We are made in the image of God and therefore triune; body, mind and spirit. Our bodies get sick and need medicine;. Our spirit is separated from God because of sin and needs salvation. Our minds can also get sick and not function properly. Mental illness should not have a stigma or be ignored because we all, to some degree, have times our minds aren’t functioning the way God designed.
Mental health was brought to the frontlines during the recent Olympics when Simone Biles withdrew from some events due to her need of “self-care.” Whether you are an athlete, orchardist, teacher, homemaker or pastor, it’s important to recognize our mental limits and get the care we need.
A few weeks ago the 28 year old, wife of a North Coast Church teaching pastor in California took her life. She was a mother of 5 whose husband had taken a leave of absence from the church to help her in the “sudden onslaught of mental and emotional pain that she was battling.” Paige died while being treated in a mental health care facility. She was a collegiate athlete who was on softball team that captured the 2013 National Championship and had graduated summa cum lade with a degree in biology. She loved Jesus and her family.
Being a Christian doesn’t make us immune from the brokenness of the world. Larry Osborn states, “mental and emotional brokenness that is a part of this fallen world is all the harder, frankly, for most Christians…to get their hands around.” Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. for ages 10 – 34?
Don’t be ashamed if you are having difficultly with your mental health. It’s okay. There’s help available. As your pastor, I can tell you that the church will embrace and help you, not judge or condemn you. If you need to talk to someone the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255 or you can text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 anytime for free and confidential emotional support.