Episode #315 — It can be easy to believe the folks who take to the stage and the pulpit on Sunday mornings must have it all together. It sure looks that way, after all! But – of course – we know that’s not the whole story.
For the remarkably talented worship leader and recording artist Anna Golden, it was when she admitted she didn’t have it all together, and began to speak and write about her struggles with OCD and mental health that she started to make an impact she’d never imagined.
“I actually have a mental disorder called OCD. It’s just the way my mind works – kind of in patterns. And a bit of anxiety can come along with that if I’m not in the right routine. Or if I’m not necessarily eating the right foods. But when I was really young and I was in youth group, mental health wasn’t really spoken on at all.”
“Honestly, I felt like my mind was broken. As a teenager, I was filled with shame. When it came to anxiety, we didn’t really have a name for it. It was something that was a little taboo – because – well maybe you don’t know the Lord if you’re constantly feeling this way. You know?”
But Anna believes that attitudes and awareness are changing in a big way.
“I love the response this is getting right now. The ‘thank you’ for speaking on this. So many people have said, ‘I also have OCD’ or, ‘This is how my mind works’. Even the parents of some of these kids saying, ‘Thank you so much for sharing that.'”
“It’s just been such a blessing, because I always think, what would I have loved to have known when I was younger? What would I have loved for a leader to say from the platform when I was at a youth conference when I was 15, and I was struggling with suicidal thoughts? That’s a really big thing I’m constantly thinking when I’m speaking or posting.”
As isolating as dealing with these issues can be, Anna sees a glimpse of something special in the middle of the unique challenges of the past 15 months.
“We all felt the same emotions through the pandemic. Just so many of us felt the fear, the depression, the anxiety. I mean, this affected everyone. It was truly no respecter of persons. It affected all of us. In some ways it really did unify, and it did shed light on a lot of these mental health struggles. It’s just kind of beautiful to be able to talk about it, and to be able to create a safe place where we can find healing together within the body of Christ. Because God wants to give us life and life more abundantly.”
Anna Golden is the fresh voice behind the brand new record Peace – The Album available wherever fine music is sold or streamed.On the Road with Anna Golden