Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

He watches over us

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

Psalm 121:1-5


I doubt that I would have embraced my faith with the enthusiasm I did if I didn’t have huge battles with mental illness. How I needed God! During one of my many crises I knew I could no longer do life on my own. I wondered if all I had heard about God was true. At the library I looked for books about him, hungry to learn. I longed for peace to remove my inner turmoil. I needed strength to survive my daily struggles. Mostly I think I longed for God’s LOVE.

And I did find the love – love I needed so very badly. Is there anything as great, as deep, as steadfast as God’s love? Is there anything that will fill the heart with such warmth?

I’ve suffered much, times when I didn’t think I could go on. Despite that, I didn’t doubt his love for me. Was it because of friendships through whom God’s love shone? I suspect so. Godly friends helped me believe that God was real. They helped me see his love revealed. Through them I found the security I needed. I came to trust that God was always watching over me.

Don’t you think that for many of us our greatest need is to know we’re secure, held close by someone who cares about us? This is the kind of security most often offered by our parents when we were young. And when we hunger for that love, as I did, could it be that it had been lacking in our childhood? I believe for many that’s the case. It’s not uncommon to grow up in a home where such love doesn’t exist – at least, not to the degree it should.

So then, it’s comforting to find assurances of God’s love, no matter where we look in our Bibles. God is with us, watching over us night and day. No matter how we hurt, no matter our troubles, he’s there. His love is ready to fill our hearts with all the warmth and security we need.



NOTE: The next installment/s of HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH SUPPORTERS will be published as they’re written.

1 Comment

  1. Hi.. I have followed you ever since putting together a living room group at my church several years ago .. when I was well.
    Then .. I was not well , at all.. I have been diagnosed with bipolar decades ago and have rarely been well..
    When I was baptized the year prior to the living room project , things were clearer than they had ever been.. When I had my severe last episode that pulled me not only out of facillitating the group.. but out of everything around me..
    When I read your account ( as many others’) things go through my mind. . the thought when I am that ill , is , honestly .. HOW could the Father love me,, I so SSOO hate myself and everything about me.. . . Indeed I doubt that I ever truly believed , because, other believers never SEEM to get this confused.. Perhaps my uncertainty is an example of my lack of faith…?
    Living with me truly must be ‘hell’ . my wife is a gem.. People at the church never supported me as I started to become ill, and the several times over the 2 yrs that the Pastor visited, he must have left feeling I was beyond worth his time.. I felt I was wasting his time as I could never seem to resolve my feelings of being in a ‘valley, of never ending darkness’ one that had no end. . It must have been confusing for someone who had been in the church his whole life, where my growth had been .. ‘varied’ .
    I so wish I was clear as to how I am to be around with such a unstable view. Unlike you , I question whether I am loved, lovable .. worth saving… there is a big WHY? ..
    I have just been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and think this could have skewed my beliefs and self worth my entire 62 yrs.. Hopefully I will stabilize to be less reactive,, how does one say , thanks and sorry to those around that support for years..

    thanks for your writings and inspiration…
    Merry Christmas

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