“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ E. M. Forster
When I started this blog, I knew that I may hit potential opposition with some of my friends and family that don’t share my beliefs. But thankfully, we love each other beyond our differences. I’m very grateful for that.
I know people who read my blog may be surprised by my faith, especially my friends that knew me in the past. I’ve heard people say “I didn’t know Linda was so religious.” Just to clarify, I don’t think of myself as “religious”, by any means. There is nothing I need to do in order to receive grace. I have a relationship with God.
As a friend and I chatted over coffee last week, I mentioned that writing about depression was actually pretty easy for me. People think that I’m strong and courageous for sharing this part of my life, but writing about my faith has been much more difficult. It made me wonder why.
Then, my friend made a really good point. He said that when we think about it, things have really changed over the last 20 years. 20 years ago, it was ok to speak freely about your faith, but not okay to say that you were depressed. Today, we feel we have to be careful when we speak about God or Jesus freely, but the walls of stigma are breaking down about depression. Interesting, isn’t it?
25 years ago, when I first started suffering from depression, I wouldn’t talk about it or even acknowledge that I was depressed. I hid it from everyone, including myself.
When I first started seeking God 5 years ago, I didn’t tell anyone. Any books or bibles that I was given, I would hide away when people came over. I didn’t talk about going to church. It took years, (and I mean literally years) to be comfortable with opening up about my new faith. When I was baptized, I made a public declaration that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour. I was nervous about what people would think, but that was ok. I am who I am. God loves me. I don’t judge others for their choices, and I hope to receive the same respect.
Growing up an atheist, my whole life has changed. The way I think, feel, act, and am. People think Christianity is a crutch and a myth. I used to think that, too. I’m so glad God waited patiently for me to see the truth.
Now when someone asks me how I managed to get through my worst bout of depression, my first answer is God. (And of course, supportive family/friends, counselling, medication, etc.) But God is my main source of hope.
What would happen if we all talked about our struggles and faith openly? I bet we could change the world!