Chonda Pierce: Escaping Depression
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Daily Life Producer
Christian comedienne Chonda Pierce has a new message: life isn’t always funny.
Dubbed the “Queen of Clean” for her uplifting comedy, Pierce has been sharing her southern charm and gentle wit with audiences across the nation for 15 years. Her latest project, A Piece of My Mind, released this week. Fans will find the new DVD to be full of the comical tales they have come to love from Pierce -- including her adventures with shopping, diets, motherhood, and the phenomenon she lovingly calls “Men – O – Pause” -- but her message goes much deeper than that.
This project marks Pierce’s return to comedy after taking two years off from touring, during which time she struggled with depression. In A Piece of My Mind, Pierce openly discusses her battle with depression and how God brought her out of it.
“I found myself this year in one of the toughest places physically that I’ve ever been in my life,” Pierce said.
After consulting with her doctors, she discovered that exhaustion from her fast-paced lifestyle combined with the symptoms of perimenopause, led to chemical imbalances in her body. She describes her experience as being “deeply, darkly depressed.”
“I used to be one of those who thought that Christians shouldn’t get depressed. Boy, was I wrong!” Pierce said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever been there or dealt with depression, but I’m here to tell you it is a real thing. It is a physical, chemical thing that is going on in the body.”
She said she sought the prayers and counsel of many Christians hoping for divine deliverance. “I wanted out of the dark tunnel so bad that I just thought that one more person is going to have that right prayer, and it is just going to happen,” she said.
Finally, a doctor who attended her church suggested she try medication until the Lord decided, if it was His will, to heal her another way.
With the release of her new DVD, she said she hopes to promote peoples’ understanding of depression and provide encouragement to women who may be struggling with the illness.
“I want women to know they are not alone in the dark,” Pierce said. “And I want families and friends to know that depression is real.”
It is a message that has resonated with woman across the nation. Since recording the new project, Pierce said her email box has been flooded with letters from women thanking her for sharing her story so openly.
Filmed in her hometown of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Pierce’s new video also showcases her vocal talent. Pierce sings one humorous song about the effects of menopause, then joins with the 60-person WOC Choir to sing three uplifting songs that testify to God’s goodness. Her heartfelt worship turns what could have been a mere comedy routine into an encouraging, uplifting reminder of God’s good plans for our lives and His work behind the scenes of what we can see with our human eyes.
Interspersed with her comedy in A Piece of My Mind, she offers advice for anyone who may be in a season of waiting for the Lord to move on their behalf. First, she says, you cannot believe the lies that Satan will begin to whisper in your ear.
She describes being on tour with Women of Faith in San Antonio, Texas, for one of the few appearances that she made during her year off. In a dark and gloomy hotel room, she said her traveling companions urged her to continuously fill her room with praise music. Because the Bible promises that God inhabits the praises of His people, she said it is important for His children to praise Him regardless of their circumstances. This was one of the keys to coming out of her depression, she said.
“You just praise, whether you are feeling good or not,” Pierce said. “You walk in what you know, not in what you feel.”
Also, for people who are waiting for the Lord to move in whatever difficulties they are going through, she encourages them to “be still and know” that God is working.
“God has a very distinct plan of what the picture of our lives is supposed to look like, and He is so capable of putting it all together,” she said. “I’ve learned so much in the dark that I’m sure I would have never learned laughing around in the light.”
One of those lessons, she said, is that our lives are not about us being comfortable. Our lives are about reflecting Christ to all who see us. What we see right now may not make sense to us, she said, but God is using everything we go through to mold us into His image.
Pierce’s Piece of My Mind Tour will take her to more than 30 cities this spring. Find out when she will be in your area by visiting her Web site, www.chonda.org.
Purchase A Piece of My Mind
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