According to JAMA Network Open, the rate of depression has tripled in America since the start of the pandemic, and people of faith have not been immune. In her new book, A Crack in my Vertical, Dr. Deb Waterbury identifies some of the issues that are plaguing believers who come to her Biblical Counselling practice in Arizona. Dr. Waterbury says people struggling with anxiety, depression, or fear need to take a deeper dive into the "fruits of the spirit" which she says are crucial to mental well-being.
"Every Christian has at our disposal the ability to live in a constant state of love, peace, joy, contentment, and harmony because of Christ in us," says Dr. Waterbury. "Unfortunately, on this side of Glory, that becomes virtually impossible. Our pesky selves get in the way almost every time. When I become aware of the absence of one or all of those things in my life, I don't get to blame my circumstances or another person. I have learned that, in those instances, I have allowed something to interfere with my vertical relationship, resulting in something I've come to call 'a crack in my vertical.'"
The new book is the second in a three-book series, the first title being "The Lies that Bind and the Truth that Sets you Free." As with the first book, Dr. Waterbury shares many of her own personal trials in "A Crack in my Vertical," including one her most heart-breaking challenges that she says eventually led her to a place of true peace.
"My youngest son is a recovering alcoholic," says Dr. Waterbury. "During the dark years of his alcoholism, I literally knew no peace. My heart was in constant turmoil over whether or not he was drinking. When he was, I worried about his health, job, and finances. What had I done wrong? What was going to happen to him? I was quite literally sick with worry pretty much every hour of every day. I was asking God to show me how to find peace. One day while reading scripture, I finally began to see something transforming. I eventually saw that God doesn't necessarily do things that I consider loving-God is love. God might not seem to do good things all of the time, but God is good. My idea of God began to change from what He does to who He is. God is completely trustworthy. He never fails us, never leaves us, never stops loving us. If I am to believe that, then I must also trust Him. I must move from the temporal place where anxiety and worry reign to the eternal- where I completely trust the Lover of my soul."
Dr. Waterbury says our culture is dominated by pseudo-relationships, and that is ultimately the mistake most Christians make.
"In this digital age, many of us have adopted a pseudo-relationship that looks more like swiping right on a dating app rather than deep, meaningful engagement with our Savior and Lord," says Dr. Waterbury.
"But once you choose someone online to meet, you do more than just meet them. You must build a relationship. We know that to be true with our human counterparts. Why haven't we also seen this as true with our Lord? Instead, most have opted to say yes to Him and then leave it at that. We sign a card, say a prayer, and voila, instant union-or so we think. The truth is that if we want to live as the free men and women of God that we are, then we must take the next steps and really get to know this God we serve. Otherwise, we will live on this earth as if none of what the Bible says is true. Truth is under assault in our culture as never before, but God's Word remains unchanging. Compromising on God's Word for the sake of the human heart will never be for our good or His glory."