I’ve been on quite a roller-coaster ride as we move closer to the indiegogo campaign (very soon) and publication (March, 2014) of my spiritual memoir Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. Last night I was telling my sister I had been cycling emotionally as well as craving alcohol. By God’s grace and with prayer from friends and family, I’ve managed to stay safe, clean, and sober. Yet, I’ve been fretting over many things, fearing that all I and others are investing in the mission might come to naught.
This morning when I checked my in-box, I noticed there was a message from Amy Simpson.
In 2012, Intervarsity Press published Simpson’s book Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission in which she shares the story of her mother, who has schizophrenia and the Church failed to respond to her needs or the needs of the family. Troubled Minds offers a ray of hope in the end, highlighting a few church ministries across the country where there is some openness to folks with mental illnesses, but largely Simpson’s voice is a prophetic one — the Church is called in Christ to do more.
After reading Troubled Minds, I was inspired to write to Ms. Simpson first to thank her for sharing her story. She very thoughtfully responded. I then boldly asked if she might read my manuscript and consider offering an endorsement. She graciously accepted.
Today, I received her response, with the following endorsement attached –
Delight in Disorder is a resource we have long needed. We all need to hear from people who have struggled with mental illness and have found, indeed, that nothing can separate us from God’s great and redeeming love. This book is honest about the experience of living with bipolar disorder, and it’s full of compassion toward the many people whose own moods betray them so treacherously. It’s also full of hope—not the cheap kind we use to varnish over the truth about ourselves and about this life we live. But the only kind of hope that can stand when everything else falls: hope in Christ and his grace.
Yes, it has been a roller-coaster ride. A delightful one. And it’s only just begun.
I thank you, Ms. Simpson. And I praise God from whom all blessings flow.