God Sees You
T. Suzanne Eller

"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:30-31 (NIV)

Recently Darrin came up to me in the hallway at church. "Ten years!" he said, grabbing me and crushing me in a bear hug.

Wow. Ten years. It doesn't seem possible. You see, ten years ago Darrin was 21 when he tried to take his life. Someone found him and called for help. The doctors said he's fortunate he didn't die, but for a long time after the attempt Darrin felt anything but lucky. It was hard for me to understand his perspective, but the fact that his suicide attempt didn't work was one more "failure" in this broken young man's mind.

Darrin left the hospital and came to live with our family for the next two years. We had a front row seat as we watched God perform a miracle. It wasn't easy, but Darrin began a journey to wholeness. He started to understand what it meant to be a child of God. He discovered who he was, separate from his past, separate from what people thought or spoke about him.

Today Darrin is a licensed pastor. He is married to a beautiful woman named Sarah. He is a father to three young children, and he loves and delights in each of them. His oldest daughter is named Abi, after Abba – Heavenly Father – a reminder that she is one of many gifts from God.

Darrin is healed in every way, but he has not forgotten where he once was and that's why he allows me to share his story today. It's also why he shares it one-on-one with others who find themselves in a similar place. This type of anniversary might be one that some would want to forget, but Darrin sees it as a day to celebrate life and second chances. His story offers a powerful message: that when others have given up on you, or maybe you've even given up on yourself, there is still hope.

For some, like Darrin, depression wraps around life choices. You may experience a chemical imbalance. Or, feelings of hopelessness might result from emotional or physical exhaustion. While it can take time to pinpoint the root cause, it's vital that you know from this moment on that God sees you. He loves you and He cares. He's a God of hope and healing. So today I pray that you will feel His arms reaching for you, just like he did my friend Darrin.

Dear Lord, I believe that today a woman is reading this who believes she has been forgotten. I thank you that You will wrap Your love around her and remind her that You are with her. May she know You see her, and that she is precious and valuable in Your sight. Give her hope, wisdom, peace and renewed joy, beginning today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Listen to our Radio Show for more encouragement about the Father’s love

Hope in the Midst of Depression: How to Embrace Life Again by Mary Southerland

Defeating Depression: Real Hope for Life-Changing Wholeness by Leslie Vernick

Go to Suzie’s blog to read an interview with Darrin

Application Steps:
We need to differentiate between a bad day or a series of bad days and depression. Dr. Leslie Vernick has created a test you can take called How Do I Know If I’m Depressed? to help discern the difference. Please seek professional help if you have three or more symptoms of depression.

When someone we care about is depressed, it is hard to know what to say. Sometimes we try to talk them out of it by saying things like:

• "Just trust God."
• "Just get over it."
• "If you would just do ..."
• "You have lots going for you. You shouldn't feel so bad."

These statements are not helpful because they make the person feel ashamed of being depressed. They want to get well, but it is usually not that simple. Instead, we can encourage them by first, listening. And also by:

• Giving a hug – touch is powerful.
• Letting them know you'll do whatever it takes to help, then do it. (Drive them to a counselor's appointment, pray for them daily, etc.)
• Let them talk, or cry.
• Ask them how you can pray for them, and write down their answer.
• Let them know though you may not fully understand what they feel, you care about what they are going through.

Reflections:
Do I believe that God cares about me?

Do I know the God of hope and healing?

Am I willing to take steps toward wholeness?

Power Verses:
Psalm 42:11, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (KJV)

Psalm 71:5, "For thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my trust from my youth." (KJV)

© 2009 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Richly Blessed said...

Thanks so much for this timely devotion. Several people in our community have committed suicide recently and I know that spring is prime time for those who are severely depressed to carry out a plan to kill themselves. Your insights remind us that we can be the hands and feet of God to those around us every day, but especially in times of crisis. Thanks too for posting the advice on "what not to say" as those would likely be the first phrases out of my mouth.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very helpful. Thank you.

Anonymous Suzanne Eller said...

I'm so glad it is helpful. I hope you'll go to my website and read the follow up with Darrin.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have struggled with what i think is depression i have also tried many different drugs to help and didn't like all the side effects and decided the scary feelings were better than the side effects and cost. one thing that really hit home in the signs of depression was waking up early i do this every day with a sense of dread and fear usualy about a hour or tw before my alarm goes off my only way thru it is to try praying i say try becuase i don't feel like god is always there and my prayers aren't as meaningful has the one i hear others pray. I am fournute it the fact that i'm not in denile but i so would like to feel normal again. thank you for sharing darrins story and your devotion it seemed to speak to me.

Anonymous princess said...

this was a big encouragement to me today.... thank you for being used by God...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great message! I have to admit that I'm a guy that reads your devotions daily-a female friend of mine turned me to this site,she e-mailed me a devotion and since then I'm "hooked". I've always gotten along with women better than men and I can relate to the issues we share, except when it comes to baking cakes or other female things, like the devotion where this lady was in an elevator and she thought she could adjust something under her dress what she did'nt realize was the glass behind her,that was funny tho!
Todays message came at a right time,I am having problems with my job and may lose it,my wifes job may be outsourced.I feel like giving up but I keep having faith in God and that helps a lot,yesterday @ church the message was about the ressurection of Jesus,if that wouldn't of happened every thing in the Bible we believe,teach and hear would be useless,praise God for sending His Son to die for us and take our place--imagine if we had to bear our sins alone? Some people do tho and it's up to us to witness to them lost souls who have no hope,people who feel like drugs,alchohol,sex addiction,gambling and even suicide is the way out,there is only one way out and that is having faith in our Heavenly Father,letting go of our thinking that we are all powerful and can make it alone.Praise be to God!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This message could not have come in a better time, see there have been times when i was so depressed that i also wished that i could bring it all to an end, than i realized how precious we are to our heavenly father and of his sacrifice for us so i always remind myself how much he loves me and how important it is to tell everyone how much he loves us today my soul purpose is to make everyone aware of his unconditional love, once again thank you for sharing your devotionals.God bless you always and your purpose.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing this today...i am currently working through a most difficult time in my ministry in our church family. i was recently let go from my job citing reasons that everyone else assures me are utterly false. i have been reminded from dear friends about God's love for ME, despite that the circumstances around me are not easy and not to confuse fallen humans with God's divine ways. i am thankful for the hope that is in Him instead of wallowing in all the hurt...God is good--all the time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last week God reminded me that he could never forget about me. I surrendered a lot of things to him and totally had a peace. Well today, I feel like I have been attacked. I usually read proverbs 31 devotions in the morning before my kids arrive at school, but I didn't get a chance too this morning. I really do believe that God allowed that to happen for a reason. I have been struggling all day with having the fear of being forgotten about and that God doesn't see me anymore. I should have known that it was Satan's attacks continually throughout the day. Today is my birthday and I really don't like birthdays anymore. It reminds me that I'm still not married and it makes me feel like God doesn't see me anymore. But that is a lie! I know that God is enough for me and that he is changing me and working in my life daily. He does see me and knows exactly how I feel. Thanks for the encouragement. I needed it at exactly the right time. :)

Blogger Tre said...

Today's reading is no coincidence. My doc wrote a script for Lexapro yesterday and I feel like a failure. I'm in between, had to let go of my church, too much satanic attack and when you're phone is eerily quiet and your inbox has nothing but ads, it all screams I am alone.I've been betrayed by those who were called friends and a church that no longer heals God's children. Yup, there are days I feel god has forgotten me yet I know in my head that's satan and my history talking. Anyone reading this, please keep me in your prayers.I don't like me this this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ann says, Remember in Job where it says that a friend just stayed by his side and said nothing? This is helpful. Others are critical and not helpful. Try to discern who are friends who walk beside you and who are friends who "have all the answers". A nonjudgmental support system is great when going through hardships.

Anonymous Amy said...

Tre - don't feel like a failure! I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for over a year now. I went on an anti-depressant then stopped taking it because I felt good again and I felt like a failure for having to take medication and not having "enough faith". 4 months later I am back in the pit and trying to get myself back on medication and into christian counseling. I've learned that people who you think "have it all together" don't always. I learned that a friend at church is also on an anti-depressant and didn't have the failure feelings I have about it. Just knowing that has helped me accept that some of us just have chemical imbalances that need to be treated. God will be glorified in your storm if you come out on the other side! This message was sent to me today on purpose as it was to you. You are not a failure - you are choosing to help yourself through this storm and God is by your side!!

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