This is a little different topic for my blog, but then again, not really because it is dealing with false things believed by the church and things that can harm rather than help our hurting brothers and sisters. I humbly ask that you consider the heartfelt words of my dear dear…very dear sister, Venchenza Settles, at her blog, Grace Tried.
This young woman humbles me to the core. Saved a few short years ago from being a God hating atheist, she runs circles around me in her knowledge and theology. I’ve grown to know her over the internet for the past year and have just fallen in love with this precious daughter of God.
I pray you will take her testimony here to heart and soul search. As one sister put it recently, “I will not be counted among the friends of Job”. Sadly, I have been guilty of being a friend like Job’s friends, but I pray the Lord helps that to never be said of me again.
SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ON DEPRESSION, MEDICATION, & TRUSTING IN GOD’S PROVIDENCE by Venchenza Settles
“God’s graces unto to me is a never-ending testimony. No matter what has befallen me…I cannot sit up here, be silent, and not say that God has not been kind to me more in those pains, than ever I was in joy (and that joy was probably over something fleeting, and useless).
Contrary to the believe of some, the last thing I like to tell people is that I tried to kill myself, and that I’ve been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, and on medicine for mental illness. But over the course of 2 years (since I first tried to attempt suicide), I’ve stopped being ashamed of something that I believe the Lord used, and still does, to teach me some things about myself, but even more – about Himself. And for what purpose? My good, HIS glory.
So in what I just said, you are probably at a pause.
Did I just say the Lord is using my mental illness to teach me? Use it for my good, and for His glory? Romans 8:28 confirms what I just said:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)
I know that I can also echo what the Psalmist said here:
“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” (Psalm 119:67 ESV)and
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” (Psalm 119:71 ESV)
Through all of this… I have to say that many who are my brothers and sisters in Christ have been the most discouraging people I know regarding being in the pit and unable to stop letting your emotions take the wheel in your life. When I was in the days, leading up to suicide, reaching out to pastors and people around me in despair and crying all the time… their advice, some of them – not all, were even more despairing.
Let’s go down the list of awful things I’ve been told and I myself believed in, sadly (you’ve probably been told, too):
- “You’re not trusting in Christ ENOUGH.” This my friends is works-theology. It is. When did my enough-ness become the basis upon which I have depression, mental-illness? There is a difference between throwing a temper-tantrum for not getting what you want, or throwing a temper-tantrum because you don’t even know why you are throwing a temper-tantrum.
- “You need to examine your salvation. You may not be saved.” Again, works-theology…but now, we’re going to question your standing in Christ because you are having some harsh times emotionally, and it’s out of control. Since when did me being depressed show that I must be unsaved? I thought it was Christ Jesus? Where is He in all of our accusations of not being saved? He is the author and finisher of our faith here (see Hebrews 12:2), right?
- “I think you may be experiencing demonic oppression/possession. Possibly may want to be exorcised?” Someone told me to seek out answers regarding this because they thought I might be experiencing attack from the enemy. Downplaying that notion is NOT what you are seeing me do on this blog post. Not me. Satan is alive and well, and the war we fight against him is real. We should not be ignorant of his devices. HOWEVER, believing that a spirit-filled believer is somehow possessed by the Devil, or demons – no. That’s not what the Bible teaches. Me and a good friend of mine researched this all night one time. I honestly don’t even understand the implications clearly of what it means to be under demonic possession, and trust me – I think it a bit sketchy to start placing experience so heavily that we forfeit what the Word says regarding these things. Going into this may be another post all-together, but for now – I have to say that my believing in this led for me to be more fearful of the wrong things Continue Reading here……