I had the pleasure of being interviewed on The Ride Home with John & Kathy radio show regarding my article at The Gospel Coalition, "How to Talk to Your Depressed Child." For fifteen minutes, we spoke about some of the challenges and necessities of caring for a child who is walking through depression. While I would have loved to have been able to expand on certain points (and of course, I neglected to say a few things I wish I would have), I hope the interview offers some helpful insights into the incredible difficulty of the situation, and stresses the need for compassion, grace, and God's truth in the midst of a disorienting season.
As parents, we can’t take the place of medical professionals, licensed counselors, or pastoral care. A child’s depressed feelings can indicate ordinary sadness or a more serious disorder, and we’ll typically need outside help to identify the nature of our child’s struggle. But parents do have something valuable to offer: love and encouragement.
Psalm 126 is a song of hope for those held captive by present sorrows and dire affliction. It encourages those who walk with weighted steps to wait expectantly for their God. There is a special promise for those who shed tears in desperate places—the sorrow will not endure forever. God will restore us once more, and our joy will be made all the greater for having endured the tribulation by faith. When rock bottom feels like the end of us, we can trust that Christ will hold us fast—for “with him is plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:7).
It’s imperative to remember that there are specific wellsprings of consolation and healing that God has set in place for his people which cannot be received apart from discipleship. If we continue to promote the segregation of care for despondent persons in the church, we restrict access to the promised sustaining and transforming graces God specifically supplies in the midst of their pain and suffering (1 Peter 5:10, Psalm 119:50).
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor and author Paul Tautges. They discuss Paul's brand new book, Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace to explore how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers meaningful resources for the fight against crippling worries and fears. Paul addresses the spiritual and physical components of our anxiety, explains how it can help us reorient our hearts toward God, and offers listeners biblically-based comforts and wisdom for fighting anxiety on the spiritual battlefield. He also suggest passages of Scripture which help us to engage our anxiety, gently inviting listeners into a deeper understanding of and reliance upon God's peace.
Depression is not something new. God’s people have grappled by faith with deep pain and darkness for generations. Yet, we have become so used to seeing despondency through world-colored glasses, that we are tempted to neglect one of the most helpful resources available to sufferers: Spirit-led, one-another care. Discipleship is not some optional flabby excess in the realm of treatment options. For the follower of Jesus, discipleship is a critical lifeline of sustaining grace meant to facilitate conformity to Christ for the glory of God and the perseverance of his saints.
Drinking to drown our sorrows, contrary to the chart-topping songs, is a dangerous—potentially deadly—way to respond to seasons of excessive sadness. Alcohol won’t lay its life down for us, but it can demand we lay down our life for it.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor Erick Cobb about the Christian's experience of seemingly causeless depression. Erick shares about his personal encounters with despondency, describing some of its mysterious components, and how the Scriptures normalize our seasons of dread and darkness. He also talks about the redemptive benefits that can result from walking through depression, highlights the importance of biblical metaphor in comforting the despondent Christian, and suggests practical physical and spiritual sustaining graces for enduring the dark.
It’s true, the experience of depression is exhausting—both physically and spiritually. We find ourselves desperately feeling around for a light switch that we may finally land our fingers on a toggle. But alas, there are no quick remedies for instantly illuminating our gloom—no switch to flip, no immediate assuage of our pain. Yet, while depression is a season where our capabilities may be diminished, there are small sustaining graces to partake of which can carry us along while we wait.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/biblical counselor Alasdair Groves. They talk about his book, Untangling Emotions, to learn more about a biblical approach to addressing our overwhelming feelings, to discover how negative emotions can actually serve redemptive purposes, and finally, to understand how the gospel of Jesus Christ frees believers to engage our emotions in fruitful ways. Alasdair also offers insights into unhelpful views on the importance of our emotions, helps listeners to understand a biblical view of the mind-body connection, and gives words of encouragement to those who feel frequently overcome by their emotional state.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Jessica Thompson on the topic of her new book, How to Help Your Anxious Teen. During the conversation, Jessica unpacks some of the commonly overlooked factors that can contribute to our teen's anxiety, the harmful ways parents sometimes approach helping their child, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers teens and parents alike the assurance and hope needed to walk through anxiety recovery. She also explains the dangerous effects of "helicopter parenting," why today's culture has a disdain for normalcy, and the importance of fostering an environment of grace and age-appropriate transparency in our homes.