There is a silent killer out there. This killer sneaks in, slowly destroys its target, and has left many for dead. You can’t always see it, but it’s there. It’s ugly by nature, but it doesn’t have a face. Those whom it targets can feel it. But often times it has already taken over before they realize the grip. This killer has a name. And its name is depression.

I’m not a doctor, nor am I a counselor. But at one time, I was its victim. And while I would love to tell you it never comes knocking on my door, I can’t. It still knocks on my door. And sometimes, it sneaks in through the back. But I’ve learned to recognize it for what it is, and fight back with everything I have.

Listening to stories encountered by our first responders has been enough to bring me to tears on many occasions. In fact, the Bible says in Ephesians 5:12, “It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.” It’s no wonder there are so many out there who are being affected. There are so many things you can’t “un-hear or un-see.”

There are those who may also have been hit with trouble at home. Tragedy. Financial burdens. Marriage struggles. All of these things tend to intensify around the holidays. I could continue to list them out, one by one, but you know what I’m referring to.

I often find myself wondering if my life matters. Some wonder if there’s anything worth living for. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but someone does. So if I could sum it up in one paragraph, I would say this:

Your life DOES matter. It matters to those who forget to tell you how much you matter to them. Your life matters to the one you gave a cup of coffee to on a cold night. Your life matters to our family in blue and the department that you serve. And best yet. Your life matters to Jesus who took on the very nature of servant. Who bore the sin of the world. Who looked down, thought of you, and said “That one is worth dying for.”  Your … Life … Matters!

You aren’t alone, friend. And you can move beyond all this. I know you may not feel it now. But you CAN defeat it. You will need a “hand up” to help pull you through. Please don’t walk this journey alone. It doesn’t make you any “less than” asking for help. Get help. And get help now. You can beat it! And then you can be the reason for someone else. Because I promise, someone, somewhere, is waiting for you to defeat this killer. They need to know they aren’t alone. And they need to know you did it! And I pray, one day, you hear them speak those very words … “Because of you, I didn’t give up.”

“We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20b-21 NLT).

There are many great resources available. If you don’t have a church pastor or a department chaplain you feel comfortable with, there are national (and confidential) resources available.

– Melinda Merritt

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