Part 11 of my story

In Thursday’s message of My Yoke is Easy, I wrote:

“The road is not always smooth. In fact, it can be extremely rough at times. We might suffer.”

That’s very true. And I must tell you here that I’ve suffered much as I’ve followed Jesus. But I know for certain that he’s been with me in the suffering because he suffered too. He’s my brother and I’m his sister in that. Hebrews 2:11 says “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”

What the Bible says is true. There’s joy in the suffering when we suffer for doing good. It’s much better than suffering for what’s not so good. There’s a joy in knowing that you’re doing something that’s for the good of others.

Today I must share with you what I talked to God about just before writing this on Saturday morning. As I sat with him, God led me to remembering how his voice and the voices of those living with mental health challenges ended up no longer heard when Living Room lost its support in 2018. It had been a most important ministry. Living Room showed the Church what is needed for the mental health of Christians. It reminded Christians of God’s role in our well-being. It gave spiritual support in a way few others could.

Such memories come often, and I suffer every time. Because I know how hard I fought, from 2000 on, to make the Church aware of the importance of God in our mental well-being. At the time, the Church was listening. But few seem to be listening today. This story I’ve been telling you will hopefully show the important part God played in the messages I passed along to Christians and their churches.

It’s tragic how the message of faith and its importance in our mental health seems to have been lost. At least, I don’t hear many speak about it.

Today, I hope this message is re-surfacing as we look at the healing that can come about when we recognize the painful effects of stigma. When we realize how Jesus responded to those the world was rejecting and how he can be our example. I hope the Church will respond to the material I’ve been writing about how mental illnesses can be healed through the love of Christ—the kind of love Christians have been taught to show, in the name of Jesus.

Unfortunately, many Christians are not hearing about the pain we suffer. They’re not hearing how they are called to provide the kind of care Jesus taught them to give through the Gospel stories. Secular agencies are doing a good job of educating us about the why’s and wherefores of mental illness and how they can be addressed by the world. But the role of the Church is more than that. The Church is called to show the importance of faith and Christ’s amazing love for all who suffer, especially those who are being rejected by the world.

Teachings about Jesus—who he was and who he is—should be the main focus of the Church’s message. To teach Christians about mental health without mentioning the provision of care that they are so well equipped to give—and should give—is to abandon the role the Church was given by Jesus himself through Peter, hundreds of years ago—the greatest command to his followers being: “Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Yes, the road can be rough, and it is a lot of the time. But Jesus is there to help us. When we stay aware of his presence, he carries the yoke with us.

May God’s voice be heard. May his love be felt by all.

A 48-page booklet, Healing the Effects of Stigma is now available to download as a PDF, free of charge from It gives clear suggestions of how followers of Christ can help their stigmatized friends overcome the pain caused by stigma.