Tender moments are so very important aren’t they? They can reach into the very heart of turmoil and offer; shelter, protection, belonging, affirmation, and comfort.They can reach out to us not only in the communion of present reality but from the storehouse of memories also.
And I truly believe that. How many times, when we have been in need of comfort or reassuring have we immediately thought back to a happier or special moment from our pasts?
But one thing that we can be sure of in life is that troubles and trials will come to us all and as much as tender moments are important, turmoil – especially for those of us who suffer mental illness – is a constant possibility.
Turmoil does many things doesn’t it? Brings fear, anxiety, threat, often confusion. It can rob us of our direction, of our confidence, and reminds us of our vulnerability often inducing an aspect of our insignificance and weakness.
Sometimes, for those of us who suffer from mental illness, even those strong in their faith, we can fail to see any way out of that turmoil, to picture any help any escape.
This is not, I believe the absence of faith, so much as it is the overwhelming presence of circumstances – real or perceived. Circumstances which shout power or which echo our inadequacy as they seek to overwhelm us and distract us and cause us to take our eyes off of our Saviour.
Like small children seemingly lost in a crowd of strangers, all we can see is unfamiliarity and potential threat, even when our father is as always, so very close at hand always reaching out to us.
So what is our place as Christians in circumstances such as these, when turmoil comes to the mind of someone with mental health? Is it to judge? Is it to add to their feelings of inadequacy or insignificance? I truly think not.
Or is it a place of love, of support, of compassion and of confidence giving? I believe it is.
As a Christian with mental health issues, I know only too well such times when turmoil snares the mind. Likewise I know only too well how it can drive me towards darkness and a feeling of desperation – feelings and thoughts which comes with those oh so harmful thoughts of worthlessness and insignificance.
And I thank God for those brothers and sister in Christ who through their words, prayers and actions, are there for me when this happens and who remind me that no matter how great the turmoil may be our God is greater and no matter how small and insignificant I may believe myself to be – Our loving heavenly Father is, as this song demonstrates, always willing to crouch down small enough to reach and hold and rescue me…