Authorisation Required

7:44 AM Gemma Fitz 4 Comments

Sometimes I just feel like I need permission. And more than just permission-- more like a top level security clearance or a badge I can flash at people to assert the fact that, yes, I do actually know what I'm talking about and y'all better listen up.
Basically, a psychic paper might be nice.
I won't really be an extrovert until everyone recognizes me as one. I won't really be a writer until I have a published novel to point people to. I won't really count as mentally ill until I have a diagnosis from a doctor to tell me so.

I told y'all I was going to start talking about mental illness, didn't I?

Well, to be entirely honest, I've been rethinking that decision lately. After all, what do I really know about depression or anxiety or any of that stuff? Sure, I've been through some tough times, but to call it anything more than that is just being overly dramatic. Nobody else seems to notice anything wrong with me. So what can I have to say to or about those who struggle with the real thing? I shouldn't even be trying.

Actually, I don't even want to talk about this stuff. I'd rather keep being the bubbly, happy-go-lucky Gem everyone knows and hopefully loves. I want to keep my eyes closed and my mind numb and somehow forget the suffering going on all around me. But in the back of my mind, in the depths of my heart, there's a voice that whispers and echoes and gradually grows louder and louder until I can't tune it out any longer. And he says, "As the Father has sent me, even so am I sending you. Go therefore and make disciples."

I try to argue. "You've got the wrong girl. I'll only mess it up for you. No one authorised me to do this stuff. No one prepared me to help people this way. I don't have anything useful to say." But I've got it wrong. I have been authorised. Jesus has called me to labour for his kingdom, and that's all the authorisation I'll ever require.

It's everywhere. I can't get away from it. It's in between the lines in pop culture. It's in the stray hints and vague mentions all over the internet. It's in the voices of those I love, and it's in my own heart. There's just so much pain it's overwhelming.

But there's just so much hope it's unbelievable.

Recently, several young ladies stepped out in faith and started a blog dedicated to encouraging Christians struggling with mental illness. On the way to church this Sunday, the Christian radio station was discussing the attitude the church at large has towards mental illness and the love Jesus has for those who struggle. Over the past few months, God has showed up again and again in my own struggle with depression and anxiety in ways that are nothing short of miraculous. I can see God moving. I know he is doing something spectacular.

And I believe he wants to use me.

The other day I was talking to a very close friend whom I've known for awhile, and, for the first time, she told me about her brother's ongoing battle with depression and anxiety. As she briefly described his condition and everything she is feeling as she watches him go through this, it hit me all over again. Just how many people feel what I feel. Just how many people need help like I need help. And I found the tears welling up as the voice echoed once again, "Go therefore and make disciples."

I've been fighting and fighting. I've been too scared to go. I've kept my mouth shut because I'm terrified if I open it I'll only say the wrong thing. I've been paralysed by the fear that I don't count. That I'm not authorised to do this.

But I hear a whisper I can't ignore. A command that demands just one reply:

"Here I am! Send me."

What is something God has called you to do at some point? 


  1. I love this post so much okay? It described everything so perfectly. Anxiety is kind of new for me - at least, I've always been anxious, but in the past month I've been insanely so and there's been attacks and I am an anxious turtle to be honest. Depression is older. And I hate talking about it, but I want to? It's always the same circle - why should I talk about this, I have no official diagnosis, maybe I'm just being dramatic, other people actually have it, and they have it worse. And that's really frustrating. Everything about it is frustrating. And honestly it's one of those things that I just don't know what to do about because no one notices and I have no confidence to talk to people who could help.

    1. Ack, I'm right there with you. But I think even if other people do have it worse, it's important for us to talk about it, if only to get /them/ the help /they/ need. But urgh, it's so hard. *hugs*

  2. I love this post, Gem. It can be so scary to step outside your comfort zone at talk about things like depression and anxiety. I'm actually struggling with the exact same thing right now.I've told myself that depression is something that is off limits to talk about with others, but I'm starting to realize how wrong that is. I'm super excited to hear that you're taking that leap and are going to let God work through you. Sending prayers. And virtual cookies. Those always help. =) You can do this!

    1. Aw, thanks so much (especially for the prayers and cookies... :P). *nods* It always feels kinda whiny or even inappropriate to talk about this kind of stuff, but no good comes of hiding it.


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