Our Story

Our Story – Part 1

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he True Story Project comes to an end this month. Rather than bring you a boring topic about something irrelevant to your life, we thought we would share with you the stories we know best: our own.

The True Story Project was born from the vision of two friends. I had been to visit someone in hospital. They were admitted due to mental health challenges that meant it was unsafe for them to be outside of full-time care and observation. 

I left that hospital shaken up and very sad. Their family was a Christian family, some of the most lovely people I had ever met. How do such good people cope with such terrible circumstances? What help can I offer them?

The next day, I was driving in my car and heard part of a church service on the radio. There was a point in the transmission when the minister prayed for those who were ‘sick in mind or in body.’ I realised then that Christians had been dealing with ‘current’ issues like mental health for a very long time. Surely, if people were still becoming Christians, there must be something to their coping mechanisms? Either that, or I was wasting my time on a religion that had no purpose. Was there any point in believing in a ‘good’ God without any evidence to show for it?

I had been fortunate. In my life, I had lived through a number of event . These stories were what kept me going. The ‘blood of the Lamb’ (trusting in Jesus for salvation) and the words of the saints’ testimonies (stories Christians would tell of how God had pulled through for them and ‘showed up’) – these kept me going. Knowing that my faith was something solid meant that I was doing more than just waste my time. I knew that my faith was real. 

But did everyone else? What about the other people – particularly young ones – who maybe weren’t quite so sure? They knew their own experiences of faith. They could recount times when God had answered their prayers, introduced them to relationships they needed or led them through experiences that shaped who they are. But they didn’t see anyone else doing it.

I was fortunate, because I had a number of good friends who were in the same position as me. I spoke to one of those friends the day after I had visited the hospital. It turned out that he had been thinking along very similar lines. I had wanted to write something (because writing was something I could do) to help families of those struggling with mental health. My good friend pieced everything else together and we realised that we could do something useful together.  

Mental health is an issue very close to my heart. This is partly because it is something I have struggled with in my own life. (I have struggled with it hugely, in fact.) 

The True Story Project gave me the opportunity to share some of my own struggles – and victories – in a non-judgemental way. There are members of my family who don’t know what I’ve gone through. There’s no way I could have shared what I have been able to write about unless it was in an anonymous format, like this. 

I hope it has been helpful to some people. We said right from the beginning that if the True Story Project was helpful for one person then it would be worth doing at all. Maybe there have been people that have read the stories over the last twelve months who haven’t been touched by it, but perhaps there is one person for whom that one story made all the difference, and literally changed a life. To that one person: we love you, and we did it for you, friend.  

Yours truly,
Director of Content

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