Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

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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 […]


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. […]


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 […]


What is my goal?

YESTERDAY AND TODAY Long ago, on May 29, 2011, I wrote the following in my journal: My devotional planner posed the questions: What is your goal? What do you want to win? Will you gain the prize? You know what my goal is, Lord. Removing stigma. Christian support for mental illness. But it is a […]


“But I’m so small”

I SURRENDER ALL MY STORY My journaling, which I started in May 2006, consisted mostly of prayers. I wrote to God at all hours of the day, telling him of my passion, my hopes, and my dedication to serve. During the summer and spring of 2006, while preparing to begin Living Room, I was greatly […]


Where have our voices gone?

STIGMATIZED . . . STILL? MY STORY 2011 was a busy year for me as a mental health advocate, offering quite a few speaking engagements, something I welcomed, even though I was sometimes nervous about it. I’m just so very grateful that God has given me the passion and the desire to speak. So grateful that […]


Feeling rejected?

EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD Messages like the following can bring healing to those who are experiencing the pain of stigma. Followers of Christ could deliver similar scriptural messages to those who feel rejected by the world. Think of Jesus. Wrap your head around what it must have been to be him, giving his all for […]


And yet he was hated

EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD Consider what it must have been like to be Jesus—hated as he was, though having done so much good. How unfair it must seem to those who feel the hatred of others! Sometimes it helps to consider Jesus and his suffering. To try and sort out the great chasm between the […]


He came for the lost

EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD Effective spiritual food for individuals dealing with emotional pain or mental health challenges often includes a view of Jesus that might not be heard elsewhere.  This example shows him listening to a lonely person’s heart, feeling their pain, in tune with their loneliness. How good it would be to show a […]


Man of sorrows; man of compassion

EXAMPLE OF SPIRITUAL FOOD In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Isaiah 63:9 Why did Isaiah refer to Jesus as a “man of sorrows?” (Isaiah 53:3) […]

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