Saturday, April 7, 2012
How Biblical Evidence helped a woman cope with depression.
Robyn and I have received many letters from people who have read our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. Here is a letter from a Christian woman who was able to better understand mental illness and how she has tried to use her own experience to help others.
I have wanted to write to you for a long time, so here goes. While I have struggled with depression since my teen age years, I wasn't diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder until the birth of my daughter almost three years ago. I came across your book in the local Christian book store because I just couldn't piece together my spiritual life with my crazy life. Your book is a source of comfort to to me at times when I don't feel like doing anything except thinking about death. Tonight is one of those nights.
The guilt that I feel after leaving church is sometimes overwhelming. I still cannot be open about the Bipolar stuff with most people. I recently spoke with my Pastor about it and he was very encouraging, but I still feel the stigma of it all. Reading your book (I've read it at least five times) helps put things into perspective. I especially love the chapter about the mentally ill in the body of Christ (Benched, or Fit for the Ministry?). Reading this chapter gives me hope and helps me to understand that I can use my disorder in my personal ministry. I think that every pastoral staff should read this book. I plan on sharing my copy with my Pastor in hopes that it will shed some light on mental illness in today's church.
Thank you for the courage you have and for sharing your story. I hope that someday I can have the courage that you do. God bless you.!!!!!!!
After I responded to her email she had this to say:
Steve, Thank you for your response. I hope that you can come to my church and speak. I am intrigued by this CAMI group. I would like to start one someday at my church. Is it something that I could one day lead, or do I have to be a trained counselor? I am going to get the study and check it out and show it to my pastor. We have many support groups at our church, but none like this. Thanks so much and I will DEFINITELY be praying for you guys. I forgot to tell you guys that I live in Florida. I hope you can come someday and speak. Do you have a packet or something that you give to churches to let them know about your ministry, Thanks.
Editor's Note - You don't have to be a trained counselor to lead a CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness). You can learn more about it at http://heartfeltcounselingministries.com/camimovement.aspx