Each and every time that I hear of a soul lost to mental illness I am grieved at a certain level that the average person might not. His pain and journey is incredibly personal to me because I suffered from depression for 10 years of my life.
On Saturday July 13, beloved Glee TV star Cory Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver Hotel. Each and every time that I hear of a soul lost to mental illness I am grieved at a certain level that the average person might not. It goes beyond the fact that he and I are the same age and beyond the fact that I admire his talent and the show’s challenge to bring back a type of musical entertainment now lost in movies and television (though I do not watch the show because of my Christian Worldview). His pain and journey is incredibly personal to me because I suffered from depression for 10 years of my life. Where medicine and discipline could not heal me the supernatural power that comes from the absolute truth of Jesus Christ and God is the only reason why I am still here.
Like Cory I became fully acquainted with mental illness as a teenager. As part of my healing I’ve studied a bit about childhood development so it’s no surprise that adolescence uncovers a lot. It is the litmus test of how healthy a home is and more importantly how rooted a child is in something greater than them so that they can stand. And when we never get rooted we just grow up in arrested development, broken and below what God intended for us:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17: 7-8, NKJV)
Jeremiah 17 is a scripture that I keep in my arsenal. Look at this, God doesn’t say that life won’t be hard because He says “when heat comes”, but we won’t fear, have anxiety, always bear fruit and be firmly planted. This scripture is not just a Christian form of self help for me to dig deep within myself and find courage that I already had. This is supernatural transforming power! The Bible is alive (Hebrews 4:12). We as Christians claim theism and the true deity who is the Creator. The power of the universe stepped down for us. The Higss Boson, the Great Architect of gravity at 9.8 meters per second, the One who came up with music, He who is outside of time and space, the I AM, the author of language, the one who made life..God is here for us if we want. So God did for me what I could not do for myself because there is nothing in me. In other words, being completely healed from depression is a miracle.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV)
Moreover like Cory I have been in rehab twice. According to this article of his 2013 timeline he did rehab in his teens and once again this April. My deliverance from depression was in layers with a whole host tools that I discuss below that were catalysts but it was an eventual decision of a surrender to Christ that obliterated my inexplicable feelings of sadness, loneliness, meaninglessness, low self-esteem and fear. Though I had everything to live for I did not want to live. You’ll find a correlation between those that are given gifts and mental illness because the enemy of our souls does not want people to totally live the life that God intended for them.
I am not afraid to share this because people are dying. Mental illness claims lives and it never makes sense. This is my mandate for the rest of my life; to simply share the Jesus of Depression.
Tools and concepts if you or someone you know suffers from mental illness
- Your point in time right now
Don’t feel guilty or bad about where you are. Don’t beat yourself up about how long you’ve been battling or if you keep making the same types of mistakes. Don’t feel guilty if you are taking medication. Just know that you won’t be here forever.
- Christian counseling
The turning point for me was in my mid 20s when I went to Christian Counseling. Only a believing Christian counselor has the perfect intersection between the practice of psychotherapy with the power of Christ. Remember that the point of counseling is recovery so you won’t have to be in counseling forever. If you live in or close to NJ I recommend the Christian Counseling Center.
- Gifts and Callings
Further down the road you’ll see that the problems are to hold back influential and important gifts and purposes that you have. God peeled away every dysfunctional aspect and role player is my life from relationships to my family and friends to show me that I had one key role player. He took away the very real and legitimate things that I didn’t get to what He could give.If you have been working on your mental illness for some time I recommend this book.
Regular cardio will evelate your mood and help with energy.
- Your Environment
Please submerge yourself with people, music, book, tv and movies that will feed your spirit. Attend Christian support groups. I don’t recommend anything based on AA’s 12 steps because it has occult origins. A great teacher and preacher is Joyce Meyer. She suffered from depression and more as an adult because she was raped for 10+ years by her father. She is now healed and living the life that God intended for her. Here is her testimony, and this is her website.
Your healing happens over time in layers. Mental illness runs deeps. It’s the the very being of the soul beyond our atoms that’s the why the remedy is deliverance from Christ. David said in Psalm 51 that He knows that God desires truth in the inward parts and that God loves a broken and contrite heart. I just got a deeper healing this year with the consistent balance of my work-ministry-private life. But never ever let go of God because He is right there with you.
- Join a church
If you are not a Christian I can tell you how to become one. Look for a Bible believing church in your area.
I know I couldn’t possibly articulate my life’s story in one blog post nor really go into detail about my healing. Please if you have any personal comments you can contact me from my contact page or if you feel comfortable you can post a question below in the comments section.