My name is Kimmie. I have a dad who is the Senior Pastor of Rock Church. I have a brother and a sister, and a wonderful mother. I have a degree and a job. And as you may be able to see from the poem above, I also have depression.
It’s not something that most people would expect from Miles McPherson’s daughter, but it’s the truth.
The depression I suffer from made its way to the surface when I was sixteen years old. I had been told that I should pursue a modeling career, and I was doing just that. But I had an odd affliction that threatened my dreams of being on the catwalk. You see, I had a severe blushing problem—where my cheeks get beet red. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but it had the power to take a young girl, who thought she was pretty enough to pursue a modeling career, and thoroughly convince her that when she was blushing, she was the ugliest girl in the school.
It occurred when I was embarrassed, which happened all the time, and also, when I got hot. I was taking a speech class and every time I got up to make a speech, I was so self-conscious that my blushing reflex went crazy and turned me into hot and sweaty tomato. The more I panicked about it, the worse it got.
Suddenly, it was a runaway train with the ability to push me into my bedroom where I would shut the door, rarely come out, and not talk to anybody. It even made me have suicidal thoughts.
Even though the blushing would eventually go away, the depression did not. My parents prayed, read the Bible with me, and encouraged me—but the depression persisted. They continued to try to encourage me, but there were times I simply wanted to be left alone. When I fought back and told them they didn’t understand, the frustration for all of us grew, and the worse life became for all of us. The truth is—it hurt me that my sickness left them feeling so helpless.
What they couldn’t understand was that the sadness is so thick that it no longer feels like a mere emotion. It feels like an affliction, like something attacking you, taking you away. You’re helpless against it. Fight it if you want by any means necessary, but you will not win.
When we started going to different doctors, they all seemed to believe that they could help me, but they couldn’t. Just the mere going was its own hell. Over and over, week after week, another doctor, then another. Nobody had any answers. However, we did learn that I have a chemical imbalance. And that’s not all. We recently found out that when I was in a car accident while in elementary school, I suffered some brain damage. So with a chemical imbalance and brain trauma, it’s a little clearer why my depression could throw me into such a dark place—and still does. In fact, I was suicidal just one year ago.
But in the eleven years that I have been battling depression, there are a few things that have proven to be the pillars that get me through the dark times. I have learned that Satan loves to tell you that you’re worthless. I have listened to him for far too long. I am now on to him, and by what means he tries to get to me.
I have learned that my identity is in Christ. My goal is to decrease while He increases. And if He, in me, grows while I recede into Him, then my own self-perception will finally be healthy. I am working at it.
I, my parents, and other people who love me have finally figured out what I need most from them when I sink into my valley. It’s not necessarily encouragement or wise counsel or preaching. I just need them to come near and sit with me in silence. I just need to know they are there.
I’ve also realized that everybody has something they are dealing with. In that way, I feel like we are all in this together. Depression just happens to be my thing. But we all have something.
God has used depression to show me my purpose in life: I’m to share my battle with others because depression ravishes so many people. I want them to know that it doesn’t define you, and it doesn’t have ultimate authority. It seeks to destroy you, but in the name of Jesus, it is ultimately powerless.
Finally, many years ago, a teacher asked my class to write a poem. And when I wrote, I felt like I was really alive, like I was stepping into my design, my talent. And so I write to keep my head above the surface. I write about the daily grind of depression, the fact that I have felt suicidal, but also everyday things like stories I have heard, what I learn when I spend time with God, past relationships, nature, and so on. And sometimes, I feel God gives me things that I believe He would like His church to know. And so I faithfully write them and trust they are His words and not mine, meant to bolster and encourage His people. It’s great to know that as I close my eyes and think of things to write, God confirms that this is what I am supposed to be doing as He gives me thoughts I don’t believe I could come up with on my own. I think it’s His way of telling me, Hang in there, Kimmie, I’m with you. I’m using you. Would I use you if I didn’t value you?