Is it Ok to Not Be Ok? - Denise Pass
Is it ok to not be ok? I asked this question earlier this week on social media and then discussed this topic in my online bible study for Make Up Your Mind and came to some freeing answers. Is it ok to not be ok? When our feelings rage within, they don’t have to win. Don’t let belief in your feelings trump your belief in God.
We hear this phrase but acknowledging that we are not ok can either keep us bound in that admission or help us to recognize we are struggling and start to find a solution. When we are not doing ok, that is a signal that something needs to be dealt with, not covered up or made to be a label.
Is it Ok to Not Be Ok?
During my online bible study for Make Up Your Mind this week we discussed this topic and I posed this question, “is it ok to not be ok”? The answers were illuminating. Yes—for a few minutes one person said. Part of the human condition means we will have moments in a fallen world where we are not ok. And sometimes those moments might be long in a hard season. But we do not have to stay there. And it is not a lack of faith to admit that.
Hear me on this. Feelings are strong. Sadness is overwhelming and colors everything. But feelings do not have to paint our reality. As we encounter the depressive mindset, we do not have to let it have the final say.
We don’t have to be true to our feelings – our feelings are not true to our soul. Don’t let belief in your feelings trump your belief in God.
When Is It Ok to Not Be Ok?
Life hurts. It’s ok to admit that. But we don’t want to stay there. Our joy and peace cannot ultimately come from this world. When our being ok is dependent upon a perfect life we will be disappointed every time. This is the miracle of walking with Jesus. We can rise above the most painful circumstances because our hope is not in them. It’s not ok to stay not ok. This is where faith comes in. We can be ok when our circumstances aren’t.
A pat answer and denial of not being ok will not heal our hearts, but finding out why we are not ok—not just because of circumstances, but perhaps because of our response to them—sets us on a path to being more than ok.
When I Wasn’t Ok
I remember the day when I sat in a doctor’s office, and he diagnosed me with the infamous “D” word. The thing about a diagnosis with depression is we can feel powerless to affect it. It can become a part of our identity as we label ourselves with depression which might not really be clinical depression and could be a depressive mindset, instead. I went on medicine for a couple of months and then decided that I needed to try a different approach. A combination of coming to God with my raw emotions, seeking His word for solutions first, as well as natural supplements and healthy eating made a huge difference. In the examples of David, Job, and Jeremiah, we see that we are not the only ones to face the depressive mindset. The way out of the depressive mindset is first spiritual, as we unpack the lies and negativity in our minds, then practical means might also aid us in recovery. Because hear this, friends, a depressive mindset does not have to become a part of your identity or personality. Christ invites you and me to overcome through His word.
When What We Believe Trumps Our Being Ok
What we are believing about the depressive mindset should not trump what we believe in God’s word and what He has to say about us. It is SO hard because our emotions are resident within our own minds.
If right away you are thinking, “but you don’t understand . . . I can’t help it”. Friend, you are believing a lie the enemy has sold you for far too long.
Yes, there are legitimate cases of depression that need medication, but the majority of the depressive mindset – and I distinguish this from clinical depression – is caused by traumatic situations, hormones, and emotions.
Feelings are not more powerful than God’s word. Please hear and believe that. The chief cause of depression is spiritual and therefore the solution to depression is spiritual. That does not mean we might not also need additional help, such as counseling with a Christian counselor, which is a biblical solution, as well. We are told in Scripture that we have victory in the multitude of counselors.
We see this in Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” And in Proverbs 15:22, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” And Proverbs 24:6, “For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
But our first counsel is the word of God.
We can view the depressive mindset through a different lens. The secret of happiness is that it is not found by searching for it. It is found in the presence of God. We are not fooled into the relentless hunt for what cannot be found apart from God. Through Job, Jeremiah, and David, we learn how to approach depression and overcome it.
What Makes Me Not Ok: A Divided Heart
I hit on something significant about the depressive or any negative mindset this week. A negative mindset causes a divided heart. Psalm 119:2 says, “Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” And Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
The word for heart in Scripture is synonymous with mind. A negative mindset – depressive or other – is a divided heart. An undivided heart helps us to walk in His truth and defuse the lies behind negative mindsets.
What Makes Me Ok
The absence of trouble is not where joy is found – the presence of God is.
So we can be ok when things are not ok because God is with us. Always. This is a reality, but many do not access this help because they focus on what is not ok rather than what is.
1 Peter 1:8, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
Psalm 40:1–3 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”
Corrie Ten Boom, noted survivor of the Holocaust and evangelist for the LORD said, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”
Are you in a pit now, friend? Has it divided your heart so it feels impossible to trust God? God will never let you down, but life will. People will. Let God help you in that pit you are in.
We want out of the pits of depression, but God with us in the pit helps us to navigate the pits of the depressive mindset. Notice that the Psalmist waited patiently for God, not just for an escape. And He worshiped God. Worship has a way of breaking strongholds and changing our emotions. The song, “Gratitude” does that for me.