Its pretty much guranteed – if you are a Christian you will experience “spiritual depression” at some point. Much like other forms of depression, “spiritual depression” is marked by an absence of feeling. You don’t feel like pursuing God and you don’t feel like pursuing community. Most importantly, you don’t “feel” God’s presence. Instead you “feel” his absence. I think that most Christians don’t want to admit it when they enter into this state – they feel like they are wrong to have these sorts of feelings. But the truth is, its normal. Almost everybody will feel that way at some point in their life. In fact, even Mother Teresa felt this way. Apparently she spent the last 50 years of her life in this state, yet she told nobody….
Here is how she felt, in her own words:
I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. — Alone … Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith — I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart — & make me suffer untold agony.
So many unanswered questions live within me afraid to uncover them — because of the blasphemy — If there be God — please forgive me — When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.
Lets be honest and open with one another. You can’t face “spiritual depression” on your own. It needs to be done in the context of community – even when you don’t feel like bringing it before the people you do life with.