I have been in the church since birth. And I grew up to be your typical church girl that was raised in the Missionary Baptist Black Church. I attended Sunday School, did Bible drills, was a part of the Women's Missionary Union where I learned Bible scriptures by heart, sung in the Youth Choir, participated in the praise dance ministry, and was and is always known as the "baby" of the church. It's safe to say, I was an active member of the body of believers.
Growing up in the church I learned early on that if you rely on your faith, believe in things that are impossible to see, the Lord will provide. And He does. He always pushes through for the ones he loves.
However, it wasn't until I experienced a tragic loss that made me realize that God can send other God-filled people to speak Christ-like truth over my life.
Mental health is rarely discussed within the Black community, let alone the Black Church. Our believers tend to assume that looking like nothing we have been through will draw us closer to Christ. Which in fact is the opposite? Christ calls us to be broken vessels unto Him. Christ wants us to be broken.
The Black Church also believes that we can just pray for our mental illnesses to go away. Just pray depression away. Just pray pain away. Just pray guilt away. Without any action. Again, His word told us to do the exact opposite. To have faith and to pray but to also take action. Without taking heed your words for prayer mean nothing.
Let us not dress up our mental illnesses, scars, and brokenness with suits, ties, high heels, and church hats.
For me, it's hard to believe that God cannot and does not use His people to speak to me.
It's my job in seeking Christ to understand who I need in my corner and to have discernment on who I can rely on.
I think that's what's broken with the church. That's what runs people away. That everything can be prayed for and prayed away without taking biblical or even humane action.
We are too afraid to stand broken.
Remember that Christ is the cake. Therapy is just icing.
So yes, I absolutely adore Christ and I seek His face daily in prayer but that does not exempt me from seeking professional help in the areas I know God gave me the capabilities to act on and do better.
As I continue my spiritual journey, my journey of Christianity in Love, I'm learning a few things about myself and breaking down what the church was for me and what it is for me now.
A daily heart check.