As I have said in many of my previous posts, I am a Pastoral Ministries major at Olivet Nazarene University. Basically, I am getting a 4 year degree that is training me to be a pastor. One of the things that keeps coming up in this “training” is the importance of vulnerability. If I am open, others will feel comfortable being open as well. So here it goes.
I am depressed.
You read that right. I have struggled with depression for years now, and I was too afraid to tell anybody. I was afraid that people would doubt my faith, call me a fake, or judge me as being too emotional. I was afraid to be me. However, in light of recent events, I have decided that my story is just that: my story. It’s my story of how God has worked, and continues to work, in and through me. And maybe my story can help someone else come to grips with their story- and see God in it.
Before I go any further, I would like to say a little bit about depression. It’s not (most of the time) a result of any one occurrence or group of occurrences. It’s not something someone did or didn’t do. From the outside, my life is pretty great. My parents are awesome, my grandparents are awesome, I have the most amazing friend group both at school and at home, I go to the most amazing university ever established, and God is blessing me in more ways than I can count. It seems that I have no reason to be depressed, right? Wrong. Depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. It’s just like the flu, or a stomach virus, except instead of it messing with my body, it’s messing with my brain. I am on medication for it and participate in therapy, so I am, with the help of God and my awesome university counseling services, working on it, and I am getting better. Seeking help is the best thing I could have ever done for myself.
I believe in God. I believe in His love and His grace, and these things are central to my life. That doesn’t mean I can’t be depressed. Being depressed doesn’t make me a bad person, or even a bad Christian. Just because I am struggling with something doesn’t mean that I am ignoring God or putting Him off to the side. It just means that I am not perfect. God is still working on me. I am trusting that this storm (long though it may be) will someday come to a close, and as a result, I will be stronger both in my faith and in my mentality because of it. I will gain an understanding of the struggles that those around me face. God will make blessings out of burdens (excuse the cliche).
One more thing: I think I speak for all of those that are (or will sometime in the future) experiencing depression when I say this. Don’t treat me any differently. There will be times that I seem distant, or that I seem down. You can ask me what’s wrong, and if I want to talk about it I will. But don’t change how you see me just because of this. Just be normal. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re sarcastic, be sarcastic (Confession #2: I love sarcasm but I am terrible at it). I am just battling a sickness right now, and I know that God will carry me through it. I love God, I love my family, and I love my life. None of that has changed or will ever change. This is just a moment of weakness, and I am sharing it with the hope that it will help someone else.
Thanks for understanding, you guys. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. My life is officially an open book. Praise God for everything I am learning.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.“