Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

A Psalm, Dysthymia, and Me

Not that long ago I tweeted this sentence: “Ever had something confirmed for you, and even though it’s not the nicest news, the confirmation is empowering?… ya, that!”

I had finally been given a final diagnosis of Dysthymic Disorder, otherwise known as chronic Depression. And it was empowering. Because for 28 years I had assumed I was just a messed up person with zero productivity, zero patience, and zero joy, pretending in public to be the complete opposite. But my diagnosis removed those beliefs and released me from guilt, self loathing, and exhaustion trying to prove otherwise.

Now I was simply a wife, mom, daughter, sister, mentor and friend with a mood disorder.  It had a name. And I could survive it. Live in spite of it.  This was empowering.

Little did I know how God had designs for me to share all of this. Publicly no less.  I was challenged to blog about it all. And in all my devotions, along with a vision of raging seas and people clinging to life preservers, came this group of verses, over and over.

“Your word Oh Lord is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
Your laws endure to this day, for ALL things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my AFFLICTION.
I will never forget your PRECEPTS, for by them you have PRESERVED MY LIFE.” Psalm 119:89-93 NIV

This theme is repeated throughout that one chapter several times… but what stood out was a promise. I lean on His precepts; the things that make God, God, and He preserves my life. Simple. His precepts, my life-preserver. And that’s what this blog is about. Depression is a giant ocean, sometimes the waves are barely there, sometimes they are enormous swells, and all you can do not to drown, is let the life-preserver do all the work, keeping you afloat.

Calm Seas

…Living for calm seas…

Combined with a better understanding of how to navigate the waves, if we know THE Life Preserver, we’ll be okay.  So let’s navigate together dear ones, with precepts and life preservers for all of us on the ocean of life.


  1. Hello my dear:
    I too suffer from depression and have all my life – reading your blog is like reading my mind. Like you I also relied on God to help me navigate the waters and give me the strength to carry on. I fill my life with activities so I do not face to face reality.
    Hugs, hugs and more hugs. We will talk again soon

    • Christine Duncan

      May 5, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Sue, I had no idea, and how amazing that we only just connected a little while ago online too… but I am learning there are so many of us, which is why I knew I had to step out and create a place for anyone who lives with this, or anything difficult, to connect and be encouraged. I understand completely the whole avoiding reality by trying to give yourself plenty to do… which totally backfires for me on all the low days, lol. If ever you have the time, would love to hear your whole story!

  2. Thank you for sharing Christine. I too suffer from depression among other issues. Seems that days become more and more difficult to endure, but with God, I am keeping on.

    • Christine Duncan

      May 7, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      Wow, thanks for sharing this! And I haven’t covered this topic yet at all Lori, but treatment is vital, which I’m sure you know, and something I’ll be exploring in greater depth myself in the near future. God will bless you for remaining faithful in difficult times, my friend 🙂
      Praying you have a fantastic week in store!

  3. This is so awesome.I am crying as I email you.I too am depressed,even though I try to hide in the shadows.This will be a great blessing to me,as is your dear sweet mother,my friend.Out of the closet.

    • Christine Duncan

      May 7, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      And my heart goes out to you, for I know exactly what the shadows feel like… and I wipe away a tear as well, because THIS is why I’m even doing this! So that people start connecting with one another, connecting with hope and restoration, and bringing things into the light where God can SHINE on it, beginning a new process… how wonderful 🙂
      2 Chronicles 12:8-10

  4. You are the first person I’ve found besides myself who quotes a section of scripture as the direct naming inspiration for your blog. That tickles my fancy today 🙂

    Thank you for writing about real life and hard life, Christine. People who suffer from any kind of depression need to hear hope, and you are speaking it. I have to date only suffered periodic and temporary episodes of depression/anxiety, but I have experienced enough to know it is NO FUN and NO HELP. Bless you for talking about your story.

    • Christine Duncan

      April 1, 2015 at 2:25 PM

      Aw, you’re so sweet. And how cool is that that we think alike 😉
      Praise God for the hope founded on Him, nothing, not even depression is too big for our God! I pray daily that He’ll take my struggles and use them to reach someone else… and He has proven faithful, and I’m kind of humbled to think about it.
      It can be scary to step out with something a lot of believers don’t like talking about… and yet rewarding too.
      Thanks for all your encouragement and support, Cris, I truly appreciate it!

  5. I am happy that you have a diagnosis. I will pray for peace, love and joy for you. Thanks for sharing so openly.

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