When Helping Hurts–Prayer

My (Cheryl) roommate Megs has been  blogging her journey on A Medicated Mind for a while now. She’s a follower of Jesus, who lives with the likes of me, and battles mental illness–namely anxiety–on a daily basis. She is a light in my life, and her most recent post needs to be shared.


Awkward roommate photo,
Cheryl is the worst at capturing Megs.

“So, I feel like this is an important post to make because, especially in my experience, when people pray for your anxiety and depression, they may have all the best intentions in the world, but end up hurting you in the most severe way possibly. I’ve not only had it happen to me, but have seen it happen to so many people that I love, who have decided to be vulnerable, and then have that vulnerability basically shoved back into their face. It’s absolutely heart breaking to witness.

What I’m addressing here is when people pray for your mental illness to be healed *snap* like that. It takes every ounce of poise I posses to smile, nod, and say thank you. I want to be the sarcastic person that I am, and go “oh look, I’m no longer depressed of anxious anymore”, but I know returning my pain onto them isn’t what the situation calls for, which is grace. This prayer comes from a deep and caring part of their heart, however, it eviscerates mine. This prayer leaves me feeling like I’m not strong enough in my faith, it leaves me wondering why God hasn’t “fixed” me yet, what did I do to deserve going through this? It makes me feel isolated and even more depressed, and on top of it, I feel like there is yet another person that I can’t come to in a time of need.

If you want to pray that I’m healed instantaneously, please do so on your own, I really appreciate the thought, but that prayer shatters me. I pray everyday to get better, that I no longer have this darkness hanging over my head, that my heart doesn’t race and tears don’t threaten to spill over when I tell someone that I don’t agree with them, or that the small thing that they did two weeks ago deeply wounded me. I don’t want that, I never have, and I know that if God was going to heal me in the snap of someone’s fingers, He would have.

I realized that this was a topic to discuss because when I was sitting in a small group, one of the girls there had said “when times are easy and going well, I forget to pray, but when things go awry, that’s when I turn to God the most” and I realized that it’s the complete opposite for me. I try to take on the misgivings and the hard thing of life by myself and pray and praise the good times because I’m afraid of what’s to come when they inevitably end. I’ve stopped asking to be ‘fixed’ and have rather started asking for the strength, grace and patience to live day to day in a way that would honour God best. That is my prayer, and if you want to pray for me, it can be your prayer for me as well.

Stay strong and stay golden,



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