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  • Sister Shirley Thomas

A Word of Encouragement: God Is with You

Loved ones can become overwhelmed with caring for individuals with mental health issues. Years ago, Black/ African Americans had a certain stigma or belief that it was an embarrassment to have a family member that was mentally challenged. Many families wouldn’t take them in the community. Some mentally challenged individuals were put in institutions. Family members found it difficult to deal with the behaviors, self-stimming, mood swings, acting out, or just not being normal. Thank God, this isn’t the case for most people dealing with mental illness today.


Most of us ask, Lord, why did this happen to me or my loved one? As we reference Jeremiah 1:5 – KJV: “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee….”. therefore, God knew your loved ones while they were in their mother’s womb. God would not have given you the assignment of caring for a loved one and being a significant part of their life if He haven’t fortified/equipped you for your assignment.


He entrusted you to represent His love, patience, and kindness to His creation. God didn’t make a mistake. You must trust Him and lean on Him. Proverbs 3:6 states” In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” He has already equipped you for this difficult task. Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.


So, when you ask the question, “Lord why did this happen to my family member? You must accept the reality; God doesn’t make any mistakes; our heavenly father knows what is best. He has mapped out every road you must travel to meet His face in peace. He is with you each day helping you carry your heavy burden.


Remember, “Jeremiah 29:11 KJV: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

And to those of you that think you’ve got it all together mentally. Don’t be deceived, if God didn’t allow you to be in your right mind, you could be in the same or worse mental state of mind as the one you look at with a proud, condescending look.


Next time you see someone dealing with mental issues, say a prayer for that individual. The struggle of mental illness is real. God has no respect of person, do you? Family members, be encouraged, God is faithful to His word. He will not put more on you than you can bear. Continue to pray, join support groups, and get professional help for your loved ones. Remember, it’s by His mercies we are not and have not been consumed.

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