Darkwater: The Book

Darkwater: A Pastor’s Memoir of Depression and Faith

Available in paperback and e-book now wherever books are sold. Request it at your favorite bookstore!

There is a voice in Michael’s head. A voice that tells him he is worthless and unlovable. The voice masquerades as his own, wreaking havoc on his friendships and romantic relationships. It keeps him from pursuing the career he’s called to. It tears his life apart, piece by piece, leading him to the knife-edge of suicide on more than one occasion. The voice almost defeats him, and yet there is another voice – the still, small voice of God always whispering to him, “I love you.”

This is the true story of Michael’s journey from a precocious child in a small town to the spiritual leader of a faith community, and how he slowly and fitfully learns how to listen to the better angels within. Told with brutal honesty and insight into his own mental condition, this is a story of friendship, depression, despair, faith, and a God who refuses to let go.

Praise for Darkwater

Pastor Scholtes has captured the voice of depression, a major mental disorder, through the richness of his metaphors, poetry, and personal narrative, a narrative that took courage to tell.  Anyone who wants to understand what depression is like needs to read this book, including pastors and laypersons alike.

Dennis E. Schell, Ph.D.  Assistant Professor of Psychology,
The George Washington University

Darkwater is Michael’s attempt to be honest with the world, with God, and with those in his life. When you put the book down, what makes it a satisfying read is not a happy ending, but the realization that what makes Michael strong against the depression is that he lays claim to and has learned to value the humanity, the honesty, the stubbornness, the pain, the will to persevere, the guilt, and the love that always came his way. It’s clear: while it came at a price, the renewal of his life journey is real.

Rev. Dr. Samuel R. Zeiser, Bishop Emeritus,
Northeastern PA Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Wading into Darkwater will reveal a depth of reflection, faith, and honesty that is rare and needed for those wanting to understand the inner world of mental illness.

Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship,
Lexington Theological Seminary

Darkwater artfully captures the reality of an individual living with a mental illness.  Scholtes masterfully highlights the delicate balance that occurs at the intersection of his faith, mental health and mental illness.  Entertaining and stimulating cover to cover!  

F. Dave Williams, Licensed Clinical Social Worker