"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.