On Mental Health and Suicide //
I love Jesus.
Let me premise this message with those three words alone.
I love Jesus, In the morning, when the clock hits noon, when the sun sets, even in the darkest night.
And He loves me.
Recently, this broken world we find ourselves in has had some sad and tragic news. Some personal to me, some within the Christian community; all people loved by my God. I, personally am very grieved, but I also have a deep understanding in these moments. I feel this is the only appropriate post for today.
Hi. My name is Nikki, and I have a mental illness.
No, I am not defined by this condition. Yes, it is very real and some of my days are harder than I care to admit.
Much like how I would with a physical illness, I do pray over this consistently. This mental illness is a chemical imbalance and a lot of the time, nobody but God truly knows what is happening within me.
My mental illness did not go away the moment I said “I do” to Christ, nor did it dissolve in the baptism pool.
But He does promise me that one day all of this will be gone: the pain, the confusion, the heartache and brokenness. He also promises that I am not alone in this. We are not promised that things will become easier. In fact he (the enemy) tells us it will be harder and we will be hated by His name for proclaiming a life of Christ, but the gain is better than the loss on earth.
So, yes, those days harder than I care to admit… hard might be an understatement for some.
But my God is stronger than I am ABLE to admit.
Let’s look into ‘mental illness’.
Mental illness is defined as “a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking”.
When we hear the word condition, we could think of; a blood condition, a lung condition, heart condition, the list goes on. These are all very real and potentially serious & life threatening conditions. God knows this, we know this. The difference between mental conditions and these conditions, though, is firstly the stigma attached to one, but also physical symptoms are just easier for the naked eye to notice.
You cannot see my illness for the most part. I have been told that on the hardest days, you can see the pain and exhaustion in my eyes from the constant battle in my mind. But only if you know to look for it.
I have had people tell me that I’m not praying enough, or not trusting Jesus enough and that is why my mental illness has not gone away. That is, and will always be, crazy and ridiculous to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus can heal my mental illness. However, for some of us that healing may not be on this side of heaven. Yes, we should turn to Jesus always.
I believe that Christians (some being Pastors) who have lost their lives to suicide knew the real Jesus and I believe they trusted Him. You just don’t know the battle inside someone’s head.
I do believe it’s the enemy, and we know the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But that does not for a second mean that we are to brush depression, anxiety, PTSD etc under the rug. That is not what I believe carrying each other’s burdens looks like.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean I’ll never have problems.
It means I’ll never have to face them alone.
I am not perfect- nor is my body.
But I know someone who is.
Pastor Jarrid Wilson- A man who dedicated his life to speaking life, lost his life to suicide a few days ago.
He wrote this on twitter only days before:
”Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.
He ALWAYS does that.”
So, yes. I love Jesus. But I am also an imperfect human, with an imperfect body (brain), in an imperfect world.