Life is messy. Pain and heartache. Broken relationships. Illness, mental and otherwise. Sometimes these things are expected, and other times they hit us out of nowhere.
The disciples experienced this once when they were in the boat with Jesus. "And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves..." (Matthew 8:24a) The waves and the storm overwhelmed them.
Some days, I've felt this way with mental illness. My brain is totally overwhelmed - stormy, even. Overwhelmed by the waves and the wind and everything else that comes with a storm. Broken tree limbs, hail, thunder, lightning, sleet. It's a tornado. Or hurricane. Or tsunami.
As awful as mental illness is, and as much as I wish I didn't have it, I HAVE HOPE of rescue. This hope is my soul anchor. It keeps me grounded in times of calm, but especially in times of storm.
What does rescue from mental illness look like? Well, I'd love for it to be what Jesus did in the story mentioned above. He rebuked the wind and the waves and made things calm immediately. So far I have not experienced complete healing. But I have experienced tastes of healing through God's sustaining grace and the tools He has provided to help me in my mental health journey. I rely on Him through medication and exercise, counseling, Exposure Response Prevention, and the supportive relationships that He has surrounded me with. Through these things, my suffering is not intense 100% of the time. I have periods of respite, and sometimes those periods are long - even years.
Most likely, I will experience full rescue and healing of my mental illness in eternity. This world is not the end, and through Jesus, I live in the hope that I will spend eternity with Him. He redeemed me through His death on the cross, and it is only through Him that I am made perfect. He is bigger, and He is in control. Better things are coming! In heaven, there are no tears or illness or pain. Just victory and wholeness, joy and healing. My brain will be made whole!
The Bottom Line
So, yes, life is messy. We endure much - pain, heartache, broken relationships, illness. We are broken people in need of rescuing, and this is where hope comes in.
Jesus is my Rescuer, and because of this hope, my soul is anchored.