One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!” ~ Luke 8:22-25 NLT (See also, Luke 4:1-13)
- 1 out of 100 of us will live with schizophrenia.
- 3 out of 100 of us will live with bi-polar disorder.
- 7 will experience major depression.
- 7 more will have an anxiety disorders.
- 11 of us, about one half of those who struggle with chronic mental illness, began suffering by the time they were 14 years old. We often don’t accept the fact that our children and youth are struggling until their suffering has gone on far too long.
- Educate Yourself and Others
- See the Person and Not the Illness
- Take Action on Mental Health Issues
“Every time I face that dark abyss of suffering and survive to see another day, I see God’s faithfulness to me even more clearly. If I had the power to control my own life, I would avoid everything unpleasant or uncomfortable, but then I would never see God’s power to overcome evil and to shine light in the darkness. If I never suffered, I would never have any reason to grow or change. If I didn’t have these hard times, I wouldn’t have the chance to exercise my faith and grow in hope.”
“I consider my mental illness to be a part of a spiritual gift of suffering … With every season of pain, I grow in compassion for others, in appreciation of God’s mercy and in the strength God gives me to handle pain and discomfort. As my capacity for suffering grows, so does my capacity to feel joy, peace and every other fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. God has used what, on the surface, seems like pointless and unredeemable misery and has turned it into my secret strength. God has used my illness and weakness to slowly and purposefully mold me into the beloved reflection of my creator, the ‘new creation’ that [God] intends me to be.”
“I don’t know why I am depressed. I don’t know why I am only apathetic when the sadness is gone. I don’t know why I am once again disgusted to be in my own skin. I don’t know why I am still fighting the same fight I have since as long as I can remember. I don’t know why I am so ready to give up. I don’t know why I am happiest when I am alone. I don’t know why I am having so much trouble finishing a single task. But I do know that I am not alone in my struggle. I know that there are others like me who don’t know what they need to get better or how others can help or why they feel the way they do. I know that bad things happen to good people and I know that just because you have a bad day it doesn’t mean you’re having a bad life. I know that tomorrow holds endless possibilities and that my future is but a few breaths away … I know that Christ loves me the same as he does a healthy person and the same as people who may be [sicker] that I am. I know that there is hope in a world so seemingly bleak. I know that there is calm before the storm but also that the storm wears itself out. I know that I have made it this far and I can make it one more day.”