Friday, April 15, 2016

Suffering in Christian Community

This school year has been the hardest emotional time of my life. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression that bounces from being able to act completely normal to not knowing what my life is for.

All the while, I have been attending a Christian college. Perhaps this should have given me more comfort in the gospel, but, since some of the roots of my problem lie in social anxiety and feelings of rejection, I have felt like the burden was even stronger in this Christian environment.

I couldn’t relate to people in general, and all the people around me were Christians, so I reasoned that I couldn’t relate to Christians. And since I couldn’t relate, I didn’t like them.

Also, they seemed distant from what I was going through. Being told to read my Bible, or dwell on a verse, or think of God’s promises was all just advice to do something more. And I didn’t even have the energy to live.

Christians seemed so tuned out of my suffering. I made a distinction in my mind between Christ and Christians. Christ understood suffering and comforted me in mine because He had faced the deepest rejection and pain anyone could ever experience. But Christians just made rules, rejected people, prescribed answers, gave useless advice, smiled, laughed, made friends.

I couldn’t relate to Christians.

But this was extremely naïve thinking. Christians suffer. We all suffer. Some are just more overwhelmed by it in their particular stage of life. Some just deal with it differently.

God didn’t require me to join a college ministry or meet three new friends a week. But I needed to stop thinking poorly about His people. He calls us all to suffer with Him. And He promises all that He will be with them in every tear and every cry out for relief and every moment when you cannot stand.

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