Julie S.

Julie S.

from MO
Story #673
Most of my life, I’ve been pretty steeped in the church and in Christian culture. I was at church 2-3 times a week, I was baptized at age 6, and most of my social life was through church. Jesus was simply a presence to be read and learned about, and church was where my family and friends happened to be.

It was that way up through high school until I left for college. Suddenly, I was in a place where not everyone professed Christ or even wanted to do so. I was free to sleep in on Sundays (and I did with great gusto). I hadn’t spent my time making my faith my own despite my entirely Christian upbringing. My faith floundered.

My lack of a true relationship with God came to a head when I developed an almost crippling form of the depression I had experienced since the death of my best friend at age 13. I withdrew and became angry and lethargic. I would injure myself to let out my frustration. I never contemplated suicide at that time, but I definitely understood why it would be appealing to some. My faith crisis grew, and I wasn’t sure if I even wanted Christ any more. Thankfully, with the help of my patient boyfriend (now my husband) and the friends I made at the Baptist Student Union on campus, I finally regained my desire to know God. I slowly learned to depend on him instead of being crushed by anger, cynicism, and lethargy. I learned what a true relationship with God is, despite loss and loneliness.

Now, I’m happily married, with a hilarious and energetic daughter. I still deal sometimes with depressive episodes, stress, and loneliness. However, none of those things are overwhelming, as now I have help with those battles. My anxiety is met with steadfast faithfulness. I won’t pretend to have achieved perfection or enlightenment, but I have received the ability to practice contentment and hope from God. Over and over, he is teaching me how to endure numerous different and difficult circumstances.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? [...] Incline your ear and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.” (From Isaiah 55:1-3.)