Depressed Not Damaged
By Brandon Gilliam, Rivers Crossing Worship Pastor
I was leading worship for a church in South Carolina about 6 years ago. It was a normal day and there was great anticipation for the night. As I began to sing the third song, I started feeling weird. Weird as in my head started to spin, my palms became sweaty, my knees felt weak and it was all I could do to remain standing. I thought I was going to pass out. It was that night, that my journey with anxiety and depression began. Now I’m sure that it wasn’t just that night, but that night it manifested itself in a very real way and became a part of my life.
I remember early on questioning God about my anxiety and depression. Is there some sort of sin in my life that is causing this anxiety? Is my faith just not strong enough? Am I not praying enough? Not only did I question myself, but also there were “churchy” people asking me those same questions. I always considered myself to be a pretty tough dude and wasn’t going to admit to this struggle. After all, it wasn’t the manly thing to do, or so I thought. I was good at keeping my anxiety and depression inside, keeping “it” a secret. At times, there was nothing I could do to make myself feel better or fix the situation.
Over these last 6 years, I’ve been on and off different medications; I’ve been prayed over many times for healing. I’ve been in counseling and today I can tell you that my journey with anxiety and depression is still going on. I’m on staff here at Rivers Crossing and have the honor of leading over 2000 people in worship every week while at the same time struggle daily with anxiety and depression. I’m just a normal guy who is walking through a lot of the same things that many of you are walking through, and yet God still chooses to use me and he wants you to know that you can be used too. I wish I could tell you that I’ve been completely healed from my anxiety and depression, but the truth is I can’t. I’m still walking through it. Still trusting in Jesus every day and believing that whether I’m healed on this side of eternity or not He is still good; He is still Sovereign and we can be used by Him to do great things for the Kingdom.
I believe the Lord wants to encourage many of you today. I believe that there are those reading this blog who are struggling with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, worry, and fear. That you believe the lie that you will never amount to anything, that you shouldn’t tell anybody or seek counseling because it makes you look weak. The lie tells you that you shouldn’t take medication because that shows your lack of faith; that God can’t use you. I want to tell you Jesus can and will meet you in the middle of your mess. This struggle does not disqualify you from being used by God in a mighty way. He is not finished with you and He is a loving Father who cares deeply for you.