Note: Who doesn’t love hearing a good story? – especially one where God has done the impossible and changed circumstances and situations. Seeing God’s work after a crisis is import, but so too seeing it during the crisis. Mark Meynell reminds you why you should share your story during your struggles in this excerpt from When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend as he wrestles with depression.
– Darryl Eyb
Why You Should Share Your Story During Your Struggles
As it happens, I embark on this chapter having just returned from speaking at a couple of small conferences for pastors. These are run specifically to give ministers who pour themselves out for others the space and freedom to receive and be refreshed. Being there was a great encouragement for both Rachel and me, despite technically being on duty!
The organizers had programmed an interview time in which they wanted me to talk about my mental health challenges, and I was happy to do this. A friend of Rachel’s later made a striking comment. She remarked on the relief of hearing from someone in the midst of, rather than having won, a personal battle. It is obviously encouraging to hear testimonies of people who have survived terrible challenges or illness and come out stronger or restored. That gives hope to others with similar trials. But it is not helpful if our ‘testimony diet’ is exclusively a string of victories and miraculous interventions. For, then, those enduring chronic pain or difficulty will invariably feel worse. They need help for those times when there is no change. How does one persevere then?
The truth is, I have no idea how long this susceptibility to brain blizzards, increased heart rates and dark clouds will last. I have no clue whether I will need medication for only a few more months or for the rest of my life. In short, I don’t know the future. It’s obvious really. Despite the absurd claim of the idiom, the future is not foreseeable!
The question is how we persevere in the face of such uncertainty. How do we take each day as it comes? The starting point must surely be our expectations. What do we really expect in life?
Taken from When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend by Mark Meynell, © 2018, by Inter-Varsity Press, p.