Where was God in my struggles with Mental Health? Why did I feel like I was so alone in my struggles when I believe that God that is always with me? I have wrestled with this question the last while and I think I have began to understand.
As most of you know by now I have struggled with Mental health my whole life but it was amplified in the last few years. During my most trying times, I found myself the most angry at God I have ever been. I questioned why if I have a God that is always with me why do I feel so alone? Well what I have began to understand is that He was with me all along I just could not see him.
During my darkest days I remember praying that all my pain would be taken away. I wanted a miracle, a quick fix to my problems. I remember that pain and frustration of reading verses like Psalm 55:22 "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." I can also remember being so angry when someone would tell me to just trust in the Lord.
My understanding on how God has worked in my life has been changing in the last year. I thought change would happen quick and sudden. That is not how it worked for me, I remember thinking to myself as one point " wow I don't need God, I got this on my own, I fought my demons by myself and now I can find help myself.'' Wow oh how foolish I feel writing that. It simply could not be farther from the truth.
Walk with me as I try and explain my journey; I can start by saying I can be forever grateful that in my time of need I was blessed by my church. Yes this was what churches should do but they didn't need to. I was not a member of this church, I didn't know many people at all. It was really easy to slip in just before the service starts and leave once it was over and not talk to anyone. Woodside financially blessed me in covering a large portion of my counselling fees. They also took care of finding me a Professional Christian counselor and setting everything up. Without God working through the Church I have no idea where I would be now. Well I have a pretty good idea and its not pretty.
The next place God walked alongside of me was my wife. He gave her patience to deal with me as I was processing the work that was being done in my mental health. It was a common theme to come home from work and not want to talk about anything, to pull out my phone or turn on netflix and escape the world. I was not a great husband as it was so focused on me. How I knew God was involved in my wife was that I needed her to focus on me. She never questioned me and always loved even when it was hard. I was so vulnerable and incapable of taking on more that if she would have expressed her struggles with me I would broken down unable to handle anymore emotion.
My counselling was based in Christian values but I needed a certain kind of counselor. Looking back, it is crazy that the first person I was sent to was the person I needed to walk me through my journey. He had an approach of love and compassion, he explained to me with perfect balance that love is love. We need love, I need to love myself. I need to understand loving me is Loving God.
I want to say to anyone who is reading this and struggling to love themselves. It is hard. It took me more than half a year before I could say out loud that I have value that I desire love. It is still hard to say to be honest and I don't always belive it.
I want to recognise that God also created a safe group of friends around me that I could talk openly with and that I felt safe.
It is so important for us to take inventory of our lives and see what has been given to us in hard times. I understand that me versus the world can be a very challenging mindset as it is so common. No matter what you belive in, I think it is important for us to understand we were made for love. I don't ever want you to feel unloved.