There are No Catastrophes

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2015  Nancy Virden

“There are no catastrophes.”

Do you believe that? In pondering this quote by a psychologist,  of course one’s mind runs to the daily news.

The Dutch mother who lost all of her children when Malaysia Airline Flight 370 disappeared, probably doubts there are no catastrophes.  The teenage lone survivor of the vicious murders of his parents, sister, grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins in Philadelphia, may struggle with the idea.

We know what pain and tragedy are. If we define catastrophes as events that destroy all hope, then maybe there actually are none. That is because there is always hope.


Having experienced feeling no hope at all, finding joy in the land of the living is a surprise. Oh, I’d heard of joy and reasoned some people are blessed. The gift was not mine to keep.

“Smiling lady” is what I’ve been called a few times because laughter comes easily. Greeting nearly everyone with a smile is normal behavior for me. These sweeter moments had been dismissed as meaningless because they did nothing to tear away the heavy dread and guilt carried with me everywhere. 

Focusing on God’s real, powerful, overwhelming, practical, nearly tangible, ever-present love and desire for me places my need at the foot of the cross of Jesus. There, I know I am worthy because the Lord who holds seven stars in his hand chose to go to the greatest lengths possible to land little-ol’-me at his feet. 

photo-25662882-printWhat is different is focus. God sent his one and only Son because he loves me. Christ Jesus is the power and wisdom of God. 

We cry in the face of loss and rejection. Deaths of loved ones break our hearts. The past can be daunting to overcome. We might lose hope. How is it possible there are no catastrophes?

By placing and growing our faith in the One whose love we will know for eternity. After all, we have forever to know joy.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*picture from


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