I was terrified to speak the words to my husband. Words that we both already knew: “I need help.”
After months of an uphill battle with depression and anxiety, I was spiraling fast. I couldn’t make sense of my reality and the war in my mind that was wreaking havoc on my behaviors and emotions. I was spending time with Jesus, reading all the books, listening to all the podcasts, and reaching out for support from my local community of believers, but the trauma that had been locked beneath the surface for years finally bubbled out. I could no longer contain my hurt, and I could no longer hustle my way out of the muck.
Ironically, I went to school to become a therapist. I have the piece of paper to prove it, but I was still tempted to believe the enemy’s lies that asking for help was a sign of weakness. I couldn’t shake my inner critic who taunted me constantly: You’re a pastor’s wife. You’re a worship leader. You’re supposed to be okay. You know that, right?
But God, in His gentle loving-kindness, sometimes brings us low so that we might look up and see Him.
I had reached my breaking point long before I mustered up the courage to make the appointment. During that time of wrestling, Christ alone was my sustainer.
Make no mistake, Christ alone still is.
My therapist is not my Savior. Jesus is.
The Holy Spirit is my Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6, John 14:26).
And so I praise Him for the provision of a trained professional who can help me learn to walk in freedom and claim the joy He has already won for me.
There is no shame in being sick—be it mind or body. Shame died alongside death on the cross of Jesus Christ. By his wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). Paul writes in Romans 8:1-2, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
Sweet pastor’s wife, let this truth wash over you today:
It’s okay not to be okay.
It’s okay to ask for help.
Christ is not glorified when we remain stuck in our pain, unwilling to move forward toward health. He is glorified when we come humbly before the throne of grace, stretch out our hands in surrender, and place our burdens at His feet, believing He is able to heal us! Jesus came to give us life more abundant, not life held captive by patterns of destructive thoughts and behaviors (John 10:10). Like the woman with the issue of blood, may we be so desperate for Jesus that we long to touch even the hem of His garment. May He say to us, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (Luke 8:48). And may we be willing to accept the unique ways He provides practical help while we remain on this side of eternity.
We all have hard stuff. We all struggle. But even as pastors’ wives, we can all have hope in the God who formed every part of us intentionally and loved us enough to make a way for our rescue. Therapy won’t pour light into every broken place in our lives, friend, but it can give us the tools we need to see the Light of the world more clearly.
We are in this together. You’re not alone. I’m praying for you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Setterlind: Ashley Setterlind is a pastor’s wife, mama of two, and worship leader at LibertyLive.Church in Hampton Roads, VA. She is passionate about encouraging other moms to glorify God in their mundane moments by being deeply rooted in Christ. To read more, visit @deeplyrootedmotherhood on Instagram and Facebook or her personal blog at www.ashleysetterlind.com.