Hi, and welcome to my blog!
Who am I?
My name is Janae Janik and I used to say I was a Division I gymnast, and a student majoring in journalism and minoring in business. I worked for the school newspaper and was on the leadership team for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And while I still am a student and occasionally write for my college newspaper, that’s not who I am. These are just things that I do or have done. They are accomplishments but not character traits.
So who am I? Most importantly I am a God’s daughter, wonderfully made and loved by Him. I am also passionate about mental health advocacy, a creative enthusiast, and an empathetic listener.
I love to write and create videos that inspire others to understand themselves and those around them, and I am blessed to be able to give words to emotions and experiences that have for so long been reduced to puzzled questions and been unknowingly ignored.
Why am I writing?
Before coming to college I knew very little about mental health at all, and so when I started battling severe depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder I didn’t recognize it. I shoved my feelings into the back corners of my existence and told myself I was fine. I had nothing to be sad about.
But I was not fine. And I struggled with connecting the intense emotions and emptiness I was experiencing with the Christian faith I had grown up with. Wasn’t I supposed to have joy in the Lord? So I put on a mask and acted like the “good little Christian girl” I thought I was supposed to be. It was easy...for awhile. I knew all the right things to say and do. But the problem with being inauthentic is that it comes back around to haunt you, until it swallows you whole leaving only a shadow of the real you.
Why is this Important?
So many in the church fail to understand what mental illness is and how to surround those who are struggling with the love of Christ.
So many Christians reject their faith because they are told that if only they read their Bible more or believed what God said about them their pain would go away. They can’t connect what they are feeling with what they’ve been told about how a Christian SHOULD feel.
It’s a dichotomy that needs to be discussed and talked about in a world where 17.9% of Americans will some form of mental illness in their lifetime and 18% of those with an acute mental illness will decide to break ties with the church due to people’s uninformed responses.
What is this Blog?
This Blog is my way to share what I’ve learned in the hopes of starting a desperately needed conversation in the Church. I hope you will feel God’s grace flow through the words on these pages and that you will know that you are not alone, that God loves you, and that you are enough just as you are.