Mental Health

Completely Well?

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap] have often struggled with depression and other mental health issues. A lot of people don’t know that – I’ve tried very hard to keep it hidden. Sometimes, even though other people don’t see it, I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. The world is grey and dreary and even though to everyone else I seem like a happy sort of person, on the inside I often feel miserable and low.

Jesus said that he gives us ‘life to the full’ (John 10:10… I’m paraphrasing a bit, but He did say something about coming to earth as a human so that we could have life and joy in all its fullness). I have often thought about that. What did Jesus mean? Was He saying that we would always be happy if we believed in Him? Does being a Christian make my life straightforward and my health and well-being always perfect?

I can assure you, it doesn’t. I sometimes wonder if it doesn’t make it worse. I feel like I should be perfect. I’m not. I feel as though I should feel ‘joyful’ and ‘happy’ all the time. I don’t.

For me, being a Christian doesn’t mean that I somehow enjoy life less than any other person. It means instead that when I am sad, I am able to be sad without it affecting my identity. I am a person who is loved and treasured by God, and that is enough. My identity is fixed and certain, so it doesn’t change with the ups and downs, rather it remains constant. This means then that ‘life and life to the full’ is not a life without challenges and difficulties, but one in which I am fully known, fully loved and fully rejoiced over by God. This truth has given me the whispers of peace, comfort and hope that I’ve needed in my most tumultuous times.

Mental health is a huge topic. I can’t pretend to know all the answers, but I know Jesus does — the Gospels show us that he has been in the darkest and scariest moments life can bring. He understands, he cares, he is listening, so I’ve called out to him.

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