One of the original purposes with which The Consolations of Writing was created was to celebrate the ways in which God can use our trials and struggles to grow good fruit in our lives. This purpose emerged out of my own struggles with mental illness – depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder – and the ways in which, in my darkest times, evidence of God’s presence could clearly be seen in the writing that I was able to produce at those times.
So, it is with great excitement that I announce my next writing project, due to begin after Easter: an eight-month project, going until the end of the year, exploring the fruit of mental illness in the lives of prominent Christians throughout the ages.
This is where I need your help. While I have a number of figures already whom I am looking forward to exploring, I am sure there are others I am missing. Please feel free to comment with any thoughts or suggestions: whose are the stories you have found comforting in your own struggles? Whose work, whether it be writing, music, art or theology, has demonstrated God’s work within and through mental illness?
5 thoughts on “A new project, and a request”
I can think of a few. The apostle Paul, Charles Spurgeon, William Cowper, CS Lewis, King David, Moses, Elijah, Job, Ahab, Hannah, King Saul, Naomi, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Bunyan. I’m sure there are lots more, but we should never accept the church telling us “Christians who suffer from depression show lack of faith” or worse still, “if you suffer from depression you aren’t really a Christian.”
Thanks Lyn. That’s very helpful and encouraging. I had a few of those names but not all. I’m thinking I might do a series of poems just on all the people in the Bible who went through periods of depression – so many!
Gives you hope doesn’t it 😀 If those great people of God could suffer from depression, we shouldn’t feel bad when we do. We are, and always will be in God’s hand no matter what.
May God bless you! This will be a great project that will give many people hope. I think that to one degree or another, we are all a bit mentally ill — and will never be fully free of the malady this side of heaven. The goal is to keep pressing on and pursuing Jesus, Who is always pursuing us, and Who (thank the Lord!) LOVES US WHERE WE ARE, even as we see that where we are is not necessarily where we want to stay. Keep your eyes on Jesus! We serve a great God! I Peter 5:7 [“Careth” shows a continuing action; i.e., “God is continually caring for you.” Good news, indeed!]
Thanks so much for your encouragement. It is wonderful to be reminded of God’s goodness in using our weakness and brokenness for His glory.