Waves Crashing on Rock Near Mountains during Daytime

How to Come Up for Air Among the Waves of Mental Illness

Even though we may be drowning in the waves of mental illness, our reliance on Christ will help us make it to shore.

Around when I started high school, I began to experience anxiety on a level that wasn’t just nervousness or anxiousness. My struggles with anxiety have always made me feel hopeless—like it was something that I could never overcome. Over the years, anxiety has become something I am accustomed to living with. More recently, I have learned to rely on Christ to help me through my waves of anxiety.

But if and when the tempest returns, I will call upon the Lord and be thankful, knowing that calm seas don’t carry barges to the promised land—stormy seas do. —Jon Warner

Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez

In his Ensign article “Upon the Top of the Waters,” Jon Warner writes about his experiences with anxiety and depression. He likens his experiences to the story of the Jaredites crossing the “great deep” in Ether 2:25. Our trials with mental illness can be compared to the rough seas that the Jaredites faced while traveling toward the promised land. Just as the rough waves propelled the Jaredites forward to complete their journey, our rough waves of mental illness push us toward our own promised land. So, instead of asking the Lord to help calm the rough waters, Warner learned to rely on Christ in spite of the stormy seas. When we learn to rely on Christ through the waves, rather than asking him to remove them, we change our mindsets and are able to face mental illness in a completely new light.

While there are many resources available to help us through our trials with mental illness, the Lord is the one resource that is always available. While it would be easier to wish away our waves of mental illness, by turning to and relying on Christ, we can be strengthened and can change our mindset on how we face mental illness.

Read more about how our reliance on Christ can help us through our trials of mental illness in Jon Warner’s article “Upon the Top of the Waters.”

Source: Ensign

—Kenedie Stewart, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Read more about how to best respond when faced with mental or emotional challenges in Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “Like a Broken Vessel.”

Discover more about how hope will help us overcome anxiety and despair in Linde Fielding’s article “A History of Hope.” 

Read more on how we never suffer alone in Madeline Hill’s article “Sadness Is Not Suffered Alone.”

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One Comment

  1. Mikaela Wilkins

    I love that this article doesn’t focus on “It’ll all be ok,” but that it addresses how we approach struggles. Following Christ doesn’t mean that all our problems will go away, but that He will help us learn from them.

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