can i share an unspiritual secret?

I have to admit something pretty unspiritual. In the circles I’m from, this secret is a huge No-No. Something the truly godly never struggle with. A taboo subject met with shushes and furtive glances should you ever dare to even hint at it.

Yeah, you may want to look away.

My unspiritual secret is:

I have suffered from depression.

Why is this so bad? Because the prevailing assumption where I’m from is, “To despair is to turn your back on God.” Oh, the horror!

And don’t even get ‘em started on “those people” who need meds or therapy to function – tsk, tsk. Oh the judgment!

Dealing with the Un-thinkable

You can imagine how strange it was for me, then, when after finding myself worn out and disillusioned in my Performance Driven Life a few years ago, I sank neck-deep into the kind of depression that leaves you devoid of hope, weepy at the drop of a hat, and unsure about pretty much every single thing in your life!

Oh well, guess I’m not spiritual then. Maybe I should’ve gone to try a new treatment like the one I read about today in the local hospital journal where they shoot magnetic pulses into your brain. According to the executive mental health director, it’s a “new tool in our continuum of treatment that may finally provide relief for long-time sufferers of depression.”

What I can’t figure out, though, is how treating the symptoms of a few of the 350 million people worldwide who suffer from depression really changes anything?

Don’t get me wrong – when I lived there I might’ve entertained the thought of brain magnets for a little relief, had they been an option.

But more than relief, I wanted a way out.

A way to feel like me again.

To enjoy life and hope in something!

disappointment cityHave you ever struggled with something that left you feeling guilty,
unspiritual, or convinced that God was disappointed in you?  

Surprised that God Wasn’t

What surprised me most was when God showed me that He wasn’t surprised in the least at my depression! That it wasn’t unspiritual or a disappointment to Him for me to be so discouraged. In fact, I had good reason to be dismayed and disheartened since the foundations I’d built my entire life on (i.e. performance, duty, pleasing God by serving & doing) had crumbled to nothingness! (“Um, yes Janna, permission granted to freak out since you don’t know what in the world to believe right now!”)

Sometimes, I think, God allows us go to that place where we’re devoid of our own hope so He can show us a better way.

And that’s where His grace shows up and surprises us by accepting us just as we are with an, “Okay, no problem. You’re actually not as bad off as you thought. Lemme show you why . . . .”

Welcome to Grace Land!

Where has God surprised you with grace or showed you that an “unspiritual secret” isn’t as disappointing to Him as you thought?

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