The Bible, John 3.19-20. states, “By this, we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” What does that mean when we see our child has lost faith? It means that while their faith may be missing, the Creator has never lost faith in them. Ultimately, it means there’s hope. There is always hope.
It could be argued that losing one’s faith is even more difficult than never having faith at all. This happens to many of our students before they come to Clearview Girls Academy. Losing faith can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when girls are struggling with mental health and/or substance use issues.
Mental health can rob us of everything we hold dear. For your daughter, struggles with mental health may mean she is struggling in school, lashing out at her friends and family, and potentially even engaging in dangerous sexual and poor life choices. It is important to remember that it is not her fault. She is a sick person yearning to get well.
It is in times of struggle and sickness, that faith is often questioned. It’s good to remember, though, that faith can be the foundation that gets us through the greatest times of struggle.
The Loss of Faith and Mental Illness
Whether your daughter has always had an established spiritual faith, has lost her faith, or has yet to start her faith journey, mental illness can interrupt faith in all of these cases. And it’s not just feeling forsaken by God; mental illness can make a child feel utterly forsaken by life.
In Psalm 22.1, as Jesus hangs dying on the cross, he speaks out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Even the Savior Jesus Christ has human lapses of faith. If we are all made in his image, why should we hold ourselves to higher standards? Have you ever heard, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience?” It feels pretty right on sometimes, don’t you think?
Struggling with mental health can feel like we are screaming out, “Why have you forsaken me?” Yet no one is listening. We know this can be such a painful experience. But at Clearview Girls Academy, we are here to mitigate that pain. Ultimately, we are here to truly listen.
Is Faith a Necessity for Recovery?
However, while listening is essential to strong communication, it is only the beginning. There is a saying in many 12-Step meetings that goes, “Faith without works is dead.” That is why listening is only the first step to recovery here at Clearview Girls Academy.
Is faith a necessity for recovery? The only honest answer we can give is that we don’t know. We can also honestly answer that our students that find a spiritual practice and a renewed faith more often than not go on to live happy, joyous, and free lives of recovery.
We cannot force anyone to take on a life of faith. Nor would we ever conceive of doing so. However, we have found through an introduction of spiritual practices, a sense of community, open-armed acceptance, and witnessing the examples of fulfilled successful students that have come before, our students often grow a spiritual life. This spiritual life will carry them as far as they want to go.
Is There a Difference Between Faith, Spirituality, and Christianity?
While Clearview Girls Academy’s belief principles are firmly rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ, we do not believe that we have a monopoly on spirituality and faith. Our care is individualized and students can succeed with whatever level of spirituality (or crisis of faith) they have when they enter our doors.
Yes, we are Christians here at Clearview Girls Academy. This also means that yes, we are accepting of all types of safe and healthy spiritual practices. Our primary purpose is for your daughter to succeed in life. Our job is to make her the strongest person she can be.
Ultimately our job is to love her until she learns to love herself. We feel the teachings of Jesus Christ are one of the best ways to find that love. But as Jesus says in Luke 6.31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” We couldn’t agree more. We are not here as zealots. We are here as messengers. We are here as clinicians, therapists, and treatment professionals. In his image, we are here as healers. All that matters to us is that your child gets well. We want her to feel that self-love again.
Our students come to us feeling unloved, feeling like life is beating them down, and feeling like the rest of the world is passing them by. We want to show them that they are loved, life is beautiful, and the world is theirs for the taking.
We have heard a lot from Jesus thus far. There’s a reason for that. He is our beloved messenger. But he’s not the only messenger. For example, Buddha says “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” We couldn’t agree more.
Seeing your daughter lose her faith can feel devastating. A loss of faith is often a sign of a loss of self-love and a loss of love for all of the wonders that this world has to offer. Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we focus on getting your daughter back on the spiritual path. We feel a restoration of faith can be critical in helping your daughter get on the right path to not only recovery but sustained life-long recovery. If you feel that your daughter is suffering from mental health issues, there is hope out there. All you have to do is reach out, and we can help. Please contact Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484 for more information.