Why Cerulean Sanctum Has Been Quiet


Man aloneThis blog has been in operation since 2003. That’s a long time. And in that time, much has been weathered.

A select few readers know my wife has battled mental illness for going on nearly a decade now. I haven’t talked about it much here, since talking about mental illness in a public space can be something of a death sentence. People don’t understand mental illness, nor do they know what to do when someone is mentally ill, so talking about it brings raised eyebrows and that slow drift away. Stigma—it’s still out there. As is a feeling of helplessness. If it were cancer, people would know what to say and do, but with mental illness, no one shows up at the door with a casserole. The person with the illness may seem fine, but when the visitors go away or the event ends, there it is. The spouse and family see it and live with it, but few others must.

Traumatic events can destabilize someone with a mental illness. We had a series of such in late 2016, which led to much heartache and grief, and my wife’s illness flared up. We’ve been battling back ever since. Doctor changes, medicine changes, and on and on. When your spouse suffers, you suffer. This has meant scant time for side projects and pursuits. And between a son trying to get his driver’s license and thinking about college, my work, household needs, helping my wife battle back, and all the various vicissitudes of life, blogging had to take a back seat. Fact is, almost everything that was not core to daily existence had to.

It’s not that I don’t have pressing thoughts to share. It’s that sometimes, you have to choose your priorities.

Winter and spring were rough, but I hold out hope that summer will be better. Maybe that will free up time for Cerulean Sanctum. God knows I want to write, but God also knows that family matters.

Thanks for being a reader.

29 thoughts on “Why Cerulean Sanctum Has Been Quiet

  1. Dan – I have been through (and continue to go through) a similar struggle with my wife (depression & PTSD). I’m finding Jesus in the pain, but that doesn’t make it necessarily easier. Will be praying for you and your family.

  2. So very sorry to hear about your struggles. I will pray for you both. I know people hate free advice so forgive me here and be led by the Spirit- David Perlmutter is an author that might have information that could help (Grain Brain and Brain Maker in particular). He goes into cutting edge research about the connection between diet, gut and neurological disorders- depression and Alzheimer’s in particular. Just a thought. I find that stuff fascinating.

  3. Les Benedict

    Dan I’ve been blessed by your writings and thoughts. Although I have missed them I can understand caring for your wife. May God continue to bless you and we will continue to pray.

  4. Kathy G. Smith-Cancela

    Just discovered your blog today and so surprised to see we loved many of the same books. I also love the Great Evangelical Disaster by Schaefer and read everything by Lloyd-Jones along with many others you cited. So sorry to hear about your wife and I’m a caretaker also and understand your struggles. Families must be taken care of and I will keep you in my prayers.

  5. bobpinto

    So sorry. I have prayed for you. Be patient, if possible. I went through a very rough patch where no medicine would help. Am much better now and continue to improve.

    Rick Warren has spoken extensively on this since the death of his son.


    I just found your article about the World’s Best Bible Reading Plan. I too have done McCheyne (not sure I spelled that correctly). I tried several in the past and my dilemma has always been exactly what you described. I want to spend more time. I’ve been more and more convicted recently because I haven’t been spending the time in the Word I would like to yesterday prayed and asked God to show me a Bible reading plan that would more fit the way I prefer to read. Tonight I googled “Bible Reading Plans” and as I scanned down the list I am to yours. I keep forgetting to simply ask my Heavenly Father.

    I know what your family has been going through. Thank you for sharing that so we can pray. But isn’t it truly a blessing to see His provision in our time of weakness so His strength can be demonstrated. I had a recurrence of breast cancer after 13 years that manifested in a chest wall tumor. A Facebook friend encouraged me by describing what was going on as “accelerated transformation” and I like to think of it as accelerated sanctification because it can be in what most folks see as the darkest times that we experience His presence and sustaining presence and power the most.

    Finding this reading plan is truly an answer to prayer and I will put you and your family near the very top of my list as I work through it. MacArthur suggests something on this same order but in 6 verse chunks, but I really like your plan of reading it like a book and then going back to all those portions looking for specific things and seeing the themes and ultimately truly knowing the book and by doing so giving the Holy Spirit time to do His individual work in our lives.

    Thanks, again, and God bless!

  7. Clint

    This summer marked 20 years of struggling with depression. Mentioning it to others, even Christians, has often been the death knell to having a meaningful friendship. I know what my wife has had to endure, so I’m very sorry, brother. Your labor is not in vain. May God sustain you.

  8. Cam Myers

    Dear Dan,
    I’ve been on the internet all night searching for articles on why Christians shun the lonely and depressed. I stumbled across your article about churches losing members, etc., and the need for authentic Christianity. A comment you made about “bleeding for others” almost made me cry, if I could still cry. I tried to find who you are, and came across this blog of your struggles in 2017. My heart goes out to your wife and you. I reason that your faith is strong, and the love you are showing by spending more time with your family is highly commendable. Depression is something no one should have to endure alone. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening to me. I live in a neighborhood of “Christians”. On both sides my neighbors have signs that say, “Thank you, Jesus.” There is also a preacher and wife across the street. Not one from any of these 3 families came to see my 88 y/o mother or me at Christmas, tho they know we are alone. We attended the pastors’ church many times, and I’ve run into them several times while I was out for a walk. They know me and my many trials. But not once in 17 years have they crossed the street to my house. Their daughter, who ran the music program, would speak in tongues in church, then sit in Bible study and talk about everyone she knew on Facebook. She visited her parents often, but she never came to see me, either. As far as I’m concerned, there is no difference between the church and the world anymore.
    I live every day wishing I was dead. I’ve been severely depressed for years. I’ve begged God to help me, yes, begged. I have intractable depression and physical pain. I see no way out. The few Christian counselors around here are way more expensive than others. Why? I’m disabled and can’t afford them. Last year I finally felt like I lost my soul. I desperately want to find someone I can reach out to, but where? No one cares anymore. No one wants to get involved.
    Go, put your hand on the side of your wife’s face, and tell her you will never leave her or forsake her. I wish I had someone…
    Try to blog again soon….oh, what a wonderful gift you have! I wish I could express my thoughts the way you do! You really get it. The world is dying for Christians like you. As for me, I’m just dying.
    (Sorry for whining. I get really desperate sometimes. I do stay in seclusion so I don’t impose myself on others.)

    • Ray Zakary

      Hi Cam. My wife and I read your post. Like you, we really miss Dan’s writings. He has been blessed by God, and by sharing his passion, he has blessed so many others.

      We were in tears reading your comments. The were so honest and raw. (They reminded me of a ‘raw’ song called ‘Clear the Stage’ by Jimmy Needham.) We believe the reason Christians aren’t actively seeking to meet each other’s needs is because they are so busy trying to live the American Christian Dream instead of The Normal Christian Life (Watchman Nee). In it, we spend our resources of time, talent, and money building a life that looks almost exactly like that of every other American family. We buy the best houses, cars, clothes, vacations, ‘toys’, electronic gadgets and retirement plans that we can afford. We spend our free time watching TV / sports, surfing the internet, playing with the kids, and playing video games or with other toys. After this, we are active in our local church as time permits. To fund this lifestyle we have no option other than to work as hard as we can, for as long as we can, to make the most money we can. The demands associated with building and maintaining our own little kingdoms are so persistent that we don’t have the time to follow Jesus’s example even if we wanted to. What we end up with is a life that looks amazingly like that of every other American, only a bit cleaner and nicer…while the world around us sinks further into decay. And of course, when we die, our kids divide up our little kingdoms to add to their own. We don’t even notice other’s need because we are so focused on on ourselves.

      After reading your post, my wife turned to me and said we have to stop working on all the projects we have around our house and start reaching out to others in our community. If you happen to read this reply, please give us a few suggestions on how we could minister to someone in your situation.

      Thanks again for sharing, and your honesty


  9. anj

    Just came across this blog (wondering if an expression of “organic church” is real and out there somewhere), and wanted to relate that we have had many of the same experiences… especially regarding mental illness and lack of authenticity/true community in the church as you and others have shared.

    My family, too, deals with mental illness… in being transparent and asking for prayer we also became social outcasts in our local church. My heart breaks for all who have experienced this and I trust that, though ours may feel like a lonely journey, we are never alone in Christ… and probably even less alone than we realize, as I suspect this is no isolated issue (though it is isolating, no doubt about that). I believe most people mean well but don’t know what to do or say, so they keep their distance.

    I still believe God plans to do amazing things through his Church, sooner rather than later (maybe sooner *and* later is a better way to put it). I will keep watching and waiting and praying and taking action as he leads.

    I’m comforted to know there are others who have been given a similar directive.

    Much love…

  10. Carrie

    I too have enjoyed your thoughts over the years but have never commented. I pulled my copy of “the world’s best Bible reading program” off the shelf when I couldn’t find your website a few days ago. It’s a very good program – thank you for sharing it.

    May God give you strength and grace as you walk this very difficult journey with Him.

  11. Jeff

    Hi Dan,

    Just want to let you know that you are missed out here in the wilderness of the interwebs. May the Father strengthen you in all things.


  12. ccinnova

    Dan, I recently wondered if you’d started blogging again and visited the site. Unfortunately, it appears you’re still on the blogging sidelines, although I’ve gone back and read past posts of yours. I hope and pray you’ll be blogging again soon. Take care and God bless.

  13. Shelley

    My heart goes out to you, with all this desperate struggle…
    I want to share with you some healing testimonies that may bring some light and encouragement and especially great hope…
    Although these are mostly physical healings, there is some crossover to mental illness, and certainly our Lord can handle all of it,
    And all through the Gospels he demonstrated His desire that we would be made whole, in every way, for each one that came to Him.
    Please see http://www.awmi.net/video/healing/...
    the audio Bible teachings on healing can also be found on this website.
    What Scripture says about healing I only learned after being a believer for 30 years, since not that many churches teach these sections of Scripture.
    Also the classic book,
    Christ the Healer
    by F.F. Bosworth, is wonderful.
    Another set of encouraging messages and teachings can be found at Larry Hutton Ministries.
    I speak the Lord’s Grace, Healing, and all the Hebrew meanings of Shalom over you and your family,
    In Jesus name!

  14. I hope things get better for you and your wife Dan.
    I’ve enjoyed reading your writing over the years.
    God willing, it would be nice to see more.

    Will pray for you.

  15. michael Isham

    Dearest brother;

    My wife and I traveled (and lived) in many places in the world sharing the good news of Jesus and seeing many coming to faith and seeing miracles.

    My wife became mentally ill in 2013 and we went through similar experiences with shunning and no casseroles, prayers or concerns for her or I. We were on staff at a large church and were very well loved. When my wife became ill I was totally unprepared as a year of her illness turned into years. Everyone who met her before her affliction told me how gentle, kind, thoughtful, helpful, meek and an example of Christ she was. When she became ill it was abandonment by most of our lovely friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.

    I could not believe that this was happening to us. She passed away in 2013 and left a big hole in my heart. I continue to take the gospel to all that the Lord sends me to but this experience left me broken and shattered in many areas. My relationship with our Lord has deepened but the way I see life is not the same anymore. I was touched with your pain and I will start praying for you and your family as I have been there. It is strange that the body of Christ can’t seem to respond to mental problems of a member of the body but what a powerful testimony for our Savior if they would respond like He did while He walked this earth.

  16. Jeff

    Hi Dan, I hope you and family are doing well. Your insights are missed out here in the wilderness of the interwebs. I’m thankful that your blog is still available—I still re-read and share articles from your blog on occasion. Peace, Jeff

  17. Milton Stanley

    Hello, Dan. I prayed for you and your family today. I don’t know how much the insanity of this year has been weighing on you, but I am confident you see through what’s going on. I pray that in the face of the disappointing performance of what has been passing as the church you have drawn closer to God. Stay sane, and stay faithful, my friend. I’m pretty sure that seven thousand still haven’t bent the knee to Baal.

  18. Leopold Tuenis

    You’re right Dan! especially in your last sentences, because God knows everything… and foremost He is always present, if we believe in Him and call Him. This here https://youtu.be/x06WxR0qsHg , is the hard scientific proof that He exists and is alive, and i hope this incontestable truth can give you a great comfort.

  19. Ross Wilkinson

    Hi Dan,
    I have had your blog on my daily devotion plan list for several years, and I think about you and your wife daily so you are not alone (even in Auckland, New Zealand).
    Trust you are well and that God’s presence is with you.
    Ross Wilkinson

  20. Mary

    Hey, I’m brand new to your blog, its almost 2024 and I’m so glad to be here. 🙂 Mental illness is tough. My husband and I both contend with it too so I am here for you guys if you ever need any help. Also I am praying for you and your wife. God is faithful. 🙂 Much love, family in Christ!

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