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A Balanced Approach to Helping the Mentally Ill

(a letter I sent to someone in response to their words of advice) - it's worth reading!!!!

Thank you for your kindness to me yesterday. I know you care about Glen and me and it means a lot that you took the time from your day to share your wisdom with me. While I do appreciate it immensely and I agree with much of it, I do want to share something with you that I think you probably don't understand. (see my post today on Concerts of Hope wall)

There are a wide range of community services available in todays culture. However, many offer temporary solutions to a long term problem. Mental illness has no cure and therefore people who suffer will face continued set backs, stresses, and life management issues. Offering these people a hand up, not a hand out, is a main goal of Concerts of Hope Inc.

Glen and I are not immune from that scenario. Finding what works for him is not what works for many. And today we cannot and will not abandon ship for a temporary solution which sacrifices the future of Concerts of Hope. I hear you and the worlds advice many times circumvents pure faith in Christ who said he would never leave us nor forsake us. I feel I am no fool to follow God this severely or radically...and perhaps my faith is being tested today even deeper than what I realized yesterday.

Many people offer temporary solutions to persons with mental illness. What you said yesterday was your best shot at getting us out of pain. What you don't realize is...the pain is an inevitable part of the journey. Perhaps even I forget that today. As long as and until Glen is healed this is part of the story. Finding the best long term solutions many times don't make sense to everyone. They want a quick fix for a problem that is ongoing. Mental illness drags people down physically. Glen has a much lower energy level because of his illness...medications don't always help either. He guards against things which will compromise his overall mental health which is wise and this is one thing we have learned which has saved our butts a lot of stress and pain.

I know what you were trying to do yesterday and I can appreciate that, but what I want you to hear from me is I agree with you on your marketing ideas. However, finding release from the income stress may not be the solution you had in mind. This is where I find the greatest need for education. Matching people with their skill sets is what people with mental illness need and really all people need this. They would be much happier working where their gifts lie. Making money is necessary but being happier with less stress is vital to the person with mental illness.

So, I hope this helps you understand what I am saying and perhaps could not communicate yesterday. I tried to listen well so I could get what you were saying. Still pondering all of it and will take your advice and use it well. I want to be sure that I do not short circuit God's plan for us in which we have willingly agreed to live by faith that our lives might be a testimony of his provision. I am chiding myself for spilling too many beans on FB. I tend to get impatient with God. He has done some incredible things for us. If you have never sold all you possess to follow your passion - well, wow! All I can say is God came through over and over and over....and now I am faced with will he do it again! I won't get in the way of that...or I don't want to get in the way of seeing him provide as he has promised. That does not mean we don't work. We do and we have since being here. As I reread stories of great men of faith like Oswald Chambers and George Mueller, they lived on their knees. Their calling was their work and God provided though not like most people today would be comfortable with. So, I want to learn to trust God like that that my life might bring him great glory.

I know this is long. Sorry, but I felt it on my heart to respond. May God bless you and thanks for your compassion. I appreciate it greatly. Feel free to keep sharing and know I will filter it through my past experiences, present responsibilities and future dreams!

Blessings,
Joyce

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