Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

What have we done to you?

REJECTION – AN EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD – Some devotional material does not necessarily comfort or encourage, but helps us gain understanding about Jesus—a perspective we might have missed. I wrote the following in 2018. It could very well draw readers closer to him as they see him as a kindred spirit who knows their […]

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I wouldn’t be afraid to die . . .

JESUS THE FOUNDATION I was reading a journal entry from May 31, 2010, and read what I have repeatedly written there. “I wouldn’t be afraid to die—but before I die I want to build Living Room into something firm and strong. With its foundation being Jesus Christ—all he is and was. All he showed himself […]

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Where was Jesus?

MY NEED FOR HIS COMPASSION – MY STORY – Part of my personal journey with stigma: I learned the excruciating the pain of being considered a good and faithful servant of God for many years, and then suddenly to be treated as “evil.” I learned how hopeless it is to report a wrongdoing to authorities, […]

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He weeps with us

SHARED COMPASSION Weeping with another person is love at its most powerful—especially when that other person who shares with us is Jesus. It’s compassion going two ways—flowing from Jesus to us and from us to Jesus. It’s a fellowship. There’s comfort in it. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she […]

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The message of Christ’s healing power, lost

FAITH AND MENTAL HEALTH “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” […]

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Thank God for memories kept safe

MY JOURNALS – MY STORY I’ve gone as far as October 2011 in reviewing my journals. And looking back at what I’ve read so far, I’m surprised at how much I had forgotten about—totally. My memory has been unbelievably bad and this problem became one reason why I ended up retiring in 2015—fearing dementia. And […]

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Faith-based mental health support is born

LIVING ROOM – MY STORY We called the group “Living Room,” a name coined by Dr. John Toews, a proponent of better church support who inspired its organization. The founding of Living Room became an outreach project in partnership with the Mood Disorders Association of BC (MDA), who trained us how to facilitate. We advertised […]

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God’s love when we’re hurting

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE – Psychiatrist Harold Koenig, M.D., in his book, New Light on Depression, wrote: “Love—unconditional love—is the ultimate long-term antidote for depression, for at its core love is connected with faith and hope.” I’ve liked that statement ever since I first read it. I have found out how important it is to have the love […]

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Ashamed no longer

EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD – Stories like this about individuals to whom Jesus brought healing can do wonders for those who are feeling the effects of stigma. Ask a person you’re supporting to put themselves in the place of the person in this story, and they will most likely be able to relate to her. […]

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We long for dignity and worth

EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD for a person who feels rejected by the world When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan […]

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