This is a very sensitive topic to me.
I have to be honest and say that I was in denial for a long time about what I was actually going through. I did not want to admit to myself or to God that this was a struggle for me because of stereotypes I had in my own mind about this topic. I believed that people who have this struggle are weak, and I believed that Christians who have this struggle have no faith in God (basically, that they are “bad” Christians). I did not know the signs and therefore, was unable to get the help I needed.
Last year, 2019, after a period of prayer and consideration, I decided that I was no longer going to be silent about my personal struggles, no matter how hard it is to share it online for everyone to see. I was tired of the feelings of shame. I was tired of the pretense. I was tired of being consumed with thoughts of what may happen if people who knew me, found it my deepest, most difficult battles. However, I also realised me being honest, might help someone else. Just because most people are silent about their struggles, does not mean I also have to be. Here are a few things I have learned so far about this topic:
1.) Struggling with anxiety and depression does not make you any less of a Christian. It is also not something that we are exempt from, simply because we are Christians. We have understanding for those struggling through addictions or physical illnesses, but not for those struggling through mental illness. It is a daily journey with God, just like any other. It is something that requires us to trust cling to God daily.
2.) Our level of faith and God’s love for us, is not proven by how little struggles we have. If that were the case, why would we need Jesus at all? Why would we need the Holy Spirit? He is our Helper, after all; so if we have everything under control, what would He need to help us with? There are no prescribed struggles for Christians; like “You are not allowed to have this struggle because you believe in Jesus”. No, we have all fallen short of the glory of God, and I have learned to take my battles to Him with complete authenticity.
In my next blog post, I will be sharing scriptures that I focus on in times when I feel anxious of overwhelmed.