Have you ever felt at the end of yourself? Like you can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel?

I have.

I remember being at university, lying in bed and feeling this heavy weight on me. I couldn’t seem to find the strength to make it through another moment, let alone another day. I had just found out that my house in London was about to be repossessed, while I was at university all the way in Birmingham. I felt helpless, distant and overwhelmed. I started to sob my heart out and sink into my bedsheets.

This wasn’t me. I was a strong, supportive individual who has always held others up. The roles had now reversed. I needed support and I needed it fast. Over the course of a rough month, by God’s grace, my family’s housing situation was resolved and the darkness passed away. I give God thanks for his constant provision; even when I couldn’t see a way out, He made a way.


And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Mental health and performance culture

Conversations surrounding mental health issues are slowly moving onto the church agenda. This can also be seen within society, with individuals feeling more confident to reach out for support when they are struggling with their mental health. Although our perception and understanding of mental health is shifting positively, I asked myself, why is mental health still such a taboo subject?

I believe performance culture has a part to play, as we are encouraged from a young age to perform well. This culture within the church can cause people to say I’m fine”, when in fact, they feel overwhelmed.

I started to ponder on the reasons why we feel the need to hide our true emotions within the one place we should feel free: church. Is it because we know God is good… all the time God is good”? Or is it because we don’t trust others to understand what we are going through?

As I searched more deeply, I found that feelings of guilt could provide some explanation. I realised that to some, saying that they felt depressed or anxious could seem unappreciative and would contradict the word of God which says to be anxious for nothing”. However, many individuals in the Bible, such as Job, struggled with their mental health – showing that conversations regarding our mental wellbeing are truly important to God.

How my mental health was affected

During the time when my house was being repossessed my mental health was not simply low, it was depleting by the second. Looking back, I understand that always being the strong” one was just an expression of performance culture. Through this experience God showed me that I am significant, that I matter and that there are no limitations on what He can do for me when I am being my authentic self. Through these situations we must remember to act upon our innate desire to connect with others, because we are made in the image of God who is the ultimate connector. Yes, we may feel confused or overwhelmed by external factors over which we have no control, but we can hold onto the hope that we will get through the tough times by connecting with our support systems, ultimately through the love of Jesus.

Transformed by the renewing of my mind

Bible characters such as Elijah become so much more relatable when we acknowledge that we experience the same pain and despair. In 1 Kings 19:4, Elijah felt depressed and he said, Lord I have had enough.” When I read this, I nodded my head in agreement, remembering the moment I felt the exact same. God reminded me that to be human is to be a child of God who is empowered and loved. God showed me that I can open up to Him about my darkest moments and expect to feel His warm embrace. I have come to understand that my fears will be removed and my negative thoughts will be rewired into positive thoughts when I cast all my cares unto Him. Now I can share my painful experience with confidence, knowing that my story matters and has the power to help others who are struggling with their mental health.

Three actions to take now

1. Reach out and encourage someone who may be struggling to maintain their wellbeing.

2. Spend 10 minutes reflecting on the various ways God cares about your wellbeing. Write down three or more points gathered after your reflection.

3. Track your mental wellbeing daily in a journal using the AWE method.

  • A – ask yourself how you feel today.
  • W – write down how you feel in a journal.
  • E – explore why you feel how you feel and what God is saying to you at that moment.

I pray that God gives you the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness you may be experiencing right now.