The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
– Psalm 121: 7
When I was a mental health clinician I often wondered what my clients felt about their lives. Were they hopeful? Were they finding happiness in their lives or were there too many problems building satisfying lives that they began to feel like they were perpetually going to stay mentally ill all the rest of their lives?
I worked most often with those suffering from co-occurring disorders; which meant they were seriously mentally ill and had chemical dependency issues to deal with. It was called dual-diagnosis when I practiced as a mental health clinician. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) IV was the version I went to school with. Changing diagnoses was something I had to grow accustomed to.
Many of my clients heard voices and could not function on their own. I had a job working in a six-month residential treatment facility, and I led groups five days a week. One of my jobs was to educate them about their illness. I had videos and hand-outs and we talked about their symptoms, treatment histories and discussed what were possible causes for their becoming mentally ill.
I did not know God then. I became active in 12-Step Recovery for having a parent that was an alcoholic, although I was never an alcoholic myself, we were just a very dysfunctional family and codependency was very apparent. I knew there was a god of some kind according to some of my peers in those recovery groups and some were Christians but I did not have any real understanding of who the Lord Jesus Christ was. Therefore I was not in prayer for my clients; I only wanted the best treatment that I could find for them while I worked there.
Little did I know that the Bible has very comforting things to say and if I had put my trust in the Lord I might have had the tools to better facilitate their recovery with and might have led some to the Lord.