This week I sent out emails to my subscribers that said this…
If we could have a private conversation, what questions would you ask me about faith and mental illness?
I received a wonderful and wide-ranging response. Here are some I’ve received so far:
“Is God ok with me taking meds for the rest of my life? Does having mental illness make a person struggle with knowing God more than the average person?” ~ C.T.
“Why is it so exhausting? The mental battle has reeked savagely on my physical self. I battled for years depression. Always treading water. My spiritual walk though however has gotten stronger. I am a stronger more faithful Christian. Now my battle is trying to make it to places people expect me to go. Church is a big one. The guilt for disappointing is immobilizing.” ~ S.B.
“How does one differentiate between experiencing emotional turmoil in their life, and experiencing mental health issues that may require additional aid? (Medicine, Therapy, etc) How can I better approach the climate of mental health issues in a God honoring way? What would your advice be in order to better shine the light of Christ to people who suffer in a way I may not be able to completely understand?” ~ N.G.
“How do you get a leader ( i.e. senior pastor) with manic episodes, anxiety, and depression to seek the help he needs?” ~ C.B.
“What are the spiritual benefits of living with a diagnosis?” ~ E.R.
“What can our congregation do to help people diagnosed with mental illness feel warm and welcomed by our members? What problems do you see with how Christians treat those suffering from mental illness?” ~ K.W.
“Not so much a question but more of an observation…when someone breaks an arm or requires sutures for a wound, we seek out medical help…when folks have mental health issues, maybe at times we are more apt to play the “faith card”—suggesting people need to have more faith to “get over” something, and sometimes those “somethings” are rather significant mental health issues…accepting the notion that mental health can be positively impacted by a medical regimen like many other health related issues.” ~ J.D.
“I’d like to know how best to pray for a loved one struggling with mental illness.” ~ L.C.
“What is the biggest change you’d like to see with Christians in general dealing with those with mental health issues? How can we all encourage one another to be more sensitive to those dealing with mental health challenges?” ~ B.B.
“Maybe you could write about tips for maintaining a prayer life and connection with God in the midst of a severe depression when all spiritual consciousness feels absent and motivation is non-existent due to the disorder.” ~ M.
As you can see, I have a very thoughtful and compassionate community here at Delight in Disorder. It is my hope and prayer that God would help us grow in faith and outreach in the coming days. I am particularly eager to see what God does as I recruit partners to extend our mission. I hope you will consider joining our team by becoming a patron. Go to my Patreon page (patreon.com/delightindisorder) to learn more and make a contribution.
My goal is to have 50 members by November 1, when I launch my Facebook page for patrons: “Community for Delight in Disorder.”
If we could have a private conversation, what two questions would you ask me about faith and mental illness?