what i know to be true

This week has been so very emotional. Last Sunday I walked into church with such a heavy heart. The situation in Iraq had me shaking; angry, sad, hurt. The message was exactly what I needed, isn’t God so awesome like that? It is just like Him.

It was a reminder to be combat ready. We must have the expectation that there is an enemy and is ready to attack at any time. Therefore, I must always be ready. We studied 1 Corinthians 16:13. We can be combat ready when we are watchful, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong and do everything in love.

The Bible tells us we will be hated just as Jesus was hated. We will face horrors because of our God. This doesn’t by any means negate the horrors and atrocities happening to Christians around the world, but it tells me, I shouldn’t be surprised. Yes, I can outraged. I should do all I can to help them. But, I should never be surprised. The world is sick. We cannot believe that because we love Jesus we will be spared this sickness. He wasn’t.

After clarity sank in, the week begins with the death of Robin Williams; a fellow warrior in the life-long battle against depression. I think Glennon from Momastry said, when a fellow warrior dies, it frightens those that are still in the battle. Your mind races, “if they can do it and they have, etc. etc. How is possible for me to make it?”

As you work through these feelings, you are then bombarded with arm chair doctors and Christians who damn him. Who say that if you did xyz enough that you would not have depression. That it is a lack of faith. That it is a lack of joy. Just have more joy.

When I was watching the Olympics earlier in the year, they were discussing a skier and a close friend who had died. Do you want to know how it was described? The announcer said, “He lost his lifelong battle with depression.” (or words to that effect) I have to tell you. I love this. I love this so much. Because isn’t that how it feels? You are losing your battle. You didn’t give in. You didn’t take the cowards way out. You just were so wounded that you couldn’t fight anymore. You succumbed to your injuries.

I won’t go ad nauseum into the comparisons, though I have heard some awesome ones. If someone with asthma died from their asthma; would we say, “well, they should have just calmed down and breathed more. what a coward for not breathing more. They should have believed more in Jesus. Their faith was imperfect.”

Guess what? ALL of us have imperfect faith. Because we are imperfect.

As always, listening to everyone talk about it makes my brain hurt and race. It makes me sad that people can be callous about something they so clearly don’t understand. It isn’t the blues people. It is who I am. It is part of how I think, react, live. It touches everything about me. Just as diabetes, asthma, and congentital diseases are every part of the person who lives with them.

I won’t discuss medication. The argument is so tired and shameful. I am wounded by Christians who have opinions about medication, yet do not have depression and have never lived with depression and without medication. That tightrope act we put on, because we want to be ‘good’. The times we struggle to take medication because we don’t want to need it. We don’t want to seem ‘less christian’ than the next person.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul says “I WILL BOAST ALL THE MORE GLADLY OF MY WEAKNESS, SO THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY REST UPON ME.” I will BOAST! I will not hide. I will not pretend that I can handle it. I will not worry that my disease will make Jesus look less than who and what He is to this sick world. Just as I would hope and pray that someone who was born with a deformity would not worry that they make Jesus look less than who HE is.

I will boast. I will love. I will hug. I will not judge. I will seek out those who are afraid to get help and remind them, our weaknesses don’t steal from Jesus. They glorify Him.

About Teresa Neal

I am a Jesus girl. I have been redeemed by his blood and his love. I am also a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, sister, employee, friend, searcher, grace receiver, mercy needer and stumbler. I am fully in love with our God. I cannot do anything without him, although I try all too often. I write about the things Jesus is doing in my life, about what the Holy Spirit whispers to my soul, my struggles with depression, anxiety and OCD, and sometimes my family.
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