Welcome to the Chaos hub. This is the place to get real about life. About how you’re feeling. The things that hurt, and the things that help.

For whatever reason, or for no reason at all, we all experience difficult times.

Life sucks sometimes and it’s okay to say so.

Whether you found this page because someone gave you a copy of Little Book of Chaos, or you’ve just stumbled across it, be sure to check out the links above or below. You’ll find stuff about organisations who want to help, Biblical wisdom from people who have experienced the stuff you’re going through, and practical advice to get you through the day.

There’s this weird idea going around that we shouldn’t be letting God into the darkest and dirtiest bits of our lives, that somehow we should be showing God only our “Sunday Best”. But the thing is, the Bible is packed with raw honesty, pain and doubt.

There are countless stories about people who were full of hopes, dreams, and a whole heap of flaws and questions – just regular human beings like all of us. Struggling to understand life, happiness, pain… all the stuff we squashed down in our deepest being.

God works in people where they are, and he can speak through and in the midst of mental health issues. He is found in our everyday experiences, and wherever we find ourselves, we can cry out to the heavens from there… 

Don’t go it alone!

If you’re struggling with depression, visit mind.org.uk

b-eat.co.uk can help with eating disorders, for guys mengetedstoo.co.uk

selfharm.co.uk is there for you

bullying.co.uk has advice and support

If you need someone to talk to, call Childline on 0800 1111 or Samaritans on 116 123

"I've had enough. Take my life"

There’s this weird idea going around that we shouldn’t be letting God into the darkest and dirtiest bits of our lives, that somehow we should be showing God only our “Sunday Best”. But when I look at the Bible, I don’t see that. I see raw honesty, flawed faith, doubt.

‘My thoughts are troubled and I keep groaning. My heart is racing fast. I am trembling with fear… completely terrified’. Psalm 55:2, 4-5 CEV*

The Psalms in particular are filled with everything from jubilant cries of celebration, to desolation, because the Bible depicts the real lives of real people. They may not have had to face the pressures of social media or school; but they did face relationship breakdown, feeling low and feeling anxious.

One of the starkest examples of this I can see is found in Lamentations which says: “My heart is broken and my soul despairs”.

I wonder if you’ve ever felt like that? I know I have.

When we’re struggling with our mental heath, often the first thing that comes to mind is that it must be our fault. Being a Christian can sometimes complicate it further. We want to be able to share our faith in Jesus, but we don’t want people to think we’re struggling because of our faith!

One of the things I love most about the Bible, is that there isn’t any condemnation about how we feel and experiencing difficult feelings doesn’t exclude us from playing our part in God’s plan.


We see it in Elijah’s story

I love Elijah, he’s a hero, a giant of the Old Testament.

He’s also human and vulnerable. And in 1 Kings 19 we meet him in perhaps his darkest hour.

“I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors”.

His exhaustion is clear, life has got too much, it’s too hard.

“Take my life”. He’s asking God for a way out.

This passage in 1 Kings 19* has given me great comfort.

The angels don’t express disgust, they don’t chastise him for his struggle.

They come alongside him, they offer him nourishment and lead him to rest.

They tell him that they know he’s had a hard time.

It’s a beautiful example of how tenderly God treats those who are struggling.

Elijah’s dark thoughts aren’t the end of his story, in fact, he gets to stand beside Jesus in the Promised Land they’d all been waiting for.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we have to be happy all the time – but being a Christian does mean that we have the opportunity to bring all of our emotions to God and know that through Jesus, He knows how we feel.

And as in Elijah’s story, we all need to find someone to talk to. We probably won’t get to speak to an angel like Elijah(!) but we can find a friend, a parent, a teacher we trust or a youth worker. We aren’t left alone to deal with our emotions – and we can get advice from Elijah’s story by making sure we are eating well, sleeping enough and talking it out.

Rachael Newham is the Founding Director of ThinkTwice which offers mental health awareness, training and consultancy. For more information head to www.thinktwiceinfo.org.

Twitter @RachaelNewham90 @ThinkTwiceInfo

*This post relates to Page 12/13 and 17 of Little Book of Chaos

You're blessed when... #nofilter

How many do you have?

I have three.

Sometimes (okay most of the time) they are the first thing I check on in the morning, the last thing I check on at night.

I spend an undisclosed amount of time checking the editing and then I sit back and (hopefully) watch the likes and the comments trickle in. Occasionally, if there’s been no response, I’ll delete it because if there are no likes there’s no point in posting – right?

What am I talking about?

Social media, of course.

It’s been a part of my life for ten years; starting with the heady days of MySpace and Bebo (neither of which you will have probably heard of).

And like you, I love a good filter, it can make piles of paper look artsy and interesting.

But it’s not real.

And it is what is real that is most important.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. Matthew 5:5 MSG

The parent who has your back whatever you face, the friend who makes you laugh when you’re tearing your hair out, the niece or nephew who can brighten your whole day with their smile. These things are what’s real and that is what we crave.


It can’t be bought or sold and it’s sometimes found in the most unexpected of places. It’s what social media presents to us but never gives us.

It’s what Jesus offers us, it’s what He offered humanity when He left heaven’s throne room for the helpless body of a baby.

The connections that we value the most are the ones which don’t require a filter.

So reach beyond the screen and head out into the real flesh and blood world of real life.

It can be scary, but it can be beautiful #nofilter.

Rachael Newham is the Founding Director of ThinkTwice which offers mental health awareness, training and consultancy. For more information head to www.thinktwiceinfo.org.

Twitter @RachaelNewham90 @ThinkTwiceInfo

*This post relates to Page 45 of Little Book of Chaos

Help - I'm sinking!

A list of 10 small things that can help when you feel rubbish.

1/ Ask a friend to come and be with you. Not with heavy chats (unless you want them). No expectation to be sociable or entertain. Just a comforting presence; someone to watch TV with and a way of connecting safely with the world outside.

2/ Stick to a routine. If you normally get up at 7, keep getting up at 7. if you usually take the dog for a walk, keep going. There may be things (like college/work) that aren’t possible right now, but it helps to have markers – and they stop us from falling further.

3/ Stay connected. Right now, others feel exhausting – and it’s tempting to withdraw. But the more time you spend alone, the more you lose track of what’s real and who you are. You don’t have to go to big parties or events. But you can go to the library and leaf through your favourite book. You can meet a friend for a walk in the park. Or send a text message if you don’t feel like chatting.

4/ The best is yet to come. Jesus promises it.

5/ Pray for other people. This might sound odd, especially when you can’t pray for yourself. But it reminds us that we’re part of a wider family; that others have struggles; that we can bless them, even at our weakest and that our God is mighty to save them – and us.

6/ Read through a Gospel. They’re short, but full of Jesus. They tell us that the world can be dark and difficult; but he has blazed a path of light. And he leads us through.

7/ Get a haircut. Nothing drastic, just a way of caring for yourself and saying, ‘this person is worth looking after’.

8/ Cook/buy something you love to eat and put on your favourite movie.

9/ Remember that you won’t always feel like this. There’ll be a day when looking back, you won’t be able to remember why you felt so bad.

10/ Change your sheets. Because clean sheets make a lot of things feel better.

Emma Scrivener was born in Belfast, but now lives with her husband and daughter in the south east of England. She suffered from life-threatening anorexia, both as a child and as an adult. She blogs at emmascrivener.net and her book, ‘A New Name’ is published by IVP and can be ordered here.

Fresh as the morning

My spirit is depressed

Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing:

The Lord’s unfailing


Still continue

Fresh as the morning

As sure as the sunrise.

Lamentations 3:20-23

The rain swaps from a comforting pitter pater sound to pounding water bullets against the glass. Thoughts of all the ways I’ve messed up begin to flood my mind. As each bullet hits the glass the concept of hope washes further away. My spirit heavy once again as the dark path of depression draws ever closer.

My spirit is depressed…

It can feel almost impossible to become optimistic when our spirit is so low; swapping thoughts of hopelessness to memories of love and mercy can seem unimaginable. Questions like ‘How can God still love his people? Even me? Has his mercy run out on me?’

Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing…

As I lamented to the noise of the water bullets, hope began to slowly return. I think of past times when my spirit has been depressed. My mind, still swimming with questions and negative thoughts, starts to recall his unfailing love and mercy.

The Lords unfailing love and mercy still continue. . .

Statements of truth begin to filter through my flooded mind. The weight of depression in my spirit begins to slowly lift and the path of hope starts to shine ahead of me.

My God doesn’t keep a score board of times I feel I’ve messed up, but rather celebrates every time I come back to Him.

My God provides me with hope, day and night.

My God breaks through the wall of depression, and brings light to my spirit.

I am reminded that I am not alone in this battle, no matter how long it lasts; but rather a warrior of God, armed with love and mercy.

Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise . . .

The rain continues to pound on the windows. The clouds darken the sky. Yet I know that the morning will come, and with the morning comes the rising of the sun. As I watch the sun rise in all its splendor, I remember to have hope in Gods unfailing love and mercy.

When your spirit is depressed:

  • Remember God’s faithfulness in his love and mercy to us, just like the sun rises each day, God is constant in our lives and when it’s most dark.
  • You are not alone. When you feel alone, remind yourself that God is there to bring comfort and to confide in.
  • No matter how depressed your spirit feels, the hope we have in God can never be taken away.

When someone else’s spirit is depressed:

  • Encourage them to recall times in the past when God has shown them love and mercy. He did it then, and he continues to do so.
  • Be with them and remind them they do not have to face this alone. God, his church and his word are there to help remind them they are not alone, but loved and cared for.
  • Ask if they would like you to pray with them. If so, pray for hopefulness to fill their spirit.


Write a list of things that are consistent in your day to day life. What things refresh your spirit, what are your sunrises?

You might want to spend time chatting with a friend or family member and together to create your list. Afterwards, pop it up somewhere you will see it every morning. Perhaps a mirror? On your bed side table? Or save it as the background on your phone.

Liz Edge is a professionally qualified Youth Work Practitioner who lives in Dorset with her husband, Nick. You can usually find Liz drinking coffee in Ashley Cross or sitting on Bournemouth beach. www.liz-edge.co.uk 

*This post relates to Page 50 of Little Book of Chaos

You're more than enough

Every single day, we’re faced with another wave. The mirror doesn’t show us the reflection we want to see, our friendships feel fragile, our family is fraught with complications, our minds are racing at a hundred miles an hour.

In the midst of it, we can feel like no-one could possibly understand all that we’re going through. Sometimes, we don’t even understand what we’re going through because it all seems to be in a big muddle of difficult feelings. I see something special in the words of Isaiah 43, a reassurance that we are enough and that we are not alone.

The passage says:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”

This passage isn’t saying that we have no choices in our life, it’s reassuring us that we aren’t alone and we won’t be overwhelmed.

Now this doesn’t mean that we won’t feel overwhelmed sometimes, but it does mean that we’re going to be equipped to ride the waves.

It might be that we ride the wave by talking it out, or by going for a run – it might even mean going to the doctor and getting some medication.

The passage goes onto remind us what we’re worth.

“Since you are precious and honoured in my sight and because I love you.”

We can take what waves life throws at us because we are loved by the one who commands waves. All through the Bible we’re promised that we won’t be abandoned because we are God’s children and God is the most perfect Father. Earthly parents might let us down or leave us, but God never has and never will. His love is the most powerful and most beautiful love there has ever been and it can sustain us through whatever we face.

Rachael Newham is the Founding Director of ThinkTwice which offers mental health awareness, training and consultancy. For more information head to www.thinktwiceinfo.org.

Twitter @RachaelNewham90 @ThinkTwiceInfo

Joy with our troubles?

I was a sweaty mess by the time I checked in and sat down. My heart was pounding and I struggled to sit still in the waiting room. As I sat anxiously listening out for my name to be called, all sorts of thoughts raced through my confused mind.

“Why are you even here. You don’t look unwell?”

“Damn it’s warm, is there no air con?”

“Well done! You built up the courage to do it!”

“Is there any water around? I’m super thirsty.”

“You shouldn’t have come. They’re not going to believe you.”

“The receptionist probably thinks you’re just wasting their time.”

*DING* Everyone looks up to see who’s turn it was. Crap! That’s my name lit up like a Broadway show on the appointment screen. I panic. It’s too late to escape now. I need to face up to it. I need to tell the doctor my dark thoughts. I need help.

The short walk to the doctor’s room felt like an eternity. Closing the door behind me I sat down on the uncomfortably warm chair. He asked, “What has brought you to this appointment today?” I opened my mouth but no words came out. How do I even start this conversation? How do I tell a total stranger the utter misery I feel?

This wasn’t the first time in my life that I’d been to see a doctor. Growing up with migraines from a young age meant I was used to seeing them. Young, old; male, female. I wasn’t scared of them. They’re there to help us, right?

Looking down at my shaking hands I finally got the words out of my mouth. I began to explain how I’d been feeling and that ultimately, I didn’t want to feel a sense of hopelessness and misery anymore. Silence filled the room. I swear you could have heard a pin drop. He looked at my history records and said I’d been a few months before and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

It’s true. I had been a few months ago, but I had never really heard of the terms depression and anxiety being illnesses. Surely, they were just words used to describe how you felt on a rubbish day or before you went on stage for a performance?

I’d ignored the diagnosis as those closest to me said I was too smiley to have depression; that’s not for teenagers who have nothing going wrong in their life. Yet behind closed doors my thoughts where getting darker. I decided to return to seek support. Yet it wasn’t support that I was given.

The doctor went on to abruptly tell me I’d always have depression and anxiety. “Just like some people are born with brown hair and others with blue eyes, you were born with depression and you need to live with it.” I froze like a deer caught in headlights.

After what felt like a lifetime I uttered the words “OK”, gathered my bag and made my way out of the room, past the waiting area and onto the street.

It was a cut-throat experience that left me not seeking support for a genuine illness. But, luckily, the story didn’t end there.

Finally, over a year later I sought out support from a helpful GP and began a journey of learning how to manage my mental health. A journey that has taken me to different types of medical professionals; on and off different anti-depressants, talking therapies and even receiving a re-diagnosis in my mid-twenties of chronic depression. This journey is still very real now, yet I have not let it be a solely negative experience.

As I look back I can begin to see how my endurance began to be built through challenges, like my experience at the doctors’.  I can see how patience, whether that’s through waiting for treatment or just that especially dark mindset to ease, has built me into the type of person I am today. A person who seeks to provide hope to adolescents in their relationships with themselves, with others and with the wider world.

I do not find happiness in the troubles I or others face. There is nothing happy about living with depression or any other mental illness. Rather, I try and choose to find a deep sense of joy in knowing that God is at work in me and through me, for his glory.

Choosing joy isn’t easy. It’s a daily decision that doesn’t always turn out, well, joyous. Joy is much deeper and richer than happiness. It’s an active decision to continue to give glory to God, even when life around you – or in you – isn’t going well. It’s about not giving up in the face of adversity but being resilient and remembering we are relentlessly loved by a Father who let his own son die, so we could have life.

We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. Romans 5:3-4 NCV

Liz Edge is a professionally qualified Youth Work Practitioner who lives in Dorset with her husband, Nick. You can usually find Liz drinking coffee in Ashley Cross or sitting on Bournemouth beach. www.liz-edge.co.uk 

*This post relates to Pages 42-43 of Little Book of Chaos

Psalm 37

The Lord will hold your hand and if you stumble you still won’t fall.

Psalm 37:24

The Lord will hold your hand . . .

A mother holds the hand of her child as they cross the road

A best friend holds your hand as you wait for a doctor’s appointment

A boyfriend holds his partners hand to show them love and affection

Three different relationships showing three different models of intimacy. Yet it is this personal support that we can have with God.  The hopeful image of God holding our hand, showing us that we are in this together; not facing life alone.  This can bring great comfort to a troubled soul.

And if you stumble . . .

By giving up on prayer, because God never seems to answer you anymore

By skipping a therapy appointment because it just doesn’t seem to be working

By losing focus and letting someone else become the centre of your life

Three different ways many of us stumble in our journeys of faith; losing the joy we find in God’s salvation. The shift in our primary focus on God can slowly move as we lose one spiritual habit after another. Yet there is hope.

You still won’t fall . . .

Like a skydiver jumping out of a plane

Like a child riding a bike for the first time

Like a gymnast summersaulting into the air

Three different ways to fall, yet they are all temporary. A skydiver has a parachute. The child’s bike has stabilisers. The gymnast has crash mats to land on. We can have confidence that we will only stumble, and not fall. God holds our hand and picks us up; through his grace we are recovered.


Take a moment and think . . .

How can you remember that God is holding your hand when you feel most alone?

How does your primary focus look? Is God at the center, or is he fading into the background?

How do you know that these troubles are only temporary, trusting in God’s grace?

Liz Edge is a professionally qualified Youth Work Practitioner who lives in Dorset with her husband, Nick. You can usually find Liz drinking coffee in Ashley Cross or sitting on Bournemouth beach. www.liz-edge.co.uk 

*This post relates to Page 27 of Little Book of Chaos



I’m a creature of habit.  I find solace in routine; and I’m frightened by change. But like it or not, change is here to stay.  And in the Lord’s providence, change is good – especially when it’s scary.

Adam and Eve wanted to go back to the trees but no… they’re driven out east of Eden.

The wilderness wanderers wanted to go back to Egypt but no… on through the desert to Canaan.

The Israelites wanted to cling onto their old ways but no… exiled to the nations.

And the only way to redemption is to head East, to cross the desert, to bow their heads to exile.

We want to go back, to do it right, to reclaim our former glories. God calls us forwards and locks each door behind us, double-bolting it against our nostalgia. The only way is forward.

It’s written into every second of existence. Physicists call it the arrow of time. It points forwards and never backwards. The whole universe runs on an anti-regret, pro-redemption agenda. We may try to live against reality – to live in the past, or to hunker down and barricade ourselves against the future. But nothing stops the onward march of time.

And through it all God says “Don’t be afraid. I’ve got something better than the garden, better than Egypt, better than Jerusalem, better than your ‘green salad days.’ I’m making all things new. With me it’s not about ‘former glories’ but future ones. Step boldly forwards – that’s where I am. I am the God of hope.”

So as you look to the future, it might be harder than the past. It might be more stressful. It will be more uncertain. But the land of milk and honey lies this way. Through the desert and into the promised land. But, crucially, it’s through the desert with the Lord Jesus – a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, daily bread to sustain you and His presence to comfort you. Step forward. You don’t know what the future holds, but you do know who holds you.

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you… Be strong and very courageous. …Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:5-9

Emma Scrivener was born in Belfast, but now lives with her husband and daughter in the south east of England. She suffered from life-threatening anorexia, both as a child and as an adult. She blogs at emmascrivener.net and her book, ‘A New Name’ is published by IVP and can be ordered here.

Joy is what you fight for

 “Choose happiness.”

It’s an easy phrase, isn’t it?  Catchy.  Scratch it over a sunset and hang it on the wall.  A simple decision.  Today, I choose to be happy. Bang; and it’s done.

This is what I’m told. The reality can be very different. It’s all well and good when you’re well and good… but when you’re not, – well. Positive thinking doesn’t make it any better.

Happiness happens to you. It’s there or it’s not. It’s your situation.

The home you’ve dreamed of.

The job you worked for.

The family you expect.

The health you take for granted.

These are good things – but they’re not mine to choose. The right to get married.  The right to a decent wage.  The right to a partner.  The right to enjoy life. The right to live the way I see fit.

If I see these things as rights, they’ll destroy me.  Because when they’re taken from me, my hope becomes despair. If they’re my reason for living, then without them, I’m finished.

If my reason is health, I am lost when cancer returns.

If my reason is family; then alone, I am nothing.

If my reason is work, I lose my job and I lose myself.

If my reason is beauty, I lose my looks and I am worthless.

So, do we settle down for misery and a life stripped of hope?


At times like these, we give up on happiness – but instead, we fight for joy. Gospel joy. Deep peace – whatever happens.

Hurting; but not running, not hiding, and not giving up. Knowing that Jesus is enough – even for this.

Ask me what I want, and I say, “to be happy.” But the Bible offers much, much more –

“Joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

This joy is far from the world’s idea of happiness and comfort. As Peter testifies, it’s not only tested by fire – it is found in the furnace. It comes through suffering and sadness and sickness, but it outlasts them all.  And nothing can take it from us.

Emma Scrivener was born in Belfast, but now lives with her husband and daughter in the south east of England. She suffered from life-threatening anorexia, both as a child and as an adult. She blogs at emmascrivener.net and her book, ‘A New Name’ is published by IVP and can be ordered here.

You are the God who sees me

You are the God who sees me.

Genesis 16:13

I recently got asked what it was like to move to five different schools as I grew up. What was it like making new friends? Wearing a new uniform? Finding the right classroom in a new building? Learning a whole new timetable?

The reality was that I just got on with it. Sometimes I preferred the new uniform and even the shorter day that my new school had. Other times I found it tiring to learn a new school layout and where to find the classroom my next lesson was in.

The hardest element of moving around were the occasions where I felt invisible.

At times, it felt like everyone around me knew where they were going and I was stood in the busy corridor completely lost and alone. It was as if I could disappear into thin air and no one would notice.

An exemplified version of this invisibility comes back to me in some of my darkest times of depression.

It can happen late at night when I quietly sob into my pillow, too tired to fight for the day anymore. Can anyone hear me and comfort me? Other times it’s when I wake up and the depression gremlins are already at work, filling my mind with hopeless and negative thoughts. Can anyone see the gremlins and stop them?

Depression lies to us and tells us we are invisible.

It’s as if we look into the mirror but there is no reflection. We open our mouths but no words come out. We listen for rescuing footsteps by no one comes for us.

In these dark times depression can leave us in despair, with the gremlins whispering lies to us –
You are misunderstood
You are abandoned
You are alone.

But we are not alone.


It is in these darkest times, when the depression takes over and the gremlins flood my mind that I remember God sees me. He meets me in my suffering and comforts my aching soul. His presence renews my energy and does not take the depression away, but partners with me so I can continue to serve him.

The isolation I felt in those school corridors can be felt by anyone, just like the invisibility someone with a mental illness may feel. Yet it is in those times that we can join in with Hagar (read her story in Genesis 16) and proclaim, “You are the God who sees me” and take great comfort in this.

We may find ourselves in situations of disappointment, hurt and despair like Hagar. But we can take comfort in the fact that God sees us. That he is tuned into our cries. What may seem invisible to others does not seem invisible to God. As the French writer Paul Claudel wrote “Christ did not come to do away with suffering; He did not come to explain it; He came to fill it with His presence.” I pray, for you and I, that when we feel invisible we remember that God sees us.

Liz Edge is a professionally qualified Youth Work Practitioner who lives in Dorset with her husband, Nick. You can usually find Liz drinking coffee in Ashley Cross or sitting on Bournemouth beach. www.liz-edge.co.uk 

*This post relates to Page 22 of Little Book of Chaos

No more, no less

‘You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought’

Matthew 5:5 MSG

I’ve struggled with self-esteem since my teenage years and I’m now 32. I’m definitely the sort of person who thinks the grass is always greener on the other side. When I was younger this meant I would see people with things I wish I had; whether that was grades at school, university places, friends, fashion, talents or boys. I was jealous. I was never able to be content with who I was or what I had; I struggled to find my value.

This verse tells us that you’re blessed when you’re content, but what does that mean?

For me, it means God will be able to give us everything we’re meant to have when we stop going after things that are ‘worldly’; things we think will make us happy.

The reality is that the things that society holds dear – material stuff, relationships, careers, grades – God doesn’t. He doesn’t mind how skinny we are or how big our nose is, or even if we’re in a relationship, He just wants us to have a relationship with Him.

Once content with who we are and who God made us to be, we will receive the full extent of what He can give us – which is a damn sight more than we can possibly imagine! These blessings are things that can’t be bought, and we need to have open hands that are empty of ‘stuff’ to be able to receive God’s gifts.

We have to lay everything down and ask God to satisfy our needs every single day. Easier said than done, right?

I still find myself not being content with who I am.

A few years ago I wanted something that everyone seemed to have; a husband, thinking that it would solve all my problems. I got married last year at 31 years old. However much I wasn’t content with where I was in my life I look back now and see that God had everything in His hands. He knew what He was doing and the best plan was His plan; that I would get married at 31 to my lovely husband and that all the heartache and waiting and anger was worth it.

In hindsight I should’ve given that part of my life to Him and waited for Him to bless me, if it was right, but instead I put myself through anguish when I didn’t need too.

Now that I’ve got that thing that I craved so much I’ve realised that it’s not the be all and end all. Life in all its fullness can only come from God and God alone.

Being content is hard work and a battle that we all face daily. But the rewards of being content far outweigh the sadness of not having what we think we want.

When you’re content with who you are it sends out a powerful message. A message of resilience and peace. A message saying ‘I know who I am and I like it’. No one can take the truth away from you. Stand firm in the truth that you are valued and loved just as you are.


Naomi Magill is the founding director of Friday’s Child (www.fridayschild.co.uk) which meets with girls who struggle with low self-esteem, mental ill health, chaotic home lives and everything in between. To read more of her story visit my blog droppingthemask.wordspress.com.

*This post relates to Page 47 of Little Book of Chaos

Flesh and Blood

“I know exactly how you feel”

I don’t know about you, but I really hate it when people tell me they know exactly how I feel. I understand that they’re trying to be supportive – but sometimes – people don’t know how I feel.

They might be able to appreciate and empathise, they might even have been through a similar situation, they may have faced things far worse than I have – but they haven’t walked through my life in my shoes.

All except one.

There is one who knows exactly how I feel and who has walked by my side through everything.


He may not have physically walked through 21st century Britain alongside me, he may not have faced exactly the same pain as me, but he did “become flesh and blood and move into the neighbourhood”, and more than that He remains with us.

There is nothing in this world that we face; no nightmare, no agony, no exhaustion that Jesus hasn’t walked with us through. We might not have felt His presence, we might even have doubted it, but He’s been there through it all.

I take so much comfort from that.

When I’m feeling like I have to struggle through the trials of mental illness on my own I know that I’m not alone. Jesus is walking with me and He has conquered it – what I have to do is trust in Him.

Jesus is the most trustworthy friend we will ever have, and He speaks to us through His word and our own friends, family or teachers.

He ‘understands our weaknesses. He faced all the same testing we do’ Hebrews 4:15 NLT. He has been tested to the point of death on the cross, made to be the weakest – and He won’t give up on us when we are weak.

The King of Heaven is our greatest comforter because He has walked through this life and He never leaves us.

And if you ever feel like you have no one to talk to – try to talking to Him – out loud, through art or in words on a page. Talk to the one who reigns over everything and yet has experienced the very darkness that we navigate.

Rachael Newham is the Founding Director of ThinkTwice which offers mental health awareness, training and consultancy. For more information head to www.thinktwiceinfo.org.

Twitter @RachaelNewham90 @ThinkTwiceInfo

*This post relates to Page 34/35 of Little Book of Chaos