I'm a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, worker, and team member. I suffer with self-doubt, self-worth, depression, anxiety, jealousy, and all sorts of sin. I've been on medication, off medication, and back and and forth again. I spend a significant amount of my time crying. So much so that if I disappear to my room, my son immediately asks if I'm crying. I am quick tempered with my husband and children. I like wine a lot. A LOT.
But here is what I know for a fact. I am no longer a slave to sin.
When I first learned this concept, being free from sin, I understood it on such a elementary level. Jesus saved me from my sins. While this is true, I don't think that's what Paul is talking about in Romans 6. It's not just freedom from the punishment my sins deserve. It's freedom from a life wrought with sin. I don't have to fear anymore. The weight of sin can no longer weigh me down. I have a choice, I have the Spirit of God to help me, and I'm free. More specifically, I don't have to fear the unknown about obeying God's call on my life. I'm free to be obedient and to receive his generosity as He sees fit.
So here's where I get hung up with my depression and anxiety. It is so real that it intertwines itself into every little part of my life. When all you want to do for the day is lay down and watch TV, even the simpliest of tasks feel monumental. Taking care of my family suddenly feels like a punishment--and because depression is so illogical, the punishment feels like it's never going to end.
Things I Loathe About Depression
Physical aches and pains.
When selecting an outfit brings me to tears and negatively changes my opinion of myself.
Feeling in a trance for weeks at a time.
Honestly not caring--which then makes me feel like a terrible person because I do want to show empathy for others.
Thinking my current situation will go on forever.
I miss wanting to sew, knit, garden, read and cook amazing things.
Where on earth did my sex drive go?!?
Each item on this list makes it incredibly easy to just lay down for the day and give up. I know that because I've done it. And my husband, even though he doesn't always understand, shows me love by letting me shut down. I do mean to brag when I say that God blessed me with an amazing man.
I don't want to need to shut down. I want the good that God has planned for me. I want to be the woman, wife, and mother I see when I'm praying over my day. I do not want to use depression and anxiety as a justification to sin. I don't want it to stop me from creating beautiful fruits of the Spirit. I don't want it to stop me from having sex with my husband. I don't want it to separate me from my friends and family.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. THANK YOU for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it.
God in His sovereign wisdom decided that I would have depression and anxiety. He didn't give it to me so that I could wallow in self pity over wearing the wrong shoes with a certain cut of jeans (yes, it happens.) He gave it to me so that HE would be glorified when I overcome through HIS strength. It is easy--absolutely not. Am I going to fail miserably most days--without a doubt.
Like Paul, I've begged God to take away my depression. I've begged for a stronger desire for empathy, love towards others, and to physical want my husband. The best solution in my mind is for God to just take it away! Problem solved. But what does he say to Paul when he begs for his thorn to be removed?
Each time He said to me, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness."
2nd Corinthians 12:9
I pray his power works through my weakness. I pray He uses my life experiences to help other's with depression.
Next week: How to love and care for your husband when you don't want sex. Spoiler alert! I don't actually have the answer, but I'm working on it!