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MENTAL ILLNESS: HOPE FOR THE WAR WITHIN

By July 19, 2017 3 Comments

I had my first taste of mental illness the day I learned how my Dad died. I was eight years old. Such a tender age and I was already deeply troubled.

Rightly so, my mum took me to a psychologist.

It was there, with my aunt, step-dad and mum in the room that the truth came out – my Dad had committed suicide.


Jennifer is a part of the North Pointe writers community. This is the first place she has publicly written about her journey. When we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love” says Brene Brown. Jennifer and I couldn’t agree more with her.


Childhood Memory

My dad took his life a few doors away from where we lived.

I was five years old and the last one to see him alive.

I’ve often wondered, “What if I had followed him? Would he still be alive today or would I have ended up dying as well?”

Journey To Hope

Since the age of eight, my overwhelming desire to die led me to self-injury. As a teen I hid the cuts on my arms as much as I could to the point of wearing a hoodie on +30C days.

Suicidal thoughts and tendencies refused to go away. I attempted suicide. More than once.

At the age of fourteen hope entered my life. It came through a girl in my school who reached out to me. Her family drove me to church and youth group every week.

I became a Christian and learned about Jesus, His promises and His love. Even so, I found it hard to get out of the mindset that life was worthless and blaming myself for my Dad’s death.

When Bad Days Outnumber Good Ones

My struggle is still very real. I’ve been to many psychologists, counselors and pastors. Depression is not an easy thing for me to deal with.

There are good days but even more bad days.

How have I survived?

My way Forward

Living life one day – sometimes one hour at a time – is the way forward for me.

Get up.
Get dressed.
Go for a walk.
Pray.
Read God’s Word.
Persevere.

Not Alone

Are you facing mental illness?  There is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of in having a mental illness.

You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a trusted friend, doctor, pastor or your spouse.

The “what ifs” in your life can be daunting or wonderful. It’s a matter of perspective. There is always a positive in the negative.

A Bible verse that has helped me out of darkness is, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

The possibilities are endless. Nothing is impossible with God.

Your Purpose

There is always the possibility to help others through sharing your story. I’m living proof of this. This can be your outcome too. You can use your life struggles, triumphs, sadness, joy and happiness for the good of God to minister to others.

There is a purpose and a plan for everyone’s life. It might not be in plain sight right now but God will help you discover what you’re on this earth to do.

I’m glad I’m alive.

Like me, you can discover so much more in your life.

Related Posts
Depression: My Story by Brock Harrison
Things Christians Tend To Get Wrong About Depression
5 Insights To Depression: Sisterhood Of The Semi-Colon
16 Helpful Insights About Depression And Loss

APPLICATION: Please leave a comment for Jennifer below. Thank you.


I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 27 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 38 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

More posts by Bob Jones

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Raquel Del Valle says:

    Hi Jen. I admire your courage to reveal how you feel. Revealing is the beginning of healing. Please know that I am praying and will be praying for you regularly. May the Lord continue to heal and guide you. You are a blessing to me.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Thank you Raquel for your kind words to Jen. Timely words are like gold.

  • Jenn K says:

    Thank you, Raquel! Your words and prayers mean so much to me!
    Blessings to you my dear friend!

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