I just received the following link from my father who knew I’d be interested in this article: http://www.crosswalk.com/spirituallife/11607116/page0/
I know that it may or may not be relevant to mentally ill people; but it is definitely relevant to creative people and since I am a writer as well as a visual artist, this article says things that are of importance. Please also note that the things stated here are, for the most part, important to all of us, because they tell us how to remain in greater contact with the power and voice of the Holy Spirit…and what person does not need that?
In the paragraph labeled “Maintain a Listening Lifestyle” there was one sentence that really jumped out at me: “Ask God to help you look beyond who you think you are to more clearly see who you really are.” This particular point has maybe a greater impact on the mentally ill, than it would for the “healthy” person. We all tend to label ourselves according to our own self-perception. We think of ourselves as fat, unattractive, stupid, slow…or a multitude of other possibilities. At the very least, we may have a fairly healthy self image, but can feel that a particular “assignment” given by the Spirit to be too ambitious or impossible for us to accomplish. But for the mentally ill, this is a huge obstacle. Once a person defines him or her self by the diagnosis they have been given, it becomes unlikely that they will ever accomplish anything beyond the parameters expected for their illness.
It was a huge step for me to understand that “"My (God speaking) grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I (The Apostle Paul and us) will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV version)
God is NOT LIMITED by MY limitations!! Therefore, if he tells me that he wants me to be a missionary, or write a best-seller, or any other thing that would seem to be impossible in the eyes of my doctors or family…then God absolutely can and will provide from the resource of his own strength, the ability for me to accomplish that goal.
It was the delivering of this verse to me by a strange encounter with a woman in a bookstore, who out of the blue, walked up to me and handed me a devotional in a book based on this very verse; which convinced me to finally begin to write the book that God had been calling me to write. I had procrastinated; held back by my fear and by my view of myself as only some “crazy” person that no one would want to listen to—and God had to get me beyond my self-limitation to trust that it is HIS strength and wisdom that will accomplish the task; not mine.
So if you are the loved one of someone who is mentally ill; and if that person has a knowledge of Jesus personally; I would encourage you to encourage them to take the time and to find the courage to hear what GOD’S plan is for his or her life…and to instill in them the knowledge that God’s strength works best in those people who fully understand their human weaknesses and limitations and who rely fully on HIM to get it all done.