Is God still miraculously healing people? Can He take away illnesses? Can He lift the stronghold of depression? Can God calm the anxiety-riddled brain? Absolutely! He is healing me. He is restoring my health after a life-long mental health battle. For right now, my restoration includes daily medicine and an occasional doctor's visit. One little blue pill in the morning, and I am good to go for the day. Do I have lows? Absolutely! Do I still do stupid things? Absolutely! I am a work in progress! Some get healed instantly. Some get healed in their coming and going. I'm coming and going.
In the Bible, Job was heavily afflicted. Job's friends thought that Job was afflicted because he must've committed some sins that they didn't know about. They thought that Job probably deserved his afflictions. Some people are probably thinking if I repent of my sinful ways, God will lift my affliction." Well, I repent every day. But let me say this: GOD heals who He wants to heal. I don't think there are requirements in order to get your healing.
Unfortunately, I have heard some pretty nasty comments from believers and non-believers. My own family doubts that GOD is going to completely heal me. I am ridiculed often when I speak of what GOD is going to do in my life. He told me that I am healed, delivered, and whole. He spoke it as if it already is, and I believe Him. Negative comments have the power to shame and discourage anyone living with mental illness and hinder them from seeking help. You must pray countless prayers of healing, deliverance, and wholeness.
The mentally afflicted Christian has also doubted her faith, trust, and worth a few hundred times and wondered what she did wrong to deserve this thorn (2 Corinthians 12:6-10). Maybe she has even apologized profusely to the Lord for not overcoming her weakness quicker, fearing disappointing God, who is often her only source of comfort.
Mental illness is largely misunderstood and stigmatized by society. I thought I knew what the face of mental illness looked like until I saw my own face in the mirror. My shame didn't come from the church. Instead, shame came from my uneducated assumptions, pride, and stereotypes. People say:"Strong people don't need help.""Mind over matter. It's that simple.""This doesn't happen to people like me.""You can snap out of this." I am here to tell you: Yes. It can happen to you too.
A question that begs to be answered is why we treat mental illness differently from physical illness. Why is there a stigma attached to an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety med, but not with high blood pressure medicine? Can't God regulate blood pressure without medication just as easily as He can restore mental health without a prescription? Yes, He certainly can! The answer to why He heals some people and not others is not for us to understand (Isaiah 55:8-9).
There has been a church history that encourages people with physical illnesses to seek medical professional care. The church prays and praises the ultimate Healer for working through health care providers to treat physical conditions while simultaneously ignoring that God will also use therapists and psychiatric treatments to treat the invisible diseases. I'm blessed because my Pastor, Pastor Solomon Kinloch Jr., addresses mental health issues regularly. Triumph Church has a mental health ministry so that we have somewhere to turn to when we feel alone. Glory be to GOD!
There is a movement between the church and mental health professionals to better understand and treat the complexity of brain and mood disorders. Hope Made Strong, an organization working to equip and train the church, states, "Approximately 43.8 million people per year experience some kind of mental health concern. Mental illness is not biased and can affect anyone—our neighbors, friends, and even the person you sit beside in church. However, 49% of pastors say they rarely (if ever) speak to their congregation about mental health."
There is still so much unknown about diagnosing and treating the most complex organ in the body--the brain. There is a trial-and-error aspect of mental health medicine to achieve the correct levels. Having gone through failed treatments, I can attest to the trial and error of medicine that treats brain and mood disorders. I was misdiagnosed with a serious disorder that required me to take heavy psychotropic medication that changed everything about my personality. I was on the wrong medications for years but I'm on a mood-stabilizer now that really works for me. I always tell people I'm not pro-medicine or anti-medicine. I am just pro-treatment. I trust the One who leads me to a path of healing. If you are dealing with some issues, do not hide away in shame. Seek help. Treating your mental health disorder will not make Jesus love you any less. GOD's love for you is unconditional. You can have a beautiful, intimate relationship with Christ through every season of your life. Jesus is still healing and delivering me. I'm claiming it: "I decree and declare through the power and authority vested in me by the Holy Spirit--"With Jesus' stripes, I, Rachel Mason, am healed. And it is so in the name of our Lord Jesus the CHRIST!"
Here I am purposely engaging in living an inspired life!