The Mask

Written by Ulla MiaI’ve seen enough of this worldTo know the dangers that lie aheadI’ve dripped enough of my life awayTo no longer fear joining the deadTears and scars cover my heart Blood dried where no soul can see Flashbacks burn my mind like flamesWill these battle wounds ever heal?This mask I w

  Ulla Mia


Written by Mike Bonikowsky Finding life in a community of broken peopleShortly before I left for college, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Born and raised in a tiny rural Ontario town, I was preparing to leave for a Christian college in Calgary. The college acceptance package included a medic

  Michael Bonikowsky

I’ve heard you

Written by Tara K. Ross Journeying with youth through mental health challengesA pair of scuffed black Vans appear below the edge of the games table. Jana, a regular at the Friday night drop-in, shifts her weight from one foot to the other, eyeing my splayed cards. She slams a coil-bound notebook on

  Tara Ross

Reproducible Christianity

Written by SJ“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:16-17).It is illegal in many North African countries to proselytize. The city where I live is unreached, with a population


Confessing our brokenness

Written by Lauryn Francisco Depression is a heavy word. Even with the growing awareness of mental illnesses, many people still shy away from the subject. Without personal experience, it’s hard to fully understand what depression is and how to help someone who struggles with it. Often even people who

  Lauryn Francisco

Why are you stopping my glory?

Written by Shawn NaylorNewly into my speaking ministry, I found myself flying to the Bible Belt of Texas to speak at a youth conference and host a Sunday service at a local church. This was a very large church, and many would say it was a make or break it moment. I felt a lot of pressure to “bring i

  Shawn Naylor

Vulnerability keeps us needing Jesus

Written by David FieldVulnerability, the danger of showing wounds and infirmity.It attracts endless animosity from people with greedy power needs,Thus we think it simpler to never display our teeming feelings,As if, somehow, we could forget for a time what it’s like to bleed and weep.But vulnerabili

  Daniel Field

Let God be the strong one

Written by Kristy Hurrell What does it look like to be real? We’re human. And I believe part of the human experience is hiding things—shoving things down and covering them up. Sadly, this doesn’t bring us together or help us belong. But after spending seven months in hospital as a result of an eati

  Kristy Hurrell

Psalm for sinking

Poems by Mike BonikowskyCanis familiarisCome on, wolf, and let us playThough all my days you’ve stalked meThrough every hour of my lifeDown every hall and highway.Come let us race and chase andRoll and tumble intertwinedI cannot escape you, andYou cannot devour me.Come on, wolf, and chase me homeTo

  Michael Bonikowsky

The way we eat affects more than just our bodies

Written by Kristy LoewenThe Bible shows us again and again that food plays an important role, not only in our physical health but also in our spiritual and mental health. God used manna to build faith within His people (Exodus 16). He used David bringing food to his brothers to bring them comfort an

  Kristy Loewen

Vulnerability is hard in Christian community

Written by Anna Bailey When I get stressed, I start laughing and can’t stop. Add caffeine and sleep deprivation, and I’ll end up on the floor, hiding in a blanket, giggling for no good reason. Comical? Yes. Healthy? Probably not.The topic of mental health and vulnerability intimidates me. How can we

  Anna Bailey

What I wish someone told me about mental illness

Written by Abbey Grace Williams When I was first diagnosed years ago, nearly everyone I talked to told me that it was totally normal—lots of people have depression. While this is entirely accurate (approximately one in four Canadians experience some form of depression in their lifetime, according to

  Abbey Williams

Trusting God or getting in the way?

Who do we go to first?Written by Cindy Palin, Centre Director at Central Alberta Pregnancy Care CentreCaring for people in my workplace has its specific challenges, but where there are challenges there are also opportunities for spiritual growth and wisdom. This year, the most important lesson I hav

  Cindy Palin

Pain reveals who we really are

Written by Daniel JohnsonIt was Friday, at 10:27 a.m. I was screaming in pain—stomach twisting, body writhing. It wouldn’t get out. It. Wouldn’t. Get. Out. There was only burning, twisting, grating. “It’s alright,” my wife said. “It’ll be alright.” The words ricocheted off my eardrum and back out. I

  Daniel Johnson

Even Pisa

Written by Dagmar Morganmy insides are not reliable they are the leaning tower of pisa or a steady declinemy faith sometimes is a maths equation it has no proofand i am not a good solutionmy hands are not a fold of prayerthey are two palms holding onto th

  Dagmar Morgan

I swear that I’m intelligent

Poems by J.M. BergmanI swear that I’m intelligentI swear that I’m intelligentthough that’s not what you might see.Pain creates disguisesthat overshadow me.The shadows always callthough I rarely respond,I’d rather hide behind false laughteruntil the pain is gone.But a wound still bleedsand lessens li

  J.M. Bergman

Invisible Chains

Written by Josiah PiettThis past year I have found myself sleeping in a hospital bed or on the couch sick, more times than in five years previous. Now to be fair, I have chronic health issues, so being sick is something I am more susceptible to (my health issues are too complicated to explain over a

  Josiah Piett

What remains when all else is lost

Written by Kara SwansonI grew up as a missionary kid in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Raised with a unique vantage point between the bustle of the United States and the untamed tropics of a majority world country, I could see the nuances of both worlds, but belonged in neither. I wasn’t sure who

  Kara Swanson

How to calm anxious thoughts

Written by Katie PezzuttoAs a student in middle school, I wore the same sweater almost every day. This practice was, in the eyes of my fellow students, not cool. At the time I was stricken with indecision. Should I reveal my pudgy self or don the fraying yet fantastically concealing sweater? Either

  Katie Pezzutto

My struggle with adjustment disorder

Written by Keith Blair Earlier this year my church took the youth group on a retreat to a camp just outside Fredericton, N. B. On the retreat, we spoke about how God created us for the purpose of intimacy, and that the key to this intimacy is learning how to be vulnerable. As a youth pastor to a str

  Keith Blair

After Jarrid Wilson’s suicide

Written by Jonathan PuddleI spent the morning tidying my house, crying my eyes out, and singing the common doxology at the top of my lungs. Jarrid Wilson had died by suicide. Another husband, parent, friend, pastor, and author lost to us all. I had never met Jarrid, but I followed him on Twitter and

  Jonathan Puddle

Stop waiting: the gospel is urgent

Written by Eric Provost, associate director of Awana International CanadaWhen I was young, I remember attending church and listening to my Sunday school teacher walk us through a felt-board presentation about why Jesus needed to die on the cross. Our teacher was an incredibly tall man named Mr. B. H

  Eric Provost

Fighting Poverty and Battling Mental Illness

Written by Alyssa EsparazAs I interact with students across Canada in my role as a youth worker and with Compassion Canada, it’s clear to me that there are many things that can make a battle with mental illness even more challenging: stigma, limited mental health resources, difficult relationships.F

  Alyssa Ezparaz

The Antidote to Frustration

Written by Shawn NaylorMany of us live with stress and frustrations due to the identities we assume for ourselves, because the identity we create for ourselves must also be maintained. We do it to gain a better position in society. But from my experience that often leads to disappointment and regret

  Shawn Naylor