LOG IN

Hope for Your Heart: My Story of Depression

June Hunt
Founder, Hope for the Heart

 

Have you ever thought, I’m so down, I can’t get back up?

Have you ever felt so helpless you simply give in, Whatever. Nothing matters anyway.

Have you felt so totally hopeless, you wanted to give up? Nothing will ever change. How can I go on? Your heart feels so heavy, you’re losing the will to live. Personally, I know this dark mindset and its emotional power to pull me down.

In my early life, I grew up with a made-up last name. I was “June Wright” (though most everything was wrong). After my father’s first wife died, our family of five moved into his house the week I turned 12. Eleven months later, my parents legally married.

My family situation was so bizarre, I couldn’t confide in anyone. I knew no one else who had my same situation. In truth, I had no real words, no friend to talk to personally, no one to share my hurt with privately.

One day, my eighth-grade teacher said, “June, we don’t know which name to call you. Your brother is using Hunt, but you’re still going by Wright. What should we call you?” Candidly, I didn’t know what to say. No one had prepared me. Feeling awkward, I finally eeked out, “I guess I’ll go by … Hunt.”

Then she asked a curious question, “Are you a little happier now?” Happier? Again, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t realize I seemed unhappy. I couldn’t answer the question.

In retrospect, I was emotionally flat—definitely no highs. Often when watching an emotionally touching show, others would have tears, but not me. When asked, “Why don’t you ever cry?” … I truly didn’t know. Eventually, I would try to say something, “Oh, just call me hardhearted Hunt.” I would smile laughing on the outside, but not on the inside. I felt so disconnected, so detached, so dead.

Now looking back, I felt deeply depressed over the emotional pain in my life. My father was not only unfaithful to my mother but also verbally abusive toward everyone in the family.

In my high school years, my grades dropped drastically from A’s to C’s and D’s. In the third quarter of my sophomore year, I made all F’s and one D. Then for three months, I was sent away to boarding school.

For several decades, different people would pose a question with a similar kind of wording, “What makes you most happy?”

Typically, I would respond, I can’t identify with the word “happy.” My focus is to cope—just to cope. Then they would insist, “Of course, you are happy!” And they would try to talk me out of my “coping mentality.” But happiness relates to what’s happening, and what was happening in my life was far from happy. Finally, I realized they wouldn’t or couldn’t accept my explanation. So, I stopped trying to explain. I realized they simply didn’t understand—they hadn’t “been there.”

Struggling in the darkness of depression, I looked at life through a black filter. I had difficulty seeing any good in my circumstances and certainly couldn’t see anything good in myself. I harbored hatred in my heart, felt helpless in the “here-and-now” and hopeless about the future. Sometimes the pain was so intense, I literally wondered if I was going crazy. I wanted to die—if only to stop the pain.

Then came the day I genuinely invited Jesus into my heart and gave Him control of my life. The hurt didn’t go away, but the Lord lifted the excessive heaviness crushing my spirit. Eventually I learned there would be times when my heart would be pressed down (de-pressed), but I could also experience the amazing peace of this biblical passage: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9). Truly, God is a healer of broken hearts. He heals us when we give our hearts to Him. And He gave me the ability not just to cope, but even more so to hope.

In truth, throughout life, we will experience painful losses and abusive people. At these times, our hearts will be pressed down, but there will also be a natural time for restoration because God is a healer of broken hearts.

What about you? Do you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? Do you feel trapped in a tunnel, with no light of relief?

If so, let me share the first verses from God’s Word that had any personal, practical meaning for me: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5–6). From that passage, I needed to take these truths to heart . . .

  1.  Lord, I trust you with all my heart—I entrust my very life to you.
  2.  Lord, I will not lean on my own understanding. I don’t have to understand it all—in reality, I can’t understand it all.
  3.  Lord, I yield my will to your will because I know you’ll direct my path.

My friend, read this scripture three times a day—first, before you get out of bed, then in the middle of the day, and finally, before you go to sleep. Thank the Lord that His promises are true for you. Indeed, He can lift your darkness of depression and give you hope for your heart.

For a number of years after writing a letter, I would close with a scripture deeply endeared to my heart. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

I feel so close to the Lord because He healed my broken heart. Today, I know this is true … and can be also for you.

 

 

June Hunt, M.A., is an author, counselor, speaker, and Founder of Hope for the Heart, a worldwide biblical counseling, coaching, and caregiving ministry. Her lifework has yielded landmark contributions in the fields of Christian counseling and Christian radio broadcasting as the host of the award-winning radio program, Hope In The Night, and her 100+ topic Keys for Living Library. June’s biblical resources have impacted millions around the world, with translations in 36 languages on 60+ countries. To learn more about Hope for the Heart and to find biblical resources on a variety of mental health issues, visit https://www.hopefortheheart.org/.

This article is adapted from the Keys for Living book by June Hunt, Depression: Walking from Darkness into the Dawn (Hope International Publishing, 2022).

 

 

Get the Thrive & Cultivate All-Access Pass Today

Listen to all of the sessions from this year's summit and from previous Thrive & Cultivate summits from now until the end of the year.

GET THE ALL-ACCESS PASS