My Haunted House

In Being Real, Perspective on August 31, 2011 by The Spillover

Some days I’m held hostage by a million dark thoughts, each one more powerful than the sum of my will. I muster my hope and discover, once again, that peril is all I can imagine. I feel as if I’m trapped in a musty, dark, haunted house, longing to sit on the smelly couch in the living room if only I could find a way to escape from under the floor boards. Light is a fairy-tale. God doesn’t love me because I’m doing everything wrong. I got it all wrong, and I should have known better. Look how much I’ve done wrong. Look how much time I’ve wasted that I can never get back. The gore is more than I can handle. The atmosphere is intolerable. These days are like nightmares, only they’d probably be more manageable if they actually were nightmares.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder. Depression is a close relative to anxiety, so I’m sure you can throw a healthy dose of that into my condition also. Call it whatever you’d like, it doesn’t really matter. Suffice it to say, life can be very uncomfortable at times. Thankfully, it’s the rare occasion that I feel this bad. But it does happen.

Why do I write about this terrible nonsense? Because it’s a very real part of my life. And it might be part of your life, too. How many people at Calvary Baptist Church in Canton, MI suffer from anxiety or depression? A heck of a lot more than you would think, I can guarantee you that. How many are on Paxil or Zoloft? How many are addicted to painkillers or alcohol or overeating? How many have OCD? How many are compulsive shoppers? How many, in real life, are absolutely nothing like the jovial smiling face we see on Sunday mornings?

If you ask me, God didn’t construct us as a family united under Christ so that we can create false images of ourselves to employ when we’re around each other. We’re not placed together to love each other as long as there’s nothing wrong with each other. We shouldn’t keep our problems secret for fear of judgment from our siblings in Christ. You may not struggle with anxiety or depression, but you do have issues. We all do. And our church family should be the people we discuss our issues with, not the people from whom we hide them.

I’m challenging you to stop hiding your problems. Let’s get real with ourselves, with God, and with each other, and watch the Holy Spirit move among us as we foment authentic relationships. God placed us all in the same family to do life with each other. To really do life with each other. Not to be in a Sunday-morning church club. So let’s really do life with each other. Openly and honestly. Therein lies real love for one another, and therein lies the only true way to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

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