Watch what you say.
I read a post on Facebook tonight. It was a very authentic explanation of a day riddled with anxiety. The post was pure and emotional. It was definitely one I could relate to. The raw display pooring out was what I love about these discussions.
Then I read a comment on that post..
“..Jesus is the only answer..”
Here’s the deal. We are Christian too. We ‘know’ Jesus is the answer. When we fall apart, we are crying out to Jesus, and sometimes He is ALL that gets us through the turmoil of mental illness. The last thing I want to hear is ‘you need more Jesus, you need more faith, Jesus is the answer!’
Jesus is completely stable in my heart and mind- our relationship is rock solid. It’s the chemical disposition of my brain that wreaks havoc, not lack of faith or lack of relationship with my Savior.
Please don’t get that confused.
I am sure the person making the comment had no idea what they are insinuating. I have patience, however, it needs to be said- if I am having a difficult mental health day, why do you assume I am disconnected from my Lord?
Rather than tell us what we must be missing, encourage one another. Remind a hurting heart they are strong in Christ Jesus. Remind the lost friend, their faith will carry them on the darkest day. Remind the isolated beauty that her heart belongs to Jesus-where she is, so is He. You say these things even if the person didn’t want to hear it. You say it through tears, anger, and especially when they have that ‘attitude’- you know which one.
Personally, these gentle reminders refresh something in me, without making me feel like my mental illness disconnected my faith. I am not unplugged from Jesus, so don’t share words that make it sound like I am. My mental illness is not sin. When you assume I’m separated from God, you are describing sin, and you are wrong.
This is a time for the quiet whisperers behind mental illness to boldly call out naive ideas and opinions, even if unintentional. We cannot educate while sitting silent, hiding in the back corner.
I choose to sit front and center, create some movement and chatter, and usher in change and understanding.
I owe it to the misunderstood.
I owe it to myself.