A number of readers have indicated they don’t like to hear about stigma. I believe too that some are having problems with my announcement regarding the book I’m writing about the stigma held against those living with mental illness.

It’s not a topic people like to hear about, though it’s a reality.  Many people with mental health issues find it hard to think of themselves as worthy as others are. Lack of self-esteem keeps them from having a meaningful life. At times the damage caused can be unbelievable. I lost a few years of my life suffering from the effects of hurtful treatment and want to help awareness grow. With God’s help I’m hoping this book will help reduce the problem so that less people will be hurt.

Part of the book will show how God can transform people when they suffer. I’m hoping that the bad I experienced will, through this book, lead to good.

I keep thinking of Joseph when his brothers came to buy grain from him. Joseph revealed that he’s the brother they had sold into slavery. Naturally, his brothers feared for their lives. But this is the beautiful conclusion Joseph came to and what he told them:

“…do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” (Genesis 45:5)

This is how I feel towards the people who hurt me. I believe God had a reason for what happened. The suffering that resulted has brought me closer to God. This too will be part of the story. That’s how God is showing me I can bring hope to the situation. The book will endeavor to encourage people who go through what I did.  To help them realize that the Jesus who loved the outcasts will be with them in their pain.

marja