Depression and Anxiety – Part III

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Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah 6:8 (NASB)

No, really, Lord, send me! Hey, over here! 


In elementary and middle school, I always wanted to be picked for the team.  I never was.  Most of the time, I would be the last one standing after the teams had been chosen and someone would usually say (with some degree of annoyance), “Okay, I guess we will have to take him.”

I remember well May 4th 1973; it was one of those red letter dates in my life’s timeline that will always be of the most significant.  I both became a true follower of Jesus Christ and devoted disciple.  I felt a strong, persistent, and inescapable call of God to ministry on that date as well.  Problem was, I expected for God to work like I wanted Him to work and make me happy, successful and fulfilled in the process.  God had other plans.

In my mind being called to ministry meant that I would settle into a comfortable, visible leadership position as a church staff member (preferably in the largest church one could find eventually).  I greatly admired (and envied) staff members in the church where I became a believer.  I longed to be in ministry; at that time that meant to me I would be a Minister of Youth somewhere with a large, growing successful youth group.  There was a great degree of pride desired here.

You have to understand my background here. In high school I was VERY insecure and had a HUGE inferiority complex.  My self-esteem was as low as one could imagine.   Being popular was a dream to me.  I wanted this more than anything during those days.  The only place I was remotely considered popular was at the Roller skating rink.  There I was known for being a very good and fast speed skater.  However, for the most part I felt like a clumsy, ugly, un-athletic geek in High School.  I was determined to be someone someday…and now I found myself being chosen for an elite team, by God Himself!?  Wow; I was going to be the next Billy Graham, right!?

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.

Prov 19:21 (RSV)

1974 rolls around, and God gives me the love of my life, my High School Sweetheart who somehow found ME attractive.  I was working as a photo-journalist of sorts in high school at a small town newspaper.  We fell in love, graduated school, were married (and worked for 5 years in a factory setting) and had our first -born son two years later.  Now it’s 1978, 5 years after I heard the call.  I work ;part time basically as a janitor in our church, full time in the factory still longing to be someone.  I am again passed over for another person to come in and be the youth minister of my church.  Another son and I finally secure a position as a Youth Minister part time in a small church.  Another son is born and I have now been studying in college very part time for a while.  My first full time position is secured as a Youth Minister, and a little over three years later that ended badly.   Now I find myself instead of in professional ministry out of school. out of work, and losing hope.  Back to menial work in a Christian School in maintenance and no where close to seeing any possibility of finishing school.

The point here is this was the beginning of my depression.  My background had not helped matters none.  My father at the time had been alcoholic, my home life seemed like constant turmoil, and I was feeling blue, down and sad frequently.  Why had God rejected me?  Why could I not be financially successful?  Why could I never get the promotions?  Why did my wife and I never have enough money to make it comfortably?  Why could I never complete my degree and make someone of myself?  I was seriously depressed over these things.  Why did I never get picked for the church staff positions.  Why could I never realize my dream of attending Seminary?

By the time my deep depression was diagnosed later in life, I was more than willing to accept the medical models of depression.  I was a victim, not a sinner.  And this attitude and the struggles I had with depression greatly affected my marriage.  I was miserable with my life, completely now able to see the greatest blessing I had been given in my wife and kids, and a terrible person to be around.  But by the grace of God, with any other spouse I would have been divorced a long time ago.  Instead, God had sent me the physical manifestation of the Proverbs 31 wife, who continued to love and support me in every wrong decision I made and attitude a I had.

I was unhappy and miserable with my life because my plans did not coincide with God’s purposes.  I wanted to be a successful church staff member, and was miserable when this never seemed to work out.  God’s purpose for me, in comparison, was to minister as a loyal, devoted, faithful husband and father.  My plan was to be successful, God’s purpose was to teach me humility.  My plan was to graduate in College and Seminary, God’s purpose was to teach me that He already had me in Seminary and was teaching me to be content.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

Phil 4:11 (NASB)

You see, failing to be content and trust God in everything, which greatly contributed to my depression, was and is sin.  I am not a victim, I am a sinner. I am not sick, I am a sinner.  Medicating away these truths for 10 years caused this issue to fester. For a time, I felt better. But the sin within me lurked, ever ready to resurface as soon as the effects of the meds faded away.  What I needed was to be brought to the truths of Scripture and conquer the sin. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, and not content and trusting God with your every moment, you are living in sin and depression may be the tool He chooses to use to teach you this truth.  Should this be medicated away?

In short, in the eyes of the patient, the courts and our society-at-large, the disease removes personal responsibility for the actions, behaviors, emotions, and mental processes the Bible calls sin.

Deceptive Diagnosis, page 81

One must beware of the fact that the entire chemical imbalance theory is not fueled with scientific concerns, it is fueled by financial interests. Depression is big money, and the chemical imbalance theories as well as many professionals are more interested in having you as a lifelong patient than they are in seeing you conquer the sin that may be leading you down the dark paths of depression.

This post was written by

kc5lei – who has written 50 posts on One Flesh Ministries.

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