While Revelation 21 specifically lists death, mourning, crying, and pain as fundamental grievances believers will face, there's a shocking lack of corporate preparation to meet with such sorrows. Removing the stigma of deeply painful sadness requires the local church’s unhurried commitment to making room for it on Sunday mornings and a desire to equip leaders in one-another care.
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).
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.
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.
Grief can often feel like a bully. It’s not uncommon for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to be overtaken by waves of sorrow when they least expect it. Sometimes it’s a simple sight or smell that brings us to our knees; we’ll find ourselves head-in-hand, weeping as if the loss […]
Our faithful pursuit of taking pleasure in Jesus is the best witness we can offer our family. By taking the time to share how God is working in our lives, we attract our children to the larger story of God’s redemption. If Jesus is the Gift that keeps on giving, what better way to share the treasure than by inviting our children to come and see for themselves?
How we respond to disappointment reveals what we really trust and treasure. But there is a path forward for the dejected heart, and it involves trusting the protection and the promise of God’s providence.
Serve food for the sheep while growing the fold—these are not mutually exclusive tasks. The Good Shepherd wastes not an opportunity to carry one of His wanderers to safety. Let the church be a place where saints are built up in quality and converts are built up in quantity, for such is the work of kingdom people.
Depression demands to be heard—to have a voice. Ed Welch writes, “There are times when depression is saying something and we must listen.” If we don’t take notice of the dirges despondency sings, we fail to capitalize on an important catalyst for spiritual growth.
Sometimes disappointment comes in the form of forced humility—the moment when we must admit we cannot fix our problems or ourselves in our own strength. Sometimes we compound our sorrows by not recognizing the season we are in, and the error only serves to make things worse.
When mothers mourn their inability to "do better" and "be better," they can use it as an opportunity to press into God's grace or as an occasion to fall away from grace, believing they ought to be law-keepers instead of grace-receivers. What rebukes and encouragements does the Apostle Paul have to say on this matter? Continue reading...
Mental health issues can be complex in nature, and parents can run the risk of overlooking particular facets of treatment because of prejudices about underlying causes. But when we look to the Scriptures and see God serving the sorrowing with individualized, calculated affection, we see a multifaceted approach to managing mental anguish — one that acknowledges the dichotomy of man (as body and soul) and the necessity of the body of Christ.
In this video produced by Thrive Moms, I share five biblical truths that help mothers overcome anger by grace. Post also includes helpful links to biblical resources and audios to equip mothers to examine their hearts on the subject.
Walking through depression can be a dark, deep, lonely season of life–especially for mothers. It’s a topic I’ve written about in a number of ways, and a battle I continue to fight against by faith with every ounce of strength I am afforded by the Spirit. In this most recent video feature at Thrive Moms, […]
Mental health recovery can be a season plagued by fear and doubt. Our fears become particularly burdensome when we meditate upon the question, “Will I ever get better?” If you find yourself asking this question, I'd like to share some hard-learned encouragements from my own journey through recovery.
Extremes of wretchedness. Charles Spurgeon once said, “I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to.” Suicidal ideations often begin in the crosshairs of extremes, where always and never intersect. The wretched “always be this way” and […]
In this Facebook LIVE recording, I share a message on the topic of “mom-envy,” exploring what it is, what the Bible calls it, ways it manifests itself in our lives, and how we can work in tandem with the Word and the Spirit for lasting heart change. This video was hosted by Laura Fleetwood, author/podcast […]
Having a hard day of motherhood? Walking through a dark spiritual valley? Finding yourself in a fall/winter season of marriage? I’m so thankful for the opportunity to talk about REAL & HARD things with Tiffany at A Mom’s Mission Field in this new podcast episode. In the episode, I share a bit of background about my book, […]
This article originally appeared at Thrive Moms on March 21, 2017. Christine M. Chappell is a contributing writer for the Thrive Moms blog, the author of “Clean Home, Messy Heart: Promises of Renewal, Hope, and Change for Overwhelmed Moms”, and is currently pursuing her biblical counseling certification. I couldn’t remember the last time I had bent down to feel velvety […]
I was recently privileged to share a piece of my heart at John Piper’s website DesiringGod.org. This article is meant to give readers a glimpse into the heart struggle of a Christian tempted to self-harm, as well as the intimate love and affection that Jesus has for such ones who struggle in this fashion. The battle is presented […]
This article originally appeared at Thrive Moms on February 23, 2017. Christine M. Chappell is a contributing writer for the Thrive Moms blog, the author of “Clean Home, Messy Heart: Promises of Renewal, Hope, and Change for Overwhelmed Moms”, and is currently pursuing her biblical counseling certification. He split his lip wide open. I couldn’t […]