I understand how difficult it is to get the courage (yes, it takes courage) to go to church when you feel lost or hopeless. I’ve struggled with mental illness almost my entire life, and since I’ve become a Christian, it’s been hard for me to see people I know having such strong faith lives. Going to church every Sunday? Bible studies? Even just spending time with people from church all sounds like too much for me. So here are a few ways you can help your relationship with God when it’s all too much.
Yes, this is probably the most straightforward one. But for people with mental illness (at least me), it can be difficult to even think about prayer. It takes so much effort to consider all the different things I need help with, and sometimes it feels like there’s nothing God or anyone else can do to help. But that’s silly! God can fix anything – after all, he made us, didn’t he? Why wouldn’t he be able to fix it?
For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.Matthew 19:26
I’ve found some pretty good resources on how to pray better – starting with where to pray. I haven’t put this one into effect yet, but Embracing a Simpler Life has a great post on how to create a prayer closet. Of course, now I have to find an empty closet, which is probably the hardest part of all. I do have an entire empty bedroom which I might be able to transform into a prayer room, but I wanted to turn it into a guest room. Can it be a guest room/prayer room? 😛
2. Read the Word
Also pretty straightforward, but hopefully my tips will help. I do a daily Bible reading – I am doing this one right now, and did this one when I was Protestant (read more about that here). It’s part of my evening routine with my fiancé to read the Bible and talk about what we read. This year, we are just reading the New Testament readings from each day. We started reading the Old Testament readings too, but it just turned out to be a bit too much to do all at once. That’s another thing that’s important, we need to realize our limits! I think He understands that I’m trying, and I’m still reading His Word.
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31 – Part of the March 30th assigned reading.
I think what might be even more important than just reading is praying about it. That’s something I really need to get into myself, I tend to just read it, sometimes talk about it, and then be done with it. But the Bible is something that can live within us.
What do you guys do to keep living faithfully when you have mental illness?