I've struggled with deep depression in my past. Since then, when a crisis hits and is prolonged, I feel that tendancy to give up and sink in despair. I'm going through a prolonged season of hardship right now, and I've been praying up a storm and seeking God so that I will not also fall back into self-pity and hopelessness. I read this excerpt in Praying God's Word this morning, and it encourages me--first, because I also have known the "borders of despair" and the "horrible brink of that gulf of darkness"; and second, because it gives me hope that what I am going through now will enable me to help others--if I wait on the Lord and "but follow Christ". I hope it gives you hope as well that God will use your experiences to feed His sheep if you but commit your way, your experiences, your disappointments and losses to Him.
"I often feel very grateful to God that I have undergone fearful depression. I know the borders of despair and the horrible brink of that gulf of darkness into which my feet have almost gone. But hundreds of times I have been able to give a helpful grip to brethren and sisters who have come into that same condition, which grip I could never have given if I had not known their despondency. So I believe that the darkest and most dreadful experience of a child of God will help him to be a fisher of men if he will but follow Christ." Charles Spurgeon, 2200 Quotations from the Writings of Charles H. Spurgeon