Heart racing. Constant shaking. Exhaustion. Worry of the future. Unexplainable crying. Panic.
This is what anxiety looks like in my life. And this is how God rescued me.
I never would’ve thought I would be dealing with a mental illness as an 18-year-old, ready to dedicate my life to ministry.
I didn’t plan the panic attacks or the feelings of failure. I didn’t plan to put things on hold because I couldn’t handle them. I didn’t plan to have anxiety. Nevertheless, here I am.
What is considered a mental illness?
According to Mayo Clinic,
“Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors…a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.”https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968
Unfortunately, mental illness is often presented in a negative light, causing many to hide it and reject help.
The idea that mental illness is shameful is simply not true.
That being said, there are many struggles that some along with mental illness, including doubting God and His power.
It’s in those times when faith is all we have left to lean on.
It wasn’t long ago, after a series of panic attacks, that I was feeling like God had up and abandoned me. I couldn’t understand why these things were happening in my life or why I wasn’t getting better.
That’s when God (by using my relationship with Him and other people) showed me two life-changing truths.
- Our God doesn’t abandon those who seek Him.*
- The suffering of the righteous brings beauty.**
Mental illness is hard. It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and downright inconvenient. Nevertheless, Christ has power to give us the faith to trust Him, even when we don’t understand what He’s doing.
“Whatever happens in your life, remember that it’s something that God has allowed to happen.”My therapist’s words to me, after a rough week.
Those words changed my entire perspective on mental illness.
If my life is completely in God’s hands, that means whatever I’m going through is something that He saw fit, either to help me grow or to bring someone else to Him.
Either way, I’d say there’s no one else I could trust more with my struggles and fears.
Mental illness is no match for our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
*Joshua 1:9; Psalm 91; Hebrews 13: 5-6; John 17:20-26
**Romans 8:18; 2 Peter 1:5-7; Romana 8:28;
We are glad that we can help you in your walk with Christ. However, we are not licensed counselors and, therefore, cannot provide professional advice. If you or someone you know is dealing with mental illness and needs help, we strongly recommend talking to a trusted mentor or counselor.