I learned at CCEF ”almost anything can be at the root of depression: a recent illness in which you get behind in your work, hormonal changes, a reversal of fortune, the consequences of simple negligence, guilt over a particular sin, self-pity arising from jealousy or a disadvantageous turn of events, bad feelings resulting from resentment, worry, etc….the important fact to remember is that a depression does not result directly from any of those factors, but rather comes from a cyclical process in which the initial problem is mishandled in such a way that it is enlarged in downward helixical spirals that eventually plunge one into despair.
Mine came about due to the death of a vision.
WARNING: Going to talk about my faith….if that sort of thing gets under your skin….stop now…you won’t hurt my feelings.
May 4, 1980 7:48 PM I wrote this in the front cover of a little New Testament: “I made a commitment to God to live my life for his Glory’
Translation: Just like a person entering into a marriage covenant , I entered into a “covenant” with God Himself….as an adult I made an intentional decision to become a believer.
As is often the case, I desired to be more effective in reaching out to other people…there was this restlessness in my life. Looked at 50 different Christian Colleges, trying to decide whether to be a formally trained pastor, or marriage and family counselor…Moved from Iowa to New Jersey in 1985 (with two kids in tow) , enrolled @ CCEF, decided I was being called to be a bi-vocational pastor . Carpenter by day, teacher/facilitator when I could….1990 returned to the Midwest with a strong sense of purpose. I’d experienced 5 years of intense discipleship/mentoring in New Jersey and believed God had brought us home to pass on what I’d learned.
Things were great for the first 2 1/2 years, then began to butt heads with our pastor In hindsight, God set me up- we had two completely different understandings for a healthy church. His was a more traditional model- I on the other hand craved deeper relationships that can’t be cultivated when you’re sitting in rows looking at the back of each others heads. We had two different models..not wrong/ just different. I know I wore him out with our intense discussions. It finally came to a head in November of 1995- we left the church- the hardest decision of my life (till then) – 90% of my closest friendships were in that church/ someone told me later, it felt like a divorce- (it did).
I was confused, I was angry-(I’m not giving you all the details- this would get too wordy)- I believed I would eventually be a co-pastor that church….instead I was on the outside looking in.
The depression probably started two years previous, and lingered another year. Things gradually got better since 1996 – here we are 12 years later and there is still a bruise on my soul. Just this morning, as we’ve been organizing our office, I came across several magazines and books related to mentoring and discipleship- I pitched the magazines, and am selling some of the books on e-bay. I have no aspiration or intention of ever taking an active role in leadership in a local church. I’m no longer depressed just broken- and there is a big difference.
Have you ever wrestled with depression? What triggered it? What brought you out of it? (if you’re out of it?) What good came from it (if any)?
Have you ever watched your life goal die? What was it and where are you at in the process now?
I originally wrote this in 2008 . I was interacting with someone this morning about depression, when I mentioned I’d gotten a little taste of it myself, they asked if they could hear my story…decided to re-post it for my new readers (all 3 of you) DM