This week as I read the New Testament (John chapters 7-10), these verses really hit me hard:
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.John 9:1-3
This man was born blind, and Jesus’s disciples assumed that his trial was a consequence of sin.
I think that’s a pretty natural reaction. Any time I’m going through a trial, I tend to think something along the lines of, “Why is this happening? What did I do wrong?” It’s what I think every time I have an anxiety attack or a depressive episode, and it was one of my first thoughts after I had my miscarriage.
But Jesus taught that challenges don’t always come because of sin. That man wasn’t born blind as a result of sin – he was born blind so Jesus could heal him, and that miracle could strengthen his faith and the faith of others.
Maybe we are given trials so Jesus can heal us, and we can be somebody’s miracle.
What a lovely thought…
After I miscarried, I was devastated and confused. I felt that no one truly understood my grief, but then I learned of a fellow young mother who suffered a miscarriage not long after my own. I knew exactly what she was feeling, so I reached out to her. Through our shared experiences, we helped one another heal and became friends.
The pain from that experience was very real and raw, but the blessings soon poured in. We were blessed not only with that new friendship, but a rainbow baby born one year later.
Anxiety and depression are a modern plague. So many people suffer, but when your illness is invisible it can be easy to hide it and suffer alone. I’m fortunate enough to have moments when the fog clears – sometimes even years. But it’s something chemical that’s in me. I know it can be triggered at any time. I’m so grateful for the good times, and during the hard times I pray for the strength to endure. Sometimes all you can do is be patient and endure.
As I sit here writing this, I’m reminded of a post I wrote a couple years ago. Here’s an excerpt:
Sunday school was about how God gives us trials to refine us for his future purposes. We talked about how God may send us in one direction, only to send us in a completely different one soon after. He does it because he has a greater plan for us, and we need the experiences he gives us.Enduring Life’s Tantrums: Why God Gives us Trials
I really needed that reminder.
I’m currently in another one of those confusing times when I feel God sent me in one direction, and then changed my course almost immediately. It’s not a comfortable process, but I trust Him, and I know it will make sense someday in the future.
If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, I encourage you to seek help. It isn’t always obvious to others that we are suffering, so it’s so important that we take that first step. See a counselor. If you don’t like that counselor, see a different one. It takes time to build trust, but once you have it, that relationship is life changing. For me, it was an answer to prayer.
A counselor can help give you the tools you need to cope, and direct you to someone who can prescribe you medication if needed. If you don’t know where to start, email me and I can help you get the ball rolling!