It’s something I’ve been wondering a lot over the past few weeks.
I have this amazing opportunity to represent ThinkTwice at Buckingham Palace on World Mental Health Day – and aside from shock, confusion, excitement and terror – I’m wondering why on earth I get to do this.
Who am I to be able to get to do this?
Who am I that I get to do this amazing job where I travel and speak and write about mental health?
Is it because I know the right people? Is it because I’m in the right place at the right time?
Well, yes to both probably.
And never more so than in the last few weeks, I’ve wondered whether that means I shouldn’t do these things, that I shouldn’t take the opportunities.
I don’t feel good enough, experienced enough or skilled enough – I was tempted to write back and suggest someone else.
I barely told anyone for days; unable to believe it and feeling embarrassed that people would think that I had no right to do it.
But then I realised that I was being ridiculous.
This isn’t about me. It’s not about what I’ve done or who I know or where I’ve been.
It’s about the God I serve and the call He has placed on my heart. I’m doing this work now, because of the story I have and the grace of God that has meant I have lived to tell the tale.
It is (along with terrifying) personally exciting and a little flattering, I’m only human, but it’s more than that.
It’s a chance to talk about ThinkTwice, this thing I’ve been entrusted to run and for the past seven years it has been a way to share my heart cry that we cannot ignore mental issues in our churches.
I often wonder about the people we read of in scripture; the ones who, like Peter are chosen to lead after such spectacular fails. (Not that I’m comparing myself to Peter, but you get the idea?)
On a human level they are the last people to trust with important messages – but I think that’s precisely why.
Choosing the unexpected people to deliver messages means that it can only be done through God’s grace and strength.
It means that hopefully there is no distraction from the message.
And the message I have felt burning me from the inside out since I was nineteen is that we, as the church of God must share the hope that dawn will come with those walking in the darkness of mental illness.
By rights, it shouldn’t be me who gets to speak.
By grace, it seems that this time it is me.
And saying no to God never seems to go well (I don’t fancy being swallowed by a fish!)
So I will go to the palace and try not to say anything stupid or fall over. I will try to share that the church can and should be a place of sanctuary for those struggling.
Well, because it isn’t about me, but about the God I say yes to.