Celebrate: A Poem for Survivors of Mental Illness

On the long journey,
where many steps are required each day,
there comes a time to pause and look back,
to join with a companion and say, “There!
Those steps have been completed, they’re done.
I’ve come this far.”
Or if no companion is there,
to stand alone and whisper, with clear eyes,
“I’ve done this, I’ve made this journey.”

The journey with mental illness
has milestones seldom marked except by those who walk there…
a day where I continued to live,
a week where I managed to take my medication,
a month since the last episode,
a year since I was in the hospital,
a decade since I began living with this disability.

I have made this journey,
I have moved in darkness and lived to see the day.
I have been swept up in the whirlwind and survived.
I have been lost and found my way.
I have wept and my tears have turned to peace.
I have been abandoned and found my own strength.
I have called on God in despair and found faithfulness.

I can celebrate this, this moving towards healing.
And if I walk this road again, God help me,
I will turn and help a fellow traveller,
“You can do this.  I have done this.  We can do this together.”

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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