Jessa Duggar Seewald Opens Up About How Religion Saved Her from a 'Spiritual Depression'
"We have to account for the fact that there are trials of faith ... there are difficulties that we walk through," the TLC star said
Jessa Duggar Seewald is opening up about how she overcame a "spiritual depression."
After accepting Jesus Christ as her savior as a young child, Seewald said she struggled with her relationship with her faith during her late teens and early 20s.
"I felt a bit dry in my relationship with the Lord. I didn't have drive to be in God's word...I wasn't praying like I should," she said. "I could see this goal of where I wanted to be in my relationship with the Lord, and I wasn't there."
"I was discouraged," she admitted. "I had doubts about my salvation...I felt unsettled, restless and frustrated. I think if Christians were more open about the hard times, I think if Christians were more raw, you might find that more people go through this."
The TLC star and mom of three recalled that at the time, she didn't feel depressed, but looking back, she now knows she was.
"If somebody asked if I was depressed, I probably would have said no," she said. "But I guess you probably could call it a spiritual depression."
Seewald went on to detail what helped her heal at the time, asserting that she had to let go of the unrealistic expectations that she put on herself when it came to being a Christian, which included reading the Bible every day, or always having quiet time to pray.
"We have to account for the fact that there are trials of faith... there are difficulties that we walk through," she said, adding that she leaned on the words of pastor and teacher John Piper, who stated that "there's no chapter or verse in the Bible that says we have to read our Bible every day."
"I feel like I had a burdened down conscience with an unspiritual expectation," Seewald said. "Yes, we should prioritize time in the word, but I had taken it a step too far, and I was hinging whether or not I was a good Christian on if I had good quiet time [with God]."
Seewald said she was enlightened by a book called Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, which explores why people may get "discouraged in their Christian walk," according to Seewald.
"I didn't have gospel rest. I wasn't resting in my justification. I wasn't resting in what Christ did for me," she said. "For a Christian to rest in their justification, the fact that they are saved, Christ lived the perfect life that I could never live."
"I think in my mind, I had the mentality of, 'Thank you Christ for saving me...I'll take it from here,' which is not at all how the Christian life works," she added.
Seewald said that though she has overcome many hurdles, she's "still got a long way to go."
"Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, so that is our justification and we can rest in that," she said, adding that learning this through Piper and Lloyd-Jones helped "release" her soul of "so many burdens I had placed myself under, and helped me to look to Christ."
"We're in this journey until we die, and then in an instant we are changed into the likeness of Christ," she continued. "In this life though, we experience hardships, and yet we keep running after Christ and Christ holds us fast. I hope this is an encouragement to you, and I pray you will rest in Christ and his work of righteousness on your behalf."