by Julie Brooks
May is Mental Health Awareness month!
To show my support, I have tinted my Facebook profile picture green, which is the color publicly recognized and used to raise awareness for good mental health.
My life revolves around my God-given passion to help and support those with mental illness and also the loved ones that care for them. That passion includes being transparent as well with my own struggles; depression, OCD and anxiety.
One of my favorite authors, Kay Warren, shared in her book Dangerous Surrender that she became "gloriously ruined" when God gave her a passion to help those suffering with AIDS.
I so love and identify with the phrase "gloriously ruined." Through all that I have experienced; Carson's struggle with bipolarity, his suicide. And with Carson's younger brother experiencing the devastating grief of losing his brother. Being a mother, a home school teacher, a nurse, counselor and constant companion to Carson's younger brother, as he too navigates the challenges of his own bipolar disorder, God has shown me that I can never go back to thinking about mental illness in the same way.
Kay further explains in her book that being gloriously ruined is not a bad thing. God has opened my eyes to the suffering of others; losing Carson, watching his younger brother struggle, and the countless other people God has allowed me to meet who also struggle with mental illness.
While it is painful to be gloriously ruined, I believe it is also God-breathed. My vision has been further sharpened to see the work we as Christians and our local churches must accept as a calling from the Lord; carrying one another's burdens includes the mentally ill.
During this month of May, please take the opportunity to learn about mental illness. Knowledge reduces fear of the unknown and covers stigma. Your selfless care for a loved one, a friend or a stranger with mental illness may just save their life!
Praising God that I am GLORIOUSLY RUINED for Him and His cause. Amen!
You can find helpful crisis and educational resources in our blog: www.notadaypromised.com, RESOURCES.