He didn’t know he was marrying someone with a mental illness… Mostly because we had only known each other about five months when we got engaged. I was 18 when he put that ring onto my finger and asked if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I didn’t even know I had a mental illness back then.
But I do now. I used to try and use language that made sure it sounded to others as though I had overcome some situational stress or anxiety. “Oh yeah. I had anxiety. Sometimes I struggle with anxiety.” But I don’t do that anymore. I got tired of being embarrassed about it.
The truth is, every day that I am not anxious is a miracle. I live in a broken body just like you do. And while my brokenness affects my emotions, it doesn’t define my faith. (Say it louder for those in the back, Becky.)
I have anxiety. And I am a Christian woman full of faith.
They are two independent facts about me.
While my heart races about nothing at all and I search my mind for what has triggered this fleeting fear… the Holy Spirit is with me.
While I’m panicking, wanting to hide and avoid everything that must be done, while I try and intentionally calm my breathing, He’s reminding me that I am not my emotions. I’m not my hormonal issues. I’m not my diagnosis. I am not my nutritional deficiencies or my broken DNA.
I’m a loved daughter. A cherished wife. An amazing mom. A good friend. And a powerful voice for hope in the midst of all seasons and situations.
I’m seen. I’m held. And I’m found in the eyes of those who love me and the One who lives in me.
…And so are you.
That’s the powerful promise of peace. He walks across relentless waves. He stands steady in the midst of the storm. We focus on Him calming and calling out for the winds and waves to obey… and they do. But peace remains steady all the while. That’s peace in us. He is steady even when storms are raging around us or within us. He’s with us both even now, friend. Even now.
Come read all I have to say about anxiety in my new national best-selling book. You’re not alone, friend. There is hope and healing for us.
“And while my brokenness affects my emotions, it doesn’t define my faith.”
This message right here is so, so important.
Many fellow believers won’t seek help because of beliefs that their illness is an indicator of their faith. But that simply isn’t true.
Those lies, that guilt, that shame; those are tools of the enemy to keep you in bondage to these illnesses.
God has placed amazing specialists and treatments in this world to heal our mental health, the same as he has our physical health.
Honoring this physical form we have been placed in includes our mind.