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Friday, April 22, 2011



For five months I drug myself around the Ukranian landscape like a rain soaked cat. I had gone from approximately 500 text messages a month on my Blackberry (iphone’ are for girls) to being virtually cut off from all communication. Having no landline to call out from and it being too cost prohibitive to call the States on my cell phone, just added to the hole of depression I was in.

Most clinical tests would say you are depressed if the condition persists beyond two weeks. So what do they say if this condition lasted for over five months as was my case? The professionals have distinguished a difference between ‘Emotional Mood Disorder ‘and that of a physiological condition which can be diagnosed and treated with medication. Actually, in retrospect, where hind sight is 20/20 vision, the clinical term which best addressed my situation was, ‘Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood.’ Wow! That was a mouthful and it almost made me sound smart. How did I come to diagnose myself? Well, I did what most people do today. I went to the internet. I found out even the strongest of us cannot fight the power of sadness. Depression is a word no one wants to be labeled with. It has the connotation of being a pariah. But in simple layman terms, the psychosocial stressor of moving from a safe and known environment to one that is uncertain can be the trigger for depression to set in. The end result of an everyday existence can seem to be plain old “BLAH!”

It just seemed one problem after another was being compounded together to keep me knocked off center. For instance, customs would not release our car. I would have to send it back to the States, get a $30 inspection and then ship it back. I was looking at another $6,000 just to have our own transportation to get around. This was craziness. Now I understood what the feeling was like when Israel was hemmed in at the Red Sea and Pharaoh with his troops were descending upon them. When you are depressed the overwhelming attitude in your mind is powerlessness. I could not go back and I could not move forward. It is horrible feeling alone in a world of depression.

God’s grace comes in many forms. For me it was being with Noline and our 6 grandchildren, my daughter and her husband. This was security for me. My prayer for anyone who finds themselves in the depths of despair, seek some kind of familiar ground, called family or friends.

Walking down early one morning, from Deb’s home to the house we were remodeling, to have my devotions I literally fell apart. From deep down in the pit of my despair I threw my bible on the ground.  Now please don’t get religious on me. I know if you are a real human being you have done the same thing or at least thought of doing the same thing. I looked up to the sky and said, “OK God! I give up. The car is yours, you can drive it. I don’t care anymore, it’s all yours. This whole missionary experience is yours. I give it all to you.” Little did I realize at the time, but that simple heartfelt cry was a slung stone out of the catapult or slingshot at the head of Goliath. Despair had gripped the camp of Israel until David showed up. Jesus, who is my David, was with me and He alone would bring the giant down. Early that morning is when I fixed a date upon my deliverance. That day is when God brought down the giant of depression in my life. In the days to come I would see the car released miraculously and the light dawning on a new day.

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” (Ps 42:11 KJV).

God is always there.


  1. Awesome and real! Thanks Pastor Neil. Today is a day that I want to quit CO because I am tired of the politics nonsense at executive level at work. I too yell at God asking why He sent us here. But He knows! Unless he deals with my selfishness and retools me for His use, I can't he used of Him. God is faithful no matter what I go through. Thanks again for blog statement today, I really needed to read it. God bless!! Anil

  2. Thanks for the words & for being real Pastor Neil! It's a cup of cold water even to the young ones. God bless! Pauline

  3. This really reminds me of when I first moved to Ireland, approximately the first 6 to 8 months. I was here all by myself with no one I knew very well, one situation after another was coming up to "test out my character" in my new work/ministry environment, I was dead broke, etc. There was a few months when my only motivation to get out of bed was so no one would criticize me for being a basketcase...until one night, at 2am, I went outside and had my "Bible on the ground" moment...I told God I couldn't survive another day living in that state, that I was absolutely dependent on Him or I would quit on things altogether. I don't know what changed but it was my rock in the slingshot, too. Thank you so much for sharing this and please know that you are loved, thought about and prayed for. God bless xo