“People with mental illness should not become our project, these are people who are a part of the body of Christ and they have something to teach us.” – Kay Warren

On this week’s edition of The Exchange, listen as author Kay Warren, shares her testimony explaining how mental illness affected her life and how the gospel shapes our response to those who struggle with mental illness.

“God doesn’t waste hurt, God doesn’t waste sorrow.”

Kay shares how the suicide of her son kick-started her advocacy for mental illness. She admits that it wasn’t a cause she chose by her own volition rather it was a road she was thrust down as a result of the experience. It was nothing they chose to pursue. However, God has granted Kay and her husband, Pastor Rick Warren the opportunity to help people as a result of their experience.

“It’s more than important, it’s critical.”

Nearly everyone is affected by mental illness. One in four people in the United States will have a serious mental illness at some point in their life. Those who do not directly suffer probably know someone close to them who suffers. Despite the prevalence of mental illness, it is rarely mentioned in churches around the United States.

“You don’t have to be an expert.”

It helps to be educated about how to deal with people who suffer from mental illness. However, a lack of education should never be a barrier to helping out. Read the Bible and see how Jesus responded to people with mental illness, he responded with compassion.

It’s okay to not be okay

“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” – Psalm 119:28

Kay recounts the aftermath of the death of her son. She talks about how it’s not a sin to be sad, it’s okay to be sorrowful. Expecting to always be happy despite the sorrowful circumstances of life is a serious misunderstanding of humanity. As humans we are broken, every part of us is broken and our minds are a part of that.

Is there any hope?

Kay had hope that her son would be healed but that hope was crushed when her son died. It was a long process to rebuild her hope in Christ. She clung to what we all know about Christ. He is always in control of this broken, chaotic world we live in and His plans are better than our plans.

“I know there is nowhere else to go, I know God is the only place to go for comfort. When you meet him there he will be there. We don’t see it all yet.”

When you find yourself in the depths of sorrow make the choice to turn to God, the only one who can truly give you the comfort you desire.

Gospel response to mental illness