Ah, the honeymoon — the idyllic getaway for two people who love and adore each other, an escape from the realities and pressures of ordinary stress-filled days.
We all know, though, honeymoons end and the lovers return to their shared regular life. And for many marriages and long-term relationships, regular life includes mental health issues that threaten the relationship’s strength or even the lovers’ lives. And relationships with mental health challenges are far more common that we might want to believe.
In 2019 — even before COVID upended everything — one in five American adults experienced some form of mental illness. One in 20 of us experienced “serious” mental illness  such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive behaviors, or borderline personality disorder. Never underestimate the harm that can come from mental illness, in all its forms.
Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness, Family, and Church, teaches us to understand how we, as individuals, families, and communities, can support those living with mental health. Sarah didn’t flinch in her storytelling of a family fractured by mental illness or her being witness to the execution of a cousin with mental illness. The gritty honesty in these stories delivered a unique view into a corner of our lives many would just as soon overlook. Blessed Are the Crazy changed lives. Blessed Are the Crazy saved lives. In the six years since Chalice Press published her book, Lund and her compassionate, forgiving approach have endeared her to readers and audiences.
Her work also inspired her to continue writing. Not long after Blessed Are the Crazy was published, Sarah approached Chalice Press about the other books she wanted to write. The next book would be a look at mental health and marriage. After several conversations about the challenges of writing such a raw book, we agreed to bring her book under contract. It took longer to write than anticipated, a combination of career and family and the reality of transcribing hard stories and analyzing them, but wait was worth it. On February 9. 2021, Chalice Press celebrates the launch of Blessed Union: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness and Marriage.
Mental illness affects at least a quarter of all marriages, so the odds are you know somebody—likely several somebodies—who identify with Lund’s story. Case studies peer into other relationships, providing the comfort of knowing your own story isn’t unique but more common than you can imagine. What makes Blessed Union so potent is what readers will learn from their reading. Sarah includes relationship tips, trusted advice, prayers and more, nourishing a soul under stress that needs solid support.
Sarah blends medical, psychological, religious, and spiritual wisdom in her writing, reminding us that there are many tools at our disposal for building healthy relationships and lives. For the larger community such as extended family and pastors, she helps us learn that mental health issues are in fact social justice issues that we need to address holistically but also in ways that support, not intrude.
Because each relationship is just as unique as each individual, Sarah recognizes that reflection by the reader is key to understanding that unique situation. Blessed Union contains reflection questions and journaling pages to help process your own thoughts and emotions.
Blessed Union is by no means a substitute for a marriage or mental health counselor, properly prescribed medication, or changing personal behaviors. But it may help identify what a marriage you treasure needs to make the most of that holy bond.