Rodney Mullins Online
Bringing a Spirit of Excellence to the Body of Christ

The Dark Pain Of Depression

The dark pain of depression

Several years ago I found myself in the darkest season of my life. It seemed that my entire world was in a deep dark hole and I was struggling to breath. It began very quickly and it began at full throttle. There was no time to adjust or evaluate… It was just there.
As a Christian I thought that it would not be possible for me to ever fall into depression but I did. I felt unspiritual, I felt unholy, and I felt like a failure, I felt unworthy, I wanted to die.
I wanted to die every night and was thankful I didn’t every morning. The depth of the pain was unimaginable. The feeling of being alone and the dark cloud that never left me had me struggling for answers. I read every book I could find, I read through the bible, I prayed most of the day, I cried from a place that should never be known and I ask God to take my life.
For over two years I visited hell in my mind. For over two years I begged for a light in my darkness, for over two years I planned my funeral as a way of escape from the pain. Even as I am writing this the pain revisits my mind and my heart breaks for those that suffer from depression.
Yesterday I read of Robin Williams’s suicide and I wept. I wept because he felt that it was his only way of escaping the pain. I weep because thousands more attempt to find peace and rest of mind in the same way.
Here is in brief my story….
With a heart for God and a vision to change lives for the better I began a new adventure in a small City in Ohio. Within one week of this journey the real journey for me began. I woke up one morning with an unbelievable heaviness in my mind. It seemed that a dark cloud was positioned over my spirit and I could not shake it. All day and night I was in an unfamiliar place and it had no exit sign.
The pain of that darkness went into a deep fear and anxiety in just a few days. I experienced attacks of panic at least once a day some days it was several times. I felt the symptoms of death but not its relief. Anxiety filled my mind and invaded my spirit. After several months of this darkness I collapsed. After being taken to the ER I heard a word that I never associated with until that moment “Depression”. I denied it, I fought it, I rebuked it, I prayed over it, I fasted about it, I even got council with it but it would not go away. It was perhaps the enemy that would take me out. To top it off I was a pastor of a small struggling church and it had many problems of its own that I had to deal with.
After two years of pain I decided I was finished. I was finished with it all.
I found myself in the basement of my home crying out to God in a way that would have shocked most Christians. I ask him the hard questions. Why have you forsaken me in my time of need? Why have you refused to lift this pain from me? Where is the light? And finally the really big one, Are you even real?

That night God spoke to me for the first time in over two years. He gave me a reason to move on and fight for my life. God spoke to my spirit and said, “I am allowing you to go through this to make you the person I need you to be” – These words took me back to the prayer I prayed when I ask God to make me the pastor that would be pleasing to him. WOW, did he answer…
No, God did not put depression on me. No, he did not make me feel the pain and darkness of fear and depression. What he did do was teach me how to overcome depression so that in my victory I could help many others.
I was serving religion and not God. I was worshipping a set of rules and not having a relationship with Jesus. I needed a change. Because of my wrong thinking about ministry and my life I was living a lie.
My life was one of high pressure to please others and wild expectations to prove critics wrong. I had so much pressure on myself that I was miserable. Performance became my identity and I was masterful at it. I had no clue who I was but I became what others expected. This thinking was the real reason I found myself deeply depressed. Being a people pleaser is very dangerous because people are fickle and change their expectations with the wind.
I began to learn that depression would set in at my very first thought of the day. I learned that my thought life was killing me. I learned that if I was going to be free I would have to change my thoughts from the first thought to the last of every day.
This was a very hard thing to do. I had to change habits and how I processed ideas. I had to rethink everything in light of this revelation. I began the very next morning by taking my thoughts into captivity. I began my day with the words, “This is the day that the Lord hath made and I will rejoice and be glad in it” – I soon found that it was easier said than done. I had to fight for the right thought life.
I adopted Romans 12:1,2 as my lifeline to a new thought life. I had to learn to adjust my thinking to God’s word. I had to become what God said I was and not what others expected me to be. I could not be conformed to wrong thinking but I had to be transformed by a daily renewal of my mind.
Day by day, minute by minute, second by second I began to change. Within three months I had renewed my thought life. I had started a journey with new joy. I had reclaimed my life and walk with God.
I was free…
This was not easy and I still have to guard my mind. I still have to live by my convictions to please God and refuse to surrender to pleasing man. I still have to start my day rejoicing and being glad but I am indeed free.
You may think that you will never be free. You may think as Robin did that the only way out is to die but I will tell you, I will scream it out, There is a way, Don’t give up. God loves you and cares deeply where you are right now. He wants freedom for you.
Please take my words and find peace. I love you all and I am praying for you.


2 Responses to “The Dark Pain Of Depression”

  1. Rodney, Thank You for caring and sharing! I genuinely appreciate your transparency!

  2. Thank you Pastor Mullins for sharing your testimony your life your flight. This is been my life for over 25 years, I can write your story, my story and her story now, facing my daughters sudden onset illness with no diagnosis of her heart critical though so I’m holding on to help but I cannot lose it for her and help. Depression seems to be trying to creep back “in our heads”, as now we we set ourselves in every thought to gear back up to now try to get answers at the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland clinic cannot help her, and we are thankful that you’re willing to send her to a research Hospital that does deal with implications of her heart..please keep us in prayer as we go for yet another round of test and hopefully answers to her heart condition/healing to all of her body conditions. You know us and we could use some counseling please!

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