Honey, Working Through Faith Ain't Easy for Depressed Christians. It's Grimy.
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Working through faith is nothing like a beautifully cinematic film when you have depression.
Not the woman with every hair in place. Not lacking perspiration. Not wafting the sweetest perfume. Not laser-focused, bright-eyed or bushy-tailed for battle.
Hair and nerves frayed. The smell of body odor from showers that lapse.
Mouth gummy from a toothbrush that hasn't been invited in.
Oily face from water not being splashed.
Air in the room thick and humid from Cali heat and sweat.
Eyes red, glossy, and puffed.
Mind glitching and operating at a defense level lower than normal. The result of constant contact.
Days are long and hard.
Joy fought for and earned.
Conversations with God change from soft, patient and kind, to questioning and bursting with emotion, to silent.
Lonely. Cold. Dark.
Conversations with God change
I’ve been hiding out in depression for the last week-and-a-half. I've spent many of those days cooped up in the house and emotionally unavailable to the world.
Not wanting to talk. Not wanting to go anywhere or do anything. Not wanting to write. Not wanting to share anything of me.
I'm trying to safeguard myself from further injury.
More events have occurred since the September 13th post.
By now, my patience has worn thin with these tumbleweed problems. I’m agitated.
There was a 2- to 3-day reprieve, starting the day before my lay-off, where I began to regain joy and motion.
Boom, more tests. An exam every day.
From my father dismissing me, to a girl trying to pick a fight, to my husband hounding me about being unemployed, to him lashing out with soul-shattering name-calling.
My conversation with the Lord shifted.
“It’s going to be okay. You’re getting me through this,” I said one day.
"God, are you trying to break me? What more do you want from me? I don't have much else to give. I'm tired,” I said another.
“I’m hurt! I’m angry that I have to keep forgiving and letting go of the things they do or say to hurt me?! Why do I have to keep being hurt?! It crushes me! Don’t you see it? Don’t you care?!”
“When will all of this stop?! How much more do you plan to put on me? Will you all just leave me alone for a little while? I can’t breathe!”
In the midst of all these dialogues, I'm praying and reading the word. Yet, the hurt and mounting stressors keep coming.
Finally, a bout of silence. A lack of appetite for speaking with the Lord.
Working through faith doesn't look pretty but it's necessary
There's a reason it's called "working through faith."
You enter one side and come out the other with more belief, trust, and loyalty to God (through faith). But from the moment you go in, you begin to exert yourself physically and mentally in a sustained effort to achieve that purpose (work).
You experience lengthy, back-to-back trials designed to test your patience and stamina, but also they reveal the truth of what you’re feeling and who you are inside—at every breaking point.
The pain. The anger. The questions. The doubt. The fear. The weakness.
All the things he gives grace for and uses to build your faith in him.
This keeping it real before God isn’t for his benefit—he already knows how filthy our rags are—it’s for us.
To see and divulge those not-so-pretty parts of us that we hide from other Christians, from other people, from the world.
It’s an uprooting. Remove and replace (in time) with healing, peace, understanding, belief, courage, strength.
All the things he is.