Legacy: What do I do when I am depressed?

Rachel Billups | 1 Kings 19: 1-2


Have you ever had a ‘limitation prophesy’ spoken over you?  Something someone said that limited your view of yourself?

Perhaps they attempted to beat you up with their words.  I know we say that sticks and stones break our bones, but words will never hurt me, but you and I know that’s just not true!

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV).

With negative words lurking behind every corner, it’s difficult not to live with a low hum of anxiety.  Anxiety leads to isolation and isolation can lead to depression.

In 1 Kings chapter 19, the prophet Elijah had just defeated 450 false prophets of Baal.  One would think that Elijah would be ready to conquer the world.  But all it took was one negative word, one limitation prophesy, and Elijah was ready to run.

“Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep” (1 Kings 1: 19:1-5, NIV).

Queen Jezebel, co-ruler and wife of King Ahaz, the King over Northern Israel, spoke an outright curse over Elijah.

Even though Elijah as just defeated these 450 false prophets of Baal, even though Elijah should be high fiving God, one limitation prophesy by Jezebel sends him running!

When limitation prophesies are spoken over us, we begin to question ourselves.  Do I really have what it takes?

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary imposter syndrome is a psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success. 

Although something good, wonderful, epic happened in the past, we convince ourselves that it must have been a fluke.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Poet Marianne Wiliamson

Scripture is clear: Elijah by himself a day’s journey! (1 Kings 19:3-5)

Anxiety leads to isolation and isolation can turn into depression.

What do I do when I feel depressed?

We all get depressed; momentary sadness, weariness, and mental, emotional and physical tiredness.  But depression is beyond depressed.  Depression is when the sadness sinks in and you can’t lift it on your own. Your fear and paranoia has left you overcome with exhaustion.

Pay attention to what you actually doing and feeling.

Do you find yourself wanting to sleep all the time?  No longer motivated by the activities that you once loved?  Are you simply going through the motions?  Do you just want to be alone?  Are friends asking what’s up with you lately? You never want to hang out anymore?  Big red flags!  Pay attention!

“Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again” (1 Kings 19: 5-6 NIV).

When Elijah was at his lowest, God showed up to give Elijah exactly what he needed – an experience we call prevenient grace. God cares for us in moments when we need it the most.

“The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night” (1 Kings 19: 7-9, NIV).

Don’t rush out of the wilderness.

This uncomfortable space is where the growth and the healing happen.  This is the place where we are tired, vulnerable, and exhausted yes, but also potentially open, surrendered, and willing to hear the truth in love.  It’s a space of transformation.

Dig a little deeper.

If depression has taken residence and no amount of friendship, exercise or days in the sun are going to clear it up, I would encourage you to seek counseling.

New Creation Counseling Center was birthed out of Ginghamsburg Church. Last week I sat down with former executive director, John Jung and talked with him about fear, depression and healing.

Name those limitation prophesies that have been spoken over you, recognize the paranoia and isolation and be open to God’s provision.


Watch the full message:

Rachel Billups 1 Senior Pastor Visionary

Rachel Billups
Senior Pastor | Ginghamsburg Church