This topic is one that is very close to my heart. I’m yet to see anyone write on the subject of depression and God in such a way as I’m about to.
Before I had depression, I was a strong believer with a very sure conviction that God was real and that Jesus his Son was someone I had a spiritual relationship with. I was so enamoured with my faith that I was considering leaving my profession of social work to become a Youth Pastor or a Christian Social Worker. I’d worked in the youth department of my local church for many years and I genuinely cared for the young people and their families that I spent time with.
But then disaster struck. I had a mental health breakdown and was medicated immediately. I don’t even feel I was given a choice about taking the medication, I just had to take it. I didn’t study the side effects, I wasn’t in the right mind to. But one side effect the medication boxes won’t tell you about is that you will stop hearing the voice of God.
Yup, that’s right. It was like that medication caused me to be spiritually numb, the voice of God I used to hear was like a ‘still small voice’, so gentle but I could definitely hear it, was gone. If I mention this to my psychiatrist he’ll just diagnose me with schizophrenia and wouldn’t understand. So where does this leave me spiritually speaking?
My pastor recommended that I spend time reading my bible, to get to know the promises of God. I tried upteen times but it was like there was a giant void. I just couldn’t relate anymore. I’d also been deeply wounded by a friend, who had abandoned me in my despair, so I couldn’t read about the love christians had for one another, without breaking down in tears.
My church were certainly there for me when I was ready for them, it was the oldies and the pastoral care staff that cared for me, my peers were nowhere to be found. There’s no dinner roster or visitors calling where mental health is concerned.
When I think logically about it, I know there must be a God because of the miracle of life and how Children are so miraculous in coming into being. It feels like God is just so far away from me and Jesus I’m just not sure about these days. I wonder if my faith will ever come back to me and I hope it will. I miss the beauty of it.
My six year old daughter has a STRONG faith in God, that she no doubt inherited from my Husband and I’s faith in years gone by. My husband is a firm believer too but the faith my daughter has is rock solid and absolute. She is absolutely rock solid about her love for Jesus and ‘Gawd’.
So where does this all leave me? Believing in a faith that I can not feel? Questioning my faith in God because my spiritual side has been ‘switched off’ by medication. I’m not quite sure where it leaves me to be honest. But I’m open to it, I couldn’t stomach a church service just yet, but I’m open to it. I wonder if anyone out there has had similar experiences as mine. I’d be glad to know. Thankyou for listening – Tam xx