Depression manifests itself in many ways, such as fatigue, persistent sadness, loss of interest in daily activities, and the inability to focus or leave home.
Jenita Pace, a licensed professional counsellor (LPC) and pastor’s wife, experienced battles with depression and anxiety that left her personal life on the brink.
As a young girl, she had been sexually assaulted by a school peer but was told to keep it a secret. In college, she battled an addiction to prescription drugs. She nearly died after her son's birth, leading to a hysterectomy. Her husband’s rare brain disorder has required multiple surgeries (and more in the future), and a failed business venture led them into financial ruin. The couple even considered divorce after Jenita admitted to having an emotional affair with a coworker.
"I was in Bible college, and I had this dream I would be in ministry. About three years in, I was hit with a dark depression. It kinda came out of nowhere," Pace explained. "I began to believe a lie that I no longer had a purpose, and I believed a lie that Christians shouldn't get depressed. If we're Christians, we should be filled with joy."
"In 2001, I had a suicide attempt, and by the grace of God, my husband just happened to come home from work unexpectedly in the middle of my attempt. So I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for a week, and that was just the scariest experience of my life."
After several years of prayer, counselling, and pursuing God, Jenita and her family experienced God’s grace and restoration: a renewed marriage, an adopted son, and a new business in the form of Jenita’s private practice, Three Rivers Counseling.
She has now also written a book, The Healing Names of Jesus: Find Freedom from Depression and Anxiety, where she identifies thirty-one names of God to help readers deepen their understanding of his identity, find meaning in pain, and renew their strength.
Even in times of loss and hardship that may cause us to question God’s presence and plans, Jenita believes that God transforms us and uses our situations for his good: “God is generous with his wisdom, love, and intentionality. Sometimes his most generous acts of love require him to take things from us,” says Jenita. “Sometimes his most gracious moments can lead us into scary places, but we can trust that he cares for us and that his ways are beyond what we can imagine” (Isaiah 55:8).
Today on Connections, Jenita shares her story of restoration. She'll also share how you can find freedom from anxiety and depression.