In religious circles, depression is often deemed to be a spiritual condition that can be cured with prayer. In many situations, those who suffer from depression are criticized for a lack of faith and told that if only they would yield to an infilling of the Holy Spirit, they would know “the joy of the Lord.” – Tony Campolo
The stigma of being a “missionary” with depression is absurd. As Christians, we often stand on the verse of “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) and yet often we see Christians as the judgiest (I just made that word up). And don’t even get me started about the Christians on the mission field – it is glorified high school!
Because of that, I have remained widely silent about the deep depression that I have been in for the better part of the last 6-8 months. It has grown and worsened until I could not take it anymore. I got tired of being afraid of what people will say – honestly I think I skipped right to not giving a crap [which I think is perhaps a bit more healthy?]. I got tired of being manipulated and abused in my own home by one of my foster kids. I got tired of contemplating whether jumping out my bedroom window would just give me thorns in my body from the bougainvillea that sits below or if it was steep enough to put me out of my misery. I got tired of becoming a woman I didn’t recognize anymore. I got tired of watching my girls become people I didn’t recognize anymore.
And so we escaped. I packed up myself and my girls and we escaped on an ICU trip for our souls. Thanks to the blessing of incredible friends, I am writing this from our pink condo on the beach for the week. It is heaven on earth and we are getting some much-needed girl time. We would like to live here for a while, but instead will soak up every moment of sunshine and salt air, peace and healing.
Just last week I decided the healthiest thing I could do would be to show my girls that depression is real and it will happen. That when it does, you do what you need to do to get back to the person that God created you to be. That you work through heartaches and try to heal in a healthy way – and you take people you love and trust on the journey with you if you need to. I think the healthiest thing I can do for my daughters is to show them now – at a young age – how to heal their hearts and recover from stress and trauma in a healthy and self-honoring way.