Last week I had a conversation with a colleague I mentor. My colleague is a young person who grew up in a Christian home. My friend struggles with depression/anxiety but is hesitant about seeking help because of the stigma such issues can have in some churches such as the one my friend grew up in.
It saddens me to think that some churches place a stigma on mental health issues like depression and anxiety. If someone has diabetes, we would encourage them to take insulin and be careful about what they eat. The brain is part of our physical bodies. It is a physical organ just as the heart, lungs, and pancreas are.
That is why I share about how God helped me with depression and anxiety. I live with four chronic illnesses and each of them can cause depression/anxiety on their own. Put all four together, and no wonder depression and anxiety were issues for me. My hope is to lessen the stigma in churches.
My hope is to also share Jesus with others who struggle with depression/anxiety. When I think about things Jesus said such as in Matthew 11:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
and what is written about how Jesus felt when he saw the large crowd of people in Matthew 9:
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Such verse help me realize that Jesus has great compassion for us. Such verses also help us to understand how approachable Jesus is when we struggle. His desire is to help us, restore us, and heal us. Yes, he does these things through others such as doctors and counselors too.
Dear reader if you struggle with depression or anxiety, Jesus understands you, His arms are open saying, “Come to me and find rest” just as he said in Matthew 11. We can cast all of our concerns on him because he cares for us.
It is okay to ask for help.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.