I, like many praying Christians, silently struggle with the stronghold of bouts of anxiety and depression. For many of us, being a faithful Christian and dealing with mental oppression can seem like a sheer contradiction, which only makes it harder to manage.
A few weeks ago, I found it impossible to simply get out of my bed to face my responsibilities. The idea of merely facing the day and getting to the work that made me unhappy simply felt like too heavy of a task. So, I stayed in bed for an entire week. Couldn’t eat. Couldn’t sleep. Could not find or hold my peace. And could not stop crying for the life of me. It was then that I knew that I needed to get well and get back into therapy.
After a few hours of talk therapy, I began to realize the source of my deep rooted anxiety and waves of depression. My Christian therapist and I spoke about family, a recent traumatic car accident that threatened to take my life, and a host of other things that subconsciously I failed to acknowledge and deal with.
The biggest thing I suppressed though was acknowledging that my grueling work schedule frequently leaves me emotionally and physically spent and unfulfilled.
For 8 hours, I feel stagnant at the full time job that I have simply outgrown over the last 4 years. After those long and demanding 8 hours, I travel to my part job as an Adjunct Professor. I love that work, but often times the juggling act of balancing a full time job with Adjuncting between three colleges, just leaves me on empty.
One of my personal goals while I was trying to find my way out of this particular bout of depression was to get off my couch and force myself to do something social. I peeled myself off my couch and went to a former co-worker’s Super Bowl Party. In small talk, his wife told me of a potential opening position at her job as an Administrative Assistant. I had been an Administrative Assistant before and honestly I wasn’t looking forward to going back to that line of work. But, I told her to keep me posted nonetheless.
The position did in fact become available, and I was called in for an interview. Although the interview went well, the people interviewing me thought I was overqualified for the position. They had their doubts on whether I would be fulfilled in this particular position and wondered if I would stay for the long haul. I had the very same doubts, but the salary was a little better than what I was currently making, so I embraced the idea of taking a position that I knew deep down was not for me in this stage of my career.
I got called in for a second interview, this time with the head of the company. As soon as I sat down, she wondered the same things that the first interviewer did.
Why would I apply to this particular position when my education and experience say that I am capable of more?
I tried to satisfy her with an answer but she interrupted me with a calming smile and asked, “Sophia, honestly, what would be your dream job?”
I told her the truth. I said, “my ideal career would be to be a full time Professor, or writing full time for a publication. Education and writing are my two passions and if I could have a job that incorporates them both, I’d be happy.”
She looked at me and said, “why don’t we create that very position for you?” She explained the need for a grant writer in her organization, as well as the need for someone to train her staff on how to tighten up their writing.
My heart lit up. And I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was in that room.
My spirit becomes overwhelmed with how intentional God is. He reminds me that even my rock bottom is purposeful. He can use even my deepest pits to teach me something good and show me something good. He knew that when he gave me the strength to peel myself off that couch in the midst of my depression and press on to that SuperBowl party, that conversation would essentially lead me to the place that I had only dreamed about.
You may be struggling and feeling utterly defeated in an area of your life. God’s ways are not our ways and just because we can’t see Him working, doesn’t mean He is not working on our behalf. If you are feeling low and discouraged, I encourage you to lift up the simple prayer below and let your heart be strong. Know it is all working for your good.
Thank You for being with me even during my darkest moments.
Thank You for reminding me that You are bigger than any anxiety or sadness in my life.
I’m grateful to serve a God that is interested in creating special things just for me.
Lord, even when I can’t see my way, help me to be assured that my steps are in fact ordered.
Thank You for being so intentional in my life. I vow to do a good job with all the great things You entrust me with.
In Jesus’ name, I pray.