So I'm sitting here at 11:06pm on a Monday night after just having read Ephesians 4, and feeling loads of shame and a huge weight on my shoulders. These last two days have been very convicting for me, which is great in one sense because that means I'm listening to the Holy Spirit and His ministry to my spirit, but it sucks on the other hand because it means I slipped up.
I have been battling with depression for years now, but I've never really wanted to call it that in the past because once you hear the word "depression," things automatically become serious. Some of you might not have even suspected it, but I think that's because I have fine-tuned my ability to hide certain things about myself. I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I can call it like it is, but unfortunately it doesn't change the fact that that's what I'm dealing with.
"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. The have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!"
- Ephesians 4:17-20 (ESV)
In trying to cope with my depression, I have used misguided techniques that I have picked up along the way of destruction, one of them being self-abuse. Those with no hope, in the end, resort to hopeless means. But as a believer in Christ, I have hope, right? Well, I would hope so. But in the past, why have I opted to harm my body, or isolate myself, or not seek help? It is a great misfortune in my life that this inflicting pain on myself did not end a year ago like it should have. And here begins my newest moment of transparency.
I didn't do it again for attention. I didn't do it in a visible place. I did it in secret, with a demon hovering nearby and growing more and more exhilarated with every second I spent in that treacherous act against the temple. And I am so ashamed of that.
You see, I know that it didn't solve anything and I know that it certainly made things worse, but I did it anyway. I have taken it before my Father, and He has already forgiven me, glory to God. I will strive to live my life worthy of the calling Christ has given me, and I pray in the name of Jesus that this pattern of self-abuse and self-loathing stops.
"to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."
- Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
I say all of this as my way of asking for help. I am an exceedingly stubborn person, so for me to even try to ask for help is a big step for me. Some of you may judge me for this, and that's okay, I love you anyway. But I ask that you look on me with love, as someone who needs encouragement, who needs you to be Jesus with skin on in my life, as someone who needs prayer. I know I can defeat this with the strength of my Savior and the love of my friends, and I know God will somehow use my error to glorify Himself in some mighty way. Praise God.
peace, love, and newness.