You may have noticed by now songs speak to me quite a bit. I have often wished I could sing. Although, if I could there’s no way I’d be comfortable singing in front of people so I guess it doesn’t matter. I recently listened to the song, The Father’s House by Cory Asbury and there was a part in there I really liked.
“Ooh, lay your burdens down. Ooh, here in the Father’s house. Check your shame at the door ‘cause it ain’t welcome anymore. Ooh, you’re in the Father’s house.”
It was encouraging to hear this because I was reminded God loves me no matter what. No matter what I have done, no matter how unlovable I feel, God always loves me. There is nothing I can do that can separate me from God’s love. And obviously no illness or disability can separate me from God’s love. God loves me no matter how broken I am or how broken I feel. God often use broken people to share his love. Maybe I have struggled with depression and OCD because I had a fairly “easy” life before then. I am so thankful I grew up in a loving family but I feel like my struggle with OCD and being suicidal has given me perspective to help people who have gone through even worse things.
I feel like I have always been a pretty empathetic person. Pretty much the only problem is I’m too sensitive. I am good at listening to people tell me things they have been through but then I’m like, I need to fix this. I want to help them. What can I do? Maybe there’s a reason I never went to graduate school. If I were a therapist I don’t think I could separate my work life from my home life. I am still thankful that I am so blessed. I know many people have gone through many worse struggles than I have and I believe it is important to acknowledge that. The difference is I have to recognize that my struggles are real. I think I started struggling with depression at a pretty young age (although, it definitely got worse around the time I graduated from high school). I often felt like I shouldn’t be depressed because I had such a good life. I would think, there are people starving, there are people who have been abused, there are people living in horrible situations. Why would I be depressed?
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
I also felt growing up that mental health struggles weren’t recognized very much in the church. I thought I should be able to pray away my depression. I had a good life and there was no reason for me to be depressed. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Trauma can cause the chemical imbalance but it can also be caused by many other things.
Even though, I used to be ashamed of my depression and OCD they are not sins. However; because they caused me so much shame I was encouraged by this song that reminds me I don’t need to bring my shame with me to heaven. God loves me no matter what. I am so loved. I can leave my shame at the door and you can, too.