Welcome Child of Light to the beginning of a new era.
This is the first blog post of 2021 and even though it seems like I delayed a little too much, the Holy Spirit has been taking me on a journey, one that I will share parts of , that can edify this community in due time.
Christianity, anxiety and depression is an entire section on the blog now (I expect you to jump for joy). Not because it seems like everybody is not talking about it enough, but because our safe space as believers which is this blog, needs to talk about it.
I came face to face with my first anxiety experience in 2019. Lengthy story with ups and downs but one question I kept asking myself was “I have Jesus. Why then is this happening to me?” Truly I had questions and in search of answers, I went back to God’s word.
You may not know this but more than half of your bible heroes and faves as my generation would call them, suffered anxiety and depression─ From Moses (Number 11:14) to David (Psalm 22:1-2), Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), Job (Job 30:15-17), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14:18), Hosea and much more. Jesus at some point found himself asking the Father if this cup (the price he had to pay for our redemption) could pass over him. I want to remind you that we were made in the image and likeness of God so just the way you have feelings and emotions, our Heavenly Father has those as well which is why he can be a jealous God, show compassion, be vexed (Hosea 14:4), show mercy, listen and do much more. The way we express those emotions, he does also; the only difference is that He is God so he makes no mistakes and is not as irrational as we humans so before you sit and imagine in your head that he doesn’t understand, he does.
The bible characters are real humans who faced actual problems. The only thing is that we don’t really look into their stories to see how it bothers on our own personal lives.
For the record, Anxiety and Depression is completely normal. Yes the praise of the Lord must never depart from your mouth and the joy of the Lord is forever your strength, still there are gloomy days and times when you don’t understand why you feel so sad or very worried.
Healthline blog gives a definition of Anxiety I like. It says Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It is a feeling of fear or apprehension about what is to come or sometimes what has happened.
It becomes a problem when this feeling of constant fear and apprehension seems to be with you all the time and begins to prevent you from living life normally or doing the things you usually do.
Ranging from Panic attacks to Phobias for different things such as objects, situations or activities, to social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder that has you experiencing recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific repeated behaviors, separation anxiety: which mostly consists of fear of being alone or away from friends, family and loved ones (people in relationships may experience this too), anxiety about health, financial induced anxiety (debts, lack of funds and financial worries could lead to this) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which is anxiety fueled by relieving a traumatic experience, anxiety could take any form and can happen to anyone.
Anxiety as you now understand is way beyond just being worried.
Personally I would like to call Depression the Father of Anxiety. It is everything you know about anxiety but on a deeper level. Depression will have you feeling empty, struggling to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern, switching moods way too often and experiencing greater health conditions. Like I said, it is everything like anxiety and worse! Maybe that why they are placed side by side with Depression at the end because unattended anxiety will slowly graduate to depression.
End result: Suicide (the ultimate) or an empty, sad and unfulfilled life.
So much sadness in the last few paragraphs but this is the reality of what so many believers are going through and we simply pat them on the back and say “it is well, the joy of the lord is your strength”. No explanation of how it can be well, no encouragement on why they need to embrace the joy of the lord amidst their tears, and the ones brave enough describe the full extent of their sadness are shushed with “ah ahh that’s blasphemous!” or “are you trying to say God has not been faithful?” Then we proceed to bring up scenarios of people we believe have had it worse and tell them “look at Mr. ABC, after everything he is still surviving”. Then Mr. ABC dies of a health issues and we don’t understand that he suffered in silence from the same thing, it aggravated a subsurface health issue, he either spoke to no one for fear of being judged/misunderstood, or did and got the expected reaction of judgment and comparison and then died eventually.
All these things the body of Christ and we believers must do away with fast!
“But what happened isn’t so serious for her to…” people are not the same so they can never handle issues similarly. Our best option should be to listen to them, pray with them, keep their stories or whatever they had the courage to share with ourselves and offer as much love and warmth as we can.
“But I thought that…” confirmation is best before you draw conclusions
“Other people have experienced worse and they did not die or get this sad” again people handle issues differently.
My point is, we need to do better. For ourselves, for other believers, for our families, for unbelievers’ and for everyone we come across.
My quest to know more on this subject matter coupled with my personal experiences and the experiences of others has led me to this point. I couldn’t share so much to anyone save a friend or two I knew had similar struggles and could relate. I was however determined to find a Godly way out and a way to manage these feelings when they come and so scriptures on anxiety and depression is the first of many posts I will be making concerning Christianity, anxiety and depression because these scriptures helped me.
The scriptures are so underrated when it comes to providing calm to our storms. I realized this power when I recited John 16:33 one night till I feel asleep. I had tried for hours and sleep wasn’t coming. My mind was filled with a lot and as a natural over thinker (a habit the lord is working on me to get rid of), it was hard to get even a few hours of sleep. I prayed but of course prayers prayed in fear do not seem to have as much potency as prayers made in Faith so that didn’t work also. Then it crossed my mind that there is a scripture where Jesus admonished us to be of good cheer. I set out to find it immediately and thanks to the internet, I found it swiftly, read it in a variation of versions, selected the version I felt would resonate with me and eventually recited it till I slept.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” John 16:33
John 16:33; the first of many scriptures that have helped, still helping and will forever help me in times of uncertainty.
Here are other helpful scriptures:
1. 1 John 4:4 “Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one who is in the world”
2. Matthew 11:28 “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest”
3. John 10:10 “A thief comes only to rob, kill and destroy. I came so everyone would have life, and have it fully”
4. Psalm 147:3 “He renews our hopes and heals our bodies”
5. Psalm 55:2 “Please listen and help me. My thoughts are troubled and I keep groaning”
6. 1 Peter 5:7 “God cares for you so turn all your worries over to him”.
7. Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die, but I shall live to recount the deeds of the lord” (ESV)
8. Isaiah 43:1 “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you O Jacob, he who formed you, o Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine”. Verse 2 “when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consumed you”. 3 “For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior”. (ESV English Standard Version)
9. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us and when we are knocked down, we get up again.
10. Hebrews 12:2 “We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to the cross, because he knew later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne! 3 “So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up.
There are more scriptures in fact an entire bible filled with God professing his undying love for us, reckoning with our hardships and providing his unflinching support for us through trying times. By His Grace I know I will continue to share more, post true stories of those who have overcome certain difficult phases and expert opinions.
Nobody has it all figured out and its okay. Trust God’s process and I pray our dear Heavenly Father helps you through it all.
I pray that these scriptures serve as reminder of God’s undying love for you; that they convince you that you are not alone in your frustration, your anger, your tears, your pain or whatever it is going on. I pray they give you hope that although your fears are valid and you are not overacting in any way, God understands and he will give your victory over your emotional battles.
We are always here for you in this community so consider the blog your safe space. Reach out via our email any time firstname.lastname@example.org
(All bible quotations and contexts in this blog post except stated otherwise are taken from the Contemporary English Version CEV)
Blessings, love and Light,
Crystabel Nnamdi (Krystarbelle)
For Lumiere de Dieu