What do you know about schizophrenia? Personally, I don’t know much about it and I consider it a bit “scary”. Recently I read Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them by Simonetta Carr. This is a book written as a mother of a son with schizophrenia.
So why read a book about schizophrenia? I was familiar with the author. I have seen other books she has written. The publisher is one that I knew of and I have read numerous books through the years that they have published. So, I signed up to read a preview copy of the book.
I also have become a bit more interested in mental health and the church after writing a post for Emma Scrivener. My post focuses on Special Needs in the church. Special Needs and mental health can be closely related.
That gives you a bit of why. Here are some of my thoughts after reading the book.
I will be honest, this was not a fun pleasure book. I have even hesitated to share this review with you but I do think it is something we need to be aware of and understand. We do live in a broken world but have a God who mends that. I have a fun book review coming next week.
Broken Pieces – Part One
The first part of the book the author shares her own story and that of her son as he is diagnosed and lives with schizophrenia. As she tells the story, you see her struggles as a mom. She wants to help and does as much as possible. There are limits to what she can do because at the time that her son is diagnosed he is 18 and thus viewed as an adult.
Some of the struggles that they faced included expelled from university, depression, smoking marijuana, and then the diagnoses of schizophrenia. Before the diagnoses, there are various changes in behavior that they see from little things to the size and appearance of his handwriting to how he cares for himself.
There are so many struggles and challenges. Finding counselors and medical professionals that can treat is difficult. Family and friends that will accept and help can be a challenge. People might want to help but don’t know how or what to do.
As you read the author’s story, she openly shares her feelings and struggles. You begin to understand how this impacts not only the individual but the family and friends.
In some ways, the story has a sad ending. As you have read through the book, you are given a front row seat into life with a child with schizophrenia. That is not spared as the author shares finding her son dead. You just want to pause and cry with the family as they have lived through this for the past few years. You see a mother’s love and care.
As the author reflects she shares that her comfort comes from knowing that “body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. ” An answer from the Heidelberg Catechism.
Broken Pieces Part Two
The second half of the book is titled, Love and Courage Support for helpers. In this section, the author gives practical information both from Christian views and also medical views.
Throughout the book, the author has numerous quotes regarding William Cowper who struggled with mental health issues. Cowper lived next to John Newton and together they wrote many hymns. It was a reminder that mental health issues are not just a thing of today but a result of our broken world.
Love and Courage go hand in hand and is what is needed in dealing with schizophrenia. Understanding that in all this God is sovereign is a place to rest.
Broken Pieces Reflection
This is not an easy book to read but I do think it is good for Christians to be aware of the challenges of mental health. There were times that I had to put the book aside. There were times I had to take my thoughts and fears captive and trust God. I am glad that I read the book to have a bit of understanding of the struggles faced in dealing with schizophrenia. I am thankful that God is able to mend the broken pieces. There is hope in a broken world.
I challenge you to read a book that might be a stretch, to learn about something that might be difficult. You can grow through what you read.
Do you have any resources that you recommend for mental health and the Christian?
I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
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