This week is mental health awareness week and in England, 1 in 4 people suffer with mental health conditions each year. Friend, that is a lot of people. It could be the man next to you on the bus; the woman who bagged your groceries; your sibling or you friend. For so, so many people, mental health is a real and raw struggle- it is painful and heavy and exhausting.
Someone once told me that the greater the pain you are addressing, the fewer words you use. And this was in my mind as I set out to write this- what words could I possibly use to lighten the burden of so great a pain? The answer? Probably none.
The truth is, there is nothing I could say to make it any easier for someone struggling with a mental condition. There are no words I could use that would speak to the heart of someone weary and worn out from a constant battle with their mental health. But although there’s nothing I can say, there might be something Jesus can say.
I’m not saying His words will make the struggle easier. I’m not telling you that Christians don’t have battles with their mental health (because they certainly do). I’m not suggesting that reading these verses will make your fight against mental illness go away. But maybe… just maybe the words of the Maker of the moon might touch your heart. They might make the pain sting a little less, even if just for a moment. They might give you a second of peace during a day where everything feels just a little too much. Or maybe, they’ll remind just how loved and precious you really truly are.
So friend, if you have a moment, look through the images and let the words of the One who loves you more that words can tell speak to your soul.
Friend, the truth is, Jesus cares about your mental health. Like, He really cares. He cares about every part of you, and whether or not any one has ever told you this before, that includes your mental health.
I think sometimes, as Christians, we worry about how we would look if we admit to struggling with out mental health. It’s kind of like, ‘I’m a follower of Jesus so won’t it make me look bad if I admit to struggling with anxiety?’ (or depression or an eating disorder or whatever it is that you struggle with). But friend, the answer is NO. Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee us an easy life. It doesn’t guarantee us a pain free life. It doesn’t guarantee a life without mental health struggles.
So friend, know this. Jesus sees you. He sees every part of you, including your struggles with mental health. He sees those struggles, and they are valid.