Sitting in the Ashes
It was not where I wanted to be. I was waiting in a doctor’s office to talk about my mental health. It felt like an easy cop out. And then again it felt like the hardest, most shame-filled thing. But it had been years of feeling this way. Not a constant, but really what has felt like a roller coaster of emotions. Feeling like I am a failure, feeling incapacitated by my fear of other people’s opinions towards me.
But wait. I’m a Christian? I’m not supposed to have depression or anxiety. The promise of Christ and the Holy Spirit is supposed to fill me and remove it. If I just pray enough, read enough, and seek godly counselors then I am not supposed to suffer like this. All those things are good things that I need and have been doing, but what does it mean when His mercies don’t feel new? Or that His love doesn’t seem to be as wide and as deep as the Word says.
I was stuck inside myself and couldn’t see clearly. I don’t want to be someone who needs medication or some labeled with the stigma that goes along with it. But it was where I found myself. This was not who I wanted to be. I wanted out of this mess.
But then, there is something about sitting in the mess of ashes, whether we created it or not. We often try to run or claw our way out as quickly as we can.
What if God loves me enough to know that part of my growth means waiting and enduring more pain to recover? It makes me cringe. Growth means removing and working through the painful lies I believe about Him and allowing my heart to rest in knowing that I am broken. Like the lie that I am suffering because God doesn’t love me. Or if I try harder to move out of my depression, I can fix it.
These lies are big.
Because the truth is God didn’t spare his own son from heartache and pain but instead He used the pain of death to bring me life. I see somehow that He is using my own pain to return me to the Joy of His salvation. Even if it starts with me sacrificing my pride to admit I might need medication for a while. It feels a little like death. But I think it was intended to, so we might truly understand what joy is.
So maybe you find yourself afraid to move. Shamed into staying where you are. Fearful to walk into the counselor’s or doctor’s office. Stop yourself and breathe in the mercy that can be found in admitting help is needed even if it means sitting in the ashes a little longer than you like.
This post was shared by permission from an anonymous source.