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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Overcoming Depression

Joyce Meyer - Overcoming Depression


Joyce Meyer - Overcoming Depression
TOPICS: Talk It Out, Depression
Joyce Meyer - Overcoming Depression

Ginger Stache: Hi, everyone. Come on in here, we've been waiting for you. This is Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out podcast, where Joyce teaches the Word of God in her wonderful, practical, no-nonsense way and my friends and I talk about the real stuff of living it and we do not hold anything back. I'm Ginger Stache with my beautiful friends Jai and Erin Cluley, three friends who are all in different stages of life. Sometimes I highlight "Very" and that makes me feel really old.

Jai Williams: Very!

Ginger Stache: Very different stages because I'm really old. I'm not gonna do that anymore. But we do understand the importance of having loving, honest women around you, and when we need a little help, we call up miss Joyce. And we just realize that sometimes you gotta talk about life with your girlfriends. So, consider yourself one of us and let's Talk It Out.

Erin Cluley: Someone sent me a message about something we should talk about on the podcast.

Ginger Stache: Oh, yeah?

Erin Cluley: It was a good one, but I responded and said, "Just so you know, like, it'll be a really honest conversation 'cause that's what we do".

Ginger Stache: I know.

Erin Cluley: So throw me your ideas and then you just wait and see what happens.

Ginger Stache: I like that, just so you know...

Erin Cluley: Prerequisite for this conversation.

Ginger Stache: A little warning, don't suggest anything...

Erin Cluley: Right, you don't wanna deep dive in.

Ginger Stache: Right, exactly.

Jai Williams: We will. We totally will. Speaking of deep dive, I just want to share with all of you guys out there, and you too, I have not eaten pork...

Ginger Stache: I love that you're sharing this.

Jai Williams: This is important to me.

Ginger Stache: It's im-pork-ant? Is that what you said?

Jai Williams: I have felt left out at every event.

Ginger Stache: Is it the bacon?

Jai Williams: Yes.

Ginger Stache: It's the bacon.

Jai Williams: You even, you thought that you were, even like at our last thing when I came over to your house, you thought you were doing something nice to be like, "Jai, I really think you're going to like these ham cubes," I'm like, "Ginger, I haven't eaten ham or pork in 8 years, but I gave in and I ate".

Ginger Stache: It's because I misread a text that I thought you specifically asked for it.

Jai Williams: I thought you were joking, I was like, "Ooh what is it? Ham"? But I gave in and I ate pork this weekend.

Ginger Stache: How you feeling?

Jai Williams: Great, my stomach kind of did this sound like like, but that was it.

Erin Cluley: You were like, "What's going to happen"?

Jai Williams: I was like, "Uh-oh" but it didn't, it was, and then we're back, we're good.

Ginger Stache: Thank you for sharing that.

Jai Williams: I thought it was important. You know we talk about the real stuff.

Ginger Stache: And hold nothing back.

Jai Williams: Right, I eat bacon now, so.

Erin Cluley: I'm really glad about this.

Jai Williams: I know I feel like i...

Erin Cluley: I feel a relief for your social life.

Jai Williams: I feel like I can party and fellowship better with you guys.

Ginger Stache: I'm happy.

Jai Williams: Now, bring on the Pepperoni!

Ginger Stache: I did not mean for the little bits of ham that I made...

Erin Cluley: You stirred up a lot, Jai.

Ginger Stache: To change your life, but it looks like it did.

Jai Williams: I wanted to taste it. You don't cook often so the fact that you made them.

Ginger Stache: You know how much I love you.

Jai Williams: I felt the love and I've just felt like I'd crushed your heart.

Ginger Stache: 'cause I put something in the crockpot for you. Yeah. Well, we're really excited because we have a guest today with us that you are going to love and we're also talking about a topic that is so very important and I think often brushed over in the church, and I think we'll talk about that too. But, we are going to have someone with us who dealt with depression a lot of her life, and really felt like fame, and fortune, and success might help take care of it. She found out just the opposite. And Michelle Williams is a friend of Jai's, but she is also well-known for many, many things, you know Michelle from everywhere, right? She's written books. She's an author, she's a podcast host, she rose to fame in the most famous girl group of all time destiny's child. She is gonna be here with us to talk about her bout with depression and most importantly, the freedom that she's finding in Christ, and something that we can all relate to in one way or another. And Erin's totally fangirling.

Erin Cluley: I didn't wanna say anything when I walked in but I'm so glad I got this seat because she's like, right next to me. I've been so cool.

Ginger Stache: We'll look over and Erin will just be like...

Jai Williams: Rubbin' her hair.

Erin Cluley: "Hey, Michelle".

Jai Williams: Well, let me just say this, like, Michelle Williams, I've been a fangirl for years, just because of the music and I've seen her from afar, loved her music, love what she's done with the group, but also when she pivoted and did gospel music.

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Jai Williams: Like, that was huge, for her to step out and do that. So, I've been a fan from afar but what really connected me to her was when, I went on a retreat after, you guys know what I've been going through over the past couple years with the affair, and the divorce, and all that stuff. But, her transparency at a retreat that I went to is really what made me just fall in love with her. I'm just grateful that she's here and sharing her story.

Erin Cluley: That's really cool.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, and that's what we really want to help other people understand today is, there's no reason to have shame or to hide our pain. And yeah, it doesn't mean we need to air it everywhere.

Jai Williams: Right.

Ginger Stache: We have to be careful with what we're doing. But there should not be shame, especially in the church, about dealing with these things. So, she's gonna be coming, we're gonna be talking about it. We're gonna, of course, start with a little bit of God's word and we're gonna see what Joyce has to say about what this kind of pit feels like when you're dealing with depression. So, let's listen and then we'll bring out our special guest.

Joyce Meyer: You know, we all have times in our life when we get disappointed and the answer to being disappointed is to get reappointed. We all have times when we're discouraged but the answer is to then find a way to be encouraged. Just like light always overcomes darkness, positive things always overcome negative things. Now, there's a little place that the devil wants us to live in called, "The pit". Anybody know about the pit? The pit of depression, the pit of discouragement, the pit of fear, anger, whatever it might be. Well, what is a pit? It's a sunken place, a low place, a dark and an unpleasant place. I believe self-pity is a pit. There's nothing worse than spending a whole day sitting around in a half-dark room feeling sorry for yourself. It's terrible. It's certainly not a place that God wants us to be in and it's certainly not a place that Jesus died for us to live in. Joseph's brothers threw him into a pit and he ended up in the palace so he must have found some way to get out of that pit. And you may be in a place like that right now. Maybe some of you watching by television, you think you accidentally turned this program on, just flipping through the channels and you're sitting in a pit of depression or fear or anger and it's no accident that you've joined us. God is gonna show you through his word how you can get out of that pit. Now we pray for God to get us out of places we don't wanna be in but, to be honest, it's not all about prayer. I've found out many times when we pray and ask God to do something for us, he shows us what we need to do. I'm gonna say that again, just to make sure you got it. A lot of times when we ask God to do something for us, instead of just magically doing it for us, he shows us what we need to do to change that thing in our life.

Ginger Stache: That is a huge statement, it's huge. And Michelle, thank you so much for being with us. It's so fun to have you.

Michelle Williams: It is so fun to be with y'all today. I know we're talking about a heavy topic, but I've been hanging out with y'all for a little while today and you guys are just a fun bunch. I just want to see this on, like, mainstream, like, TV. Where is the networks? Come on. Come on networks! Come on networks! Come on networks! Cameras!

Ginger Stache: It was funny, we were gettin' ready and Michelle said, "Does Joyce know what goes on here"? And yup, she does. She's part of it.

Jai Williams: She always tells us, "You guys better behave".

Michelle Williams: They are not behaving, not behaving.

Erin Cluley: Michelle.

Jai Williams: Don't tell on us.

Michelle Williams: Not behaving. No, I'm just playing. It's so awesome, just, just, a great fun spirit, that's in here so...

Erin Cluley: You fit right in.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, we're glad you're one of the girls.

Michelle Williams: Yay! I feel like it already.

Ginger Stache: I wanna jump into what she said about, we want God to take our pain, right? We want him to just lift us up out of that pit and so many times it's more like a ladder that he asks us to climb, one rung at a time, to get out of there. Michelle, as we were listening to that, you're shaking your head. Is that something that you would agree with or that you experienced in your own life?

Michelle Williams: I would certainly agree with that. You know, when you are in a pit, the pit of depression, let's just go ahead, and just park there in the pit of depression, sometimes you do lay around. I know for me, my experience was laying around for weeks. No one called, the world didn't stop. "Michelle was depressed, stop everybody, stop. Stop".

Ginger Stache: Yeah you want that don't you?

Michelle Williams: You want that but, nope, it did not happen.

Ginger Stache: "It doesn't make sense that other people are still living and having fun when I'm hurting".

Michelle Williams: It did not happen and you're sitting there stinky, depression makes you stink. Now, just to be honest, because sometimes you're so weak, you don't know if, my experience, you know, you are laying in the bed. You were so weak that you're going, you're getting up to use the bathroom, and getting back in the bed. And so, what I started doing when I was in that place: "No, get up. Brush your teeth". Okay? Okay. You might even get back in the bed. Okay, but, get up, brush your teeth. "Okay, now take a shower". Okay. And then it's like, "Okay, what are you meditating on"? You know? Putting some praise and worship music on or music that uplifts you, because you do have to make the move for yourself. You are not gonna pray a prayer and then like popeye, your muscles, you gonna eat some spinach and then all the sudden you're gonna feel strong, it is a process.

Ginger Stache: Tell me what that depression felt like for you because I know it's different for everyone but there are consistencies. There are things that someone else listening will hear Michelle and say, "Yeah, I get that". What'd it feel like for you?

Michelle Williams: Well, depression for me, it started around whatever age group the seventh grade is, that's how far back it went. So, it didn't happen, all of a sudden, when I got in destiny's child, the music industry didn't make me sad, okay? So, I remember not wanting to be around people, isolation. My grades were failing. I didn't care. That's where it started for me. And so, then, I kind of went up, into my thirties not with a diagnosis, you know? I knew in my 20's something wasn't quite right. This is, you know, during success, touring, being around people, people dream to be around and I'm like, "I feel like I'm depressed". I felt like I had a name to it then, but in the seventh grade, I didn't. I thought it was growing pains.

Ginger Stache: Did you think that, that success that you found, 'cause you hit it big, would take care of all of those feelings? Like, somehow, getting what we want should fix those problems.

Michelle Williams: I didn't think success would take it away, I thought success would just help me obtain, maybe, the things I couldn't obtain as a child. You know, we were fed, we had clean clothes, but I wanted that coach purse, you know, where you put it in your back pocket and the tassel would hang out? You know? I wanted that. I wanted Nike. I didn't get my first pair of Nike until I went to college. So, to me, success meant I can obtain certain material things, right? But then, you notice, okay, after I obtain material things, you know? After I'm able to sit back and watch my account build, that didn't take away that thing.

Erin Cluley: Yeah.

Jai Williams: That deep depression.

Michelle Williams: That depression. But like I said, it wasn't until my thirties that I actually got a diagnosis of depression, and I was like, "Wow".

Erin Cluley: Did you feel relieved, like when it had an official name?

Michelle Williams: I definitely felt relieved because you know, I had a name to it. And then, it's like, okay, now that I have a name to it, I don't want that to be my label.

Ginger Stache: That's a great point.

Michelle Williams: So, now, what am I doing to work it out, you know? But there had been some ups and downs in that journey since that diagnoses of depression. You know, you can go years sometimes without something happening, and then something happens where you're like, "Ohh, I'm not healed from childhood stuff that even put me in depression in the seventh grade". So, getting to the root of, everything has a root, everything has a root.

Ginger Stache: Well, you even mentioned that success can be a type of trauma on its own.

Michelle Williams: Yes. Absolutely, success can be a trauma. Trauma just isn't blood and gore, trauma is your life changing, your privacy being taken away, and maybe somebody following you to your home. I've had the type of trauma when we would check into the hotel room security would have to walk in to check the room to see if no one's hiding in the closet. And I'm like, "Wait a minute, I just wanna to go back to Wisconsin dells with my family and be normal". And we didn't have to worry about if someone's, you know, in the closet, lurking. You know, that's a little wonky.

Jai Williams: Yeah, you lose your sense of privacy.

Michelle Williams: You do lose your sense of privacy. And then, you're just taught, this is what comes with it, suck it up.

Ginger Stache: When you talk about finding that root, 'cause I think that is so important, if we don't pull the root out, it just keep sprouting back up. How did you find that root? Because I'm guessing, I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing that part of finding that root also brought you to a place where the Word of God was able to help you pull that out, and to help you change whatever happened, that wound to begin with.

Michelle Williams: Prayer and therapy. They go together because that therapist is trained to help, to ask you questions. You don't know the process, or there are different therapy types or practices. I won't get into all of that, but they ask certain questions for a reason to get down to the root and before you know it you're talkin' about something that happened at the age of 3 or 7, right? Or you're discovering, as we discovered at that retreat together, there are certain emotional needs a child needs to have met, or if not, when they are an adult those symptoms begin to manifest. So, if you're wondering why you're 35 years old, 45 years old reacting like a child having a tantrum when you lose something or something happens, go back to your childhood and see at what moment, you know, this is just, why am I reacting as if somebody took my gummy bears away from me? Well, what happened to you around that age? Get in to the root of that. Whether there was bullying, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, witnessing domestic violence, all those things, they take root. Especially, when you grow up in a home where you don't talk about it. You know, I grew up in a home where we didn't talk about it. Shout out to my family, awesome family, successful family, a family full of ministers, doctors, great people, but I think my mom's generation did not talk about things. You saw things and you swept it under the rug. Now, I know when you lift this rug up, there are no dust bunnies, but if you lifted our rugs up.

Ginger Stache: I'm not so sure.

Michelle Williams: I just wanna keep Joyce Meyer, I just wanna keep the podcast in a good light.

Erin Cluley: No dust bunnies.

Michelle Williams: So, imagine you're just sweeping stuff under the rug. And maybe, because, my parents didn't know how to talk about things because they didn't talk about things in their household. "Are you alive? Did it kill you? Okay, there's nothing to talk about. Do you have a roof over your head? You have clothes on your back? Are you without food? There's nothing to talk about".

Jai Williams: Be grateful.

Michelle Williams: Be grateful. That's it.

Jai Williams: I think, I wanted to add this, like Michelle and I have a very similar upbringing as well, even all the way down to, like, you know, how I talk about being cogic, like a Pentecostal girl, like at the core, but one of the things in my upbringing was not, like, we didn't normalize therapy or counseling. It's a very, culture of, you know, what is it? "Don't bring a reproach on God, yourself, or the church". So like, don't talk about things to people. Like, this even, was not normal, like, having friends that you actually were honest with. And believe that what's helping with depression now, even when I struggled with it when I went through postpartum depression, which is different than, you know, like, clinical depression, but that is real. Like having a child and going through that real pit and hormonal shift. I didn't even, like I was still at a place 'cause I was what... 22, 23? And I was still at a place where I'm like, I didn't know I could go and talk to somebody and so I think...

Erin Cluley: Just stuffing stuff down

Jai Williams: I stuffed it. And I didn't know, I was just lying there and then everybody, "Aww girl, you goin' through postpartum". And that was it. And I was like, "Well, how do I get up"? "How do I get up? What do I do"?

Ginger Stache: "What do I do with it"?

Jai Williams: Yeah, "What do I do with this"? So, I think it's important for us to start normalizing talking to people, normalizing even therapy, like, normalizing dealing with it.

Michelle Williams: Can I ask you ladies a question? Did y'all talk about stuff in your household? Were you free and was the environment created like, "Mom, this is bothering me". "Mom, this is bothering me". "Dad, this is bothering me". Grandma, auntie, whoever were you allowed to talk about things?

Ginger Stache: You want to go first?

Erin Cluley: Yeah, we were. And I don't know if that's just specific to my home, but I know my mom was my best friend, she still is, so, we had that kind of communication. So, when something bothered me, I would go run to her. So, like, it makes me kinda emotional to hear you talk like that cause I can't imagine what you must have experienced. Where you didn't have someone that you could feel like you could open up to, which makes sense 'cause she didn't know how to do that either. But yeah, so, I did grow up in a home like that. My dad was the same way, but talking to my husband, he didn't have that same experience. So, we've had to talk through a lot of that stuff now. Like, as you're saying, things you went through as a kid come out as an adult: we've had conversations and it's him living through those things again, and talking about them now.

Ginger Stache: I was really blessed in that experience, too. We talked about everything and it was very, very open, and it was also okay to hurt. Which, I think is huge. Nobody expected you to hurt and you didn't want to stay there, but we did talk through things like that. I know if Joyce was here, she would say she did not grow up in a home where anybody could do that, right? She had so many secrets in her home and so many wounds and I know a lot of people can connect with that. So, let's listen to a little bit more that she has to say, something that's really important about digging out of that pit and then we'll talk more about it.

Joyce Meyer: What goes on in your inner life? What goes on in there, behind those closed doors? How do you talk to yourself? Those are thoughts. They're just inside thoughts. How do you talk to yourself? Especially, how do you talk to yourself, about yourself? Hey, I say good things about me, just in case nobody else does.

Joyce Meyer: I've already got it taken care of. Now, I didn't for a lot of years. I had all kinds of bad things to say to me, about me. But you are not ever gonna be happy if you don't learn how to enjoy yourself. You have to learn how to enjoy God, enjoy yourself, and when you do that then you start to enjoy other people. How do you talk to yourself, about yourself? How do you talk to yourself about your life, your future, your past, the situation that you're in? "This is never gonna change. I'm so sick and tired, and sick and tired, sick and tired, sick and tired, sick, sick, sick and tired". And then, you go to God and say, "I don't understand why I'm so sick and tired". Come on, let's get a slight revelation here, today. "I'm sick and tired of this. I hate my job. I hate my life. I don't know why I'm unhappy". What you say to you is more important than anything that anybody else says to you. Matter of fact, if you say enough good stuff to yourself, you can even be around somebody that just makes a lifetime out of trying to pull people down, and it don't have to bother you at all. Because it's what you know about yourself that matters, not what everybody else thinks. Self-talk drastically affects our moods. Let me tell ya something. I could be in some bad moods if I didn't talk to myself. Let's look at this again 'cause this is so good. "Moreover [let us be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces", I love this! "[the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation". It becomes a habit. Make your mind up today, that you're gonna enjoy life, on purpose. No matter how many troubles you came in with, find something today, that you can enjoy. Think about something that's gonna make you happy. Go be a blessing to somebody, but refuse to let your day just be 24 hours of sadness, and being gloomy, and thinkin' about every negative thing that you can come up with to think about.

Ginger Stache: So, what do you all think when you hear that scripture, of what God wants us to think about and what he wants us to do in our life. But there's so much and all of that, that she was saying. What are some of thought you guys were having?

Michelle Williams: Well, first of all, I just want to say that I think we all love Joyce Meyer because of the practical way she breaks things down. I felt convicted, she like, "Girl if you don't start talking better to yourself," and blah, blah, blah.You know, and it's like, she's so right because, as we think about a scripture in Romans 12, I think, you know, "Don't be conformed to the things of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind". She just told us how to renew the mind. 'cause how many times do we hear that scripture, and be like, "Renew my mind? So, am I just supposed to read this scripture and my mind's supposed to be renewed"? So, it's gonna help with how you talk to yourself. What are you reading on? What are you hearing? Are there people in your life who might be contributing to your depression?

Jai Williams: Come on.

Michelle Williams: Let them go. Or boundaries, you know? And so I was just sitting here like, she's giving some practical ways because she teaches no-nonsense. It's just not gonna happen overnight. There are some things that you have to do and talking to yourself and saying what God thinks about you. And you know, "Whatever, things that are pure, lovely, of good report, think on these things".

Erin Cluley: I love what you said, and then what Joyce said too about how, like, it took therapy and prayer. So, my husband and I have been going to therapy so I'm learning all these great things I wouldn't've figured out otherwise. But then, I have to like do something about it, that's just not gonna magically change everything.

Michelle Williams: We don't want you spendin' all the money on therapy!

Erin Cluley: I know, right! So, last week I was like, "Why is this not working"? And then, I realized where my mind was going. Like, I'm learning these tools but my mind is still going wherever I want it to go. So, if I wanna get anything out of this money we're paying, I better start practicing these things and I need to be renewing my mind with Christ and the things that he's saying. It doesn't matter that I had his knowledge, what am I gonna do with that knowledge? And it all goes back to my mind.

Michelle Williams: And it's not instant grits, people.

Erin Cluley: No!

Michelle Williams: You don't put water in it, put it in the microwave, and then it's going to be edible. Sometimes all is not edible. Just know that, before you know it, a week will go by, two weeks will go by and what you've been practicing and applying, you'll see some changes.

Jai Williams: It becomes a habit, it becomes a habit like Joyce said, but once the light bulb switches when you realize, "I have to take ownership of my process of healing," give it to the Lord, of course, but you have to put feet to your faith. Because it's-and sometimes, it's easier said than done. I've been there, I almost went there this round, like, I could feel myself...Down, you know? And I would say things like, "I'm not good enough". "Maybe, I wasn't pretty enough," "Maybe the weight," maybe, you know? So, I started thinking of all the things of the why's and then it was just like, it's all the little ugly things that Satan was saying in my ear, you know, that I started just realizing I was thinking and maybe, even not always articulating but thinking like, "Yeah, she was better than me". Like, "That's why he didn't, I wasn't good enough for him to love", like, it was things like that, that when you're sitting and it's heavy, okay?

Erin Cluley: You can feel it.

Jai Williams: Like, you can feel, it's heavy and it feels almost impossible to do it. And but when you realize that you're not doing it on your own, but you have to activate that thing and like, start being mindful of what you're saying about yourself. So, I'm like, "No, no, no". And then, even talking to you guys helped a whole bunch through that season, like, 'cause I was feeling like, it was heavy. And so, anybody that's listening, like, we're not saying that it's not heavy: it's heavy. It's not easy like, it's one little step at a time.

Ginger Stache: What did you replace those thoughts with?

Jai Williams: I replace them with saying positive affirmations about myself and you guys can go to previous episodes when I was walking through it, and I still do. Today, like I replenished, my little bathroom looked like a little teenage bathroom right now but I don't really care because it's getting me through, and I might post it, maybe, because like, it's post-it notes all over my mirror that say like, "I don't even need a man to validate me, I am beautiful, I am fearfully and wonderfully made". Like, even when I couldn't say it, I saw it, and I was like, and I'd look at myself and be like, "Uhh, she don't look it". But, like, but eventually.

Ginger Stache: The mirror's a rough place to put that, but it's a good idea.

Jai Williams: Because that was one of the places where I felt the least, like, lovely. Like that was the place where I felt the worst so.

Ginger Stache: But you still were.

Jai Williams: I was but it was hard to see it.

Ginger Stache: Absolutely.

Jai Williams: When you're going through it and you're feeling that weight it's hard, it's like, "Ugh. I feel like ugh". But I literally, started speaking it and then, we talk about the full armor of God, like actively putting that on every day, even when I'm like, "Helmet of salvation", you know, "Sword of the spirit", like, you know, but those practical things and taking it step, like you talked about earlier, that ladder, step by step, that pulls you out of that pit.

Michelle Williams: Why is it so easy for us to have these negative thoughts about our self?

Ginger Stache: It is so natural, isn't it?

Michelle Williams: When we know, sitting here right now, we know those are all lies, but we sit, now if you just want to use that as an excuse to eat them good ol' cream cheese brownies, go for it. But, why don't we speak good about ourselves and eat the brownies? You know? But it's just kinda like, "Oh, my gosh, I'm horrible, I'm not lovable, I'm just gonna to eat my life away". It's so easy. It's like our minds, we gravitate to the negative, so easy before. I hate that it takes practice to speak positively about ourselves.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, I love the Psalms for that. If you read through the Psalms, there are so many wonderful encouraging Psalms, but more than that, they're so real. Because, like Psalms 13, it starts with saying, "Are you going to forsake me forever God? Have you forgotten me"? I love real that is, but then it ends up with, like so many Psalms, "Yet I will praise you. I trust you, you are here for me".

Michelle Williams: Yes.

Ginger Stache: So we can lay it all before God. But sometimes it hurts so much that we don't even know how to begin to start doing that. And that's where we're praying for one another, we're helping each other out. We need to sometimes have a little bit of extra prayer to pick us up. But we don't always get that. Sometimes we're completely on our own. So, do what we can. And God gives little glimmers. What were some of the things that you saw at your darkest moments when God began lifting you out?

Michelle Williams: Some of the things that I saw at my darkest moments...

Ginger Stache: What'd you do? How did you change your thinking?

Michelle Williams: 'cause I didn't see a lot of good things in my darkest moments, if we talkin' about, we keepin' it real? I didn't see a lot of good things in my darkest moments, I was ready to end it, end it all. But what got me through deciding that day, the world did not stop for me. That's kinda sobering. Like why was I expecting, people care about you, they might, but when people pick up the phone and call you don't really tell them how you're doing 'cause you don't want to be a burden. So, definitely, 'cause I'm like well, because I have faith it was, it was good to, you know, pick up the word and get those songs back in my spirit because for a while I felt so ashamed of what happened, I stopped listening to praise and worship music. I felt shame.

Ginger Stache: How do you get past that? That shame.

Michelle Williams: Just know, shame to not listen to something that's gonna get me through, that got me to where I am? I think that's what the enemy wants. Is if he can take away certain things and now he has you to himself, that's the perfect place for him to take you out. The perfect spot. "But you will not win, today," and he did not win. You know, there's a song that I've been listening to called, "I'm alive because there's more," you know? And so, there is more. Every time we get up and take a breath, there is more, there is purpose. I will not, as much as I can, I will not let the enemy celebrate and put his little, you know, what's the party hats on and blow the, the thing? "You not goin' do that with me".

Erin Cluley: So, was it like a perspective change?

Michelle Williams: Definitely a perspective change. And then declaring: "No more depression". No more depression. I was tired of those pits. So, now, if I sense it, I'm not saying that I don't have things that come along my way that can make me upset, but I no longer sit. I go workout, I drink my nutritional shakes, I eat, 'cause for me, it affects my appetite, so when you don't eat, you're weak and you're no no, no, no, no, no staying, not staying busy, but doing something productive, to stay up and that is my responsibility. Oh, and end of 2019, coming into 2020, I said, "No more". No more. And in 2020, there was no more. Did I have hurts and triggers? Absolutely. But did I get in the bed? No. How do we help people? Do you have people close to you? What do you do if somebody tells you, "Hey, I'm down and depressed"? If, you know, I don't know about your experience, well we know your experience with it, what are some of the things that maybe we can help people be like, "Okay, definitely don't say that"? Or you know, what are some of the cool things that you know, we do?

Ginger Stache: I think that's a great question. And one of the first things is, I tell them, "Thank you". Like, "Thank you for telling me that".

Jai Williams: That's so good, acknowledging it, yeah.

Ginger Stache: Because I love them so much and I know how hard it is to admit that sometimes. And to just say, "Thank you for sharing your life with me like that, and I will be here, I'll pray for you, I'll talk through anything you want me to. We can do what you want, we can pray together, I can pray for you and keep it to myself. We can look at the word together". But I think being there for them is more important than anything else that I know of.

Erin Cluley: I was just talking to a friend last night, it's a friend of Mike and I's, and he struggles with depression. So, he was just sharing what that experience has been like and I told him, "I'm so appreciative of you opening up about this. I know it's not easy to talk about". And he was saying how he and his wife have been together so long, she's learned like, when he's in that place and so she knows sometimes, he doesn't need to talk. And so, it's learning from what I took from him, learning that person and respecting what they might need. 'cause he said, usually, he can be over it, like the next day might be better. And so, it's not pushing them, but sort of going at their pace. I found that was really interesting, that's what worked for them.

Michelle Williams: And that's a form of being there for that person. Verbally or non-verbal.

Erin Cluley: Different for each person, like, what do you need?

Ginger Stache: But sometimes being there for them also means some tough love. You don't let someone stay in that dark, dark place, you're there to help them, even if it's just incredible intercessory prayer. "I'm not going to give up on them, I'm going to keep telling them that God loves them and has a good plan for them, even if they don't want to hear it". Not to the point where it hurts our relationships, but I'm not going to give up on them.

Erin Cluley: That's why Jai calls me, "Nosey", 'cause that's what I've done with her.

Jai Williams: We've stopped calling you nosey, we call you, "Caring Erin".

Erin Cluley: Not "Nosey Rosey".

Jai Williams: My initial name was, "Nosey Rosey," and then we were like, "Carin' Erin".

Erin Cluley: Because I care and I will not stop.

Jai Williams: Honey you will not... Relentless. Okay, but here's one of the things I like to just share with people that get people that come to them to say like, "Oh, I'm struggling with this". It could be depression or anything. We have so many resources now. Like, long gone are like the excuses of like, "Oh, I don't know what to do". It's called Google, you know, like? I mean, I'm not saying that Google knows everything, but there's so many helpful tips out there to say like, "How to deal with a friend that's struggling with depression. What are some things to say and what not to say"? You know, like it's so much out there now, that we have to, if we really care about the person taking, and that's with any topic, that's with anything that your friends are struggling with, like, taking that personal like, accountability to say, "I'm gonna Google to see this, I'm going to ask, I'll call other doctors". Because if you care, you have to be invested in doing it. But one of the things that I've told even friends because I've come out of depression before and because I've felt myself spiraling a little bit, you know? It's one of the things you kinda said, it's like, the healing takes time, the decision can be instant. You know, once you realize that, the decision to say, "I'm not gonna lose to this. Like, this can't win over me". That can be in a moment. So, like if you're struggling with it right now, you can make, even if you feel very, very weak, you can make a decision and say, "God with your help".

Michelle Williams: Amen.

Jai Williams: "With your help, like, I don't have to deal with this anymore. I can be this done with this. I can be done with this, right now". But you have to understand that the healing takes time. That's the part that was the hardest for me, was 'cause I wanted it to be as instant as my words were and that wasn't the case, it's still not the case. I still struggle with certain parts of my life and what's going on.

Ginger Stache: And you're not a bad Christian because you still struggle with that stuff.

Jai Williams: Exactly, it's a process, but the healing part takes time. And only God can determine that time, but as long as you do the work, as long as you make those decisions, as long as you make the decision to say it. 'cause I wasn't ashamed to not listen to worship music, I was disappointed. I didn't wanna hear anymore music, this music I sang to people. I didn't wanna hear it anymore, 'cause I sang it, and I'm like, "How could this happen to me"? I was not ashamed, I was just mad. And it's okay say, like, "I'm disappointed, I'm angry. I'm angry. I don't want to sing. I don't want to listen". But at some point you goin' have to understand that, that's the medicine you need to get yourself right. So, you have to make the decision like, "Ugh, I don't want to hear it". But you just listen. Have it playing in the background and eventually you'll start singing it. You know, just take it. Be gracious to yourself. But, understand that the healing takes time, but the decision can be right now.

Ginger Stache: So, that takes like, a little crack in that darkness for hope and light to seep in. You need just a little crack sometimes, to begin to make that statement that you said, you know, "This is where I'm going to fight back".

Michelle Williams: Yeah, and you say, "No more".

Ginger Stache: Exactly!

Michelle Williams: And I surrender and I raise my hands. There are moments where I'm walking around in my condo with the music on, my hands are raised, okay? Because worship does help with everything: it helps with worry, it helps with anxiety, it helps with depression, it helps dealing with any other unfortunate situation or diagnosis that you had. Worship, at the end of the day, it does help. It's just don't be like me or with what Jai is saying, just, you know, because the enemy wants to snatch your praise and your worship because his whole plan is to steal, kill, and destroy. And if when he gets you by yourself, he can do whatever he wants with you and then you come in agreement with that and you walk in that and before you know you it, you can be out of here permanently.

Jai Williams: Yeah and you, you have to also then pivot from just listening to opening your mouth.

Michelle Williams: Amen, that's right.

Jai Williams: Wield your weapon like, cause a lot of times, we listen to music or we, we read the word silently and don't- and I realized in my pit, like my lowest pit, I remember just...

Michelle Williams: Yes, and you felt...

Jai Williams: It was, ugh, it's gripping like, sometimes just, it's crazy like, so, I remember that and I know, like, how I even sometimes feel in this whole season of healing is like, you just- it's like, I want to, my heart wants to, but you just have to make a sound, you have to will yourself to wield your weapon. You go from listening to the music, listening to the sermon online, listening to it all that, listening to the podcast. Great, great, great, great, great, great, great, but at some point you goin' have to open your own mouth 'cause he wants to hear your worship and Satan needs to hear your specific voice to cast him out. You have to use your words.

Ginger Stache: That's so good. And let the Word of God seep into that one little crack of hope that you begin to see open up. I mean, there's so many amazing scriptures, of who God wants to be in our lives. He's the lover of our soul, he's the healer of our deepest, darkest hurts. He is that hope in the most hopeless situation. And just like, Jai said, write down those scriptures. And what you said, Michelle, don't be ashamed to reach out and get the help that you need, whether it's professionally, maybe it's medication, because, you know, this is not just something that is, "Because there's something wrong with me, I made a mistake, I did something that I deserve this," and that's how we feel sometimes when we're in that dark place. It's not that we deserve it, sometimes we need some physical help to get our body through this, as well as our soul and spiritually, so, it's just a whole thing.

Michelle Williams: That's so good, we take ibuprofen for headaches, you know, maybe, you know, what if you go to the hospital for food poisoning, they're going to give you an iv for nausea.

Ginger Stache: They're gonna pump your stomach from that bad food. Let's get the bad stuff out.

Michelle Williams: Okay, from your electrolytes, they're gonna hydrate you, so, you know? And I didn't wanna get too, you know, medical, but when you brought up medication that's an option too, you know? It maybe doesn't have to be permanent, I don't know the situation. You know, and for me, you know, yes, medication was involved because I believe, you know, I'm taking it for, if I have a headache for ibuprofen, headache for ibuprofen? Ibuprofen for a headache, then maybe I can take something for anxiety, that will lead to depression. So just, you know, like we said, go see somebody and have no shame about it. Like, you don't have to broadcast it to everybody unless you feel led one day and you feel it's gonna inspire, make an impact, and change, and save a life, go for it. I'm with you on that. But like you said, definitely, don't have any shame of talking to somebody.

Ginger Stache: However, when you said that about prayer and therapy, I can just hear so many Christians going "Uh-uh"

Michelle Williams: You taking away the power of God.

Ginger Stache: Exactly! And that's not how it works because when you talk about prayer, God's hands aren't tied by anything. So, he gives us the ability to have medical advancements. So, I just love that you're saying that and I think it's so important that we, as Christians, can stop blaming one another for the problems that we face. Stop putting shame on it, if we need extra help and can look at it in a holistic approach like we do everything else in our life. As long as God is the focus and we're not trusting something else over him. But if we're putting them together, I think that's hugely important.

Michelle Williams: Absolutely, I've heard a doctor, Dr. Anita Philips, say, I believe I'm quoting it correctly, you know, "Prayer is a weapon, therapy is a strategy". So, I know that after I leave therapy, I pray and be like, "Now, Jesus you heard what she said," so then, and I feel like my prayers have become even more specific, it's like after you get a doctor's report, you pray specifically according to what that doctor said.

Ginger Stache: Well, we're gonna close with a little bit of encouragement from Joyce, but before we do that, Michelle, is there anything that you would say, because you're talking to our friends who may be in that place where you were a few years ago, what is the best advice that you would give them to hang on to that hope that's out there?

Michelle Williams: "Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. And yes, I know who holds my future", this is the advice: "And your life is worth the living just because he lives".

Erin Cluley: Ohhh...

Ginger Stache: Oh wow, yeah.

Erin Cluley: I try to sing on here sometimes, you know?

Michelle Williams: Come on girls, let's go! "Because he lives".

Erin Cluley: I'll never do it again.

Ginger Stache: You don't want it.

Michelle Williams: Yeah, yeah, life is worth, the Lord has you here for a reason. I contemplated many times, but my life is worth living.

Erin Cluley: That's right.

Michelle Williams: Simply because he lives! Not even simply what it took for him, to die for us, to live again, to live.

Jai Williams: So good.
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