I also need to very briefly touch on another aspect that contributed to my depression as well. Just about my entire life was spent growing up around church, being around Christians and the whole scene. I, for whatever reason, always felt that God didn’t really like me. I knew he loved me but just didn’t feel as though he liked me. I mentioned earlier that I felt I had to be good or at least strive for perfection to please God. If I missed a Sunday at church I would feel terribly guilty. It often felt like being a Christian was more chains than freedom. The whole concept of grace just didn’t compute. I always felt inferior to pastors, youth pastors, and spiritual leaders in my life. They always seemed to be so spiritually mature and several of them made me feel the opposite. Many of the large youth conferences I would play would have these nationally recognized youth communicators. Some of these guys were so arrogant, self-serving, and condescending that anyone around them couldn’t help but feel inferior, especially if they already struggled with identity. It made me often feel as if God was happier with them because they were much more “spiritual” than me.
Those that know me understand that I’m as real and transparent as they come. What you see is what you get. I don’t hide my inadequacies, my failures or shortcomings. If someone said to me “Hey I just committed some pretty bad sins” my response would most likely be “Well, God still loves you just like you are.” The problem was I could not say that to myself. I struggled constantly with this belief.