I’ve had a rough past few weeks. My moods have gone from the most elated to utter dumps. It has been an exciting time in our family and an incredibly stressful time. We have had our fair share of trials and tribulations the past 5+ years (if you know us or have heard my stories, you’ll understand why). A few days ago a rising young Pastor and mental health advocate named Jarrid Wilson tragically took his own life at the age of 30. He has left behind not only a community of believers but his loving wife and children. This really hit me hard in the gut. I wasn’t familiar with Jarrid nor did I know him personally. I literally just heard this story not knowing the guy or his family, and wept. The pain, disbelief, and discomfort of living day to day with Mental Illness is something I share in common with this man of God. To understand his pain and weakness, one must have traveled similar paths of intersecting life stories. I live with BiPolar Disorder and have since I was first diagnosed in 2001. It hasn’t been a particularly “easy” road nor has it been one I completely understand. I have come to grips however with my illness and I believe it’s time the Church as a whole does something to combat these intense, complex issues. Jarrid loved the Lord and his family. To hear he experienced such a profound, deep, and otherwise bleak depression is something that brings it all to the forefront for me. I really don’t know the right words to say at this moment nor am I completely qualified on issues of mental health. I just know that I have a similar story and have experienced extreme highs and extreme lows over the years. I’ve even had suicidal thoughts dating back to high school. I never acted on it and I certainly wouldn’t take that step. I love my family and life, and I wouldn’t want to leave that behind.
Sometimes in life we really don’t have immediate answers for things. I think when we do pass on and are greeted by our Lord in heaven, so many of us will have questions that will be rightfully answered by our God.
Don’t take Pain for granted. Listen to your friends, listen to your family, don’t take their words lightly and always follow up with words of love. Support one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord. Encourage them to pray but also encourage your friends and family to seek immediate medical help if they are struggling. There is absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about seeing a dr and/or therapist. I encourage it. There is nothing wrong with taking your regular dose of prescription medication as prescribed by a competent and respected dr.
I am fatigued and I am tired from seeing such ill informed material circulating online. You don’t understand unless you’ve experienced this pain and grief from a personal standpoint. Please don’t listen to the haters and don’t let people who have no clue offer you the first opinion.
Even though I struggle and have struggled over the years, I love the Lord my God with all my heart and mind. We have other mental health issues in our extended family as well so this whole discussion really hits me hard. I know what it’s like and I feel the pain you may be going through.
Please keep HOPE to the forefront and always seek the word of God in everything you do. I am going to share a little from 1st Peter below that has helped me.
1st Peter: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. [NIV]
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