by all means, let Him work miracles.

***Please know that I acknowledge the validity of multiple aspects of this topic, including the real danger of over-diagnosis and also the miracle of healing without the use of prescription medication. But, I feel that I need to give this perspective voice because someone may need to hear it. I want you to hear this. You, you right there who needs to hear this, it is for you.

I needed to hear it 4 months ago.

I spent many more months of my life in the darkness of depression than my Good Lord wanted me to because I refused to let Him work.

Although never spoken directly, those whispers of “It is unchristian to use anti-depressants,” present in the Evangelical Christian subculture had settled into my amygdala and put down roots. {To be clear: I have only heard this message whispered and alluded to by the people in the church, not the doctrine or theology of the church itself.} They defined my view of depression treatment to the extent that someone very dear to me struggled through a very dark depression that changed who she was as a person, and throughout her treatment of it I quietly held the belief that by taking prescription drugs she was taking the easy way out.

As Christian and a woman, a mom, and a survivor of postpartum depression, I now have a humblingly different perspective that was painfully acquired:

There is no easy way out.

Just because I put 50mg of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor into my body each night does not mean that I got up, dusted off my knees and walked away from postpartum depression the moment I had a written prescription in-hand. It is naive to think that something as large, brooding, and evil as a mental health issue could be solved that easily.

I do not believe that the medicine saved me, but I do believe it was through the use of medicine (as well as support, prayer, counseling, an exercise regimen, doctoral supervision, relaxation, accountability, and a compassionate community) that I was saved.

Often when (if indirectly) criticizing or minimizing the validity of the use of anti-depressants for the treatment of depression, statements such as “Find your healing in Christ”, “Medicine only masks the problem,” or “Only Christ can restore your joy.” are made. Depending on their context, these statements are potentially harmful (and well, the 2nd one is always harmful because it’s not true). Spoken to a friend who needs help seeing through the darkness of depression and then followed up by a sincere offer to help her find the resources she needs, they are good; Christ is the healer, He is the source of all true joy. However, it breaks my heart to have read these statements verbatim on a Christian mother’s blog series on depression no less than a few months ago. When left out there in the cyber universe as blanket statements, they feel like condemnation to the depression sufferer who is feeling helpless. They leave him or her without an actual, tangible step to take toward healing.

They make a 23 year old new mother in Minnesota sit for months on end in a very dark place because she knows she needs to find her joy in Christ but she doesn’t know how and trying harder isn’t working.

Pray. Seek Christ. Appeal to the Lord to heal you. These are all important steps to take toward the healing, but what if when someone prays and seeks healing from God, He leads them to their doctor’s office? I knew in my heart and must have said to DanO several times that I needed to “see someone about this” but that stigma, that judgement I had heard passed and subsequently passed myself, it stopped me in my tracks. It hindered God’s ability to heal me. ‘He couldn’t be leading me to a doctor, that’s unchristian.’

From where I stand, with a bright, beautiful but distant view of what God holds in store for me and with a clear, painful window on what He has brought me through, my perspective is this: “Why can’t God work miracles through the use of medicine to heal me?” We claim He uses miracles, yes? We claim He heals, yes? Then let’s not be so zealous as to think we understand His ways and that His ways could not possibly include medical assistance. I know my Lord used means to reach people that were completely and utterly disgusting to the religious right of His day.

Cleaning out the temple courts with righteous anger.

“Zacchaeus, I’m coming over to your house for dinner.”

Asking a woman in Samaria for water from the well.

Dying a criminal’s death.

These things were contemptible to the self-proclaimed religious authorities of Christ’s day, but He was using them for good, for healing. Because I know how wrong the Pharisees were on these matters, I cannot pretend I understand what is and is not being used by God to restore and heal individual people of various ailments and afflictions. I know that my God will go to any length to bring His children back to himself, even if that length is medicinal.

Yes. 1,000 times yes, Christ is the healer, but let’s not tie a hand behind His back by deciding by which means our Savior can move.

75 Responses to “by all means, let Him work miracles.”

  1. Cara

    In regards to medicine and Christ and being a believer myself, I have always believed that if Christ gave someone the knowledge to create a medication or a way of healing then that is their gift from him. and I agree with Erin– Amen and Amen on what you said– it should be said more!

  2. MrsGrant

    God is very much the healer. I too am on anti-depressants for PPD. It’s hard to exactly describe what they do to you, because they help, but they aren’t the sole reason why you are better. I still struggle every day to feel like my old vibrant self. However, the medication has made me feel more like my normal self, then I did when I wasn’t taking them. I’m letting God work to heal me to be the vibrant person I was once before. I believe that is how he is helping me heal.
    Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Janelle

    I think what you said is SOOO true. I have been under belief of the same things through teachings of various people throughout my life. There were several times when I have thought that I really should have been taking something because how I was at that time was affecting everyone around me and I WAS seeking counsel and was still going through it!

    Love that you acted on your feelings so say what needed to be said. I am sure many women will benefit from hearing it!

  4. Cara @ Mischief and Laughs

    Oh. I love this post. Thank you.

    As a Christian mom who has dealt with PPD, the stigma that comes with that tiny blue zoloft pill, and the courage it took to just go to the doctor with my problems, and the realization that sometimes the answers to your prayers *do* come in tablet form… thank you.

  5. Ashley

    “I quietly held the belief that by taking prescription drugs she was taking the easy way out.” Why is it we get looked down upon for taking the “easy way out” and your right, there is no “easy way out” motherhood is hard no matter what we do, besides it is not my belief that God wants us to struggle, he gave his own son for our mercy to make this better for us. I love your posts Allison, your a great mom and woman, dont let anyone make you feel less than what you are!

  6. Maggie

    Thank you! The Christian culture in Nigeria is cruelly hostile to antidepressants, to a Pharisee-extent, and it sickened me. It took me all year to convince my flatmate that she was not, in fact, a bad Christian if she went on antidepressants.

    Thank you for being brave enough to be a voice in someone’s darkness.

  7. Heather of the EO

    You say things with such grace. You are wise and beautiful and I’m so thankful for the way you are helping through this space.

    Of course, this makes me think about alcoholism. How long I suffered in silence for fear of judgment…how many times I whispered to myself that what I was doing was so unchristian, so morally wrong, so sinful…how could I tell? Shame. Oh the shame. We live here, in the kingdom that is coming and it is a sometimes dark place so full of disease…
    These illnesses that are of the physical variety…are so misunderstood. I heard this once: Alcoholism is a physical disease with spiritual consequences. I think the same is true for depression, since I have experience with both. I am no grateful. SO humbled and grateful to have walked both of those really bumpy roads…because I see it now. I see what redemption looks like, how it laughs in the face of how our bodies try to steal our joy. When Christians believe falsely about the origins of these illnesses, it is so dangerous and condemning. So yeah, thank you for this.

    • AllisonO

      “I see what redemption looks like, how it laughs in the face of how our bodies try to steal our joy. When Christians believe falsely about the origins of these illnesses, it is so dangerous and condemning.”

      Yes. That. Thank you for stating it more eloquently than I could.

  8. R's Mom

    So true, so moving. And hopefully, so helpful to someone who reads this today who really needs to hear those words.

  9. Sarah

    This was really good, thank you. ” Christ is the healer, but let’s not tie a hand behind His back by deciding by which means our Savior can move.” I especially like this line. Thank you.

  10. Kristin

    Holy powerful post! That was so inspiring, so thought inducing, and even gave me the goosebumps. I don’t comment a lot for whatever reason, but I felt compelled to let you know that while I’m not suffering from postpartum depression, or any other ailment, I feel the need to pass this on to those that are. I wholly enjoyed every word. You sure can write, girl. Amen! Keep taking care of yourself and your adorable little family. :)

  11. Char

    yes, yes and again, yes. God has blessed me to live in a time where doctors and medicine are available. yet when a problem comes up, I’m going to throw those gifts in His face by not utilizing them? and working miracles… yep, God can use WHATEVER He wants to go about His work.

    I give this post a standing ovation.

  12. jacqui

    amen! as one who has quietly suffered with depression while living in the midst of Christian community i thank you for writing this post! it took me months to get past the stigma of just “seeing someone about this” and i lived those months of my life in the dark which was so unnecessary. God had provided a way out, but i refused to see it. thank you for having this conversation so that others might see their road to healing sooner!!

  13. PaMomma

    Thank you for posting this! I was also that young mom needing to hear exactly those words 15 months ago. Nobody can understand what that darkness feels like until they have traveled through it. I know you have helped someone somewhere today with your post. God does perform miracles, we all have proof of that, every baby is a miracle and a gift from God and I believe he wants them raised by healthy mothers.

  14. martha brady

    as an RN who has seen many medications arrive on the scene over 40+ years in nursing, many of these anti-depressants have been the equivalent of a miracle. of course they, like all meds have side effects.
    as a pastor’s wife, it is disheartening to see the ways many in the Body of Christ feel they need to speak to issues they know little to nothing about. depression is a complex issue that often needs a multi-layered approach. simplistic answers to problems people know very little about are so hurtful.
    we were at a recent medical support group when the caution was given to beware of internet advice. this holds true here. the people who speak on this forum (internet) are usually extremely happy with the treatment they received (and want everyone else to have it) or extremely dissatisfied (and don’t want anyone else to have their treatment). neither approach is wise. each of us is unique chemically and in our psychological make-up. of course there are similarities, but were are not made w cookie cutters. your comments are a great warning…especially when we are tempted to take/give internet advice…w/o checking it out first.

  15. Holly

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

    One day a man is going about his usual activities when out of nowhere torrential rains begin and his town is quickly overwhelmed by floodwaters. He manages to climb onto the roof of his house to escape the rising water. He clings to the chimney and begins to pray for help, confident that God will rescue him. A few minutes pass and along comes a neighbor in a rowboat. “Climb in! I’ll take you to higher ground!” says the neighbor. “No thanks,” says the man. “I have faith that God will rescue me.” The rowboat neighbor shrugs and moves along. As the man continues to pray fervently for rescue, he is interrupted by the sound of an outboard motor and he opens his eyes to see another boat, this one a motor boat, chugging along in the water next to the roof. The water is getting higher by the minute and the man is sorely tempted to jump in when those in the boat encourage him to climb aboard. He reminds himself that he is a man of faith and that God will surely rescue him. He refuses the invitation and watches the motor boat become a dot on the horizon before resuming his prayers with increased intensity. He hardly has a chance to get a few words out before he’s hit in the head with a rope ladder dangling from a helicopter. The rotors make a terrific noise and he can barely make out the words of the rescue worker yelling for him to grab hold of the ladder. The man reaches one hand out towards to swinging ropes then stops short when he remembers that God is listening to his prayers and will be rescuing him at any moment. The helicopter finally has to leave and the man is left on the roof, up to his chest in floodwater. He continues to pray, full of faith, until he is finally overcome by the water and perishes. He is immediately enveloped by the beautiful, glorious light of heaven and he hears a loving voice welcoming him. His joy lasts for only a few moments before annoyance encroaches and he can’t help himself from blurting out, “I’m glad to be here, but I was sure it wasn’t my time to die yet. I prayed for help! I had faith! Why didn’t You rescue me?!” The voice replies, with just a hint of a smile behind it, “My son…I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What more did you expect?”

  16. Kaycee

    So glad you said all of this. And with such eloquence. I hate that “others” views can keep people from using whatever assistance they need to be healthy and happy in this life. You are right, God can lead you to the doctor’s office. And when that happens, that’s were He wants you to be. I wish everyone out there could show each other grace, all of us have struggles and all of us do what is best for US. What path we are lead to.

  17. Tiffany

    Beautiful post Allison. It is only when women stand up and support each other, as understanding Christian women, that this message will begin to impact the masses. Somewhere, somehow, God gave the wisdom and ability to someone to create these medicines to help women in their journey of healing. There is no shame in asking for help. There is nothing unChristian, unfaithful or faltering in looking to Him for earthly assistance.

    You are helping so many women. Keep telling your story. Your struggles. Your victories. You are doing HIS work.

  18. Melissa

    That is one amazing post. Beautifully said, and much needed for many!

    You are such an inspiration through your sharing of yourself.

    Thank you!

  19. Melissa

    amen!! I was super hesitant to take medication at a dark point in my life because of the similar sentiments you shared. It wasn’t until a Christian professor urged me to go on them that I conceded. She talked to me about how we use glasses every day to help us see and that medicine would do the same for me. Through tears I asked her “but what will happen to me?” I was so afraid, so unnecessarily ashamed of my “failure”. She simply stated “well, for one, you won’t be crying every day. Also, you will be able to see life more clearly for what it is.” THAT convinced me. God works through the use of medicine. God is almighty. He is able to heal. He is with you.

    Thank you for sharing all of this with a world that needs to hear.

  20. Mae

    Your voice is deafening in a wonderful and powerful way. I love it when you write anything, but like this especially.

  21. Amy G

    God is using you and your experiences to reach others. He is healing you through that. Very well said and I enjoyed reading. Bless you!

  22. Pamela

    I once asked Jesus, “Why did You stay on earth for 33 yrs? Why didn’t You redeem us and leave?” God can do anything. He could have made it so that Jesus could come, pay for our sins, conquer death and return to Heaven immediately thereafter. Instead, Jesus stayed to show us what a child of the living God looks like. 1.) Jesus said He didn’t come into the world to condemn the world. You sound as if you feel condemned when you hear a minister refer to “finding your healing in Christ”. If I’m color-blind and you keep telling me the sun looks yellow and I just don’t understand and cannot see it for myself, have you lied to me? Have you tried to make me feel bad? Of course not. You’ve only given me the truth. What I do with it is up to me. No one had to lay hands on Jesus and heal him, & if he ever took any medication, I have yet to read it. I’m not saying stop taking medication. Clearly your faith isn’t strong enough for that yet. I’m saying get in the word of God which says that by the stripes of Jesus you were healed over 2,000 years ago and meditate it as God told Joshua to do, and it will come alive to you and then, when you speak to the demons of depression and tell them to leave, they will leave. There is an easy way out. This is it;) Depression is “large, brooding and evil” but “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

    In much love,
    Pamela Jano


    • AllisonO

      Thank you for stating your comment in love, Pamela. I do appreciate that.

      I want to respond to 3 statements of yours.

      First: “You sound as if you feel condemned…Of course not. You’ve only given me the truth. What I do with it is up to me. ” Unfortunately, judgment and condemnation done ‘in the name of Christ’ are real and are dangerous. It is not a figment of my imagination or ignorance, as you imply in your metaphor here. Also, I was referring to statements made online by commentators and blog writers who have no clinical or educational experience with counseling (as would have a ‘minister’ or pastor as we call them around here :) ). That makes for a very different situation indeed.
      Second, and most glaringly: “I’m not saying stop taking medication. Clearly your faith isn’t strong enough for that yet.” I would like to submit to you, Pamela, that it took a far stronger faith for me to step out and follow God’s leading of me to medical intervention than it would have taken for me to hide and try to make my healing fit what the (Christian) world says it should look like. My God is bigger than any box you (or I) can put Him in and I have a firm testimony to the fact that He is big enough to send me a miracle in the form of chemicals whether you want to think He can or not.
      Thridly: “I’m saying get in the word of God…” I do not appreciate your assuming that I do not already do so. Whether by opening my Bible or by pondering the scripture which I have hidden in my heart, it has been a miraculously large part of my recovery.

      Lastly I want to say that I am so glad we serve such a big God! He is big enough to move in bold dramatic ways such as a public casting out of demons, and he is also big enough to enter alone into the room with Jairus’ daughter and heal her in His way, privately. I love that He comes to us where we are and although the means of healing are always different there is one constant: He does heal us.


      • Sarah

        What a polite, poignant and appropriate response to a very presumptuous, holier-than-thou post, Allison.

        The fact that you are able to present the facts and your thoughts in a such a manner shows great maturity (that I wish I had).

        Pamela, shame on your for your inappropriate and clearly inaccurate accusations. When someone (a stranger from the Internet) puts herself “out there” to show all her readers what she went through, you are 100% OUT OF LINE to accuse her of lacking in faith or of not reading the scripture. Didn’t she JUST LAST WEEK post about reading scripture with her son?

        Allison, loved this post – keep it up!
        Pamela….get OVER yourself.

    • Stephanie

      I’m assuming you’ve never taken pain medications then? Not even a tylenol??

      Emotional pain is still pain. Sometimes medications are needed. Would you expect a loved one to suffer through chronic migraines/arthritis/etc without medications, relying only on the power of prayer and your faith in God?

  23. Yama

    I may not understand your struggles with PPD, having never had to go through it myself …. however, I DO understand, in part, where you’re coming from re: medication. I’ve had people try to make me feel bad for taking Synthroid when I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

    Thing is? It helped. I felt better. I was able to do my job as a wife and mother better.

    The other thing is? God DID heal me too. I took Synthroid for over a year. Then money got tight and I had to cut myself back to make sure the medication last. One day I ran out, noticed I wasn’t feeling any worse even though it had been several weeks so I know the medicine was out of my system. I got checked and my levels were NORMAL. When I got pregnant with my youngest, I got checked again, and was STILL normal.

    I say all that to say this: God IS bigger than any box you and I or others try to shove Him into. He can work and heal WITHOUT medicine … and He can work and heal WITH medicine. And He can even completely heal when you continue to take medicine for something your doctor said you’d have to take the rest of your life.

    You do as you feel led to do, Allison, and don’t you let NO ONE make you feel bad for it. As I’ve said, I’ve never dealt with PPD …. but you’re reaching far more people than you realize just by sharing your struggles with it and you’re giving HIM the glory. That is what matters.

    Blessings :-)

  24. Marfmom

    Pamela, if I might also reply to you. I believe God works in many, many ways, and that He also wants us to show faith by helping ourselves. I have experience with both physical illness (a rare, life-threatening genetic disorder) and mental illness (terrible anxiety for me, and watching my father struggle with bipolar disorder). I believe God wants us to ultimately be happy, but that He also gives us trials so that we may grow.

    I take medication every day for my heart. I believe God helped create that medication so that I, and many others, might live. My faith has nothing to do with me getting this illness and to stop taking my medication would be foolhardy. But, I can use my life to testify of Him and His goodness and I have faith that by using the tools of medicine and prayer that He will keep me healthy enough to do the work He requires of me.

    I don’t see why mental illness is any different. Depression is a hard, hard illness to have. I don’t think it’s one someone can fully understand unless they’ve lived with it, though I saw a lot from living with my father. A religious counselor I very much respect talked with me about the different ways God can work healing in our lives, medication being one of them, because prayer alone does not always bring healing. Some people need medication, some do not, but we are humans and not put on this earth to judge who has faith enough to be healed. The way in which we are healed is between us and our Lord. Allison is right: it takes a large leap of faith to find healing in a direction we did not anticipate, particularly in terms of medication. Such leaps of faith can help us grow to be the people God wants us to be.

  25. anna

    Allison, you are a wonder. Thanks for sharing your sweet heart so vulnerably and openly, and for speaking a truth that is so (unfortunately) taboo. Sending a virtual cupcake tonight! :)

  26. TwoWishes Tara

    Thank you for sharing this! Post-partum depression affects a *significant* percentage of women, and yet we so rarely talk about it out in the open. I’m like you in so many respects here — fought the idea of antidepressants for so long, and then they helped immediately and I couldn’t believe I lost those first precious months of our child’s life to the sadness and the struggles. Your last sentence, in particular, is dead on. I hope this post will have meaning for others struggling out there in silence.

  27. Nichole

    At 19 I found myself I deep trouble emotionally. I was walking away from years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I was abandoned by my Mother then again by my step mother. I was angry with my Father. I watched the woman who took the place of my mother die of cancer. Lost someone else I loved very suddenly, the list of things I could share go on and on. This is not something I share looking for sympathy, but to show that I needed a lot of help.

    Shortly after accepting Christ I started working with inner city kids. Their stories were so similar to mine, and that allowed me to reach them in ways that a lot of other leaders couldn’t, and for the first time ever I understood that God allowed my to go through those things, that he allowed me to feel those hurts, because He was going to work them together for good, for His glory, for the Kingdom. There was so much healing in that, and that is what I cling to when the sadness comes.

    But the sadness still comes. So I reached out to the body of believers I had around me. I opened up and I shared. I found comfort in those who understood me, and compasion from those who didn’t. I found comfort and healing in the body of Christ. I was told by many that I was looking to people for help instead of Christ, but I believe that the body was a tool Christ used to help me. My small group leader was also my doctor, and after several meetings with him and his wife he chose to place me on medication to help me keep my head above water. I feel that my healing is coming from God. His word is where I find the promise that he works all things together for good, his body of believers is where I find comfort, open arms, and open ears. And is body is where I found an amazing Christian doctor who was able to understand what I needed medically.

    I was met with so much judgment that I had to move. I no longer have a body of believers around me and I am no long taking medication. I obviously still have Christ, and he is more than enough, but I was so much better off when I had a support system of believers and medication. I am amazed at what strong stands people will take about something that is a none salvation issue. It is appauling to me that one sister in Christ will make another feel poorly aboud reaching out for help in a desperate situation when it is a non salvation issue. Jesus is the one and only way, we are to love each other and share the gospel.

    Allison I think it is great that you have sought out help and that you have chosen to share about it!

  28. Kristen

    Oh girl, thank you. THANK YOU! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this perspective, as a person who has sufferent from depression and also as a therapist. I get so frustrated with the attitude that taking meds for a chemical imbalance in the brain is somehow not “relying on God” – especially when many of these people are happy to pop an Advil when needed. I don’t understand why Christians get all “Christian Scientist” for this one issue. If I had diabetes and needed insulin, I would take it without wondering if it said something about my relationship with God. I wish we all had the same freedoms with antidepressants.

  29. Katie

    This is beautifully written post, Allison! I agree with your perspective on this whole-heartedly! God performs miracles by creating these wonderful medicines! Can they alone heal us? No! But they can definitely help! Excellent, wonderful post! I hope it reaches those women who need to hear this!

  30. Elizabeth

    you are so strong for getting help! God uses many things to heal us and to work his miracles. I also find it disappointing that a small part of the Christian community condemns medicine. It is very ignorant and self-righteous of them to think that they can recover from a real illness without medicine. Maybe some can, but that is not the norm. You are awesome, Allison, and your faith in God inspires me! :)

  31. JV

    Wow…in the 15 months that I have been going through this similar darkness and similar questions/reflections, I think single handily the most consistent aspect of most women’s story with PPD is that they feel so alone. It continues to blow me away that we can feel this way, but yet through 47 comments on this post alone we see SO MANY women that are suffering.

    It was through finally emailing my family/close friends where I was that I felt bold enough to take first steps of counseling, medication, etc. If anything I knew my husband and boys needed the support as well, not just me as they were seeing the major effects of this darkness. My hope is that through this post, conversations, small groups, mom communities, families, churches that we can bring this darkness we are in to some sort of light without feeling ashamed for even being here in the first place (let alone and then you add on the sort of treatment we pursue).

    My big question I am wrestling with is what is next? I am feeling somewhat stable and want to see where I really am without medication, but it is a weaning process that I NEED to have patience with. I want to get back to ME, but I know this ME will always be different. The other question with what is next is if we should continue adding to our family? Having gone through PPD twice now, it is hard to muster up the endurance that I know will be needed to add another little one.

    Anyways, thanks A for opening up your heart, frustrations, desires to us all. As a new Twitter/blog follower, I am thankful to have found this conversation.

  32. Stephanie

    I am a long time reader, first time commenter of your blog.

    I am also a nurse. I work in mental health, and have many loved ones struggling with various psychological illnesses, including a brother in law who has lived in a psychiatric facility for the past decade (and he is only in his twenties.) What you say about anti-depressants not being “the easy way out” is so true. It takes much more then a prescription to over-come mental illness. If mental illness could be cured simply by prescription medications, then there would be no need for psychiatric facilities and counsellors would be out of work. Nurses who work in my field would have to find work elsewhere. Mental illnesses can often times be traced back to chemical levels in the brain – expecting everyone to overcome mental illness without medications is like expecting every type 2 diabetic to cope without medication. Yes, there are cases where it’s done – but as another RN commented on here – Everyone is different, our bodies are different, our needs are different.

    Good for you, Allison, and thank you for this post.

  33. Jenn

    WOW! What a post! Your words are so beautifully written. Though I didn’t suffer from PPD, I did suffer from depression as a teenager. I remember when Iwas in my young 20’s sitting in church listening to a preacher tell me depression is a sin and praying for mercy. As someone who has gone through some sort of depression, I’m sure you understand it is a constant cloud in your sky just lingering, waiting to rain on you. Now that I understand otherwise, I find it disheartening how some church folks look at this. It is my prayer that folks will stop pointing the finger and stop putting such a horrible stigma on mental disorders/problems and just love us and pray with us just as Jesus would have done.

    Thanks for this post. Keep ‘em coming girl!

  34. Rin

    How do you know the difference between feeling low or when there actually is a problem.

    I know I sometimes get pretty down. I feel useless and tired and cant really find the good things in life. I know they are there and I know God loves me but sometimes it feels just out of reach and I cant pull myself out of the funk. It feels like praising God is the hardest thing to do but at the same time somewhere deep in my heart I know that is what I need.

    Sometimes it does feel good to read scripture or listen to a song about God. It can bring back that perspective I so desperately lack. But at the same time I know about depression and I know it is a real thing. I just don’t know when its time to just go for a nice walk, read a psalm and have a pray and when it’s time to get real help.

    When Jesus healed the man lowered down the roof he said to him your sins are forgiven and then get up and walk. I believe that Jesus has healed our hearts and our sin. He has already done this. But we still do have hurts. Our bodies still don’t work. We still need to go to the doctor for things.

    But when is it a God thing and when is it a doctor thing? When do i need my sin forgiven and when do I need another intervention?

    • Juli Maichle

      Rin, When the down is for too long, you need to follow your heart. Speak with your doctor and then decide on your best course of action. No one can decide for you. Your Faith will carry you to the right decision for YOU and your family, medication or not. God allowed us to derive these medications to assist us in our journeys. Use them if need be.
      God Bless. This WILL get better if you know when to say when. Stand up for your happiness.

    • AllisonO

      Hi Rin. Thank you for being willing to ask this question in the open. That is brave and I know you will be blessed for that courage.
      Unfortunately, I don’t know how to answer specifically for you and your life. For me, I needed to have someone speak into my life and tell me that what I was experiencing was not normal. This was not just a friend, this was a certified and educated therapist with a Christian faith and practice. I literally called my church in tears one day and asked who I could talk to. They gave me her number and it was her expertise along with the feeling in my stomach that I couldn’t give voice that led me to take the steps I have taken to heal.
      Perhaps your road will look similar, or maybe someone will come alongside and say that yes, this is normal but here are some tangible and disciplined ways to address it. I think the biggest thing, whether it’s to a therapist, a doctor, or a trusted and wise friend, is to talk about it. Share. Pray together. This is what living in community is for; we were not designed to do life alone.
      Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. My email and a contact form are both under ‘contact’ in the header above.

      • Rinny

        Thankyou so much everyone.
        It seems like maybe its not actual depression. I’m still pregnant so def not PPD. I get really horrible anxious days and I’m so worried that it will turn into something else later.
        It’s so great that you are blogging about this Alison to get it out in the open. So many things about being a woman or being a Mum get hushed up and hidden and we feel so bad for asking or talking about it.
        Maybe even if all you need is prayer and talking its better to seek help than stay quiet.

    • Bridgette

      Rin, we always need forgiveness. Prayer and that walk are always good ideas. I’ve struggled with these issues my whole life; most of it without any medication so I can talk from both sides. You know it’s time for a doctor when your ability to function in your life stops. There are some great “mood tracking” sheets that might help you find for yourself if you are in the help realm. A good psychologist & or psychiatrist will also help. Just don’t let others tell you no or stigmatize something that is as necessary in life as insulin is for a diabetic. If something is broken, we fix it. I praise God, truly, for the medication I’ve found that’s given me back some normalcy in my life and allowed me to finally hold down and excel at a job and be a parent. Blessings on you!!



    I have been anonomously reading your blog for maybe 6 months every Mon-Thurs when I am at work in my office as a physician assistant at a private Christian psych clinic here in Mpls. I have told many people about your blog and how much I enjoy reading about your faith. God has given you the gift of words. It is a very powerful gift and I sometimes marvel at your age and your level of honesty and openness. I recall reading about your struggle with post-partum depression and thinking it would help my understanding of my post-partum patients. This post today was even more helpful. I don’t know if you are familar with CCEF literature out of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philly? The church I grew up in uses there lit as the basis for the counseling department. It is good, God-centered and in accordance with the Scripture. However, they take a fairly strong stand against medication. David Powlison, Ed Welch and Ted and Paul Tripp are the authors I am speaking of. I greatly respect their writing and yet I work in psychiatry and Rx medications to Christians on the daily. I have not been able to clearly articulate my frustration with the general evangelical viewpoint. Thank you for putting that out there. Your statements reminding me what Jesus did were so powerful in encouraging me as a start my day today. Please keep writing on this stuff. You can see how God is using you to benefit those of us who do not hae the same gifts You are showing me more to wonder at God in the power of language, His design. Thank you, Sarah


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