She’s probably one of your friends.
The quiet sufferer who doesn’t want to burden others with her issues. She may even be the friend who seems the most put together or the friend who is the most outgoing and makes everyone laugh. She’s probably the friend who appears to have it all. The nice house, the perfect husband, the fancy job. But what is she hiding underneath it all?
Her mental illness.
She wakes up panicked and can’t turn her brain off as it races with thoughts as she battles anxiety. She’s faced too many depressive episodes to count and feels as if there is a constant cloud looming over her head as she battles depression. She feels unworthy and defeated; how could a daughter of God struggle this much?
And so, she stays silent. Maybe she’s worried you’ll tell her to pray more or have more faith. She doesn’t want to appear broken, so she puts on the mask that she’s the strong one. And who knows, maybe she is you. But do you want to know the truth?
She needs you.
She needs you to tell her that God still loves her no matter what. She needs you to say she’s not alone, others struggle too. She needs to hear that there is nothing to be ashamed of and it is okay to seek the help of a professional. She needs to know it’s all going to be okay and God will carry her through it all. She needs to know you will not judge her, but love her through her mental illness.
She needs you to comfort her.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, we read, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (NIV). That’s what she needs. No judgment, just love. No shame, but a loving word letting her know it’s all going to be okay.
And if she is you—it’s time to open up and tell someone. You don’t have to fight this fight alone. Sure, maybe you will be told by someone to “pray some more” or “have more faith”. But more than likely, I’m going to guess, you’ll also hear a “me too”. You’ll find you’re not the only one who is struggling with her mental health, and you’ll find someone who can comfort you in your times of trouble. Let them in, so they can help you.
Friend, it’s time to end the stigma around mental illness. Either way, whether it’s you or someone you know, anxiety and depression are real. And as Christians, we need to show the love of Jesus.
We need to comfort others in their times of trouble with the same comfort we receive from the God of all comfort.
About the Author:
Courtney Devich is a mama relying on Jesus and reheated coffee every day. Using humor, honesty, and relatability, she writes with a heart for the mom struggling with anxiety or depression. Her writing has appeared in Her View From Home, TODAY Parents, and For Every Mom, among others. Courtney is a former human resources professional, using her leadership skills to manage kids as a stay-at-home mom. You can find her in the Starbucks line at her local Target, binge-watching TV with her husband, or chasing after a kid (or two) at her home in Michigan.