The D-word (no, not Divorce or Diet – the other one)
I’m a female, 37 years old, a daughter, a big sister, a University graduate, a wife, and a mother. But what defines me most is that I’m a follower of Jesus, a Christian. That’s who I am. That’s what influences my decisions every day. That’s what I refer to when I wonder what the future holds.
Naturally, that was the first thought that came to me when my GP mentioned the D-word. It’s impossible. How can a Christian be depressed? I have so much to be thankful for. I have a husband, I have kids, I have a job, I have a house, I have a car, I have my health. How can that not be enough to make me happy? Am I being ungrateful? Have I somehow invited the world to influence my emotions? Am I not being diligent enough in my prayer time? Is God punishing me? What have I done wrong?
That was then. This is now. That was October 2015. This is June 2017. A lot has happened in those twenty months. A lot has NOT happened in those twenty months. A lot will happen in the next twenty months and a lot after that.
This is my story. No, this is God’s story being told by me. (insert the Law and Order DUN DUN sound here)
During that sobering Doctor’s appointment in October 2015, which I scheduled because I was feeling ‘flu-ish’, I checked nearly all 10 of the broad questions that identify you as someone in a depressed mental state. She sent me home with a script for anti-depressants and a more detailed questionnaire to see how deep my depressed mental state was. I was deeper than I thought. As a joke, I took the questionnaire to work the next day and a few of my colleagues completed it. Funnily enough, they were also depressed! Eureka! Exactly as I thought! I’m not depressed! It’s just a stage! My kids are small and I work full time. Everybody in my situation feels the same. Right? I’ll pop the meds to get me out of the worst of the feelings and then ween myself again. That’s what I thought.
Three months later I scheduled another GP appointment. The meds worked wonders but if it can be a tiny bit stronger I will be my exact old self: being content in my job, the quintessential mother, and the happy wife. Then the Doctor mentioned the T-word. Out of the question! A Christian doesn’t need therapy! The Holy Spirit is our Counselor! A person from this earthly world will never be able to counsel me as the Holy Spirit can. People will give me worldly answers to my questions. I will just have to be more diligent in my Bible study and prayer life. God will deliver me.
Two months later I was handed a telephone number of a Christian Counselor. Disheartened and bone-tired I dialed the number. I made an appointment. I started a ten-week counseling course that became the beginning of my renewed walk with God.
God wasn’t mad at me. God wasn’t punishing me. God didn’t forget about me. God loved me. God wants the best for me. Eventually, I also realised that God had a new course planned for my life. That plan was put in motion the day I was born. I was still on the correct path, it was just the course that needed to change.
I believe that our purpose on earth is to glorify God. Every circumstance is an opportunity to glorify God. Even the less than ideal circumstances are the best circumstances to glorify God. Look at this blog post. I’m writing it because of my less than ideal circumstances!
Slowly but surely my thoughts became more ordered and I was able to see my circumstances more clearly. I was able to pinpoint the triggers that influenced my emotional well-being. I started to work on a plan which took me from my corporate ‘real’ job to my wildest dream ever: start my own business. And even though I’m living my dream I still deal with the D-word every day. I still do the T-word every month. It’s a process. It was a process. It’s going to be a process. But at least it’s a process and not a debilitated unknown feeling any longer.
Helène Janse van Rensburg – Supermomster