Friday, May 4, 2012

Why Anxiety and Depression Have Been Good For Me...

"Believers should not struggle with anxiety disorder and depression."

I disagree. Here's why...

If I believe in the Sovereignty of my heavenly Father (which I do), then I have to believe that He permitted all the panic attacks, anxiety, and depression to enter my life.

And if I believe that He permitted those things which, in themselves, are dark, oppressive, and seem to be contrary to Him, I need to believe that He found some good in their presence in my life. He knew that these things would serve a good purpose in my life. (God has an awesome ability to take the bad things in life and use them for our good!)

Anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and depression have been good for me.

As much as my struggle with these disorders have been difficult, I choose to be thankful for them. (And I can honestly say that I am now truly thankful for them.)

Why would I ever be thankful for these things????

I am thankful for these things because God used them to pull me up out of the slum of self-centered living.

I've been a believer since a young girl, but my walk with God was more superficial than anything. I desired to please God. I wanted to be a "good" girl all of my life. But I did not understand the importance of abiding in Christ. I was merely going through the motions. And God was there simmering on the back burner of my mind and life.

Until February 5, 2009. The day I thought I was dying. The day my heart beat so irregularly I thought for sure that it must be the end.

This day was the birth of a new life. A life truly lived for Him.

The days I spent so consumed by irrational fear, so overwhelmed by feelings of darkness. The days when I literally could feel the enemy's presence right beside me, tormenting and taunting me. These were the days that God used to draw me near to Him.

When you've hit the bottom, the only place to look is up.

And when the only moments of sanity are felt while in His Word, well, that Word has a way of becoming pretty darn important to you.

He became my solid rock. The only foundation that was firm. The only source of peace. The only place I could go and feel calmness in my mind and soul.

So, my friends, this is why I'm thankful for my struggles with anxiety and depression. Sure, I still struggle with the dark, oppressive feelings. And sure there are still days when these feelings threaten to rule me, when they whisper to me that I will forever live a prisoner to fear.

But I've committed my struggles to God. And so I know that as long as He permits these struggles in my life, and as long as I am wholeheartedly seeking Him through them, they will serve a very awesome purpose in my life. A Kingdom purpose.


Katie said...

What a genuine and beautiful post...

Two verses came to mind as I read your words:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~ what a beautiful illustration you've laid out how God uses all the hard things in our lives to mold and shape us and draw us closer to Him and how we are to be thankful for that! ♥

Galatians 2:20 ~ Yes, I can relate to your testimony....I too earlier in life wanted to "be good" and do the right thing but was going through motions....until Christ saved me, I never knew the freedom from that life, the true redeeming love of Christ.

Thanks for sharing these tender thoughts of your heart ~ it hit home with me and I'm praying for you! Praise God for what He does in our lives!

Blessings to you~

Laura said...

hey amber! i appreciated this post and can relate...and would add this as well...several weeks ago i was listening to a sermon about spiritual gifts. i believe i have the gift of encouragment and i 've never met you, but your blog says that you have the gift of encouragment as well. anyway, the pastor explained that christians with the gift of encouragment often times experience very low, low times for the purpose not only to draw near to Christ as our only source of hope, but then later to be an encouragment and comfort for our brothers and sisters as we are comforted by God (2 corinthians 1:3-7). this brought happiness to my heart because i began to see the double purposes of the inward battles that rage on! drawing near to Christ and relying heavily on His Word, and then...encouraging others. pain with a purpose!

hope you have a blessed weekend... like those western pa pics!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

it has always distressed me when Christians say we shouldn't get depressed or deal with anxiety. why shouldn't we? it is in our weakness His strength is made manifest. like Joseph said to his brothers, "you meant it for evil, God used it for good."
God bless you for allowing Him to work in your life.

Anonymous said...

Lexapro saved my life.


Anonymous said...

Lexapro saved my life.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Search for the right religion. Does your religion make sense? Look at all religions before you make a decision. Look for the truth. Ask questions and don't be afraid to ask about any topic or question any religion. Looking up is a good start. #Motto: Stop waiting for things to happen and go out and make things happen. <3 love you all, just want the best for good people and bad people because even bad people could potentially be good.