Marja BergenMarja Bergen decided long ago that she wanted to fight the stigma that exists towards mental illness. She has done much of that with her writing, starting out with an article that was published in the Vancouver Sun: “Sick, but no one brought me flowers.” Several articles followed and then, in 1999, a book that is still in print: Riding the Roller Coaster: Living with Mood Disorders

In 2005, seeing the pain and damage caused misunderstandings about mental health issues amongst Christians, she decided to narrow her focus to address the stigma in the Christian community. Articles to help Christians understand mental illness followed, as well as a book she wrote for a Christian audience: A Firm Place to Stand.

During the writing of A Firm Place to Stand, Marja discovered she had a gift to help others living with mood disorders. She found it a privilege to be able to listen to them and know that she was able to comfort them. By the time the book was fully written she had founded Living Room, a faith-based peer support group for people with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders. 

At the beginning of 2013 Marja started emailing reflections on Scripture to people who had contacted her in the past. Gradually she started adding her photographs. These devotionals are now read by over 280 people. The 28 devotionals in this book have come from these mailings.

Marja has lived with bipolar type 1 disorder since 1965. She has been married to Wes for 45 years and has a son, Cornelius and daughter-in-law, Jeannette.