We were on a walk when she told me.

How, in prior years, the darkness blanketed her. How, for months at a time, she was convinced it was swallowing her whole. My stoic, wise, and strong friend spent more than a year feeling trapped, stuck. One thing was certain to her. She could find no way out.

The self she used to know was distant—far from her now. The darkness was too thick, too heavy. She could not explain to her family, her friends, what she was thinking, feeling. She was sinking now, surely drowning in the heaviness of it all.

“Depression,” is how the counselor described it when she eventually sought help. But yet how can a word, a diagnosis, explain the dark covering of her mind, the despair of her heart?

Are you depressed, dear one?

Breathing Eden, women depressed

InBreathing Eden, there are women who share their stories of depression. None of these women have I ever met personally. The stories inBreathing Edenare fictional stories inspired by prayer. Yet the women are in a sense, real—the stories representing what, I hope, is true.  As writers do when they study the characters they write, I listened to these women’s stories. I wrote down what I saw, what I heard. Oh, how God loves them.

I wonder if one of these women is you.

Charlotte, depression and Breathing Eden

There is Charlotte, or My Charlie—as God affectionately calls her, who is shut in. She lacks hope and asks God the question, “Where is the girl you loved?” She fears she is alone, in a forgotten place.

Diane, depression and Breathing Eden

There is Diane. She is older than Charlotte. She is a single mom, with a poor self-image. She is an empty-nester, filled with sadness and regret over her parenting.  She asks God, “Am I beautiful? Am I alone?” She fears she is not lovable, that she is all alone.”

Melissa, depression and Breathing Eden

There is Melissa. Her husband struggles with depression after the recent loss of their home. Melissa asks God, “Why is life so hard?” She fears she is stuck and that God can’t be anywhere near.

If we stopped here, if we just listened to the stories of these women without hearing God’s response to their situation, yes, we would be surely stuck too. We, the reader, can’t stay here.
Depression and the women of Breathing EdenThere is value and beauty to hearing one another’s stories—and I pray you find yourself in the pages ofBreathing Eden. But new life begins when we surrender our stories and ask God what His view is of them.

It is God’s perspective on our story that we need to hear most.

This is how life—Jesus—is breathed in.

Once a week, I’m going to send out more snapshots of women you will meet in the book. But I’d love to know if these tiny glimpses at Charlotte, Diane, and Melissa resonate with you.

How does your heart respond to the cry, “I am depressed, God”?

I want to breathe Eden together.

Do you want to breathe Eden with me? Do you want light, fresh air, and new things? Does your friend, or sister, or mother need this too? When you pre-order Breathing Eden—for yourself, or for a friend, email me the image of your Amazon receipt (jennifer@gatherministries.com). I’ll send you the first five chapters right away. And if you want to order multiple copies, there are even more treats for you. Click right here to check them out.

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Showing 30 comments
  • Denise Daines
    Reply

    I would really love to read and pass this onto others; but fear I can’t afford it, let alone buy multiple copies.

    I struggle with depression and know many others battling this kind of thinking.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t the priority for me right now. I also suffer from PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and dissociative personality disorder. I have to get my house in order. I surrendered my whole heart and body to God and now I am letting him guide my healing jouney.

    • Carla Jo Reeves
      Reply

      Please Denise, allow me to purchase one for you.
      I too suffer in much silenc; PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and dissociative personality disorder. These were made manifest from skull base tumor surgery whereas the facial nerve was sacrificed. The pain is chronic 24 hours, and has been exacerbated by betrayal, ostracism from my only adult child. and family. No one is to blame , however, the lack of understanding and compassion fueled by their personal fears deeply separated all of us.
      You have a strong purpose in life that may not be visible to you but please know God sees you and your sadness. He weeps with you and me and others but it is not His nature to impose His will upon any of us regardless if it’s in another’s life or that of nature itself that society has inflicted upon His total creation.
      Be patient with yourself and in the meantime I will contact Jennifer Camp how I can accomplish purchasing the Breathing Eden for you.
      Only in Him and His great love,
      Carla

      • Denise Daines
        Reply

        You are so nice. I just read the introduction to the stories and it leaves me in tears. I feel like my life really doesn’t matter. I know others have faced many tragedies as well, and it’s not the things I have experienced that gets me down it the constant struggle just to feel wanted. And even that doesn’t explain it.

        I too had a brain tumor and brain surgery. The funny thing is I was 19 when diagnosed. It was rare and advanced stage 4 only found after I had grand mal seizure. I was rushed to the hospital were I told them I had no money or insurance.

        I Remer the nurses telling me it was OK to cry, but I didn’t understand that. Cry what is that going to do? By 19 I was numb to life I no longer felt hurt or joy, but I thought I was happy, yet I was ready to die.

        Fast forward today I am now 51 and I now have feelings, I unfortunately am experiencing a lot of feelings I can’t begin to understand. The good news is I did surrender my Christ December 3rd, 2015.

        • Carla
          Reply

          I have repeatedly tried to contact Jennifer camp to distinguish a way I can send you a copy of her book. To date I have yet to receive an email confirming acknowledgement.
          So at this time without your address information and seems I can’t encourage the writer to assist I can’t send it to you.
          You will forever be in my daily thoughts lifting you to our Heavenly Father to send His Comforter to wrap you in His arms and give you His peace that surpasses all understanding.
          Love in Christ,
          Carla

  • Carla Jo Reeves
    Reply

    Please Denise, allow me to purchase one for you.
    I too suffer in much silenc; PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and dissociative personality disorder. These were made manifest from skull base tumor surgery whereas the facial nerve was sacrificed. The pain is chronic 24 hours, and has been exacerbated by betrayal, ostracism from my only adult child. and family. No one is to blame , however, the lack of understanding and compassion fueled by their personal fears deeply separated all of us.
    You have a strong purpose in life that may not be visible to you but please know God sees you and your sadness. He weeps with you and me and others but it is not His nature to impose His will upon any of us regardless if it’s in another’s life or that of nature itself that society has inflicted upon His total creation.
    Be patient with yourself and in the meantime I will contact Jennifer Camp how I can accomplish purchasing the Breathing Eden for you.
    Only in Him and His great love,
    Carla

    • Denise Burns
      Reply

      Carla Jo & Denise , I will be praying for you both. Pretty aweful stuff. I also am going through pain and suffering and 24 yrs of betrayal and verbal & emotional abuse. Daughters took some from their dad also. We have a 8 yr. old son who is treated somewhat differant but has also felt the wrath of this man. They are being told on visits not to mind me. That I’m crazy. And that I’m a ——! I’m a faithful mom 24/7. Do nothing but paperwork to solve what he’s done with the politics and job he was given from my family. Lost my dear martar mom in 2014. She was also everything to the kids. Please pray. Have had two Atty leave ??!? No reason. Politics. I’m going to beg of one in the morning to have mercy. He has made it so I don’t have much to survive on now. So please pray. I’ll pray for you both!!

      • Denise Daines
        Reply

        Thanks for the prayers and I will pray for you as well.

        • Jennifer Camp
          Reply

          Carla Jo, Denise, and Denise,

          I am so grateful for how our Father gathers us together. We face many trials. He knows each one. We get to turn these over to Him and love in His name. You are such encouragement to me.

          • Carla Jo

            Jennifer,
            Is it possible for me to
            purchase your book for Denise Daines and you obtain her address and mail it to her?
            Thanks
            Carla Jo

  • Denise Burns
    Reply

    Jennifer , my name is also Denise. I just sent you a reply via email. About issues. Important’s of prayer for me tomorrow morning. Eastern time. Sorry for confusion. I also had said I can afford a copy. We’ll need also for myself and two daughters that are 16&18. Going through the same. Inflicted by their father.
    God bless. Denise burns.

  • Denise Burns
    Reply

    I apologise typo. I can not afford a copy. Sorry. Denise Burns.

  • Dai-cee Dee
    Reply

    I would really love to have a copy but I don’t have access to ordering anything, but hopefully in the future I will get to read this in its entirety.
    God Bless Every.

  • Cheri-lee White
    Reply

    I cant wait to start reading this book, my soul needs this…

  • Pat
    Reply

    You inferred in your newsletter that we could read the rest of the depression story if we went to your blog. Instead you got us over there to buy a book!?!?

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Pat,

      I am so sorry that my email to you has frustrated you. I wrote this book for the readers of Loop and my blog. I want to be sure to let them know about it.

      Love,

      Jennifer

  • Wife in Japan
    Reply

    Dear sister,
    I wanted to tell you how much your ministry helps me. I’m a ” foreign wife” living in Japan- married to a Japanese man. Japan is 1 percent Christian. I have no other sisters to talk to here. The culture is such that even if I did I fear none of them could really relate. Your ministry has helped in so many ways. Thank you. I hope someday I can order your book thru Amazon Japan. I checked but it isn’t available. They do sell English books but I couldn’t find yours.

    • Denise Burns
      Reply

      Dear wife in Japan ! I go to a very large church. We have several out reach missionaries in regions of Japan. I will ask how some can connect to you. If it’s possiable , I will email Jennifer the info. She can relay to you. God bless you be strong! You have a name ?? I know your in fear as foreign country sometimes can be very scary for a believer. Pray I can over come and make grave decisions soon as fear and politics can alienate us and ruin our lives and children in our own USA. Sad that $ talks. No matter where. Try to trust God. As I also am for very grave decisions NOW. Be in Touch. Welcome to have my contact info privately from Jen. Thanks and God be with you ?

    • Olivia de Bruyn
      Reply

      Dear wife in Japan,

      If you would like to correspond via email or post let me know. I know Christians have it hard in your country. If you need a friend please mail me. debruynolivia@gmail.com

      Maybe we can get you a copy of the book and send it.

      Olivia

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear “Wife in Japan,” I am so grateful for your encouragement. I love how there may be ways to get Breathing Eden to you. Thank you, Olivia and Denise!

      Love,

      Jennifer

  • Melinda
    Reply

    Jennifer,

    Thank you for doing this. I’ve struggled with anxiety attacks and depression since I was 16 years old – I’m now 48. I’ve always sought medical help, and yes, it has helped. But things changed. In March of 2013 I received a phone call that has forever altered my life. It was my dad telling me that they had found lesions on my mom’s brain and they could tell it was the type of cancer that had spread from somewhere else, they just didn’t know where yet. All I heard was “Brain Cancer”. I couldn’t comprehend anything else he said on that call. My mom was my ROCK. She was the foundation that I had been built myself on my whole life – she was my MOM. We were very close. Not just a mother-daughter relationship, but she was also my best friend. From the moment I got that call, I’ve never been the same. It turned out the cancer had started in her lung, moved to her spine and then her brain. She was Stage 4. The only thing they could do for her was maybe buy her some time. They told us she would probably have about 9 months. She fought hard and ended up getting through until January 14, 2015. I have to admit, I’ve been very angry at God. My mom served the Lord all of her life. She was a preachers kid, a deacons wife, a pastors secretary and then moved on to work for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Why her? I KNOW I am not to question Him. I KNOW he has his reasons. But she left behind a loving, devoted husband, two children, three grandchildren that she adored and they adored her. My daughter lost her best friend too in my mom. They were two peas in a pod. It’s been a year and a half now and I just can’t seem to get past it. I feel like I will never, ever be the same. I feel like true happiness eludes me because I’m no longer whole. An enormous part of my heart is gone. I guess really the only thing getting me through at all is knowing that some day we will be reunited in heaven. Our family will be whole again. But I find myself wishing I could just go now. Not in a suicidal way, just that I can’t find me anymore and I’m just ready to go “Home”. I will definitely be ordering your book and telling my female family and friends about it. Again, thank you for writing it and God Bless!

    • Denise Burns
      Reply

      Melinda, my arms are exstended to you sister. Do t be mad. Thank god she no longer is suffering like could’ve been. I too lost my martar in 2014. Mom was the glue. For my life as well as my young kids. Last grandparent and no will fill it ! Going through a horriable divorce myself. Terriable illness and praying God finds Mercey as ex after 24 yrs. earned all his political favors in front of eyes. Those of which loved me as his wife and he’s manipulated them as well. Courts and office s are connected as he is a evil being !! Know I’m struggling. Will it be easy no. Does God promise easy ? Well I guess not. What or who else do you have ?? Everyone will prove human! Take his love don’t reject it and stand firm to him is all I know. Here praying for you. Please for mine children as they easier for him/ex to manipulate than adults ! Weekends are driving them from God and me. Keep praying for truth in us both sister ! ??

      • Melinda
        Reply

        Thank you Denise. I will pray for you and yours!

    • Denise Daines
      Reply

      I will pray for healing for you. God bless!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Melinda,

      I am so sorry. Praying for your heart now, sister. He is holding it, dear one.

      Praying for healing and complete restoration in Him.

      Much love,

      Jennifer

  • Corina Snell
    Reply

    May God bless you all. My situation seems minor when listening to you all. What I am struggling with is I desire intimacy with God but am not not experiencing as I want to. I often feel as if love is not for me and it will never happen. Balance with life and love overshadows my relationship with God. I always loose something for God to get my attention. Really tired of the merry go round!!!!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Corina, I love how you recognize how your heart yearns for Him! That is so beautiful–and now small thing. Praying now for you to see how He is pursuing You–how He is close!

      Much love,

      Jennifer

  • Denise Daines
    Reply

    It is not easy finding love. I will pray for you to find the love you are seeking trough God. God desires your happiness, all he ask in return is to be recognized. All the glory should go to God, he is there one that provides for our every need no-one can provide for us as he has. God bless.

  • Denise Burns
    Reply

    All of you woman are the best. Thanks for encouragement. Seems I am being defeated. Although I do have my children! That I hope to keep in this miserable time consuming useless fight of a divorce. No one knows who they are married too , until it gets so bad they try to take it ALL. He’s trying now with a tycoon attorney that he couldn’t spent this $ on for food & utilities for our kids. He has to have control !! Of everyone. !!! As a result my children are changing and growing away from God. So please please ladies. Pray for me. Not many friends because of so much paper work and illness.& appointments. Now accidently sliced my crippled right hand open. My 16 yr. old driving permit daughter , rushed me to the ER. Glued but almost needed more repair / surgery. The day before kids and I had to put our 14 yr. old dog down. It’s more and more and more. Plead for me ladies I pray. I know God is there but can’t feel him or the Holy Spirit too much Any more!? Do not know why. I am the most gracious and sinless person I know right now? Feel I don’t deserve all that’s been handed to me ? In prayer , Densie Burns.

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