Author and pastor Perry Noble admits that he used to believe mental illness could only be dealt with through prayer and Scripture until he experienced anxiety and depression firsthand in 2008.
In his new book, Overwhelmed, due out April 1, the NewSpring Church leader candidly shares how he overcame his three-year struggle with mental illness and frequent thoughts of suicide. While undergoing this dark time in his life, Noble found that the church was silent on the issue. However, he now intends to shatter the myth that Christians are immune to depression and offers practical solutions to overcome despair in his book.
Overwhelmed was written after Noble launched his most-viewed sermon series about stress, anxiety and depression in 2012.
An edited transcript of Perry Noble’s recent interview with The Christian Post is below:
CP: Do you think more Christians will ever embrace the fact that it’s okay not to be okay?
Noble: For too long a major obsession in many church cultures has been managing ones image rather than being an intentional follower of Jesus. Christians are real people, with real problems, real fears, who really do deal with stress and disappointment but for some reason we’re not supposed to allow people to know those things about us when we get together. It is my hope and prayer that people will continue to understand that church was never intended to be a pretty place full of pretty people, but rather for people who understand they are not okay and by the grace of God they do not have to stay that way.
CP: What kind of support did you get from Christians during the time you were depressed and overwhelmed?
Noble: Ninety-five percent of the feedback I received was incredibly positive. In my mind, I believed that people would use my circumstances to attack me. Some did but the overwhelming majority came alongside me and was willing to do whatever it took to assist me in getting back to a healthy place.
CP: You write that your depression was something you needed to walk through, not simply get over. Can this perspective be applied to other forms of mental illness?
Noble: Yes and no!
My first bout with anxiety and depression was simply the result of me not dealing with my past very well and also trying to maintain a schedule that was physically impossible. I feel like the Lord allowed me to hit a wall and learn from it so I could make changes in my life that would set me up for success for the long haul.
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SOURCE: Christian Post