I grew up in a Christian home and asked Jesus into my heart as an 8 year old. As a teenager, I believed that being a Christian solved all life’s problems. Many people’s testimonies spoke of how life became better when they became believers. But I was plagued with anxiety, and no matter how much I prayed to be free from worry, life didn’t get better. Then, when I developed a clinical depression while in college, I was very confused. I didn’t think Christians could get depressed. Maybe Christianity wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. As a 22 year old, I came close to jettisoning my faith and becoming an atheist.
I spent the summer after college graduation pondering what the world would be like without God. It would be dark, evil, purposeless, and hopeless. If I continued down that road, I probably would have committed suicide. My depression hurt that much. I made a conscious choice to believe in God: a world with God was better than one without God.
Through my twenties, I struggled with the word perfect in the Bible, especially where it says “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 NASB). I knew I couldn’t be perfect. I tried to live right, and I have a perfectionist personality, which caused me to be very legalistic when I was younger. In time, I learned that perfect in the Bible would be better translated as complete. God wants to make me, and all people, whole, as we are all broken by the hardships of life. Slowly over time, I’m beginning to understand God’s grace.
Also, I’ve come to understand that God doesn’t make our lives problem-free, but He gives us hope and help to make it through the trials of life. No matter how hard life gets sometimes, I can remind myself that God will bring me through and eventually I will live with Him forever in heaven, where there will no longer be any crying or suffering. That hope keeps me going.