Last Updated on August 9, 2018

For the most part I’m a happy person, but there was a time in my life where I wondered if I’d ever be happy again. My darkest time was when I was 17 years old and pregnant. Because of shame, I’d dropped out of regular high school. I’d had a rocky relationship with my boyfriend (to say the least), and he was dating a new girl within weeks of my pregnancy announcement. My friends at high school were going on with their senior year.

Even during the moments when I dared to be excited about my baby, sadness crept in. As my pregnancy progressed I was reminded—month by month—of the abortion I’d chosen to have just one-and-a-half years earlier. The pain of my past decision added to the pain of my circumstances.

As my pregnancy progressed, I spent most days in bed, sleeping to noon. I didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone. During my free time I worked on finishing the last of my high school credits, but part of me wondered what was the use. Wasn’t my life totally ruined? My dark emotions told me it was.

When I was down, I tried to remember moments when I was happy. Amazingly, my happiest moments were spent as a child at church or with Christian friends. Maybe those memories were God’s way of wooing my heart. If so, they worked. At six months along I turned back to Him, asking Him to take over my life, hoping He’d turn it into something good.

There are a lot of people who face very dark doubts of depression. My good friend Kristen Anderson is one of those people. I wrote Kristen’s story of trying to take her life by lying down in front of a train in the book Life, In Spite of Me. Thankfully Kristen’s story has a happy ending!

I can’t say I’ve ever been to a place where the pain seemed too much to bear and suicide seemed like the only way out, but I do know what it’s like to feel as if life isn’t going to get better and hope is more elusive than a red- and white-striped hat in a Where’s Waldo book. It wasn’t a chemical depression for me. It was a heart-full-of-sin-depression. I didn’t need medication or medical treatment (although I do think it’s necessary for some people). What I needed was to admit my mistakes and ask God to remove my sin.

[verse reference=”Proverbs 19:3″]People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.[/verse]

There was a time I ignored God and didn’t want to turn to Him because I didn’t like how my life was turning out. It took truthfulness—looking at my own heart—to realize I was the cause of my problems. I’d brought the pain on myself by choosing to become sexually active outside of marriage, by choosing to drink, by choosing abortion, by choosing to follow my desires instead of God’s Word.

I’m no medical professional, and I won’t try to give advice about depression. I will say . . . if you feel that dark, looming sadness and despondency, start by looking at your own heart. Ask yourself, “How much of my pain was brought on by my choices?” Then ask, “What would happen if I turned everything over to God?”

God is waiting for the opportunity to take your pain. Not only will He replace that darkness with His light. He’ll also give you something greater than you can imagine: Himself.

My life has drastically changed since the moment I turned my life over to God. I won’t say I never have dark moments, but whenever I do I know where to turn. I know Who to turn to, and God never disappoints.

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  1. proud of you and grateful for your sharing your story. most of us moms have dark days when everything goes wrong whether by our choosing or by the overwhelming endless needs of children and a marriage that also needs our attention. all of us are broken and in need of help. turning to God is the first step and He will guide the solutions that are personal to our unique needs. all of us women can relate whether our journey mirrored yours or we were only steps away. sending a hug.

    1. I agree Barbara! Thank you for the hug. You’re right dark days come for many reasons but God is always the first step.

  2. Thanks for sharing from your heart, Tricia. I think it is so true and easy to do things on my own, get myself in trouble, blame God (or others), then be afraid to turn to Him. But He is always there waiting for us to turn back to Him. I recently studied Hosea and was so blown away by the message of love in that book from God! The way He waited for his rebellious children to return to Him, the way He outpoured His love to them was amazing. We serve a loving God. Thanks for sharing! Hugs to you!

  3. Hi Tricia,
    Wow! Reading your that was almost as if I were reading my own bio. I am 30 year year old mom of four and at the age of 17 I too found myself in a dark place. I did contemplate suicide and even abortion countless times. Looking back on it being a teen mom that didn’t know Christ I felt so hopeless! I remember when the depression set in after I had my first daughter it was a battle just get out of bed. There wasn’t an instant miracle moment that things got better and in fact they got much worse but with time and trust in the Lord thank God He had a plan for me and I believe it was the Lord strengthening me during that time that got me through. Four kiddos later and too many ups and downs to count my husband and I are now both serving the Lord and although it is a work in progress God is helping us daily to be better parents and help mates to one another. It is not without it’s seasons and even now serving God the issues are there but it’s so different when Christ is at the center of our lives. What may seem hopeless, helpless and desolate God will not only transform but bring a total restoration if a person will allow it, I know because my family is a walking testimony to now see my children what a blessing I’ve even been allowed to be their mom. It reminds us that our timing is not the Lords. Thank you for being an open book and sharing yourself with all of us.