Jordan Monge is a recent Harvard graduate, now working for the Veritas Forum. Recently at Harvard’s Fish Tank blog, a part of the excellent undergraduate journal Ichthus, she told the story of her struggle with depression. It’s not a simple, smiley-face story. She goes through ups and downs, spends a lot of time in the blackest pit, and sometimes her faith makes her feel even worse. Here she describes a point, however, when her faith began to give her a different perspective:
I realized that faith was the key difference between my last episode with depression – in which I not once contemplated suicide – and all the others. This time, in the deepest depression I had yet experienced, I still had hope. Knowing that my old suicidal habits had been transformed into hope amidst despair made it clear that my faith had made a difference in my life and that I wasn’t simply “a bad Christian.” Of course, the whole business of being “a bad Christian” is rather silly anyways; the reason I converted was because I recognized my own weakness and guilt. Following in Jesus’ footsteps does not require me to be perfect all the time, but it does demand that I seize the opportunity to really wrestle with life’s hardest problems with my friends rather than hiding behind a false veneer of strength. The Christian faith has never been about living up to God’s standards for goodness, but rather how God uses confession, hope, and faith to transform our brokenness and shortcomings. My raw material may be shoddy – my genetic code seemingly designed for depression – but God is using it to transform me. My pride was my downfall, but my faith is my salvation.