Mental Health

Surrendering to God

God is Our Greatest Encourager | Libero Magazine 2
The Holy Spirit within us, who prays for us, comforts us, and gives us a foretaste of the kingdom we will one day experience, is the reflection of God.

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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.

At 14, I found myself drowning in the darkness of a broken world. I yearned for a place of peace, joy, and fulfillment to rest my weary soul. I sought healing from the mental illness ravaging my joy. More than anything, my soul groaned for hope.

The longer I faced the raw, empty pain of depression, the more embittered I became towards God. I lost trust in Him and turned elsewhere to try to find hope.

I turned to perfectionism and dieting to try to find some magical path to the healing.

The more I sought, however, the more discouraged I became. I collapsed, exhausted from years of running after ever-elusive hope.Face to face with a small taste of the darkness in this world, I needed to make a choice. I stood at a Youth conference listening to thousands of voices singing, “All of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.” (David Crowder Band, How He Loves)

The more I sought, however, the more discouraged I became. I collapsed, exhausted from years of running after ever-elusive hope.

Face to face with a small taste of the darkness in this world, I needed to make a choice.

I stood at a Youth conference listening to thousands of voices singing, “All of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.” (David Crowder Band, How He Loves)

I could continue in my emptiness, drowning in anger at God while demanding answers to the question of suffering. Or, in that moment as I felt the Holy Spirit pursuing me, I could surrender to God’s omniscience.

Overcome with longing for the God I had pushed away, I chose to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. Choosing to trust in what I didn’t fully understand was the best decision I ever made.

We may never fully understand why God allows terrible intrusions of the world’s brokenness into our lives. What we can know, though, is the world’s brokenness is not a reflection of the power of God. The Holy Spirit within us, who prays for us, comforts us, and gives us a foretaste of the kingdom we will one day experience, is the reflection of the power of God.

I still live in a daily battle to give up my desire to understand suffering. Now, however, I live in daily communion with a God who says He will be with me in any suffering.

Now, when I feel the grips of depression prying at my heart, I fall into the love of Christ.

Often, God does not take away the suffering, the relapses, or the dark days. God does, however, always give me hope. In my darkest days, God never leaves me. I do not always feel Him, but He sends me songs, people, verses, and experiences to remind me He never has and never will leave me.

On my hardest days, when I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, I can rest on the promise God is in me, with me, and all around me. Even when I don’t understand it, I can cling to the promise I am deeply and forever loved. I can pray Romans 8 over and over, knowing “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8: 26, NLT). I can remember Christ “himself has gone through suffering and testing and therefore is able to help us when we are being tested” (Hebrews 2: 16, NLT).

It is a difficult journey to surrender to Christ in the midst of suffering, and it most likely will take more than a few minutes or even a few days.

I encourage you to begin to open the doors to surrender, to begin to pray, and explore the possibility.

Begin today by reading through Romans and Hebrews, and by meeting with a church family who will commit to supporting your journey. I encourage you to share your story and your journey with those around you, and here at Libero Magazine in our comments or in our Facebook discussion group!

Most of all, remember even on the hardest days you are filled with a God who loves you more than you can possibly understand!

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Elizabeth currently holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is planning to work towards becoming a licensed clinical social worker. Elizabeth feels blessed to have been surrounded with support during her journey with depression, and she is passionate about using her experiences and education to bless people in the same way she was blessed. She hopes that as a contributor to Libero, she will be able to provide very practical support.


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