Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Some people wonder what faith has to do with mental health. I know this because of comments addressed to me. My answer is simple; years ago I thought it best to leave this world for good, and it was Jesus who never left my side. If it were not for him, I would not have mental health or life.
“But that is weird!” perhaps you say. “Jesus does not appear to anyone- he does not even exist!”
I met with a psychiatrist who likely agrees with doubting sentiments like these and adds one more. She tolerated my belief in God and was patient when I spoke of Jesus. It was the following phrase that caused her to rise in her chair, studying my face for signs of lunacy.
“God told me…”
Well, it is of no consequence to me if people assign negatives such as stupid, uneducated, or naïve to my faith in God. His autobiography, the Bible, describes him. Goodness, unending love, perfect honesty, and many more of his attributes are why I stayed alive when life seemed to hold no promise whatsoever. I was not the champion that clung to a philosophy of religious belief. My mind was locked in a battle between reality and a twisted sense of worthlessness and doom.
Instead, it was Jesus who stood with me in the place where hope dies. He showed up in cognitive understanding of his presence – let us call that faith. I knew ( and know) he has never let me down. In the middle of confusion and tunnel vision, it was not only easy to believe he was there, it was automatic. It was, and remains, fact.
I have no idea what you believe about your future or God’s existence. What is clear is that he never changes. In a state of upheaval, when human fragility is most exposed, God’s stability is a lifeline. If you are willing to surrender to him in faith, he promises to lead you to peace and to build in you a sound mind. During times of grave pain, you can witness firsthand his restoration of desperate souls.
That is mental health.
During recovery from the major depressive episode, I penned these words:
“Jesus the Christ is who keeps me. No matter the turmoil,
loneliness, helplessness, or grief, no emotional
earthquake is enough to shake me from his powerful
hand. Whether I feel sad or happy, despairing or
enthusiastic, my hope in Christ is not misplaced. By
that one simple fact, I can believe for joy.”
Today’s Helpful Word
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!