“You should really get off of that medication that you’re taking”
“Why don’t you just stop taking it and trust in God?”
“Lauren, I really want you to not rely on this medicine to help you.”
Umm… Thank you for your input? I guess...
These are just a few of the many things that I’ve heard from members of the church since I started taking medication and openly sharing about my Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders.
How do you even reply to that? “Um yeah, I don’t want to be putting chemicals in my body every day either but that’s between me and God, so thanks for your input?” The most common one I get is, “Why would you take medication when God can heal you from this?”
To be totally honest, it pisses me off to be asked those questions and to be judged by folks who don’t know the chemical imbalances and daily struggles that I face each day. Do I trust God with my mental illness? Abso-freaking-lutely. Am I going to stop taking medication because I trust God? Not necessarily. God created doctors and labs and gave people the gift of medicine to find cures and remedies for things FOR A REASON. Sure, God could completely heal me from these things with a snap of his fingers, but He is using me and healing me in completely different ways. And I am okay with that.
I went through a period of being so angry and bitter with God for not just healing me right then and there when I found out I had been diagnosed with these things. I was P.O.’d ya’ll. I have a friend whom God healed from arthritis, I’ve seen God heal backs and necks, I’ve heard the stories of God healing a gal from scoliosis and physically making her leg grow to be the same length as the other, but here I am, still struggling with depression and anxiety; still having to medicate my body every morning. But I rejoice in the healings that God has done in my community and among the people whom I absolutely love and adore.
I rejoice in the midst of my mental illness. I rejoice in the fact that God loves me so much that He is giving me so many tools, medically and spiritually, to combat these illnesses and to show the enemy and all the unbelievers that yes, God does heal. Yes, He can heal you and He will if you let Him, but He can also use you to spread His gospel and reveal Himself and His glorify through and in spite of your pain. I believe that God is using my mental diseases for something bigger than myself.
I will not stop taking medication for my mental illnesses until God tells me that I’m ready. Right now, He has gifted them to me as a tool to help and I have and will continue to receive that gift with open arms. I will not stop taking medication to “prove” to other Christians that my faith is as strong as theirs claims to be. I will not stop speaking out about mental illness and the church. I will not stop exposing the stigmas of mental illness, throwing them out, and creating correct facts and revealing truths.
Don’t be that guy or gal that shames someone who is brave enough to speak out about it, for taking medication. Whether or not they are taking it, frankly it’s none of your damn business. It’s not your job to play God or their doctor, you are called to LOVE them. WWJD?