Since my book was published, I’ve not done much to get the word out. As a result, I haven’t sold many copies. People who have read it tell me what a difference it has made in their lives, but I have not followed up on this and reached out to others.
I have a hard time walking the fine line between bragging about myself and celebrating what God is doing in my life.
Lately, I have come to accept the importance of the mission God has called me to carry out. There are so many people impacted by mental illness who are in desperate need of saving faith. As the body of Christ, it’s our delightful duty to show compassion for hurting souls.
The emotional anguish caused by brain diseases like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, is as real and agonizing as any bodily pain caused by a physical illness. I know this. First hand. I also know the grace of God that provides a measure of healing in this life and the hope of healing in the next.
It’s time to take my bushel off God’s light in me, even if I reveal the flaws I so want to hide.
For almost twenty years, I served as a pastor with bipolar disorder. I have journeyed with this illness from manic (even psychotic) peaks to dark valleys of despair. At both extremes, I have flirted with death—coming very close to ending my life and doing great damage to those around me. .
Countless times, when I have been driven to the edge of a cliff, God has rescued me and set me on level ground. Why would God do this? Because God delights in me even in disorder. Delight is first an expression of God’s love for us. Since God delights in us, we have a “delightful duty” to share in God’s joy.
The media often portray the terrible extremes where untreated mental illness leads to horrific homicide or shameful suicide. What is missing is a compassionate portrayal of all the rest of us who struggle to survive and be faithful. Delight in Disorder reveals the beautiful grace of God that flows into grateful living if you have a mental illness and greater understanding if you want to love another who does.
60 people have shared the message. I’ve sold more books in 24 hours than Amazon has sold for me in 48 months.
But the most powerful response was from one who didn’t buy a book or share the post. It was a desperate plea.
Me: D., thank you for reaching out and being open about you suicidal thoughts. It’s important that you get help. Please message me.
D: I am a daily survivor I do it for my kids I’ve tried suicide and failed. My sister has committed suicide it runs in my family my mother attempted when I was a kidMe: D., do you have a plan to kill yourself? When you say you have suicidal thoughts, D., what do you mean? I’m praying for you, brother.D: No. I’ve planned but never went thru with is. I got two biological and one step son. I work daily sometimes I feel like I’m better off dead but my kids bring me back from realityMe: Well, I’m very glad you’ve found a reason to live. Your kids love and need you, for sure.D: I’m reminded every day I’m needed if not for anyone else then my two biological kids.Me: Amen to that!
D: Thanks man I need someone to talk to sometime. Thanks for even taking the time out to talk with meMe: Message me anytime, D.. I can’t promise I will always be available. But when I am, I’ll respond.D: Ty really means a lot. I deal with it everyday. So I’m sure if I need someone to talk to I’ll reach out. No-one in my life understands. So it’s hard when no one understand and it makes me feel a lot differentMe: I get that, brother.
Maybe you have a D. in your life. Maybe you are D. If so, get professional psychiatric and therapeutic help. And, consider Delight in Disorder to find spiritual support you will need to face difficult days ahead.
Get autographed copy of Delight in Disorder for just $12.
Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission
I highly recommend Delight In Disorder. Tony has a way of humanizing mental illness and explaining things in a profound, yet simple way that resonates with his readers. Whether you have a diagnosed mental health disorder, some other kind of disability, know someone who does, or simply struggle with faith and believing that God delights in you, this book is for you. ~ Veronica J.