Marja Bergen

author, mental health activist, follower of Christ

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Fixing my eyes on Jesus

  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21   At times we face unjust suffering, not as extreme as Jesus’ crucifixion, but painful, nevertheless. This calls for us to look to Jesus as our example – to fix […]

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When we hurt others

  When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23: 33-34   In this […]

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Why a book about stigma?

  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 […]

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Time with Jesus

  First published in December 2016 I wrote this piece during a time of emotional suffering. Extremely painful. And yet, I believe it was the best place to find Jesus.   If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any […]

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A new thing

  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19   Only moments before I started writing this, these three words came to mind: A NEW THING. It happened when I had just […]

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What’s so special about Living Room?

  Peer support groups like Living Room are special. They offer what isn’t available from groups facilitated by those who haven’t experienced mental illness. When the facilitator hasn’t had lived experience, there’s a danger that they will give messages of Christian platitudes like: “Pray, and you’ll be okay.” or, “Stay close to God and he […]

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What happened?

  I had been an innovative leader in 2006, with the help of God doing much to help people with mental health problems. But a few years ago I left the church, shunned by people who used to be friends. I’ve been reviewing my old journals and blog posts, trying to make sense of what […]

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Jesus up close

  At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children.” Matthew 11:25   (First published February 10, 2018) Have you ever tried to bring yourself back to the child you used to be […]

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They know not what they do

    When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:33-34   (First published […]

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God and our personalities

  Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? (Philippians 2:1)   While in hospital in 2015, my psychiatrist determined that I had features of borderline personality disorder (BPD). The diagnosis was made on the basis of the anger and fear of rejection I […]

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