— “Finding a Reason to Wake Up: Warbler”
This was me. And if you had asked my parents at that time whether I was struggling, they would have said, “No, not at all.” If you had asked me at that time, I wouldn’t have known I had a problem to tell you about, and the things that did bother me I didn’t talk about to anyone. I didn’t know the words for it, but I had suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, and severe depression for my entire adolescence and parts of my childhood, and
I THOUGHT IT WAS BECAUSE I WASN’T A GOOD ENOUGH CHRISTIAN.
Because real Christians don’t deal with those things. We just have joy and peace and deliverance from fear in Jesus.
The Bible doesn’t promise Christians deliverance from problems. And the Christians I grew up with recognize that, but they weirdly divided problems into a dichotomy: physical and spiritual. Physical problems could be acknowledged—you could talk about them, go to the doctor for them, and undergo medical treatment for them. “Spiritual” problems were anything affecting your mood or emotions, and the only solution for them was Jesus. If you considered yourself a Christian and you were depressed or anxious, then you needed to pray more. Read the Bible more. Serve more. Fast more. Worship more. Psychology was the world’s excuse for a problem that could only be solved by Jesus. People didn’t need therapy or psychiatric meds; they just needed Jesus.
Never mind that depression and anxiety can actually be physically measured by testing chemical/hormonal levels in the brain. Never mind that these levels can be altered by diet, exercise, therapy, and medication, and this is all scientifically proven. Never mind that after suffering my entire life and almost dying, I finally started undergoing therapy and taking medication, and it helped me feel like I was really alive for the first time in my life.
Fundamentalist evangelical Christians believe what they want to. I know that even writing my own story and talking about it until I am blue in the face will not change their minds. But if you grew up in that type of situation, I want you to know there is another way. I thought my options were to somehow make Christianity work or die. But there are more than two options. There are Christians who love God and think psychology is a gift from Him, just as traditional medicine is. You can still love God and get the help you need.
The Church suffers from the delusion that Christians must be perfect, or, if they are not, they must at least present the facade of superficiality to the outside world. But that simply isn’t true. Christians suffer from problems the same as people in the world do. And Jesus would welcome them with open arms. Jesus would not make them cover up their weaknesses in shame. Jesus would not stigmatize them and ostracize them and leave them supportless.
So why would you?
This was a struggle for my entire childhood and still is. It makes me very sad. (via thislittlecitygirl) Think about this. The Church is to love the world, and it’s members, as Christ loved us. He cared for us as He loved us. Do the same. Care for someone. (via illgetyouthemoonandthatsnotall)