Depression and Spiritual Emptiness

Recently I’ve been walking through life, walking through marriage and walking through ministry, floating, watching, and just a little bit empty. I can’t quite find the leak in the balloon; it feels as if my passion, my energy and sometimes even my faith, is slowly deflating.

My house is dirty. I keep trying my best but it just stays that way. I’m snapping at my husband and I am ashamed to admit it, but my tiny toddlers have become tiny terrorists to me. I don’t know what to do with them so I do what I can until it’s time to put them to bed. Then I’m left wondering what to do next…

Last night after struggling all day to align myself with the leading of the Holy Spirit I came home from another function at church. My husband was playing x box which is typically my cue to wrap myself in the cocoon of Netflix and chill…without the chill…but I just didn’t feel like it. I don’t know what I felt like doing really. TV seemed like a source of disgust, the kids were sleeping and amidst the 20 things I had to do exhaustion was setting in.

There I sat, depressed and empty. I plopped down in my living room perhaps to just wallow in it, but I had a flicker of remembrance about the divine nature that is already implanted in me even when I don’t feel like it. I remembered the words of King David “When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2) so then where is my rock? Where is my stability? Where is the living water that I can drink and thirst no more?

As if my very soul were trying to lead me to quench my thirst, this crossed my mind: “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Father…” (Matthew 4:4)

I frantically searched for my Bible which I have misplaced. If I’m honest it’s misplaced due to my personal disinterest in opening it up. I pulled out drawers, looked under beds, and it was nowhere to be found! So I went to plan B and I grabbed my husband’s Bible. Distracted and disoriented, I began to read.

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

I fell in and out of concentration and it seemed as if maybe my heart was reading but my mind was not. “Does this even count, God? Should I just give up?” I thought as I let the pages slip through my fingers, hoping to glean truth if even through osmosis. But I pressed in despite myself, my heart had taken on the race to get to the rock that is higher than I and there was no turning back. My soul yearned for the love of my life, Jesus Christ, but my mind struggled to catch up. I decided to let the words wash over me even if I read them halfheartedly. I just needed to be exposed to it and let the living water touch me.

It didn’t happen suddenly as a Hallelujah dancing moment but drip by drip God’s Word softened my angst and calmed my soul. As I saw the beauty of our Lord through the Scripture that emptiness began to dissipate. Again I was reminded, “When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2) God allowed me to shelter myself in him during a moment of despair and in him I found rest. TodayI am not fully O.K. but I am better and I'm thinking I better read this bible of mine more often! 

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Christen Jacobs is a wife and mother of 3. She earned her Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2014. She has served as the youth coordinator and small groups coordinator at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas Texas. She has a passion for exegetical teaching and has had the pleasure of speaking at various conferences and teaching Bible classes. Christen and her husband are inner-city missionaries who work to equip every member to sow seeds for the kingdom through helping individuals and churches respond to the great commission. Christen’s ministry passion is empowering women to be curious readers of the word of God. She also has a strong emphasis in engaging generational and cultural differences, as she has a background in missions traveling extensively in Asia, and Latin America. She enjoys writing her blog, cooking, dancing and cuddling up with her family and Netflix.