Since publishing my spiritual memoir, I have been blessed to see the many ways God has used it to reach the lives of those impacted by mental illness.
At a library book signing the night it was released, over 100 were in attendance. As I shared some of my story and read portions of the book, expressions of recognition came over the faces in the crowd. In the Q & A section, one man said,
I have lived with schizo-affective disorder for over 50 years and I’ve tried to keep it a secret. Thank you for showing me the value of sharing my story.
Also at that gathering was a young Eric Riddle who, like me, has bipolar. Eric had recently been hospitalized and was looking for a way to put his life back together. We agreed to meet weekly for prayer and discernment and from this was conceived our faith-based weekly support group, Faithful Friends and, later, our podcast, Revealing Voices.
I took the message of Delight in Disorder on the road to Lake Grove Presbyterian (Lake Oswego, OR) for the initial Shattering Stigma With Stories Conference. Over 300 participants gathered there included faith leaders, clinicians, persons with mental illness and their loved ones, as well as others who felt called to make a difference in the lives of those with troubled minds. I formed relationships with several of these who have read and resonated with my book. We stay connected for spiritual support and encouragement.
Last week, I spoke at the Heartland Best Practices for Ministry conference at St. Peter’s Lutheran (Columbus, Indiana). Over 100 ministry leaders heard speakers who were engaged in cutting edge ministries designed to press the church forward to better meet the needs of God’s people around the world.
After speaking, an older pastor came up to me and said,
Your story is my story. I was also a young pastor who had a nervous breakdown and wound up leaving pastoral ministry. But in spite of my illness, I have found God’s grace sufficient.
It is such a tremendous blessing for me to have had the opportunity to share God’s grace working through my illness. I celebrate how this has happened in big and small ways, to the glory of God.
Now, I’m very excited to highlight a new feature you can find on my website designed to extend my outreach
You can now obtain your own copy of Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission My book is a devotional collection of stories and Scriptures where faith and mental illness co-exist, at times fueling each other to dangerous distortion, at times feeding each other to fruitful gain. It offers hope for those often neglected and shunned. It also fosters compassion for believers towards those with troubled minds.
Hear what two readers have said about it,
I found myself reading this slowly chapter by chapter night after night as in prayer. Each psalm and autobiographical passage spoke to me directly. Now I realize again how important my faith is to me. Thank you, Tony Roberts, for sharing these psalms and what they meant to you as you grappled with bipolar disorder. As someone who lives with bipolar disorder and has struggled to discern my own calling, I am deeply touched. (Kitt O’Malley; Mental Health Advocate, CA)
Tony has written a starkly honest portrayal of both the realities of mental illness and the strength of God’s power to walk with us through our darkest days. Through the language of the Psalms one discovers truths about God that will bless everyone. If you are someone who struggles with manic-depressive problems or you know someone who does – this will be a great read for you. I believe it would behoove every Christian to read this book because it affirms what we all need to know – when troubles come, where shall we turn? I think it would bless someone who is not a Christian to understand how faith can be a source of help and hope when dark days arrive. (John Dobbs, Pastor, LA)
Autographed copies of Delight in Disorder may be ordered from my book page for just $12 per book, plus shipping. Books can be sent directly to you or as gifts and personally inscribed by me.