Anyone can face mental health challenges. For all the blessings of the academic life, there are also many struggles, including stresses to mental health. Several writers in the ESN community shared reflections on mental health with us in the last few weeks, so we are sharing their stories as a way to encourage others in this stressful time of the semester. The stigma against asking for help can be strong in both Christian circles and academic ones, and we want to encourage readers to seek help when they need it and to know they are not alone. Today, ESN author Kateri Collins shares a deeply personal prayer in the form of a poem, with the goal of encouraging suicide survivors and others who struggle with mental health challenges. Like the Psalms, You Are Too Good to Me, Lord shares a heartfelt cry of thanks to God and a prayer for His help. We hope that the poem is an encouragement to all our readers. At the end of the post, we share a link to science columnist Andy Walsh’s recent post on mental health and to a list of help lines he included in the piece.
Author’s Note from Kateri: This poem was inspired by a Christian who suffers from Chronic Depression and other various mental health issues. There is no shame in suffering or obtaining help. I am also a suicide survivor and thanks be to God who showered his love on me to show me I deserve a place in this world. I want to help end stigma and that is the reason why I share a piece of my story. God is by your side and your story is not over. If you need help or feel unsafe please call 911 or go to your local emergency room. Please don’t suffer in silence; there is help available out there and God and his son Jesus Christ love you unconditionally.
Poem: You Are Too Good To Me, Lord
Oh my merciful Lord
My soul is troubled
My body hurts
My mind is wavering
Save me from myself
Heal my broken heart
Comfort my soul and mind that is troubled
Speak your truth to me
Show me the way
Love me unconditionally
Give me your ultimate peace
I desire to fall more for you
Honor you oh Lord
Love your people unconditionally
Serve those that are lost and broken
Turn my sorrow into Light
Allow me to shine bright onto others
Show people your goodness
For I should be dead
But it is not my time
You have chosen me to change the world
Give me the strength to trust the path you have set before me
No Matter how hard and earth shattering
Because I know my suffering will be used to show others your unwavering goodness
I want to explode with your love
I want to explode with your compassion
I want to shower down on the people with your goodness
Give me the words to encourage
Give me the words to comfort
Give me the words to heal
Allow me to show your true love
Use me as your vessel
I can see now I cannot give up
I am here on this earth for a reason
I hear you Lord
I see you Lord
Free me from all this hurt
Consume me with love and peace
I want to make a difference
Pour your spirit down on me
Give me your wisdom
Forgive me when I could not see clearly
Thank you for saving me
Thank you for giving me life
Thank you for not forsaking me
Thank you for believing in me when I could not believe in myself
Giving my complete being over to you
To be a blessing to those that suffer and need to see and feel your love.
From Andy Walsh’s recent ESN piece My Mental Health Story:
- Panic Disorder Information Hotline: 1-800-64-PANIC (72642)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
- Lifeline Crisis Chat
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
- Teen Line: 1-310-855-HOPE (4673) or 1-800-TLC-TEEN (1-800-852-8336)
About the author:
Kateri Collins has a B.A. in Child Studies and Psychology from Lesley University. This year at Lesley University she is pursuing a Masters Degree in Expressive Art Therapy where she can grow in her continual love for helping people by exposing them to drama, music, poetry and theatre. Future research goals including seeking expressive art modalities that benefit both children and adults in the African American community. She has been an active member in the Black Women’s Support Group, Black Scholars and Professionals (BSAP), InterVarsity as well as previous president of the Multicultural Club at Lesley University. She is a freelance artist who loves caring for children, especially her nephew Shamar. For many years she has watched the children at the InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministry Regional Leadership Meeting and thoroughly enjoyed that. She has also been very active in helping to plan and execute the BSAP Northeast Conference in April for the past few years.
Ross McKenzie says
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks also to ESN for putting mental health on the agenda.
Here is a recent talk I gave on the subject.
Tom Grosh IV says
Thank-you Ross. Your presentation is much appreciated. I shared it on the ESN Facebook Wall. Keep pressing on in the upward hope of Christ Jesus. To God be the glory! ~ Tom
Beautiful poem. Can see it came from your heart.
Kateri B. Collins says
Thank you girl! You always inspire me to continue to write poetry! All started to develop 10 years ago…small group of us <3
VirginiaMary DCosta says
Can I have your email address
Moving and timely! God bless you Kateri!