If you’ve ever struggled with depression, you would know that the feeling of indifference often clouds your perception of life. Whether it’s towards daily activities, relationships, or even prayer, indifference latches onto every aspect of your life. And this indifference is something that has made my heart feel lifeless. I’ve been struggling with depression for about four months, and I’ve noticed sins that weigh me down trigger it. The ones that I think, “I’m never going to confess this again,” as I’m coming out of the confessional, only to be back two weeks later with an identical list of sins from my last visit.
This cycle has let the enemy into my conscience telling me that I’m disappointing, that I can’t get better, that I will continue this cycle over and over again until one day I decide to give up. And that’s sort of what I did four months ago.
After my clean slate was stained again from sin, I decided that I wasn’t going to change, at least not right away, so why should I keep trying so hard to feel worthy of God’s grace? With my stubborn mind made up, I stopped going to Mass. I stopped praying. I believed the lie that I wasn’t worthy of God’s forgiveness.
When I let that belief into my heart, depression took over and soon after indifference clouded my eyes towards everything. I felt alone, lifeless, and unworthy of help. Eventually I couldn’t handle the heaviness of what I was struggling with so I decided to confide in one of my best friends. Crying on his back porch, not even able to look at him, he told me that he was struggling too. And I realized that the more I confided in my friends and was honest with what I was feeling, the more I realized that we were all going through something similar. There was some sort of drought in each of us, and yet none of us asked the other for water.
When I came to this realization, there was a whisper in my heart to go to Mass. My heart was anxious and unsure, because I had been living with months of drunkenness, lust, and shame under my belt. I reached to all of these things because at least with them, I felt something. Even if it was temporary. But the alcohol would wear off, the attention from boys would go away, and all I was left with was the feeling that I was wasting my dignity, squandering my inheritance. So I can understand why I didn’t want to go to Mass. I looked at all the chaos I caused and the stains I created and felt that God could never clean it all up. But I also knew that I couldn’t live with indifference and shame any longer.
I needed to care, I needed to come back to life, and I needed forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the resolution of my story, dear sister. Forgiving myself in particular. God’s mercy is constantly flowing. His heart is so full of love for us and forgiveness comes so easily to Him. But forgiveness from myself to myself? That doesn’t come as easily. Learning to forgive myself has been the most difficult thing lesson on my spiritual walk. Self-forgiveness comes with a journey of loving myself, and I knew I couldn’t have love if all I felt was indifference. Every day I battle the lifeless feeling of indifference, but every day I’ve learned to lean into Christ. And it always looks different. Sometimes He shows Himself through a loving friend, an incredible sunset, or a small victory of saying no to the temptations that appeal to me. His love protects me, but only because every day, I let it.
Every day, He chisels away at my heart of stone. I still struggle, but I know there is a victory at the end of this journey, and my heart will be all the better for it.
Written by Jillian Wagner.