In 2015, I began student teaching, believing God was calling me to teach middle school students. (He was; I still teach middle schoolers today!) Quickly, though, I realized something was off.
I often woke up sick to my stomach or spent the day in agonizing pain. I couldn’t sleep or eat in ways that supported daily functioning. Teaching was causing me to wrestle with mental health issues I had kept buried until that point.
A doctor put me on medication that treats both anxiety and depression. I didn’t think I needed long-term help, just enough to get through this phase. At times, I neglected my medication, thinking I was strong enough without it. Each time, however, God reminds me that I do need it and, ultimately, him.
I have an aversion to being dependent—on medication, on people, even on God. God has been working on this foothold of sin in my life through my anxiety and depression and my need for medication and wise counsel.
God used my brain chemistry to draw me into a fuller reliance upon him. I may recoil at the idea of dependence, but it is God’s way. Today I am thankful that God has provided stability in my life through my anxiety and depression medication. The need for medication has helped me have more consistency in my daily life; even more, it has enabled me to have more grace and empathy for others in God’s family.
Jess Crist attends Rejoice! Community Church (RCA), LeMars, IA.
This article is from Breaking Barriers, Winter 2020.