The Church and Severe Mental Illness (Part 2)

By August 29, 2018 Blog

Part 2 of Sharon’s wonderful guest post. (Read part 1 here) The Church and Severe Mental Illness When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he referred to it as the ‘body of Christ’, which had ‘many parts’ (1 Corinthians 12:27,12). He emphasised that every part – or person – in the church body was important: “On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable …Read More

Doing Church When You’re Not Feeling It

By November 30, 2016 Blog

Be honest.  If you find social events difficult, say so. If large groups make you panic, share it.  Don’t just shut up and shut down. People can’t help or empathise if they don’t know how you’re feeling. Don’t cut out relationships because you sometimes find them tricky.  Yes, you like time by yourself.  But you’re human – so you need other people. Instead of spreading yourself thin with everyone, focus on going deep with a few folks you trust. If a whole room …Read More

No Place Like (Church) Home

By October 23, 2016 Blog

I love my church family.  I’m typing this now, because they are babysitting my daughter.  When she comes home, she’ll be grinning from ear to ear; and knowing she is safe and happy – I am too. I love my study group.  We’re completely different women from all walks of life – but we share our questions, our struggles and our hearts.  We’re real about our struggles and yet, they inspire me to live for Jesus; more than any perfect motivational speaker or book. I love …Read More

In It Together

By July 21, 2016 Blog

Sometimes I look at other Christians and think, “you guys have got it together; but I’m a mess. Your problems are fix-able; mine are too much!” This is not the truth and it’s not the shape of gospel community.  In real community, we carry one another and we share our mutual struggles.   You’re not the fixer and I’m not a project. You’re not “fine” and I’m not “a mess.” We have different struggles and at different points we might need extra …Read More

Dying for help

By May 30, 2016 Blog

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder and you go to your GP, you’re doing something enormously brave. You’re making yourself vulnerable. You’re sticking two fingers up to an addiction that can kill. You’re saying no to a host of voices that tell you, “you’re not sick enough, you don’t deserve any help.” The last thing you need to hear from your GP are the same words. “I’m sorry, but you’re not ill enough to qualify for treatment.” Sadly, this is …Read More

Surviving Coffee Time

By February 21, 2016 Blog

I love church.  And I love coffee. But post-church coffee? Terrifying. It’s not the people.  Individually, they are LOVELY.  But there’s something about a group. In a small area.  Trying to talk to one another at once. Something that makes me want to stuff my fingers in my ears and lie down in a darkened room.  On an island. In space. You’re trying to connect deeply/make small talk but Billy is practising on the drums and you can’t remember that lady’s name even though you’ve …Read More

Not Just A Head Truth

By February 16, 2015 Blog

What makes you you? Perhaps it’s something obvious.  A physical stamp, like the lettering that runs through  a stick of rock. A shock of flame-red hair. A birth-mark. The way you tilt your head.  Your laugh. Your funny, loping walk. Maybe it’s something hidden.  Something the cashier at the supermarket can’t spot, and even close friends might miss.  An event in your past. Or words that have lodged, deep below your skin. “You’re special.”  “You’re a disappointment.” “You’re fat or useless …Read More

We Are Family

By November 20, 2014 Blog

Churches are full of humans.  Humans who mean well, but also make mistakes. This means they’re places of blessing; but sometimes also of hurt. If you’ve tried church in the past and had bad experiences there, I’m sorry.  But please – don’t give up on the family that God puts you in. If you don’t go to church, then now’s a great time to visit – or revisit – somewhere new. If you do go, and see someone you don’t recognise, …Read More

Making Church ‘Safe’

By September 30, 2014 Blog

Following on from yesterday’s post, some thoughts on making church less scary:  Expect that folks in your pews will struggle.  Model weakness and beware of a leadership model that says that ‘proper’ Christians have to be strong and together.  Talk about mental health issues – even in sermons: and not as something ‘unusual’ or ‘weak’. Avoid using loaded words e.g. ‘mad’, ‘crazy’ – especially from the pulpit. Invite speakers in to talk about specific issues, including testimonies from …Read More

When the Safe Place is Scary

By September 29, 2014 Blog

Recently I was talking with a friend, when she started to cry.  ‘I’m sorry,’ she said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  It’s just that sometimes I find everything so hard.   I don’t have any confidence in myself. I look at other people and no-one else seems to struggle the same way. Silly things – like just going to church – make me really anxious.’ Later the same day, I received this email from someone else. “I don’t want a life without Jesus, or …Read More