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Testimony Thursday: Learning Love in Prayer

By Aaron Kim
My journey with family mental illness first began just a few months after being born. My dad came home from work one day and found my mom sitting on the kitchen chair, face pointed down without any movement or response. She was like a shell of a person, with all the form, but lacking any substance or life. Holding her hands beside her were my 3-year-old twin sisters, in tears of despair and angst. In the distance was me—a newborn—crying in distress. This was the moment my mom had her onset of Schizophrenia. It would go on to profoundly impact every part of me and my family’s life. I wish this development ended with my mom, but my sisters have now both had their own developments of Schizophrenia and other mental illnesses—one of whom saw a rapid decline as recent as last year. 

I first began to earnestly pray for the mental health of my family during my college years, which is when my sisters first showed symptoms. Just a couple years earlier, I first came to faith, experiencing the forgiveness and love of Christ, and there decided to forgive my sisters from whom I experienced abuse throughout childhood and adolescence. To go from feelings of terror and trauma to deep love and intercession was a work of the Spirit as he called me to the place of prayer. It was to the point where I repeatedly asked God, “Why me? Why was my mental state kept safe and not theirs?” as if to barter my own state if it meant their wellbeing. To this day, I continue to pray for my family’s mental wholeness, and despite lack of visible progress, I am continually learning about what it means to love and intercede unceasingly, as Christ does for us.
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