Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

Part 7 – Immersed in photography

Our photographer friend Ali on the island of Paros   Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, Colossians 3:23   Many find community in church. At the age of forty-two when I started believing in God, that was the kind of community that […]


Part 6 – An opportunity to work

From Marja’s Favourite Recipes, 1971   We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. Romans 15:2 NLT   Yes, I had a rich life, doing many interesting things—accomplishing much, despite my mental health struggles. But, except for a couple of years part-time, I could not work at a […]


Part 5 – Why was I not ashamed?

  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12   Let’s pause for just a moment: So far, you have seen three significant people who came into the early part of my adult life. There will be more. Note how the emergency room […]


Part 4 – A special kind of man

  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. Luke […]


Part 3 – A most extraordinary doctor

Dr. Gerald M. McDougall October 1934 – December 2015   He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 During my first months at Riverview, I was fortunate to have Dr. McDougall looking after me. When I left hospital I would follow him when he opened his private practice. At the hospital, I […]


Part 2 – Good things in bad places

Crease Clinic   And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28   We will start this story with the time I got sick in 1965 and was sent from the emergency room at Vancouver General Hospital […]


Part 1 – My journey from patient to leader

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11   I’ve been writing a great deal of my story, so much of it including sad parts of my journey. But there have been […]



  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12   When I most needed love, I was treated with frustration. Anger. “Why don’t you pull yourself together?” he seemed to say. Like many, he thought that illnesses of the mind could be controlled. […]


Part 4 – But God never left

  The love I once received from those I had counted on was snatched away. I lost the sense of security a person in friendships. But God did not leave. In publishing my story I was concerned about what readers might think. How could such a thing happen? The intensity of discrimination that happened to […]


Part 3 – But God never left

  God is not the problem. Not at all. God did not cause this ugliness, people did. Nor is the Christian faith to blame. What I see at the root of the wrong-doing that occurred is the presence of a sense of pride. The pride that all of us have in a greater or lesser […]

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