I am so excited to write about a book I recently read. Perry Noble, pastor of New Springs Church, is a friend of mine. We grew up in the “same neck of the woods.” I have anticipated the release of his second book for almost a year and now I can say I have read “Overwhelmed”. Wow! I absolutely learned so much and loved his candid openness about something that is rarely, if ever, talked about, depression.

The stigma that surrounds mental illness is something that has bothered me tremendously for the last 10 years. As I have grown older and experienced more of life, I realize even more now that every family is touched by some type of mental illness. So many people are shocked when someone they know commits suicide and they don’t understand why. Exactly….they are shocked because they don’t know what they don’t know about depression and other mental illnesses.

A great friend and psychiatrist shared with me how the MRI has done much to teach the medical world about the validity of the brain potentially having deformities and can get sick just like the pancreas or heart. I never hear anyone whisper or make faces about heart disease but oh, have I seen the “looks” and witnessed the “whispers and hush hush ” about depression, bipolar or other brain problems.

Simply put, the brain gets sick just like any other organ but our culture has put such a stigma on the word, “crazy,” when people suffer from depression, etc. It keeps people from seeking help for their problem, the problem grows worse and doesn’t just affect them but all those around them as well. It is a prevalent problem and we as Christians need to wake up and act differently about this problem. I praise God that Perry has allowed God to use him to shed light on this subject, call out and offer help from his personal experience. I realize pride can get in the way of someone admitting they suffer. I am thankful Perry has put aside his pride…..to now offer hope to people who suffer and to the family members who live with the sufferer!

I have several people who I deem to be very close to me. People I love dearly who deal with depression, none of them are public with their struggle! NONE! When one friend shared with me her lifelong struggle, I was shocked! She is one of the few that I know who has sought medical help and gotten it. She has taught me so much about her struggle with bipolar. In fact, I learned from her that you can be depressed for years with bipolar and never hit a “manic phase.” The struggle she deals with changes with age and can get worse with middle age and hormone changes. She is humble and not prideful at all about her struggle but when she has been brave enough to share…with a few, she has not been received favorably. In fact, because of people’s lack of knowledge, ignorance and thinking they know or understand, they have hurt her deeply.

WARNING: If you are not educated on a disease such as depression, be careful of your looks, opinions, and reactions……you could literally be detrimental to someone’s getting the help they need. I have stood in amazement of the people who think they know what they are talking about and they have NO CLUE!! That is why we have doctors and counselors…be very, very careful that you do not play counselor when you are not qualified!!! Perry talks openly about going to counseling!! He is married to a medical doctor as well. I love it. I am such a HUGE FAN of professional Christian counseling!

At 51, I can say for sure…when I talk to someone and realize they are dealing with a problem of a magnitude that might even resemble depression, I do everything in my power to direct them to Christian counseling. I am not going to rewrite Perry’s book…It is a book I believe everyone should read. Seriously, If I had the money and influence I would get everyone I know to read this book…….Perry walks you through scripture, his battle, his thoughts, and his healing……..He is open, honest….and the best part……is the fact that He has put down his pride and desires in order to truly help others and lead them to the places where he has received help.

He is so open about how his struggle has affected others and how God has redeemed him from the “PIT”. It is a must read…it is enjoyable and a wonderful testimony…..and help, even if you are interested in learning more about mental illness and depression…it is fabulous. If you desire to help others and have a heart for others, this is a powerful tool. Once you read it…..you can recommend it to others. To God be the Glory for people like Perry who STEP OUT….AND TAKE THE TIME….TO PUT INTO WRITTEN WORD…..THE HELP THAT GOD HAS SO RICHLY PROVIDED…..” OVERWHELMED” A MUST READ!

A few quotes from the book, “Overwhelmed”:

“What gets our attention will ultimately determine our direction.”

“When the true Jesus reveals Himself to you, you can’t stay the way you are; you will be changed!”

“Every person we lock eyes with (including the person we saw in the mirror this morning) needs grace.”

“When we see Jesus clearly, we will follow him closely.”

“God has never brought anyone to a situation that was greater than His love for them.”

It is a great book for anyone. I especially love the section on “Love in the Presence of Lions” where he unpacks the life of Daniel!

Proverbs 4:7 states, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” There is great wisdom in this book and personal experience…..In Proverbs 2:2-10 it states, “Turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—-every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” In Perry’s book, “Overwhelmed,” he uses God’s Word and his personal story to help you live out the words you just read in Proverbs 2…..YOU have to SEEK WISDOM and understanding. I encourage you to read the book!

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