1 Samuel Chapter 1
“1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:
2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.
4 ¶ And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.
6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.
7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
9 ¶ So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord.
10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.”
Hannah desired so much to have a child. Because she wasn’t seeing her righteous desire being fulfilled, she “wept sore.”
When I think about my anxiety and depression, I think sometimes think about Hannah. I desired so much what others had; mental freedom. I would look at other people living their lives so normally without the worry of anxiety or depression. They were so carefree and happy. They were able to do what they set their minds to and succeed. I wanted that.
I really wanted to be mentally free just like other people. I wanted to be able to do the things I loved and enjoyed without worrying about having anxiety or panic attacks. I wanted to be able to take on a heavy work load to achieve the things I wanted without my anxiety or depression slowing me down. I wanted my mental illness to go away so that I could stop having setbacks and be successful in my dreams.
The thing that killed me the most was seeing other people graduate from college. Many times I had my life planned out, but it never went according to plan. God always had different plans for me and would make it known to me that my health was more important. Putting off my plans and dreams frustrated me so much. I wished so badly that my mental illness would go away.
Like Hannah, I found myself on my knees a lot. I found myself so bitter and crying so hard as I prayed to God. Unlike Hannah, my petition to God wasn’t answered right away or at all. However, He answered me by teaching me there are some things He can give us right away and there are some things that require us to go through a process to obtain. In my case, He answered me by having me go through a process.
Hannah was blessed to have Samuel. She raised him and showed her appreciation to God by giving him to Eli to serve God. For me, I was blessed to go through a process of healing. In a way, God was like Hannah raising me up and taking me through this process to one day serve Him at a greater capacity.
This process has helped me to see that God allows us to struggle. Not because He wants to, but because He loves us and loves those who will benefit from our experiences. I have come to believe that we struggle because somewhere down the road we will meet someone who will need healing that comes from the experiences we have had in our own lives.