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.
12 thoughts on “In God My Faithful God”
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A great idea for a blog, or at least a chat room. I think more pastors are suffering from these crosses than we know or are willing to admit. Thanks be to God that Christ leads us through no darker room than He has gone before. Temptation, suffering, even death. He has suffered so we have the promise of healing, either now or in eternity.
Many do not understand the pain, mental anguish and despair of living life on the edge of a deep black hole. I’ve been there and know but for the Grace of God I go fall right back into that darkness. Good for you for having the courage to open the door to free and open discussion about things that have remained dark for far to long. I look forward to future discussions.
It is good that someone is addressing these topics! I pray that our gracious and loving Holy Triune God will give you the strength to keep this up.
Wishing you the best. This topic needs to be discussed from a Biblical perspective. I look forward to more entries.
Fantastic – you can expect to get rave reviews from my blog! Would appreciate your thoughts as well (I have my own personal critiques of my own work there).
I’m not ashamed to say that I was certainly in a dark period over my vicarage (which just ended) due to certain things. For the most part, I wore my clown face and didn’t let anyone in. I think it’s fantastic that you have the courage to speak about the “tears of a clown (err…pastor)”. jay from jwinters.com
Thank you for beginning this blog. I look forward to checking in often. It looks like the topics you are considering for further discussion could offer some worthwhile ideas and also hope for those of us who suffer at times with depression, anxiety and fear. Blessings!
I am a long time, retired pastor who has suffered from bouts of anxiety and depression off and on for many years. During these times I knew that some form of help was available, but “help” seemed to be in the form of being “moved on” which would be a form of punishment, so I didn’t seek help. Perhaps this blog will help others avoid my mistakes.
Hello. I found this from a link at the Boar’s Head Tavern. I’m not a pastor, but I am struggling with depression and anxiety. Maybe there’ll something here I can use as well. God bless you.
Just wanted to say hello. I am a seminarian with general anxiety order and depression going out on vicarage soon. It seems as if it could not have attacked me at a worse time, but by God’s grace I think I am making some strides. For sure, it has been the most crippling experience of my life. I will tune in often to participate in discussion.
In the depths of a frighteningly deep depression later found to be part of a bipolar episode (misdiagnosed for 10 years), my pastor betrayed my trust, my church excommunicated me, and no one involved in the situation will so much as acknowledge me as a human being anymore.
And they’re *Lutheran*.
i reach out for help. i am dieing from a chronic lung disease and need a transplant. what once i saw as frivolous and inane i now see as the gift of the Lord and i repent. i have decided against the transplant for the time being, yet i need to decide within the next 3 to 5 years. i praise the Lord for all His mercies upon me and humbly hope that my final days upon this accursed earth be acceptablr and pleasing unto You. I lay down now. The Lord led me here. AMEN