In God, my faithful God,
I trust when dark my road.
Though many woes o’er take me
Yet he will not forsake me.
It is his love that sends them;
At His best time He ends them.
(Lutheran Worship 421, stanza 1)
This site is dedicated to pastors and others who suffer from mental illness, particularly depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Let me tell you a wee bit about myself. I’m a Lutheran pastor with a family, and, like many others, have suffered from depression and anxiety. I don’t intend for this blog to be like a cyber-AA meeting (“Hi. My name is darkmyroad and I’m a recovering mental case.” “Hey dark!” CLAP CLAP) My point rather is to provide a forum where the Gospel predominates, where hope can be found for suffering pastors and others, and where frank discussions may be had.
Depression and mental illness can be utterly debilitating, be seen as a stigma especially for pastors, and that can destroy a man’s ministry and his family. Many suffer alone, and it truly is a dark and lonely road. I have been there.
But we are not alone. Christ our dear Lord suffers with us, and provides the healing balm which we need. First and formost there is the forgiveness of sins, and the healing which only His Holy Word may provide. But that is only one kind of healing (even if it is the chief one). Our Lord’s blessings comes from many places. Depression (for example) is in my opinion certainly biochemical, as well as situational and sometimes spiritual. But it is also a tool which Satan may use to lead us to false belief, despair and other great shame and vice. So as with all disease and the results of a sinful world, there are physical and spiritual elements involved. Medication, therapy, confesssion and absolution, the Sacramental life of the Christian, all of these (and perhaps others) have their place. How is the Christian to weave through them, keep them in their proper place, and see the light at the end of the dark road?
Lots of things to talk about.
Sometime after we get things off the ground, I’ll probably invite some others to contribute. But we’ll keep it a small table for now.
So welcome to the coffee shop. Pull up a chair, have some decaf mocha latte, and let’s chat.