Editor's Note: We are a non-religious magazine. However, we acknowledge that spirituality is important to many. Our Faith column is a place to discuss how faith (of any kind) positively affects mental health and how to improve the conversation around mental health within faith communities.
One of the most overwhelming aspects of my struggle with depression was the abundance of uncertainties associated with mental health.
I spent countless hours anxiously pondering the questions many psychologists spend years exploring, trying to figure out how much “nature” and “nurture” were responsible for the dark reality I was living in, trying to figure out how much the physical, spiritual, psychological and experiential each contributed to my pain, trying to figure out what parts of my recovery were up to me and what parts required professional and psychiatric help.
For a long time the uncertainties of my faith – the many questions I had about the complicated and abstract aspects of God and life in relationship with Him – were just another set of unknowns I had to deal with.
I didn’t have the strength or energy to face another set of questions so I found myself pushing my faith to a surface level.
I grappled with my beliefs and concepts of God, but I also felt a certain type of dread when I thought about spiritual things since it was a draining, rather than refreshing, experience.
Around this time I was reading The Message translation of the Bible when I came across Matthew 11: 28-30 in which Jesus says:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
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I knew I was tired, worn out, and burned out on religion.
As I looked back at the last few months of my spiritual journey, I realized I had spent so much time thinking about the things I didn’t fully understand about God that I had neglected to spend much time thinking about the things I did fully understand about Him.
While I believe it is incredibly important to grapple with our faith and think deeply and openly about theology and God, Jesus’ words reminded me that our faith is a religion, but first it is a relationship.
It is a friendship in which God stands calling us unto himself, calling us to lose ourselves in the rhythms of his grace and the perfection of his plans.
While struggles such as depression lead to an abundance of questions about God and faith, there is one truth that will never ever change:
God is full of love and grace and is daily calling us to just be with Him.
I began to focus on spending time with God – not just spending time thinking about Him. I began to share my pain with Him. I began to lay my struggles at His feet, and to share with Him the fear it brought me to not know how exactly He was or wasn’t involved in what I was experiencing. All the while I was trusting that together we could work through it, but that no matter what conclusions we came to, I had nothing to fear because absolutely nothing would change the truths that I knew about Him:
He is faithful, He is love, and He is grace.
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The opinions and information shared in this article may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process.