I’m a firm believer that God can, has and will supply the needs of His children when they cry out to him.
I believe it can be done either directly from him, or contrary to what some Christians believe, indirectly through other means or people.
I got into an interesting conversation with other Christians about how we should deal with mental illness within the church, and the ignorance was quite astounding. This discussion took place as we were going back and forth about that disgrace named Steve Stephens, the man who was upset about breaking up with his girlfriend and shot and killed an elderly man on Facebook live. One of the things we were talking about was how Black people, men in particular, are shamed for not being tough, so we tend to bottle up feelings until we explode. We have to do better than that, especially nowadays when things are getting a bit tougher for us.
With Black women, we at least use each other as outlets. One thing Stephens said during his rant was that he had tried to talk to someone, I believe his mother, and she didn’t listen. At no point in time am I condoning what he did. I’m saying it happens more than it should with our men. Black men face a ton of pressure in this society and they should feel comfortable talking about it. It benefits no one to keep negativity inside.
When the conversation started heading toward something all of us have suffered in our lifetime–depression–it got irritating. I firmly believe that just like Jesus rebuked the winds during the event when He walked on water, He can rebuke depression and calm it within a sufferer just like THAT… if He so chooses. But what the others didn’t seem to believe was that God is the author of other cures for depression as well. God put it in the minds of men to come up with scientific innovations such as depression medications, so I don’t see why unhealthy people shouldn’t use them. God also gave some very special people the mindset and techniques to become counselors, so I don’t see why unhealthy people shouldn’t use them as well.
Basically, these people questioned my faith because I didn’t agree that all depressed people need to do is pray. Well, question away, because I still don’t agree. There is this little thing called science and these very important chemicals called neurotransmitters, and sometimes the levels of certain neurotransmitters can get wonky and mess up a person’s brain chemistry. It is a matter of health, not fortitude. It is an illness, and just like any other illness, requires treatment.
Mind you, I deal with situational depression regularly now. I’ll admit it. I am not happy about a lot of things. My student loan debt is now effecting my mom, and that makes me feel pretty flipping useless. My husband is going to have to figure out how to pay, and that makes me feel terrible. I say “situational” because this depression is directly related to my situation. I don’t think anything is wrong with my brain chemistry. I am sad because I am not happy with my lot in life right now. I am nowhere near where I thought I’d be at this age, and it depresses me. Keeping it real.
With that being said, I don’t believe that the things I do for my situational depression–exercising, dancing, of course praying, journaling, volunteering, etc.– work for clinical depression. And I think it is insensitive and destructive to tell people who are depressed to just pray. Yes, we want to tell them to pray, of course… pray before you’re depressed, even… but they need to know there is other help available as well if they need it. They should not be ashamed to seek out counseling or medication if their doctor sees fit. God is the author of all of that innovation. So in a way, it IS God’s help.
Speaking of situational depression, I am even more anxious now than ever with the passage of the American I-don’t-Care Bill. It’s not a health care bill. How could something that gives states the OPTION of covering essential services such as ER visits, ambulance rides, maternity care, lab tests, etc., be considered a health care bill? And how can people who supported this consider themselves to be pro-life? Let’s examine. First, these people want to do away with Planned Parenthood because they don’t want their (taxpayer) money to go toward abortions.
Problem is, it doesn’t. And it hasn’t for about forty years. And the people who pushed this narrative know this, but they used the public’s lack of knowledge to their advantage.
Years ago, pregnant with my son, I went to Planned Parenthood and received affordable, high-quality prenatal care. After his delivery, I continued to go there to receive affordable birth control so I would not get pregnant with another child I couldn’t afford. Planned Parenthood also provides preventative care and screenings that are either low-cost or free to qualified women. Why is that bad?
Second, if the people who supported this were so considered about healthy babies, why wouldn’t they put forth a bill that required prenatal and maternity coverage to be 100%? Isn’t the goal that all babies are born as healthy as possible, and the preservation of the mother’s health and well-being, which is tied to that of the fetus, to be in tip-top shape as well?
If we’re so worried about life, why the heck are we supporting ANY bills that cut ANY services that people need to live? Do I care that $36 a year of tax money goes to food stamps so the elderly, children and vets can eat? Nope. Would I care if taxes went up a bit more so that college education could be more affordable, leaving young adults to actually begin their lives, purchase homes and cars, have children, open businesses, etc., and so that other Americans can have their cancer treatments and only focus on getting healthy and not worried about medical-induced bankruptcy?
America can NOT attempt to classify herself as a Christian nation and treat people so contemptuously. This is disgusting.