Across the Pastor’s Desk: Don’t deal with depression alone
Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 4, 2022
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Charles Teixeira
Still a new Christian, I can remember thinking that I was doing it all wrong.
I had been following Christ and was a part of a church, had a daily time reading the Bible and was consistently talking with God in prayer, but something was off. I was depressed. And I didn’t know why. And, if I’m being entirely honest, I still suffer from depression.
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All the things I thought would help — a strong marriage, a thriving career, the joys of parenting — none of them seemed to sweep away the dark clouds that roamed over me. While these dark times continue to come and go, I cling to the fact that Christ understands me. There is no darkness that he didn’t submit himself to in going to the cross for me and for you. He knows pain and suffering. He knows loneliness and grief intimately. He knows my depression and isn’t off-put by my sadness. Unlike every other religious figure in any other faith, my God willingly adopted the moniker “man of sorrows” (Isa. 53:3) so that we can trust his presence in our most despairing seasons. Christ, our God-man of sorrows, knows the seemingly endless, crying-at-random, hard-to-get-out-of-bed, thoughts-afraid-to-say moments we suffer.
In case you’ve never heard this from a pastor before, let me clear this up: Suffering from depression (or any other mental health struggle) does not mean you’re not a faithful Christian. It does not mean there is overwhelming sin in your life or that you aren’t aware of the joy of salvation that is offered to you. It means you are suffering. It means there is an opportunity in the fragility of your sorrow to turn to the God who knows you, knows sorrow and knows what it means to overcome the grave. If we wouldn’t call Christ faithless or sinful in his sorrows, let’s not pronounce that kind of judgment on ourselves or others.
You’re not alone and neither am I. Don’t go through this alone — come alongside people who know what you’re going through. Find a counselor, teacher, pastor or trusted friend to share what’s going on in your life. If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety and just want a safe, judgment-free place to talk about it with others, a mental health support group will be meeting at 7:30 p.m. every Thursday beginning on May 5 at First Presbyterian Church. Reach for more details at email@example.com.
Charles Teixeira is pastor at First Presbyterian church.