To the Girl with the Mental Illness
“You just need to trust God more. This is something that can be resolved with prayer.”
I’ve lost count of the times I have been told this or something along those lines. I’ve been told to be a better Christian, have more faith, change my lifestyle, exercise more, drink more water. And I know you have, too. Being a woman of faith while dealing with a mental illness is beyond frustrating.
It’s incredible just how many people have advice for us… and how many people condemn us for what we genuinely cannot control.
This is for you, sweet sister. The one who has that diagnosis that weights heavy on her mind every day. The one who is in and out of therapy to help control what she can. The one who takes medication and doesn’t want to tell anyone because of the judgement she may receive. The one who hears of God’s nearness to the brokenhearted and tries her best to hold to that.
You are not less of a Christian for your altered brain chemistry. You are not despised by God due to the effect of the trauma you have endured. You are not worth less because of the cloud that settles over your mind.
The racing in your heart, the voices in your head, the moods that come from nowhere, the panic attacks, the meltdowns, the fears that cannot be quelled: these things do not cancel out your worth or identity in Christ.
We live in a broken world. Our bodies experience brokenness. That’s why God sent His Son to die for us. That’s why Jesus rose from the grave to defeat that brokenness and give us assurance of a peaceful eternity. God knows the intricacies of your brain. He knows each neuron which fires, each tear you shed, each fear that attacks you. He knows. He sees. And He loves you.
Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
He knows the heaviness in our lives. He anticipates it. And He has prepared for it. He has offered us an invitation to come to Him with that heaviness and find rest in His arms. If He didn’t want us, brokenness and all, He wouldn’t invite us. But He does.
He is not angered by your struggle. Instead, He mourns alongside you. He lifts your head when you cannot hold it up. He gives us peace when the world roars around us.
Sometimes He even provides healing on this side of heaven. But for those He doesn’t, He has promised eternal life filled with peace, fullness, and a mind restored.
I know it is difficult. I know the pain, the doubt, the anger, the mourning that mental illness brings. I’ve wondered so many times why God hasn’t lifted it from me, as if He is the One afflicting me (spoiler alert: The Lord is not our afflicter.) But after years of struggle, I have learned that He is powerful enough to speak louder than the voices in my mind. His peace can quell the anxiety attacks. And on the days I cannot get out of bed, His presence rests alongside of me. Even when I feel alone, He is there with me.
The same is true for you. Lean into the peace He offers. Know and accept that on your darkest and hardest days, He still adores you and wants you. And He will sustain you on this side of heaven until we have completed our race, and one day see Him face to face.
So dear sister, go forward today knowing you are wrapped in love and peace.
Here is a worship playlist for you to bring comfort and assurance on the hard mental days:
Prince of Peace – Hillsong United
Highs & Lows – Hillsong Y&F
Do It Again – Elevation Worship
Even When It Hurts – Hillsong United
Seasons – Hillsong Worship
Fear Is a Liar – Zach Williams
You Say – Lauren Daigle
Take Courage – Bethel Music
Confident – Steffany Gretzinger
Where Were You – Francesca Battistelli
Lay It All Down – United Pursuit
You Are My Joy – United Pursuit
Tremble – Mosaic MSC
Out of Hiding – Steffany Gretzinger
Surrounded (Fight My Battles) – Michael W. Smith
Anna Leigh Mayfield // @adelightedmind
Hey, y’all! I’m Anna Leigh. I’m originally from north Georgia, but I’m now living in Cleveland, Tennessee. Besides Jesus, my loves include cats, Taylor Swift, and a good cup of tea. I spend much of my time outdoors or in coffee shops. Writing is a way I express best what is going on in my soul, and how I communicate what the Lord is doing in my life. One of my most favorite things is to walk alongside of other women and experience God’s grace together. The way I usually live out my faith is through relationships with other people – I’ve seen Jesus work so powerfully in community!