As a child, Julie observed mental illness in her home, but she didn’t want any mental health challenges in her future. She was naturally driven, outgoing, and bubbly. Even when she started to date the man who is now is her husband, she asked him on their third date if he had any mental health challenges and was ready to break up with him if so, even though she liked him.
She was determined to avoid mental health challenges in her own life and told herself and others that she would force herself to never become depressed.
But then, at age 21, she experienced her first panic attack. She soon felt her anxiety spiraling into depression and found herself in and out of therapy as well as on and off medications for the next five and a half years.
In a new “Hope Works at Home” video released by the Church, Julie shares her story and how her experiences helped her develop “high-definition thinking.”
“I had a very black and white view of life and people,” Julie describes. “If you choose to be happy, you will be. If you make good choices, everything in life will be good. So why, when I was doing my best to live a good life, why couldn’t I run away from this darkness? Seeing life in black and white was failing me, and I felt anything but safe.”
With the help of doctors, therapists, and inspiration of God, eventually, she came to a place where she accepted her challenges.
“I’ve never found a scripture where God promises life will be without challenge, but I can think of many where He does promise that if we keep our eye on Christ, He will fill us with light,” Julie says. “Christ has healed me. His light, His love, has transformed me from a girl that struggled to like herself to someone who loves others better because I love myself.”
She explains her experience has given her greater compassion for others who suffer, and that her experiences with darkness and light have changed her. It’s helped her to develop a “high-definition thinking,” and see people for who they are including their struggles.
“Jesus loves without conditions,” Julie says. “He has compassion on us whether we see clearly or not, just as He had compassion on the blind. May we all strive to extend that same unconditional love and compassion to see the people around us more clearly, to be filled with light, as we keep our eyes single on our greatest example: Jesus Christ.”
Watch the full video on YouTube.