I haven’t been posting much lately, even though I’ve been journaling a lot. Today I just felt like I have to post a little tidbit of what I’m learning or I may explode.
Those of you who have been reading my blog the past few years know that I went through a severe season of suicidal depression about four years ago. This post is a reflection about what I am still learning from that season and how my life is changing as a result of that.
“Tear off thy masks, the church was not meant to be a masquerade.” Spurgeon
Even though the depression I went through felt like it was never going to end (and I do still have occasional bouts), I now realize it was an accelerated season of the death of my false self. I also am now aware, with my limited understanding, that God was dragging me kicking and screaming out of a system that kept handing me more masks. The real me was dying inside that system and I could no longer pretend that I was cutting it.
Even after the depression, I tried to go back to ‘business as usual” while sharing my depression testimony in the realm of Evangelical Christianity, but the Lord kept tugging at my heart reminding me gently and sometimes not so gently that I didn’t go through that “necessary suffering” for no reason.
I have been reading the Richard Rohr book Immortal Diamond: The Search for Your True Self, and it has been confirming for me insights that I have gained in these post-depression years. This is my third Rohr book, and by far my favorite. I read this section last night over and over and the tears were flowing…
“Our True Self remains untouched for most of us, because any direct experience of God or explicit union with God was blocked, denied, and largely declared impossible. It always had to be mediated by a Bible, priest, minister, church, or sacrament, and very often the mediators, and the defending of their mediations, became the primary message itself. Most sermons reminded us quickly of our unworthiness before first telling us of our inherent worthiness. Many were then so deep in a black hole of low self-image that they had no way to climb back out. There was no foundation to build on, and all they could see was their weakness and incapacity. We have had no solid or objective foundation on which to build human personhood, and everybody was sent on their own—in total free fall. It did not need to be this way.”
It hit me hard because I realize I had for years placed my life in the hands of other fallible humans and a system that was crushing my soul, rather than resting in the freedom of Christ
I was so close to ending my life four years ago, but God was saving my real life, my true self.