How Does My Mental Health Diagnosis Fit into God’s Will?

How Does My Mental Health Diagnosis Fit into God’s Will?

I have heard all the “helpful” phrases: “Maybe you should pray harder.” “You just don’t have enough faith.” “You don’t trust God enough.”

I have been crushed by those suggestions more than once. As if because I struggle with mental health, my faith is in some way lacking.

The truth is, if it wasn’t for my faith I would fully drown under the weight of my diagnosis.

When I was a teenager I was diagnosed with Anxiety/Panic Disorder, and Clinical Depression. My teen years were a struggle because of the normal high school issues, but adding a diagnosis like that compounded the problems in front of me. Everything was harder, more dramatic, and felt impossible.

I went to counseling, took prescriptions, tried different types of therapy and meditation. In the end it took time, but I got better day by day. Some days were better than others, and some seasons were harder than others.

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  • Can Faith Fix What's Wrong with My Mind?

    Can Faith Fix What's Wrong with My Mind?

    A diagnosis doesn’t go away; it sometimes just sits quietly in the background until the next hard season.

    Even after I gave my life to Christ there were seasons when my anxiety would come calling, or I would sink into a depressed time. I thought I must be doing something wrong if this kept coming to the surface. Surely my faith would fix what was wrong with my mind.

    The off and on battle was one I kept hidden, even from those who loved me most. I learned how to cope and dig my way out of those times.

    That was until about six months ago.

    I could no longer hide or pretend that I was ok. I was crumbling, and fast. My depression wouldn’t lift. My anxiety was raising my blood pressure, causing horrible migraines, causing me to not focus on simple tasks, robbing me of sleep, and more. I knew I needed help, and with tears in my eyes went to my husband and confessed the heaviness on my heart.

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  • Is God OK with My Struggles?

    Is God OK with My Struggles?

    Counseling was the route we felt was the next best step.

    I have spent the time doing the work, and trying to come up for air. I was learning something new in the midst of all this, however what I failed to learn before was God has not abandoned me here.

    We misrepresent God when we believe that our lives will be without pain or struggle. We do an injustice to his very character when we feel that we are left without His help. We also underestimate God if we think the only reason we struggle with mental health issues is because we are being punished for sin.

    I am reminded often of the words Paul spoke in 2 Corinthians 12:9, when he said, “when I am weak that is where He is strong.” Paul struggled with a thorn in the flesh. One he never revealed to us, but one that never left him. It nagged him, bothered him, crushed his heart at times, maybe challenged his every step. But, more than all of that it proved him to be weak.

    My diagnosis proves me to be weak, and I am ok with that.

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  • How Can His Glory Show Up Here?

    How Can His Glory Show Up Here?

    God knew we would face fear, or He wouldn’t have given instruction about fear in His word over 300 times. He knew our flesh would battle against the Holy Spirit, our minds would rebel and prove that we are truly weak vessels.

    God has a purpose for your mental health. I believe the will of God is perfect and sure, no matter what I face in this life. Whether mental health, disaster, or disease, God is constructing each one of us for His glory.

    Let’s go back to Paul who said, “When I am weak, you are strong.” God cannot display His strength and power in us if we are strong in ourselves.

    In my life the proof of living in a fallen world is found in my greatest weakness, my thorn in the flesh—my mental health.

    I can endure, lean in and find hope because I understand this purpose. I can understand that my Heavenly Father stands in the gaps of my mind and makes me strong when I feel broken. Christ carries me when I cannot stand, and when I cannot speak or plead my case to God, He does it for me.

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  • Rejecting Shame and Embracing Hope

    Rejecting Shame and Embracing Hope

    We do not have to be shamed by our mental health because we have an advocate in Christ.

    We do not have to walk alone because God fills in the gaps of our hearts and minds with His strength.

    We do not have to be afraid to ask for help because God has equipped godly people to be counselors who can point us to the truth rather than our diagnosis.

    Back to those words I have heard and taken to heart many times in my life. Questioning my faith, my prayers, my sins, and trust of God. I will hold firm to the truth, I will speak Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” I will recite the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians, and his words to the Philippians, “that he who began a good work in you will carry it to completion.” I remind myself of one more truth from the word of God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

    No matter what I might feel in the moment, my God will see the work of my salvation through to completion, not even my mental health diagnosis can stop Him.

    I can then hold onto the hope that this life is but a moment, and when I reach heaven my mind will be whole and free from sadness and fear. My hope is in Christ and His care for me. Whatever God’s plan or purpose in my life and through my diagnosis, may it be for His glory alone.

    Michelle Rabon is a wife and homeschooling mom of three who feels called to help women thrive in their walk with Jesus every day. In 2012, she started Displaying Grace, a ministry that is focused on helping women engage with God’s Word. Michelle has also served in women’s ministry for the past five years seeking to equip women in the local church through Bible study. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, being close to the ocean, and drinking a lot of coffee.

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