GregoryCooper's Blog

thoughts from a Christ follower

Friends are vital in the fight

If you are or have ever been depressed, you know that you want to withdraw and isolate yourself.  You fear being alone with your thoughts,  but you don’t feel like being around anyone.  After all, why would anyone want to be around someone so worthless? 

I remember feeling that way, but as I look back I realize that God had poured his love into me through the friends that He had blessed me with.  Friends are vital in the fight against depression – you desperately need people who can help you when you are struggling to help yourself. I am so thankful that God gave me those kind of friends and I am praying that He brings some into your life.

Let me share a little about the ways that God helped me through those friends. First through my best friend, my wife – she was and is my constant encourager, my strength, and many times my sounding board.  I could tell her anything and know that I was safe, she would listen and pray for me when I struggled to pray for myself.  Many times her faith was the only thing that sustained me – she is truly a gift from God. 

Then there are so many friends that helped me fight instead of letting me give up…God has truly blessed me with many people who have poured into me over and over.  If I tried to mention them all I would be writing for days and the stories would fill many books.  Instead of mentioning them by name here, I am praying for them as God reminds me of how very important they were and are to my life. Let me share a few ways that they helped me:

Listening without condemning.
Loving without expecting anything in return.
Speaking truth to combat the lies that were invading my mind.
Spending time with me when I probably wasn’t the best company.
Taking me a way from the busyness of ministry to find rest.
Pointing out positives when I could only see negatives. 
Meeting me for coffee or milkshakes and pouring into my empty soul. 
Not expecting more of me than I could give.
Praying for me when I struggled to pray for myself.
Teaching me biblical principles to fight the depressive thoughts and to restore my hope.
Modeling what it means to truly follow Christ.
Continuously investing in my life, giving me their time and sharing their resources.
Giving me books and walking through them with me.
Loving me unconditionally and continuously by answering my calls, texts, and emails.
Calling, texting, or emailing me when I tried to isolate myself.
Helping me to find purpose and hold onto hope.
Telling me that God loved me no matter what.

The list goes on and on…If you are one of those friends that God has used —thank you for being my friend. I am hopeful that God can use this testimony to inspire you to be that kind of friend to someone else. If I can be that friend for you, please let me know. If you are fighting depression – do not isolate – communicate and participate with Godly friends, God will use them to help you.

I am so thankful for each of you that God has used and continues to use in my life. I would not have made it and I would not continue to make it without you. Thanks for being my friends and for being instruments in God’s hands.

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February 21, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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