Living with Mental Illness and Thriving
Too often, stigma, isolation, loneliness and shame follow a diagnosis of mental illness.
Not here. Here we offer resources for mental health steeped in love and grounded in faith. Here you are among friends, welcome just as you are. Here we offer resources steeped in love and grounded in faith. Here you are among friends, welcome just as you are.
Mental illness is hard. Often finding and/or being a part of a community when mental illness – anxiety, depression, PTSD – is a constant companion, can be even more challenging.
Elizabeth Ruth Skoglund
Millions read the words of the great nineteenth-century preacher Charles Spurgeon without knowing that his ministry succeeded during seasons of overwhelming emotional pain and deep depression this great man of God encountered.
Spurgeon confronted emotional problems with an acceptance based on physical, emotional, and spiritual causes and cures.
Ours is an age of anxiety. We worry about our children, jobs, homes, health, and finances. News and social media feed our fears. Even the fear of missing out leads to anxiety. The solution isn't to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety but to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence--and then use the weapons of power, love, and a sound mind to fight back and live in God's peace.
The Hidden Smile of God: The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd
John Piper invites you into the lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd to discover how God takes the privilege of faith and strengthens it with trials so that we experience a greater hunger for him. The perseverance of these godly servants exemplifies the essential fruit that affliction can produce in your own life.
LEARNING THROUGH ANXIETY Anxiety can be both a situational criminal and a long-term guest. In this post and the ones that follow, let’s explore together how God’s grace can come...
OVERWHELMED Imagine a moment when you become overwhelmed. Your brain freezes. Your emotions rise. You hear an inner voice say, “This is all just too much.” We become overwhelmed when the...
FAITH BIGGER THAN FEAR Let your faith be bigger than your fear. That plaque sits prominently on the shelf in my office. Most of the time, I hardly...
- Joshua 21:45: Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
- 1 Samuel 12:16: Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.
- 1 Samuel 12:23: Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lordby ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
- Nehemiah 9:6: You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
- Psalm 4:1: Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
- Psalm 4:8: In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
- Psalm 5:1-2; 11: Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
- Psalm 13:5, 6: But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
- Psalm 20:1-5: May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
- Psalm 31:7: I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul,
- Psalm 34:8, 18-19: Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
- Psalm 62:8: Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
- Psalm 68:3-4: But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the Lord; exult before him!
- Psalm 68:28: Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.
- Psalm 71:20: You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
- Psalm 94:19: When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
- Psalm 116:10: I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”
- Psalm 119:28: My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!
- Psalm 138:8: The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
- Psalm 143:8: Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
- Isaiah 30:18, 20-21: Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
- Isaiah 33:2: O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.
- Isaiah 43:2: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
- Jeremiah 31:4, 13-14: Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.
- Jeremiah 31:25: For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.
- Jeremiah 32:27: Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?
- Habakkuk 3:18: yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
- Philippians 1:6: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
- Psalm 62:8; Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
WHAT TO SAY/WRITE/TEXT
- Know that you are loved and prayed for today.
- My heart aches with you and for you today.
- I have experienced loss, and I am so sorry for what you are going through.
- If you have a specific prayer request, I’d be honored to pray for you. But in the meantime, know that I’m praying for you and asking God how to pray for you best.
- You are so loved! What specific thing can I do and/or provide that would help you right now? Let me know – and if you don’t have any ideas, I have suggestions.
Taken from Fight Back with Joy, Margaret Feinberg, pp. 180 – 182.
- The Shalom of Neurochemistry, Krispin Mayfield, Christianity Today: The Behemoth
- What Christians Need to Know About Mental Health, Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience
- Suffering and the Heart of God: Interview with Diane Langberg, PhD, Richard Doster, byFaith, May, 2016
- Reaching Out to the Mentally Ill, Susan Fikse, byFaith Online
- Can Churches Separate Mental Illness and Shame? Christine Scheller, Christianity Today
- Loving the 26 Percent, Amy Simpson, Christianity Today
Sacred Sorrow, by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin
- The Valley, Ellie Holcomb
- Joy Beyond Sorrow, Indelible Grace
- Praise You in This Storm, Casting Crowns
- Our God, Chris Tomlin
- Beautiful Things, Gungor
- How Great is Our God, Chris Tomlin
- Mighty to Save, Jeremy Camp
- Come as You Are, Crowder
- 10,000 Reasons, Rend Collective
- Bring on the Wonder, Sarah McLachlan
- Be Still, The Fray
- Healing Begins, Tenth Avenue North
- You Are More, Tenth Avenue North
- My Help Comes from the Lord, The Museum
- Lift Up Your Face, Third Day
- Grace Like Rain, Todd Agnew
- Good, Good Father, Chris Tomlin
- Why Exercise? Anxiety and the Brain (Part 2 of a 6-part series), L.L. Barkat
- Why Exercise? Depression and the Brain (Part 3 of a 6-part series), L.L. Barkat