As many of you know, I have walked a very empty, lonely road in my spiritual life since encountering postpartum depression and anxiety and ultimately Bipolar Disorder. It has been hard. It has been lonely. I has been dark. I will readily admit, there were times I only continued in my Christian walk because it was what I knew from 25+ years of faith and because it was what was expected of me.
I walked where I did not see. I continued when I could not hear. I went where I did not know.
Slowly the Lord began tapping on my heart as I learned about modern day slavery–the sex trade. Along with this, and only knowing to pray, I continued to read my Bible, go to church and seek.
Never expecting any change.
That’s the beauty of it. I had no plans, no designs–only God did.
He lead me patiently and calmly through the dark and last week He brought me into new fellowship with Him. There is such joy in reading my Bible, desire to pray, really, dig down and seek the Lord for others, every Bible verse I read seems new. The biographies and other Christian books I am reading seem to be written just for me, in just this moment. It is with this feeling I bring you this passage from The Call to Be A Disciple by George Verwer.
Modern Society is not kind to those who seek to serve with practical love and in purity of body and mind. It is a fallacy to suppose that Christian are immune to emotional and mental breakdown” mental illness affects one person in ten in Britian at some point during their lives. But it is also quite wrong to think that if you do suffer a nervous breakdown…you are only fit for the rubbish heap.
There is more, so much more, but let me tell you my very simple takeaway from this…I can be broken in mind, and body at times, and still be of service of the Lord. In truth, that may be exactly where He wants to use me. As a sub-culture, Christians tend to set aside mental illness as something we grapple with. Attempts are often made to try and pretend we do not walk the road of mental health issues–that we, unlike others, can be unscathed. This is simply not true.
I am here. I have been broken by mental health issues. I am getting a break from the storm in my mind right now, but I do not write to proclaim I will never go back there. History shows, I may very well be back there this very evening, but I may not, and in either place I can be used.
I am a rare breed. I am a very outspoken woman when it comes to the importance of my Christian faith and the fact that I live daily with mental illness. I don’t shy away from either of these facets of my life, rather I embrace the, I declare them. I want you, and all to know, you can parent well with mental illness and you can be a valuable disciple of the Lord with mental illness.