On the outside, it seemed like Katara Washington Patton had it all together. She was a busy writer and editor who was highly regarded in the Christian publishing industry. But while the world saw a vibrant professional woman, Katara was hurting inside. Depression and anxiety had become her hidden companions.
In her book Navigating the Blues, presented in the accessible form of a 90-day devotional, Katara shares the story of her journey with depression, worry, and anxiety. With candor and vulnerability, she gives readers an inside look at her mental and emotional struggles. But she also points us to the source of hope that ultimately put her on a healthier path.
In this week’s conversation, Katara reveals how her life took a beautiful, unexpected turn after she revised her expectations and sought to align her plans and desires with God’s plans. This does not mean her depression and anxiety went away, but it does mean they no longer occupy that central place in her mind that is rightfully occupied by Christ. Now, whether she’s going through the highest of highs or the lowest of lows, Katara knows that her joy in the Lord can still co-exist with the feelings of grief and struggle. Katara’s journey shows us how navigating the blues and life’s disruptions with faith and dependency on God may also include acknowledging our struggles and accessing the mental health tools and people that God graciously brings into our lives.
A regular contributor to Our Daily Bread, Katara Washington Patton currently serves as the executive editor of the VOICES Collection by Our Daily Bread Publishing, and is the author of eight books, including her latest book, the best-selling title Navigating the Blues.
After graduating summa cum laude from Dillard University in Mass Communication and English, Katara went on to complete her Master of Journalism at Northwestern University and receive her Masters of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She has worked in the editorial and acquisitions departments at Weekly Reader Corporation, Jet Magazine, Urban Ministries Inc. (UMI), McGraw-Hill, The African American Pulpit, The Chicago Defender, Tyndale House Publishers, and Christian Century Magazine. In 2014, she was named Nonfiction Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
Katara is a native of Thibodaux, Louisiana. She and her husband, Derrick, reside on the South Side of Chicago. They have one daughter, Kayla. Katara is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. As much as possible, she tries to enjoy a Zumba class and a competitive game of Scrabble to keep her life balanced.
Notes & Quotes
- “There’s highs and there’s lows. . . we know we pray real hard in the lows and we rejoice real high in the highs. But what happens when life is years upon, years upon years of being in the middle? How do you deal with that?
- “Jesus is the answer. But at the same time, Jesus gives us people. Jesus gives us medicine and technology to help us in the midst of [struggles]...in the midst of things that we cannot handle.”
- “I can have my Bible, I can have my faith, I can have my Jesus and I certainly can have my therapist helping me unpack some of those things.”
- “[God] let me know that He still had me and He still had people that He was placing in my life to fill that void.”
- FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
- Check out Katara’s best-selling book, Navigating the Blues.
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- Psalm 51
- Psalm 22:1