits that I thought. I'm gonna email you.

- Margaret

I'm so glad I "met" you online, Margaret. Blessings & prayers!

Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


Contributor at The Writer's Alley:


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