By Whitney Reid
I grew up as a church-going Christian. Never in my life did I dream I would battle with anxiety and depression—until I did. Now, as a practicing physician assistant in family medicine for over a decade, as well as one who’s been in the trenches myself, I’m well aware of its struggles and complexities.
Years ago, I encountered several major life changes within a short period of time: graduating college, getting married, moving to a new city, starting rigorous PA school—just to name a few. That busy season of transitions was the start of some of the darkest days of my life. One of the hardest things I faced was my inability to enjoy this beautiful life as I had previously. Gray clouds hung over my head, and I couldn’t seem to escape them. I had countless desperate moments on my knees, tears streaming down my face, begging God to either heal me or take me home. I also struggled with the added guilt of being a Christian who loved the Lord and was supposed to be overflowing with joy. What is wrong with me?
From the outside, my life looked perfect. On the inside, I was falling apart.
As I battled this off and on through various seasons of life, I tried everything you could imagine to combat it: counseling, medication, changing my diet, cognitive behavioral therapy—all of which are helpful. However, for me, it just wasn’t enough. I actually think God allowed me to exhaust every other possible avenue so that I’d come to the end of myself. And at the end of myself, I found His loving arms wrapped tightly around me.
Long story short: God is faithful. He was with me in the storm, and He has delivered me from it. I’ve been free from the chains of anxiety and depression for over seven years—and counting! There was no quick fix though. Day after day, I learned to depend on Him and lean on the incredible community He gave me. I could not have survived without His Word, which was a constant lifeline of hope.
Occasionally, I notice some of those old feelings coming back around. But just as He did before, He continues—and will continue—to be my refuge and deliverer. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, remember: God doesn’t want you to simply deal with this forever. He wants you to reach out and get the help you need. He wants to help you persevere and overcome your pain. He is with you. He is faithful. Do not give up!
1. Self-awareness is the starting place for all growth. How are you really doing—physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
2. Who are you reaching out to for support?
3. Are you consistently renewing your mind with the Word or clouding your thoughts with the world?