I Love Jesus, but I Want to Die: A 5-Day Plan to Give You Hope in the Darkness of Depression

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


You Are Worth It

You’re here because of the pain, aren’t you? It might be a dull, gray ache that steals the color from your world or a raging inferno tucked just beneath your skin. If nothing else, it’s persistent, sticking around long enough that you don’t know if you can do this anymore. 

I’ve felt that pain too. It’s the stray dog I fed and couldn’t get rid of, the colorless clouds, the oppressive fog. But I’ve learned something that I desperately want to share with you: it’s possible to live a rich, beautiful life even under these heavy clouds. 

This might sound absurd, especially for those of us who were taught that a life of faith means a life of victory, constantly overcoming the challenges in our paths. When healing doesn’t happen, when our struggles remain, we’re left wondering what’s wrong with us. We read in John 10 that Jesus wants to give us abundant life and secretly wonder: Did he mean that for everyone but me?

But years of wrestling with depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts have taught me that sometimes the greater victory of faith is learning to walk with Jesus when suffering remains. This doesn’t mean we’re doomed to have miserable lives, controlled by mental illness. Instead, we can learn to live well, cultivate hope, and find new ways of experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised those who walk with him. 

Let me say it again: you are not disqualified from the abundant life Christ promised to all his followers. There is beauty, hope, and joy ahead for you; you aren’t too fractured to experience it. There’s a richer relationship with the God who loves you and never leaves you. There are wonderful surprises, and there’s freedom you can’t yet imagine, even if you don’t experience complete healing from mental illness in this life.

I know this because these promises of hope even in the dark, of joy coexisting with sorrow, are etched throughout Scripture, from beginning to end. Science is also constantly revealing ways we can live more whole and more healthy lives, even with depression. And I’m confident of this, not just because I read about it in the Bible or in a scientific research study, but because I’m living it. 

There are good things ahead, my friend. And you are worth whatever it takes to get there. 

God, thank you for this inkling of hope—hope that you haven’t abandoned me, that you include me in your promise of abundant life. Help me believe there are good things ahead. Amen.