Needs a rewind.
I became horrified when I watched this video .Then, I wondered what seminary he graduated from. Are they not teaching these young pastors about real life? Did he really think about what he produced, directed, and put out into the world?
“Because sometimes God leads us into the wilderness for a beautiful reason….”
The message was awesome for SOME people who have struggled with “being in the wilderness” in their lives. The entire concept was packaged beautifully, the music was touching, the pastor spoke to me, but let me take Bambi’s mother into the woods and shoot her.
I shot Bambi’s mother to get your attention. Why? Because my wilderness years were horrible – and I needed chemical help of anti-depressants. I also needed Christian therapy. Do I have your attention now – and I hope you are a pastor or priest if you are reading this: because it needs to be said. I wanted to get your attention because I want to address this young man. His name is Jeff Bethke and he needs to re-work his awesome video.
Because depression is not something Jesus Christ can take away from EVERY human being; it is a disorder that can be inherited, environmental, and often, a struggle for someone for his or her entire life. Trust me: I have lost friends because of depression – to suicide. If I had to do a numerical count? Let’s say about ten friends took their lives. Most…were battling clinical depression that went untreated and spiraled into a REAL wilderness.
I have battled clinical depression and post-partum depression in my life. And I am on medication (a simple Luvvox daily) for the rest of my life. I’m not crazy, lost, dancing into the woods to find Jesus, or staring up at the sky. I’m just living – for Him. And He works through me, just as He works through many in the ministry. But when I see something that needs fixing, I ask the Christian church – or a young pastor who may just be innocently joyous in the Word: back up a minute. Think. And learn.
Clinical depression can be temporary – or it can be lifelong. It can become something worse – or it can be treated. I pray for people to seek medical input about chemical treatment AND therapy as a means of learning to live with clinical depression. And when we say “depression,” we mean “clinical depression.” I am not addressing a far difficult medical disorder to treat and deal with: maniac depression or bipolar depression. That would be…another blog.
For someone, like me, it takes the chemical help of a small pill to see the sky when I am in the forest and ask my Savior, “where’s the sky?”
Or, as you so well versed it, “the stars in the night sky.”
I long ago stopped asking my Savior “why” and learned that this is my cross to bear, but that little pill and a few years of Christian therapy helped me. It made me stronger. And it made me alert. I am about as normal, fun, loving, and sometimes, intense as the next Christian in the pew next to me. With a grandmother, a brother, and a mother who have battled depression – it’s probably genetic. And that….is okay.
Christians need to hear it from the pulpit that it is okay to battle clinical depression with medication. Christians need to hear it from the pulpit that it is okay to go to therapy to learn coping skills. A simple statement….Could save thousands a lives a year.
So, my challenge to all young pastors: think about what I have blogged.
Because it made me shoot Bambi’s mother to get your attention.
It’s okay to be a Christian and take anti-depressants. It’s okay to be a Christian and go to therapy. And you know what? Jesus Christ loves someone hurting so much from clinical depression, He encourages utilizing medical help.
Else what kind of Savior would He be?
Now, who is going to preach about that on Sunday? Do I see a raise of hands? I’ll be in the pew, waiting… Because if the pastor doesn’t speak up, who will?