First off, if you’re going to have a heavy post I feel like you have to have a happy picture to lighten the mood. So there is that.
And also because I’m not in the darkness anymore…thats not where this story ends. I am walking in the light and so happy to be here.
The thoughts going into this post are thoughts that have been circling around in my mind since May. Thats a good 7 months. But even in 7 months there are still things I do not know and things that still confuse me. But I am praying God leads my mind and my fingers as I type this. I am obviously not a professional on this subject…but this is simply my story and I am going to explain it the best I can in hopes that if anyone else is struggling with this or anything of the sort that you can find hope in the midst of your suffering.
In June of 2015 John Luke and I got married and it was the best day of my life.
It was seriously everything I could have ever dreamed of and more. The month leading up to the wedding I can remember being super stressed out (which can be normal for any bride) and John Luke and I were arguing a lot (which I’ve also heard is pretty normal for couples during their engagement). But I mean super stressed and bad arguments. Something we were not really used to. After our wedding we spent two weeks on our honeymoon, first a week in Australia where my new husband was a groomsman in a wedding, and then a week in Bora Bora. But I remember multiple times during our honeymoon just crying for no reason. I couldn’t explain it to John Luke, I was just sad. Y’all I was crying in Australia and Bora Bora… that is not normal behavior lol.
So fast forward a month and we are moving to Virginia to start school at Liberty University.
I expected it to be a challenging season of life but nothing could have prepared me for what we were getting into. We were newly married, 16 hours away from home, starting a new college, building a house, starting new jobs at the school + traveling to speaking engagements at least twice a month. We got to school to find our house was not ready but the sweetest family let us live in their house for a while. Our little home was supposed to be ready in October but we didn’t get in until February. Our first year of marriage we lived in at least 10 different places, including AirBnBs and friends’ homes.
(Now I want to add this: Although it was a rough year for us, I realize how extremely blessed we are. We have each other; we have amazing families; we have incredible friends; we had a roof over our heads the whole time even if it wasn’t our own; we had food; we had gas for cars; we were at an outstanding university; we were good financially. There are many people in this world that are struggling with far more than anything we have been through and I do not want to belittle anyone else’s hardships. I just want to give you an idea of what life was like for us and although it could have been much, much worse, it was hard for me to go through.)
During this time I cried every single day. There was always this overwhelming feeling of sadness. I felt overwhelmed by social situations and talking to people. I was extremely stressed out over my classes. I got anxiety over driving. My heart was constantly aching. At first I felt like I had the right to be upset over moving. That I had the right to be mad. I didn’t want to be happy about being there. I so often tried to replace my sadness with anger and bitterness. My flesh wanted to thrive in that. But in my soul I longed to be joyful again. I said to myself, “Give me a month to be upset and then I’ll be fine.” My soul was thirsting for God and I ran to Him. I was in the Word daily for encouragement. I asked Him to restore my joy. I declared the words to the songs in my worship music I listened to on the way to school while tears rolled down my face. The highlights of my week revolved around God, whether that was Bible study, worship at school, or my Bible classes.
But it was constantly a battle.
Every month there was the hope that we would move into our house and then we didn’t and were off to the next AirBnB. Because we were traveling to speaking engagements and events, we were always struggling to keep up with our schoolwork (when I was used to being an “A” student). At the end of October I got into a car accident that shook me up and left me carless for 3 months. Then just other little ways the enemy just seemed to be after us. But we were confident that we were where The Lord wanted us and were in His will. Because in all the little ways the enemy would come at us, God would come right up and give us what we needed. Even though in my head I knew He was taking care of us, it was hard to make my feelings follow. I kept thinking, “Well whenever we move into our house I’ll be fine”, or “Whenever we get a break I’ll be fine”, or “Whenever we get to go home for summer I’ll be fine.” But everything that I thought would make me happy came and went and there was still this overwhelming feeling of sadness.
(Through this John Luke was amazing and even to this day I get emotional at his faithfulness and dedication to me especially during that time. Marriage was actually not one of the problems. But eventually my problems were starting to put strain on our marriage.)
The end of the school year approached and I was deep in despair. Looking back on the year I felt like I had not changed at all. I felt that I had learned so much about God and about myself, but nothing transferred from my head into my heart. I questioned God and I questioned His goodness. I had come to the end of knowing what to do. Was I missing some major part of what it means to be a Christian? As I talked to a friend about it I can remember asking her, “Why has God not given me my joy back?” and I will never forget the words she said to me.
“Mary Kate are you seeking God for what He can give you or are you seeking God because He is God?”
At the time I didn’t completely grasp in the fullness what she had said, but nonetheless it stuck to me.
I continued to struggle on into the beginning of summer break.
(The best way I can explain it is if you have a happy/ sad meter where 0 is neutral, 10 is the happiest and -10 is the saddest, it was like I was constantly at a disposition starting at a -5….if that makes sense.) It was during our family beach trip that I couldn’t handle it anymore and I called my mom. I talked to her and my dad for about an hour and then to Mrs. Korie for another an hour. And we finally came to a decision and that it was time to see a doctor to find out if this was some sort of chemical imbalance.
(Right now I want to add a major part to maybe not necessarily this story but about my life. In high school I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. These are two things that play a decent factor in my life but are just sort of things I’ve just had to accept and learn to deal with. There are different levels of severity and they have always been very low for me.)
My dad also has Lyme Disease and told me that there was a time in his life where he battled depression. So we decided to start there and I went to my doctors. We ended up discovering it was a combination of the birth control I was taking and a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Even though I was overjoyed to be feeling better I was still so confused and left with so many questions. Was this all chemical and not spiritual? Was this something I could have never overcome without changing my chemicals back?
And this is what I have come to:
The Mayo Clinic describes “major depressive disorder” or “clinical depression” as something you cannot just “snap out of” and “most people feel better after medication, psychological counseling, or both.” A chemical imbalance means that something is wrong that you cannot fix. I could have prayed to God to fix it but that would be the same as praying to God over fixing a broken bone. He most certainly can do it, but he’s also given us doctors with the brains to be able to fix it. The same goes with depression.
Now there is more than one type of depression. Among many, there are “clinical depression” and “situational depression” which can occur over a short period of time after traumatic changes in your life.
Ok. This is where I have struggled big time:
“If I was struggling with clinical depression does that mean that my struggles and my story and what I have learned through it all cannot help someone who is struggling with situational depression?” or in other words would someone say to me or think of me, ‘Well you do not understand and you cannot help me because you went to a doctor and were fixed.”
But I am beginning to think that is a big, ole, fat lie straight from the devil.
Because I do understand and I did go through the same pain and heartache and overwhelming sense of sadness. And when I look back EVERYTHING was spiritual the whole time. The enemy tried to tell me that all that time I spent praying, in the Word, and seeking the Lord was pointless and didn’t help and that I didn’t change, but OH how I did. Oh how the Lord came in and grew me. It may have not changed my situation but it was changing my focus. The enemy tried to tell me I didn’t grow, but looking back at where I was last year I grew SO much. The Lord has shown me that the reason I wasn’t feeling joy is because I was expecting Him to give it to me in the wrong places. I thought God would give me joy by giving me my house. I thought He would give me joy by changing my situation. I thought God would give me joy through this or through that, but God was saying
“Mary Kate!!! Your joy does not come through Me + anything! Your joy is in Me + nothing! Mary Kate don’t seek Me for what I can give you, don’t see me for joy, seek Me because I am God!”
Psalm 16:11 is my life verse now and is what I began to cling to. It says, “You make known to me the path of life, in Your presence there is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasures for evermore.”
Looking back He was with me every step of the way. Not only was He offering me Himself as my source of joy, but He was offering me so many things around me as bonuses but I was missing them because I was looking to get out of my depression though other things I thought He had for me.
Looking back He was offering me joy in my depression even if it was a CONSTANT battle to receive it. I was the one who didn’t want to be in a constant battle and wanted it handed to me so I looked for it elsewhere instead of SOLELY in HIM.
Looking back at what was the toughest year of my life and what I despised for so long, I can finally look back at it and thank God for it. I can thank Him for His faithfulness to me. I can thank Him for a husband who sticks with me. I can thank Him for letting me be in the desert, because it was in that desert that I learned to cling to Him and seek Him like never before.
So that leaves us with this:
Even if I am not battling clinical depression anymore, there are still things I do have to battle. I still have a family battling lyme disease. I still am tired and honestly easily irritable all the time from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I still have a B12 deficiency where I have to give myself shots.
But you know what?
I have never been more thankful in my entire life. I am so grateful for a God who is offering me joy during my trials and a God who is offering me hope after my life on earth.
God tells us that we will have troubles while we are on this earth because we live in a sinful world, but because I have my faith in Jesus I have the hope of heaven which can get me past anything that I can ever come across here on earth!
“I remain confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
If you are struggling with depression try this:
1. Praise Him still. Let His praise ever be on your lips. Declare that the Lord is good and declare that He is who you now He is even if you are not feeling that way in the moment.
2. Pray. Thank Him for the blessings in your life and then pray for other people. Get your mind off of your own problems and ask Him to help others where they are having problems.
3. Serve. I read today “Kindness is the twin sister of joy. You cannot have one without the other.” Be kind to someone today and let the blessing rebound back to you.
4. Talk to someone. You are not alone. Seek guidance from someone you know and trust. Asking for help doesn’t show weakness, it shows courage.
Two of my favorite reads/ listens on joy are these:
MaryKate, thank you so much for sharing this!!! Thank you for being willing to open up to all of us and share what you have been struggling with. I have not struggled with depression, but I do struggle with being positive and finding joy in the ordinary things. This was super encouraging for me, especially where you said to find joy in the Lord + nothing. To find joy in the fact that God says He is who He is and nothing can change that. Praise the Lord that you are doing better and that you came out of it stronger than you were before. 🙂 God is so good!
MaryKate, I too struggled with depression from just before my marriage until a full 2 1/2 years after. I too am amazed at my husband's faithfulness and commitment to our marriage. I know God guided us through that turmoil even as the enemy tried his best to snare us. Thank you for sharing your story. Praise God for His hand in your life!
Livingouttransparentfaith.blogspot.com is my blog that I've started, as a 15 year old, completely about my journey with clinical depression while sharing my story and getting closer to Jesus. Read if you have a chance, it might help you like this encouraged me.
Mary Kate, This was oh so encouraging to me. I've recently been struggling with bouts of depression and anxiety and it is so encouraging just to be reminded of how to handle these situations and how we are called to overcome them.
It takes a lot of courage to be honest and to share your story and for that I am SO grateful! I suffered with mild-severe anxiety when I was in college and I could not have gotten through it without my faith and my counselor at school! Your words are going to be the light for someone going through the same thing and you could be the reason they decide to seek help!
I'm sorry you had these challenges! I went through something similar. What stood out to me is that you were taking birth control… It's SO awful for us women. Only recently did I learn about Natural Family Planning and all the BEAUTIFUL things it can do for a marriage. I hope you'll at least research it.
I mean truly, how can you fulfill your wedding vows and give yourself fruitfully if you're holding back your fertility? In addition, many birth control pills allow contraception to occur and then prevents your fertilized egg to implant…. ???
I hope you read this and do some research! ❤️ Your post was inspiring.
I am so thankful I read your post. Lately, I have been struggling with loving myself and finding joy in this world. I constantly question God and even wonder if he is listening to me, but you opened my eyes that I need to trust in Him and not let the devil try and stop me from being myself, and a happy self at that.
Artificial birth control can be so dangerous to our mental and physical health. I am so thankful I switched to natural family planning and would recommend it to everyone!
This is very brave of you to share, Mary Kate. Not many people who have platforms such as yours share such personal things. It's a blessing you found help, being a newly wed and going through that is not easy. It's a blessing that you have very supportive family members on both sides. The devil is constantly trying to take away our happiness, and it's a battle christians have to fight everyday. I pray that God continues to bless you through your continuous battle and that you find solice in all of this. You don't have to be perfect all he time and it's okay to be vulnerable. You have a wonderful husband and family members that will be there to help you back up. ��
Oh my goodness, this post couldn't have come at a better time. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this but I sincerely appreciate you sharing this. I am currently going through a similar situation…it's my first year of grad school, I was also diagnosed with a chronic illness…I won't bore you with the details but I can't explain how grateful I am to have read this. Thank you so much for sharing and I am so glad things are getting better for you!
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know it can be a challenge to talk so openly about it, but you have no idea how many people you can help. I battled anxiety and depression my freshman year of college and although I now take medication, I still have struggles at times, just like you said. I began turning that negative time into a positive by doing work with an organization called Active Minds. It aims to increase mental health awareness on college campuses. I also really appreciate you sharing the spiritual side to your story as well. I questioned God a lot when I was struggling and kept trying to find a "cure" through him. Bravo to you Mary Kate. Please know how special and strong you are!
Mary Kate, thank you so much for sharing. I don't struggle with depression but found this extremely relatable. I really love your message of seeking the Lord to seek him and not the things he can give you. I appreciate your honesty and am happy to hear you are in the light now. God bless and thank you for sharing the love of God!
Thank you for this!
It's really crazy to see how the Lord brought us to the same conclusions about His faithfulness and goodness (even the same verses!) but though different life challenges.
I'm 22 and living abroad in a missionary program with Word of Life. Before I got here I went through some hard times that drew me towards Psalm 16:11. My heart was so encouraged that my joy wasn't just a gift from Him but it comes from knowing Him and being in His presence.
I've been reading "When I Don't Desire God by John Piper which is all about the fight for joy, it's a free ebook! I'm sure with all your schoolwork you have loads of free time 😉 but maybe you can check it out!
Thanks for sharing your heart. I have tons of friends at Liberty, I hope you enjoy it like they are. I don't know if you read these but know that God is using your story to encourage those of us passing through times of depression.
Love from El Salvador!
Thank you for sharing this, I relate so much because I'm in the eye of the storm right now – even down to the driving anxiety, school anxiety, and being away from loved ones and crying every day when o should be happy – and keep saying it will all get better when I graduate college and move away this year, but that's certainly not something to place my trust on.
I don't think I can fully put into words how thankful I am that you shared your heart with us today. I know without a doubt that this was absolutely a direct sign from God assuring me that everything is going to be okay, and that I can overcome what I'm going through, as it is similar to your struggle. I am saddened that you went through this, but am praising God for your growth and faithfulness in him. Again, thank you a million times, you have no idea how beautiful the timing was for me to read this. You will be in my prayers. ❤️
Your story is incredible Mary Kate. I love your story so much, God is working in your life! I personally don't struggle with depression, but anxiety and stress are HUGE in my life right now, which leads me to be upset A LOT. But your story has reminded me that there is a God out there who created everything. And even though he created everything, he still cares for me! And he will always be my source of joy! Thank you so much for posting your story, you are so inspiring.
Even though we don't know each other personally, I will be praying for you! Thank you for continually inspiring me through your blog and even just with your instagram posts. God bless you and your family.
Not that I was really struggling with depression or anything, but I was really struggling to find joy. Someone helped me understand what joy is and how it's found. They shared a scripture with me found in Hebrews 12:1-2…in there is a line that says "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross". They told me to think about this and I did. I am still battling to everyday to find joy, but I know the only reason I have the joy I do is because of Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing your story, I can't imagine how hard that must have been. You give a lot of people hope just from your love for God and I think this world needs more people like you.
THANK YOU for posting this Mary Kate! I go through PMDD (pre menstrual dysphoric disorder) it it an extreme form of pms and I started taking Birth control to help regulate the hormonal imbalance which was causing me to be depressed 2 weeks of every month. From ovulation to my period I would cry and get really angry and I felt guilty about hurting the people around me with my sadness and anger. Now Im much better, it isn't gone 100% but I know God is with me and He will help me through this. I still cry for no reason but I know God is with me
This is so great. I can relate to this so much. I do not think I have depression, more of a complaining disorder where I see more negativity than positivity in my day. I sometimes automatically wake up already at a -5 before I even give the day a chance (grad school and planning a wedding is stressful). But this spoke volume to me because whenever I have had a bad day or feel extra "complainy" I will turn to Him more. Not to turn to Him because is is Lord, but so he can "fix me." Thank you so much God for using Mary Kate to point this out to me, something I didn't even realize I was doing! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to be a warrior for Him.
Wow thank you so much for sharing this Mary Kate!!! Your story was so encouraging and I'm sure so many people including me have gone through similar situations. God bless you girly!!!
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story! I have recently been going through a similar bout of sadness and anxiety, and I just never knew how to quite get around it. So thank you for your advice/encouragement because it could not have come at a better time! May God bless and protect you.
I'm new to reading blogs. This is the first blog I've ever read. I'm 15 years old and for the past week I have been depressed about different things like not having too many friends and having the possibility of losing a friend due to cancer. Now,I know that there can be worst cases than what I'm going through today. Thank you for your advice on praying and thanking Him for all of the blessings He has given me. Thank you for the advice on talking to someone I trust. Mostly, I just ask that He will be there with me through everything. I promised myself I wouldn't lose my faith over something stupid like depression. Thank you for starting this blog to inspire me and other people! It means a lot that you are telling your stories to let us know everything is okay. God bless you! ��
Me being a country music addict, I'd like to add that listening to Carrie Underwood's old song "So Small" is a very inspirational song for people going through this type of thing.?☺❤
This was absolutely beautiful. You are going to help so many people. I know this because you helped me. God is working through you. ❤️
Like all these other commenters are saying, this was so encouraging to my soul! I was shocked to read that you battle Lyme Disease, because my mom and I both have it. Though we're not the most extreme cases, it's been a very difficult time for me. I'm 18 years old and struggled with seasons of depression for several years until this year I was diagnosed and put on meds which make me more depressed. Anyway, it was SO cool for me to find someone else struggling with the same thing. I would love to hear more about your Lyme story.
Sorry for the long message!! Much love!
❤️❤️ Ali (aliandheralmondbutter.com 😉 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for sharing your heart and giving the 'hard stuff to talk about' to God so that He can use it in amazing ways. I'm sure that this is healing for so many people that struggle with the same.
I follow you on Instagram and you recommended Redeemed Girl Ministries (which I love). Now I have a recommendation for you…With my new car I received a free subscription to satellite radio and have also been going through some of my own personal darkness. My father kept telling me to listen to Joel Osteen satellite radio SiriusXM channel 128. I had heard of Joel before and thought he was just a "feel good" preacher just teaching 'fluffy, feel good' messages and didn't think that it would help me grow at all. I am now currently addicted to his channel and I listen to it all day long. His messages on God's promises, His goodness, His love for us and the strength that I have in Christ are running through my ears all day long and it has truly changed my life. I still listen to the sermons that require a few different versions of the bible, a note pad and undivided attention but Joel's messages have helped my roots grow deep in God's promises and in His goodness so that I have such a strong foundation in some of the simple truths that the devil used to make me question in moments of weakness.
Christianity is definitely a journey in which I'm not sure I will ever feel "I have arrived….I am now as close to God as I long to be…" And if given enough thought, tears can come to my eyes with the longing of wanting to be close to Him and feeling as though I'm not where I want to be with my relationship with God. I have a tendency to be hard on myself in this area, but I think Joel has really helped me over come a lot and I see it in the way that I handle challenges now. I'm actually going through a lot right now but I am surprising myself with how well I am doing and handling it. I think that Joel is partly to thank for that and I hope that you give him a listen sometime.
Praying for you! So proud of the work you are doing for the kingdom! <3 Victoria
January 2015-January 2016, I battled with severe anxiety. It got to the point we're I didn't even want to leave the house, the constant fear of the unknown. I went to every doctor trying to figure out where it was coming from, if it was something physical or mental. Turned out to be both. I was diagnosed last October with PMDD and generalized anxiety disorder. I was put on birth control to help with it, it helped for a few months then bam, it hit me again. Then they put me on another medication, and I can say I am me again, I feel free! But through the long days/nights when I couldn't eat, drink, even brush my teeth withought the feeling that I was going die, I turned to God. I've been going to church almost my whole life but in the midst of all that fear and pain, I clinged to Him. I read His word, I journaled, listen to worship music, still went to church every Sunday. I gave everything to Him. And through that all, I have never felt Him more, I thanked Him everyday for bringing me through this journey, because I knew one day I would be able to help someone going through the same thing. I haven't met that person yet, but I'm praying for that person, that God would bring them into my life. Thank you for sharing your story, you are such a inspiration and amazing Sister in Christ! God Bless!
Wow.. I didn't know what I needed until I read this post!!
I am young & newly married as well…I relate to you so much about the craziness that goes on a month before the wedding, while also knowing how normal that usually is..but ever since I've been married I've had the same sadness overwhelm me. I haven't shared it or talked much about it with many people because I havent understood why I have been feeling this way. I truly was thinking it was all just me overreacting & not controlling my feelings like I should. (It, too, has caused a little strain in my marriage although my marriage is not the problem). This post truly has opened my eyes to what I could be going through in this season of my life. Thank you for sharing, I feel encouraged to go & try to understand what is going on with me, like you did.
Continue to share & write! God is using you for sure!!
– Alexis Phelps
Thank you for this! I don't have all the same struggles but I have my own and this was really good for my heart, so just thank you! ❤️❤️❤️
First of all, I want to let you know that my husband and I look up to you, to the whole Robertson family. You guys are our role models. I know all families have their issues and no family is perfect, but from what we see y'all are holding true to christian family values and we really do look to you guys as an example of the family we hope to be and to have. We desire and strive to have God at the center of our relationship, and I pray the Lord gives us the strength to continue to grow closer through Him, but the evil one is real and life and society in general is just pulling us all in the opposite direction, away from the Lord.
So your blog post is something that resonates with me, and I'm sure my husband as well. I don't think either of us are clinically depressed but that longing for true joy is oh so present for us. We feel that we have been looking to the future to make us happy, and then the future comes, we move to that new place, leave the terrible job, go to a new school, and we still do not feel content. And how so badly we long for joy in our lives. The joy we had when we didn't have as much of the world's stress on our shoulders. Adulting is hard. But seeking God because He is God, because in Him we have deep roots, nothing can shake us if we stay strong in our faith, from that faith comes joy. I wanted to thank you for your inspirational post, and I look forward to looking into your recommended readings.
Lots of love,
Sarah and Joe
I love your blog and thank you for sharing.
Please watch this video about women who had depression from birth control and how they over came it. This film has the power to change (and save) lives.
God bless and thank you for your honesty and inspiration. I am a mother of 5 and love reading your blog!
Thank you for sharing your story, it is truly touching and helpful <3
Thank you for sharing your story! I know there are many people who suffer with depression, I myself have. God is using your struggles to bring Glory to Him. I know He will use you to help others going through the same thing.
Thank you so much for sharing, it takes a lot of courage to be open about what is considered a taboo topic among Christians. I too have been battling depression for over a year now after dealing with several relocations and other struggles. Many told me to 'Just be happy,' never understanding that it was not that simple. I felt that because I was a Christian that automatically made me immune to depression and when I did experience it questioned my faith and God.
Though this has been the longest and hardest year of my life, looking back I can say that I've grown more in my faith than I ever thought possible. God knew what I needed and the circumstances it would take for me grow and that's what He wanted more than anything.
Sometimes I still feel sad and during those times I look back on God's faithfulness to me and find happiness in the little things that He has done.
Your post has really encouraged me, I know now that I'm not alone and that it does get better. You and your family will be in my prayers. Once again- thank you!
Thank you! What a wonderful vulnerability and willingness to be used by God in these chapters of your life. I am 36
years old and have been married almost 10 years. Do you want to know what's ironic about this post? When I am feeling overwhelmed by all the yuckiness online or social media I actually come to your blog and am always encouraged by your writing! God is using you to help others with those feelings of anxiety and sadness. I am encouraged by your heart every time I read your blog:) Thank you so much for sharing!
Sweet Mary Kate I'm so happy that you posted this!! I know it takes a lot of courage, and you said everything so well. I've been waiting for this and reading this reminds me of my own experience. I am currently in the midst of recovering, and having to fully rely on Jesus for my joy and that has been such an eye opening experience. When I heard your story at live original it gave me hope that I can still be the Godly woman I want to be someday and live for HIm and that I will get through this!! Your story spreads hope and your life represents the love of Jesus!! You're amazing :)))
I love your writing and how you are willing to share your life with us! Thank you!! Life is hard and sometimes I feel like, as Christians, we feel the need to hide our struggles so others think we have it all together cause that somehow makes us more "spiritual"….but lately I've been learning that the exact opposite is true!! Our brokenness is what God really uses to bring us closer to Himself and to each other! It's ok to not be "fine" and to let God hold us when we hurt and let others help us stand back up and keep going.
Psalm 62:8 is one of my favorites (actually the whole chapter is amazing). "Trust in Him at all times. Pour out your hearts before Him for God is a refuge for us."
Thank you for sharing your sweet heart with us and using your story to encourage us 🙂
I have loved reading your blog and watching all of the adventures you and John Luke have been on. You have been such an inspiration. Seeing how you cling to God no matter what is amazing. Reading this post was very eye opening as I have had similar struggles in my life. Thank you so much for sharing about your struggle. And thank you for sharing about your life.
I can truly relate to your situation from being in graduate school, to being a full time nurse, a wife, and mom. I battle a B12 deficiency and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I am a Christian and spend time daily reading my bible and praying but I too have felt I have lost my joy. Depression can be so overwhelming that you can't find joy in anything long term. Thank you for sharing your story and giving me a different outlook on approaching God. I too feel that I've wanted him to restore my joy without realizing my joy should come from just being in his presence.
mary kate!!!!!!! ahhh thank you so much for sharing this. it was so incredibly helpful to me. It is always good to see examples of people who have gone through the same thing you are going through. I love the part where you said that finding joy is not god+something and that it is god+nothing. thank you thank you thank you!!
Mary Kate! Thank you for being so vulnerable. It's not easy sharing hardships with the body of Christ sometimes, but there is so much fruit that comes from it. You're in my prayers!
I saw your post on Instagram about this, and thought it was needed for me to read it. It has has helped me a great amount. I cannot thank you enough.
Thank you for sharing this! I'm currently struggling with finding joy. I graduated in May, but stayed in LYH to work and it's been an extremely lonely time here. I'm almost scared to talk to people about my lack of joy, but your post was really encouraging!
Hi Mary Kate, thank you of sharing your story. It takes a great amount of bravery to open yourself up to everyone, especially when talking about something that you may see as a weakness. I have suffered depression/ anxiety for most of my life, but with greater amounts in recent years due to the loss of my infant son. I just wanted to share with you a book that has helped me and it is by a Christian Doctor. The name of the book is The Healing Code. I know it has helped so many and we even read it in my grief group, although it is not specifically aimed at grief. God Bless you in your journey. I know everyday will not be perfect and wonderful, but there is something perfect and wonderful in every day. – Blair
What a brave girl you are! Sending you a Mothers love from NYC!
Wow what an awesome story! thanks so much for sharing <3
Thanks for sharing your story, MaryKate! Depression runs in my family, and it's so refreshing to hear from someone who's been there, too. Thanks again!
To say I can relate is an understatement! My husband and I got married in May 2015, honeymooned in Bora Bora the week before you in June…same resort! And this past year we have been building a house, that is still not completed. I have had this overwhelming feeling of sadness, the entire time thinking I am so blessed how can I be sad, I have no reason to be sad. But everyday I am tired and want to cry. The thought of being diagnosed with depression scares me, I feel like I pretend to be happy but feel sick with anxiety daily. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for posting thisately I have been feeling sad just everyday and I've had moments like this over the past couple of years. Then when moments like that happen I find myself questioning God even though I know I shouldn't I've thought about seeking professional help but just haven't had the courage to do it and knowing that I'm not the only one struggling makes me feel less alone. So thank you God bless you guys
You and your family continue to inspire me and give me hope. Its so easy to look at "famous" people and base their lives off of their social media and believe that their lives are perfect. But your willingness to share your struggles and heartache is SO encouraging and reminds me I am not the only one with these struggles!
Also, like many what really stuck out to me was your use of contraceptive birth control. I say this because I love you and I think that God is offering so much more fo you and your marriage with John Luke! There are so many negative affects it has on not only your body but also your mind and your heart. I totally get that now maybe is not the best time for you two to bring a child into this world, but I truly belive Natual Family Planning is best for you and your marriage. I really hope that you will look into this, because you and John Like deserve the best and God wants so much more for you! I am praying for you! God bless 🙂
Beautifuly written, thanks for sharing your unfailing faith in God and encouraging us to do the same ❤️
Mk!! Thank you for sharing your story, it's really similar to mine! Depression and anxiety are really hard, especially when you've just married into an incredible relationship. After being married a little less than a year, depressed and anxious for a little less than a year, and also on birth control for a little less than a year, I was relieved to know that the birth control was the issue. It was incredible how quickly everything changed the week I stopped taking it. God is so faithful, and amen to God giving us doctors and medicine! It is always so cool to see how much you can grow in seasons like that, but so good to be on the other side with such a faithful husband and even a more faithful God. Wishing you guys the best!
I'm an older blog reader, too…age 35 and married 12 years…love the Duck Dynasty family…so proud of you and your big family who live their Christian faith publicly!!! I'm sorry about your health struggles!! You went through sooo much that first year!! Please keep sharing! It's such a gift to see a star we Christians can look up to! PS NFP isn't always easy, but it's been a gift to my marriage! I've used it to get pregnant and easily used it for many years to avoid pregnancy. I encourage anyone who wants something that is free, easy and won't mess with your body to look into it! There's a million apps out there, too (to chart basic info each month).
Thank you for sharing your story! I went through the same thing at the same stage in my life 5 years ago. My depression stems from a chemical imbalance and medication ended up being my only way out until I learned how to take care of myself and be able to come off of it. So, unfortunately it's something that I can feel creep up every so often still, but I have my hope and joy in the Lord back. I agree that after getting through those tough years, I am thankful I was able to experience God on such a raw emotional level that I never had before.
Keep fighting and trusting that God will always be your stronghold through it all.
Mary Kate thank you for sharing your story. I am so thankful God is using you to reach young women with your story. I have been married nearly 20 years and have 4 precious children. I too suffered with all of the symptoms you experienced. Many times crying and not understanding why. Because we didn't have social media there was no way for me to express or receive information from others regarding their experiences. I kept these feelings to myself and carried on feeling completely alone and leaving my husband feeling that my problem was with him. Although we had many conflicts in our first years of marriage because of the "depression" or sad state I was in what Satan meant for harm my God meant for good�� I rocked on not sharing with even my husband until the birth of our second child. I realized that during both my pregnancies (aside from morning sickness) I felt so much better. The dark cloud had been lifted. God allowed me overtime to piece together that birth control had robbed my thoughts from weeks before my wedding day (when I started bcp) until after the birth of my daughter 21/2 years later. I decided to stop them and have decided I will encourage my girls to not allow society to tell them that all girls must use them when they get married. I do believe they contributed to my diagnosis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis during that 21/2 years as well. God used this time to grow me spiritually. Looking back on my years of marriage this was the beginning of my spiritual growth where I had to rely totally on Jesus for His strength and I wouldn't trade that time for anything. Thank you again for sharing. Thank you for being bold and sharing it had something to do with your bcps. Praying that many will research them before taking them.
Mary Kate… I have been going through such a hard time! I keep going in and out of fear, sadness, worry, and then another day feeling happy and good and joyful… But lately it's mostly been the first 3…
I have gone through so much, you don't even know… so much stress, sadness, anxiety, self-consciousness, and not wanting to listen or trust in God… I want to have my Joy back so badly. I have prayed, but I still feel the same.. But I am going to continue to pray! I want to say thank you for this blog you posted, it was very encouraging! Thank you so much for sharing your story… you have helped me, and I am sure MANY others as well 🙂 God's light SHINES through you!!! I love you <3 Keep shining 🙂
I keep coming back to read this post. I'm so thankful that you have shared your story, honestly. Between this post and attending Live Original, you've helped me lots
This is a really great read! I'm sorry you went through depression but I love how you overcame it! I hope you're doing well til this day!
I'm very thankful you shared this.
Thank you so much Mary Kate for sharing this and putting your struggles and your heart out there. I struggle with severe anxiety/depression and it has become crippling. Thank you for this post. This is something that I needed to read and something that really spoke to my heart. The light of the Lord shines within you and your story has inspired me. Your words have encouraged me. Thank you!
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My sophomore year of college was the hardest year of my life. I was having severe depression from multiple sources: my OCD, a relationship, school and many, many other things. I turned to my Heavenly Father in a way I had never done before. As I drew closer to Him, I could feel small bits of joy. I wanted Himto take it all away. I wanted to be happy again. But, it wasn't until I put all my faith in Him, prayed faithfully, studied the scriptures and saw a doctor and counselor that I finally was able to break into the light again. That experience brought me closer to Him and I am so thankful for it. When I struggle, I always think back to that dark time in my life and how much the Lord carried me.
Our situations are so similar! I know that you have helped other with your story. There are others just like you seeking answers to their prayers, and I know He lead them to you!
P.s. we should be best friends because I live in Roanoke ��
Hi Mary Kate!
Not only do I share your name, I share your struggles as well. Over the past couple years, my depression and anxiety issues have gotten increasingly worse. But through God's grace, I have also learned to praise Him anyway. Nothing can make the devil's attacks weaken like choosing joy and thankfulness when you feel like all you can do is cry! This is an everyday battle for me too. I'm SO thankful that you took the time to write this post and share a bit of your soul. I'll be praying for you, sister. Praise God, we are on the winning side!
Thank you for having the courage to share your story and experience. I am currently battling depression and found this post to be very encouraging and uplifting. I too have written out my experience with depression, but have never had the courage to share. I admire and appreciate your story.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I struggled with depression as well, but I never had the courage to share my story. I look up to you so very much! and this is very inspirational. You're completely right, we need to trust in God and only him! Thank you for your words, they helped me a lot.
Thank you so much Mary Kate for your honestly, I remember this year when you came to Grand Canyon University for the Live Original tour. Mary Kate you have opened the door for my best friend and I to talked on a spiritual level about our testimony and struggles. She confessed that last year, when I left her to go to college she became depressed. I felt guilty and didn't exactly know how to talk about it but when we went to Live Original and learned about your story it allowed us to come together as sisters in Christ; we laughed, cried, and encouraged each other and I felt like we could talk and be vulnerable with one another instead of trying the "good Christian" or a pastor's kid. It was a memory I will forever cherish! Thank you for your heart and honestly.
P.S. Mary Kate, after talking with my friend I still want to make sure she's doing well without smothering her and consistently ask her if she's okay. What is the best way to ask or any advice that isn't if she's struggling or feeling down?
Hey Mary Kate,
I am so glad that you posted this because I've struggled with depression for a very long time and I didn't know how to overcome it or anything like it. And right now I learning to love who I am through Christ's eyes which is very hard to do on my end because I never learned to love who I am from the start. I hope to grow into God's word and what he has to say instead of what others and my family tell me. I pray for this for myself and you too.
Thank you for being brave enough to share this! Everyone's battle with depression is different and I'm so joyful that you have that part of your journey behind you. I'm so inspired that you kept with your faith as well. I know how difficult that can be…as I too have had a personal battle with depression as well as an eating disorder. Thank you for sharing this incredibly personal journey.
My husband suffers from chronic depression. It took us several months to figure it out but you have explained it very well. He didn't cry but lived in the pit — all dark and hard. Thank you for offering HOPE because without it, we have nothing.
I have never struggled with depression myself but a friend recently told me she was diagnosed with it so I sent her the link to this blog and she was very thankful for you and your beautiful story! Thank you for being such a Godly role model!
Wow. God is so good. I read this when you posted it and I was so thankful for you sharing your story and helping people who are going through similar things and even for your friend's advice about seeking God, but at the time this post didn't carry much weight in my life. But previously God had used almost all of your other posts to teach me something and I had been waiting for that to happen with this post. I commented 2 days ago thanking you for sharing your story because a friend had told me about her depression. Yesterday an old classmate posted something on instagram that sounded, well, depressed so I reached out to him. He was very open and shared his battle with depression and bipolar with me. Once again God had used you and your beautiful story to help me and guide me in talking to my classmate about his own struggles. We have a good and amazing Father 🙂
This is a beautiful story and is so relevant to my life right now. I'm glad I remembered hearing about this and read through the whole thing. It is such evidence of the Lord, especially in my situation. Thank you for letting Him use you in this way. You truly pour out the love of Jesus that you let live in you. Thank you
This story has truly helped me, thank you sooo much I appreciate it a lot.
Thank you for this! I came across your blog and this post while I was having my own episode of depression. I am a very happy person, but recently I have been feeling very sad and cry a lot, just like you did. It might be because it is a time of transition for me. Knowing that other Christians also go through this helps me to just keep focusing in God. Thank you for sharing!!
Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, regards.
Hello this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!
[…] Want more encouraging good reads? Check out: Jennie Allen’s Study- Proven, The Little Duck Wife’s Blog: http://thelittleduckwife.com/2016/11/my-battle-with-depression/ […]
Mary Kate, this is amazing, I’ve been battling my depression and anxiety since I can remember. As well as praising God as long as I can remember. I believe that God has placed me in this battle for his own uses, because he knows that i am strong enough. He has blessed me with his best match for me at 19 and we have just gotten married this past June! Yet, my depression wants to still say “hi” to me. The depression has seemed to slow down since after the wedding, because my husband and i have focused on giving our love and praise to God. This really spoke to me as an individual because i believe that God gives us what we CAN face, and what we CAN overcome so that we may bear witness to those around us that may not feel like they can fight that battle any longer. We can bring praises to God when we’re feeling low. And if there is any one that reads this comment, my go to song to feel strong is: Andra Day, Rise Up.
I am so glad you re-shared this on instagram today. I recently started taking anti-depressants and the struggle with anxiety and depression can be so difficult. This gives me so much hope though. I feel as though I have actually been turning to God more on this journey, and reading this just reinforced that God is so good!
This is so encouraging for me!! I went to Liberty my freshman year and totally got blindsided by crippling anxiety + depression. It was after I had transferred back home and had been failing all my classes (when I have also always been a straight A studnet) when my dad told my mom to schedule me a doctor’s appointment. I am a lot better now but still struggle sometimes. Sometimes the enemy whispers lies and I cry for no real reason. But God is SO faithful. I can share my story with my high school girls and minister and have compassion on those that are hurting like I did. What an amazing thing! What an amazing God we serve! Today was one of those tough days, and what an encouraging post for me. Thank you.
Thank you so much for sharing!!! I’ve been struggling with the weight of overwhelming sadness and your story has given me so much HOPE. Praise God! He is so faithful and loving!! Praying for your illness. -Gods love
thank you so much for this! you are so loved; you are so precious; you are so encouraging and I love to read your blogs! Jesus is evident in every single one. thank you for talking about God’s goodness and unchanging love for us. you’re such a bright light for Jesus!
Thank you for these words. With a story so similar to yours, I needed to hear this encouragement and promising words. I’m in the midst of figuring out the root of my depression, as I leave the wedding planning season and enter into a new season of being a wife and applying for jobs post-grad. Thank you so much for writing vulnerably.
[…] This post is so so good! My Battle with Depression […]
Thank you ❤
Thank you for sharing this!!! I’ve been struggling with chemical depression for over a year now. At first I was afraid to get help professionally because I felt like it made me look week. Basically I was always putting up this front that everything is always great and perfect in my life. After about 10 months and a whole week of crying everyday at work and when I got home, and crying myself to sleep I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore and went to the doctor. Turns out it’s due to a hormone imbalance and magnesium deficiency. I’ve been trying n meds for a year now, and I’m taking a magnesium supplement which has mad a huge difference. The way I would describe the way I felt was like the pain you feel when someone close to dies. It was an ache in my heart, but I had not tangible reason to be sad. I too turned to the Lord more than I ever had before and had an extremely supportive husband! I’m glad you shared your story because I haven’t ever met anyone else’s who went through the same thing. It’s nice to know someone else has had the same struggles I have, and encouraged me to share it with others more.
Yes! I know there is so much here. But I went through something very similar at your age because of birth control. I was actually suicidal. It is so scary because you are often in the middle of it’s heaviness before you realize what is happening. I feel like every twenty something woman needs to know this.
I’m not diagnosed with depression, but it has recently been hard to find joy. I am dealing with a two year break-up and need as much encouragement as I can to get through this. Thank you so much for this post, girly! It helps a lot and I even took notes 🙂
Thanks for sharing this, it’s helpful to know there are others going through hard things. Like others above have said, I haven’t been diagnosed with depression but after I was married (Aug 28, 2016) it seemed like I could never find joy. I also experienced stress and arguments with my significant other (and on our honeymoon). I’ve recently gone back to university, which has been hard. I also started a photography business because I thought that would bring me joy. I’m still having a hard time finding joy but like you wrote maybe I’m only looking to God for what he can do for ME and not because he is God.
My story is almost exactly the same.
Went on birth control a couple months before I got married, leading up to the wedding I was frustrated, my husband and I were fighting which was so weird for us. Then, once we were married (we got married in Canada) we moved to Australia and it was the worst year of my entire life. I was sad, crying all the time, I was angry, I didn’t understand why I had suddenly changed as a person. Why was I suddenly sad all the time? I had nothing to be sad about. I had a roof over my head, food in my fridge, an amazing supportive husband, I was living in the most liveable city in the world. It made no sense.
My husband finally said ‘you’re going off that birth control’. ‘Why?’ I said, surely it can’t be the birth control. Birth control is a completly normal thing that millions of women take.
But, I went off it. About three months later I was back to my normal self!! It was amazing, I couldn’t even believe what a difference it made.
The birth control pill can be incredibly dangerous but because it’s so common place nobody thinks about it before putting that little pill into their body.
I’m so glad you were able to figure out what the issue was because some women go years without finding out the reason for their sadness could just be that little pill!
This is wonderful.
I just stumbled upon this and wow how I needed to read it. You have answered all the questions I ask to myself and it’s nice to be able to hear it from someone who knows what this battle feels like. Thank you
Thank you so much for pouring out your heart and letting the Lord lead you. Reading this post has blessed my heart.
My husband and I have gone through so many trials and tribulations in our 4 year marriage and 7 year relationship. He has stuck by me and built me up in Christ even when I felt so unsettled and sad. I am just so incredibly grateful for His faithfulness to us through every moment.
The Lord is molding us and forming us into the warriors He has designed us to be, just as He is doing for you and John Luke. When you wrote about thanking Him in the desert, it brought a huge smile to my face and tears to my eyes because that has been my prayer lately. I have thanked Him for making a path in the desert so many times recently and I know that He is working, even when it is difficult to see that sometimes. He is mighty and powerful, and there is nothing He cannot do! He is the God of the impossible!
I praise Jesus for your life and for John Luke’s. I pray that your life is abundantly blessed through Christ Jesus! God bless!
P.S. – Congratulations!! Your baby boy is absolutely beautiful!