You could call Louie Giglio the “comeback kid”–especially if you know his entire story. ChurchLeaders podcast spent time with Louie recently.
Are you at a place in life where you think God is done with you? Maybe you feel that way because of your sin, someone else’s or for no logical reason at all.
Louie Giglio said he’s been there.
The founder of the Passion Conference and Pastor of Passion Church in Atlanta, Georgia told his story on the ChurchLeaders podcast. He also shared it in his book, The Comeback.
Giglio said he’s actually had two comebacks in life. The first was when he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, saying “I was dead but now alive ever more.”
That first comeback set him up for a second because being a child of God, Giglio said, “allows us to say God can still work with this.”
A Second Comeback for Louie Giglio
In 2008, Giglio was hit with a series of life altering storms and fell into a hole of depression and anxiety that lasted several months. He said he found himself in a dark tunnel. The depression attacked him physically and emotionally. Giglio removed himself from the world and needed medical help. He doubted that he would ever preach or sleep again.
Giglio doesn’t know why it happened acknowledging that a lot of our stories don’t have neat, tidy, everything changed answers. But he now has some insight into what is needed to get out of a spiral of depression.
First, Giglio said, “You have to hit the zero point. Rock bottom. If you’re still managing the crisis then you’re not in a position for God to help you.”
Giglio reached that point when he found himself flat his back, in tears, “done and finished.” It was then that God gave him a song of praise.
It sounds like a terrible place to be but Giglio said it’s only when we get to the bottom that we start to talk to God differently. A person at the bottom is also open to other people and more vulnerable to God’s leading.
The second factor for Giglio was worship. Through it he realized the power to shift focus away from himself and to the faithfulness of God. Even if God’s faithfulness is not affirmed, focusing on it reorders our thinking and the atmosphere.
Comforting Words from Louie Giglio
If you’re suffering through a season of depression and anxiety, you are not alone. “To think any of us will live free of these pits is unrealistic” Giglio said, adding that after he started talking about his struggles he found a lot of pastors were enduring emotions similar to his. “I thought I was insane, all alone, the only one who’s gone through this. We need to talk about this out loud because the shroud breaker is knowing we aren’t alone and God can bring us through it.”
Giglio leans on Paul’s comeback in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Giglio wonders if Paul didn’t fight his own demons of depression and anxiety and perhaps even “wanted to jettison it all.” But in the end Paul found success in continuing to preach the gospel and not losing hope in his faith.