As a Christian writer with a mission from God to write about mental illness, I often find myself writing sermons that focus on mental illness. It is very interesting the appearances depression makes in the Bible. It is hard to believe that famous Biblical characters such as Jonah and Elijah might possibly have suffered from mental illness.
A couple weeks ago, one of my Facebook friends wrote about how mental illness was being discussed in the church that I attended when I went to college. The sermons there get posted online so I eagerly got on the website that Sunday to listen to the podcast. It was not there. Nor was it there the next day or the day after that. After a couple weeks, I had finally given up hope and that is when it was posted.
The pastor’s sermon was very similar to the ones I write about famous Biblical characters that could have been depressed and also expanded on the topic in ways I never have. I felt that I could relate to it so much. The pastor ended the sermon by talking about his struggle with depression. This news was kind of shocking. This person never appeared to be depressed. Plus, even though I know it is not true because I am a Christian with depression, it is hard to believe that a person of God could ever be unhappy (I had that misconception shortly after I was baptized in 2010).
I loved the sermon so much that I emailed the pastor and thanked him for being honest and for addressing such a difficult subject in church. I also thanked him for the church and for the college youth group. It was because of both that I formally gave my life to Christ. And it is because of both that I am still alive today. I was suicidal in college and the only reason I am still here is because I knew that God had plans for me that did not include suicide.