Something I found in a blogpost from April 2011:

My thoughts have been going back lately to the Good Friday service exactly five years ago in 2006 when my pastor invited me to read a bit from my not-yet-published A Firm Place to Stand. With the reading I shared some of the emotional battles I had faced and how I could see that Jesus fully understood those battles. Jesus had faced similar battles. Knowing that he fully understood my pain gave me comfort. So good to be able to share that pain with God, the greatest Comforter of all!

After that reading, three people came to me to tell their stories. They could relate to me and found comfort in knowing that I was a safe person to talk to. I have learned that when I share my emotional battles, others are given permission to share theirs as well.

And that’s the beauty of Living Room. That’s what we do at Living Room.

I was amazed at how good it felt to have those three people be so honest with me. What a privilege it is to have someone share with me in that way! As I wrote in A Firm Place to Stand, I felt a lot like Patch Adams did in the movie when he found out he was able to connect so well with the people in the mental hospital where he himself was a patient. “I connected to another human being!”

Like Patch Adams, I found out that I too really wanted to listen to people and learn about them. I wanted to help them with their troubles. And I wanted to do more of that. I wanted people with mental health issues to have the freedom to talk about their problems in a safe Christian setting. This is how the idea for Living Room was born.

I gave a speech yesterday for the Reformed Church’s Eirana Support Service’s organization. Afterwards, a man who struggled with depression came to talk to me. He told me how he would like to be part of a Living Room group but did not feel he could facilitate. He also told me how he was sitting on a park bench a while back when a person—out of the blue—told him her life story and her struggles. He told me how good it made him feel. Without knowing it, he was doing Living Room work. In my estimation, he’s a person who could facilitate.

And yet, I know how scary it can feel. I was scared as well before I started my group the first time.

But I came to think of what this ministry truly is. It’s not my work at all. It’s God’s! All I have to do is to be his hands and his feet and his voice. All the power comes from him who gives us strength. We only need to follow him.